In their essence, all activities related to gambling and betting are based on luck. Depending on which one the players decide to try, the basics are guessing a specific outcome and hoping to get it right. If your guess is correct, you receive a prize. If it’s wrong, you lose your wager and move on. All this sounds simple, and, in many cases, it really is that simple.
Yet, there are scenarios in which people swear that sports betting is much more profitable than casino gambling or vice versa. You’ll find all kinds of strategies and guides that promise you better winning odds and massive returns. And all this information will surely make you wonder which one is actually the smarter choice – sports betting or gambling? Well, let us help with the answer in our analysis of the two activities.
Analyzing the Winning Odds
Obviously, the simplest way to resolve this mystery is to analyze one’s chances of winning. Still, the comparison isn’t that simple as many factors are in play.
Sports Betting Odds
The odds in sports betting are set by bookmakers individually. The odds are also the payout you get. So, if there’s a match between a top-performing football club and a club that holds the last place on the table, things can go two ways. You can bet that the top-performing club will win and expect a minor payout if that ends up the case, as you’re taking a small risk with your wager. You may alternatively bet on the other team, take a massive risk with your stake, and potentially get a high payout.
Of course, many betting options are associated with one match, but this is a simple example of the risk versus the payout. If we take decimal odds, for example, the closer to 1 the odds are, the bigger your chance of winning is and the lower the payout is. So, the stronger team would have odds like 1.5, while the underdog may have odds of 5.6. To calculate your payout, just multiply the wager size by the odds, and that’s it.
Casino Gambling Odds
Things here are a bit more complex as you have the house edge, the return to player, and the volatility to keep your eyes on. Plus, first-class casino sites offer thousands of games and various categories of games. So, it matters whether you play online slots, RNG blackjack, or live dealer roulette, for example.
Each game has its own house edge, and some of the games have different house edges on different bets. That’s the case when you play baccarat and craps, for instance. House edge reveals the house advantage, and you want this as close to zero as possible. The return to player percentage is its counterpart, and you want this as close to 100% as possible. Finally, volatility signals you whether the prizes are seldom and high (high volatility) or frequent and low (low volatility).
In theory, if you can play games with high return to player and hope for the best. Playing a game with a house edge of 1% would be theoretically smarter than placing a sports wager with 5.4 odds. The latter is very unlikely to make you a winner. Still, the house edge of 1% also doesn’t mean you’ll win.
Can You Strategize?
Another aspect we can’t ignore when comparing sports betting and casino gambling is the ability of players to use strategies.
In sports betting, punters often use statistics and player data to decide their next wager. For example, it matters whether Nadal is playing on a grass or clay court. He’s usually better on clay courts. Who’s his competitor? What do their previous matches reveal? Tracking and considering all these details lets punter employ some kind of a strategy and make smarter choices.
When it comes to casino gambling, the answer depends on the game yet again. There are various blackjack playing strategies that help you play smarter and stay longer in the game. There’s also card counting, which is often prohibited and impossible in online games where no real cards are used. Slots don’t quite leave any space for a strategy, aside from some bankroll management tips. Players have also tried progressive betting, which is impossible to finish due to table limits and budget restrictions.
No Clear Winner After All
At the end of the day, what matters is what makes you happier. If you enjoy watching sports and wagering on sports, go for it. If you feel like spinning slots reels or playing roulette, do that! Betting and gambling are, for most people, games of chance and pure luck. Even the most carefully placed wagers can fail, just like a random slot spin can randomly win you millions. The only thing to remember, however, is to spend carefully and play responsibly. The rest is entertainment unless you plan on becoming a betting or gambling pro.