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is a contest where players bet on the result of an event. The loser of the bet gives the winner money. The rules and the amount of money bet are decided before the event happens.
There are three variables common to all forms of gambling:
- How much is being wagered, the initial stake (in money or material goods).
- The predictability of the event.
- The odds agreed between the two (or more) parties to the wager; where there is a house or a bookmaker, the odds are (quite legally) arranged in favour of the house.
The expected value, positive or negative, is a mathematical calculation using these three variables. The amount wagered determines the scale of an individual wager (bet); the odds and the amount wagered determine the payout if successful; the predicability determines the frequency of success. Finally the frequency of success times the payout minus the amount wagered equals the "expected value" The skill of a gambler lies in understanding and manoeuvring the three variables so that the "actual value" is positive over a series of wagers.
Types of gambling
"Beatable" casino games
- Casino games (Poker, slots, baccarat, Sic bo..)
- Non-casino gambling games (Bingo, Lottery, Bridge etc)
- other types of gambling (horse racing, bet on football matches etc)
With proper strategy, a smart player can create a positive mathematical expectation.
- Poker (Also recognised as a game of skill)
- Blackjack - with card counting
- Video poker - with proper pay table and/or progressive jackpot
- Sports betting
- Slot machines
Online gambling is a general term for gambling using the Internet.
Online poker rooms commonly offer Texas hold 'em, Omaha, Seven-card stud, and other game types in both tournament and ring game structures. Players play against each other rather than the "house", with the card room making its money through the "rake".
There are a large number of online casinos, in which people can play casino games such as Roulette, Blackjack, Craps, and many others. These games are played against the "house", which makes money due to the fact that the odds are slightly in its favour.
Online sports betting
Bookmakers and betting exchanges offer fixed-odds gambling over the Internet on the results of sporting events.
There are a number of online bingo rooms offering games on the Internet.
Developments in the use of wireless, mobile devices to gamble follow in the wake of mainstream online gambling.
Typically, gamblers upload funds to the online gambling company, make bets or play the games that it offers, and then cash out any winnings. European gamblers can often fund gambling accounts by credit card or debit card, and cash out winnings directly back to the card. However, most US banks prohibit the use of their cards for the purpose of internet gambling, and attempts by Americans to use credit cards at internet gambling sites are usually rejected. A number of offshore electronic money services, including Firepay, Neteller, and Moneybookers, offer accounts with which online gambling can be funded.
Payment by cheque and wire transfer is also common.
The United States Federal Appeals Courts has ruled that the Federal Wire Act prohibits electronic transmission of information for sports betting across state lines but affirmed a lower court ruling that the Wire Act "'in plain language' does not prohibit Internet gambling 'on a game of chance.'"
Some states have specific laws against online gambling of any kind. Also, owning an online gaming operation without proper licensing would be illegal, and no states are currently granting online gaming licenses.
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