Don't just guess the odds of each game

Know the facts. The good news is that luck isn’t against you. In fact, luck has nothing to do with whether you win or lose. There’s no way to predict the outcome of the game — it’s completely random. The simple truth is that the only thing you can count on is unpredictability.

What are the odds?

Lots of people dream of winning the lottery or getting the “perfect” poker hand, but do you know what the real chances are? When you flip a coin, there’s always a one in two chance you’ll land on heads. Each toss is independent of what came before, so two tosses don’t guarantee you’ll land on heads even once.

Probability & Odds

Probability and odds are related ways of describing a player’s chances of a winning outcome.

The probability of an event is the number of ways that an event can happen, set against the total number of possible events that could happen. Probability allows us to predict how often an event will occur, but does not allow us to predict when exactly an event will occur.

Probability is useful in player decision–making. Understanding probability can help you understand what is the likely long–term bottom line of a particular game and if the game is worth the money spent to play.

Odds can be an exact measure of win probability, but are subjective in many gambling games. When odds are referred to in games of pure chance, the percentage is a precise mathematical computation of win probability. When odds are referred to in games of skill, it is a subjective estimate of the payout for each unit bet.

Randomness & Hit Frequency

Randomness

Randomness refers to events happening by chance, without any purposeful or organized plan. Gambling uses an assortment of mechanisms to ensure that any game is unpredictable.

Examples of randomness include:

  • Generating different combinations every millisecond on a slot machine
  • Shuffling multiple decks of cards in blackjack
  • Spinning the wheel in roulette
  • Rolling dice in craps

Gamblers have historically created strategies and systems to help them predict outcomes of random games. In short, they don’t work. Randomness is never influenced by past patterns or events.

Hit Frequency

Hit frequency is defined as how often a slot machine will have a winning outcome and, like the stated return to the player, it’s usually given a percentage. A hit frequency of 10% means a machine will stop on a winning combination about 10% of the time. Large variations exist between the hit frequencies of slots – they may range between 3% and 40%.

Machines with smaller hit frequencies tend to offer larger jackpot opportunities. Machines that offer multiple lines on each spin may give the illusion that a player is winning more often, but in reality, the losing combinations will far outnumber the winning ones.

Additional Help

If you would like to learn more about responsible gaming, consult with a GameSense Advisor.

If you feel you need help, please call the following 24-hour confidential hotlines:

Nevada Council on Problem Gambling
1-800-522-4700

Maryland Alliance for Responsible Gambling
1-800-GAMBLER

Massachusetts Council on Compulsive Gambling
1-800-426-1234

Michigan Department of Community Health
1-800-270-7117

The Mississippi Council on Problem and Compulsive Gambling
1-888-777-9696

The Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey
1-800-GAMBLER

If you desire to self-limit from gaming at all US based MGM Resorts International properties, you may request a Self-Limit Access Program form at the Casino Cage of any of our US based casino properties. In addition, in the states of Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, and New Jersey individuals requesting to be self-excluded may also fill out a form specific for that state.

Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency
1-410-230-8798

Massachusetts Gaming Commission
1-617-533-9737

Michigan Gaming Control Board
1-888-223-3044

Mississippi Gaming Commission
Jackson 1-800-504-7529
Central District 1-888-465-8312
Northern District 1-800-269-3577
Southern District 1-800-497-8550

New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement
Atlantic City 1-609-441-3846
Trenton 1-609-777-2279