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I think that the odds of walking out of a casino with equal to or more than you walked into it is less than 40%. My stats knowledge is failing me right now but if you start with $100 and feed slots at $12/m after an hour the average person should have less than $50 remaining based on the house cut in the article (7.129%).

It would be interesting to see what the likelihood of being up after an hour of regular play is by different common games.

Sure, at slots, but the parent alluded to other games where the odds aren't quite so bad.

In addition, games like poker aren't even played against the house; you're playing against the other players (and the house just takes a cut as a sort of "table fee"). If you're a skilled poker player, you can reduce the effects of luck (what cards you get vs. the cards others at your table get) and come out ahead more often than not.

And I'd agree that even a 30-40% chance of coming out ahead would be "significant"... people in the startup world still start new companies despite the conventional wisdom of a 10% success rate.

Having said that, sure, casino games are pure entertainment. Sure, you can win a little money, but you should never expect to, and you shouldn't play unless you're comfortable losing every cent you put into it.

If you fly to Vegas, put it all on black at roulette, then yes you have 47% chance of doubling your money. But that's a very short vacation with little entertainment value.

The more independent small bets you make, the lower the chance that you will come out ahead.

Slot machines are the worst though.

The last time my wife and I were in Las Vegas, the only game we made money on was sports betting.

With correct play slots have some of the lowest house edges per dollar bet. Sports betting has a fairly high edge, 4.5% on normal bets and much higher on exotics. The difference is you make a few sports bets and walk away, while with slots you keep cycling money through until you lose it.

The problem indeed is the small cycle time. If you bet on a sports match with a 4.5% expected loss, then watch the game, you can limit your losses to about 4.5%/hour.

A slot machine with an expected per iteration loss of .1% and a modest 100 iterations/hour, would, over that same hour lose you (just) go over 9%.

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