Fortunately for casual players, the world of online casinos is generally free from jargon.
Afterall, if they make life difficult with uncommon terms and language, then players will be quickly turned off, confused, and otherwise reluctant to start making those wagers.
But even so, if players want to play smartly at online casinos, it does pay to have a little bit of knowledge up your sleeve.
Fortunately, Casinopedia has that covered. Our huge online dictionary containing thousands of terms from the world of gambling should give players the ability to decode any confusing bit of terminology.
House edge, and ‘the vig’
To keep the lights on, casinos need to tilt games in their favor. This is known as the house edge.
House edges can range from 80% or so, up to nearly 99.9% – depending on what game you play.
So if you played a game with a 95% house edge, on average, and you wagered $1,000 in a session, you would on average expect to see $950 back, or a loss of $50.
Of course, you could lose it all, or hit the jackpot, but that is the average figure you would get if you played the game an infinite amount of times.
When it comes to slots, things can be a little more variable.
The Vig is simply a way for the house or bookmaker to make more money out of you.
This is found more commonly in land-based casinos rather than online. All of that should be made clear before you make your wagers.
Casino bonuses are great, but come with strings attached, and that’s what players need to know.
So the headline figure of 500.00 of cash to play with and 50 free spins etc are all fine, but you need to read the small print.
Usually they contain wagering requirements. So your 500.00 bonus may need to be played through a multiple of times. This can be about 20 times, but it can be as high as 70 times or possibly more.
So, if a player has a $100.00 bonus with a wagering requirement of 40x, the player needs to make 100×40 in wagers – or $4,000, before being able to withdraw any bonus money plus winnings.
Doesn’t sound so great now? Well, it’s not all bad. Yes it locks players in for a while, but if they were prepared to stake that money anyway, it does effectively extend their bankroll.
If players were signing up just for a small deposit, but got tempted in with the bonus cash, then they should definitely consider the wagering requirements.
A coin is tossed ten times in a row, and has landed tails each time. The surest bet would be for heads on the 11th toss right?
It’s that kind of thinking which has led many an online casino player to a shortened bankroll.
It’s the classic gambler’s fallacy, that because a certain string of outcomes has happened before, it must influence the next one.
Of course, it doesn’t. In the coin toss example, there’s still a 50:50 chance the coin will turn up tails again. The coin doesn’t ‘remember’ what has happened before, and act accordingly.
Of course, the odds of a coin turning 10 tails in a row are quite long, but that doesn’t mean anything when it comes to making a wager on roulette, for example.
So just because the wheel has landed ten blacks in a row (a near 50:50 outcome each time) it doesn’t mean your next bet should be red. Black is just as likely to come up again.
It’s a hard concept for many to get their heads around, and some simply don’t.
The Random Number Generator, or Pseudo Random Number Generator, if you prefer, is a computer programme which generates the random outcomes on slot reels, electronic casino games and anything else that needs to have an outcome based purely on chance.
They are programmes which are designed by humans, and so they can not be classed as truly random. If you want real randomness you have to look at things like nuclear decay, or half life, but that’s probably not a discussion for here.
In any case, the human-made RNGs do a pretty good job and are tested millions of times so that when a slot says it has a return to player of 96.7% that slot should pay 96.7% (on average).
Gaming licensing authorities test these games to make sure they are performing as they should.
Despite this, players still believe that games go on hot or cold streaks, or that they are fixed, or that there is a special button the online casino can press to limit players who are winning a little bit too much.
Usually players think the slot is fixed or rigged, when they go on cold streaks. Actually, cold streaks are more likely to prove that the slot is truly random, as slot manipulators are unlikely to want to put players off with barren spells.
So wearing lucky pants won’t make a difference, sadly. It’s all in the software.
Players looking to make a start can arm themselves with even more information by reading our online casino reviews.
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