Gambling can look very complex to an outsider who has never taken part, but whether you’re curious about how it works, or you want to place a bet on the next horse racing race or sporting event and don’t know what to expect, this guide will walk you through the basics of gambling. 

What is gambling?

Gambling refers to when people take part in a game, from fruit machines, poker or even scratch cards, and stake a certain amount of money in the hope of correctly predicting the outcome. This is done with the potential of winning more money if you do predict the outcome correctly and this can differ depending on the type of bet. For example, with a scratch card or the lottery, you pay for a certain amount of tickets in the hope of correctly choosing a set of numbers or getting lucky with the card you’re dealt while some games require more tactical skill. 

How does it work?

Gambling can only be deemed responsible if the person who is playing truly understands the rules. Here are the principles of gambling:

  • The first part of gambling is choosing what you want to wager on. For example, maybe you want to bet on a sports game, on a certain horse to win a race or slot machines. You also need to decide how much money you want to bet – the choices you make may well be influenced by odds as well. 

  • The event is the second aspect of gambling – the outcome of the event is determined, at least in part, by chance but you can also try to increase your chances by looking to players or horses that have good odds to win. 

  • What happens after depends on the outcome of the bet – if you’ve won, you’ll be paid back your stake plus your winnings, based on the odds of the bet. But if you’ve lost, you lose your stake. 

What does the terminology mean?

Different types of gambling use different jargon, which can be confusing to newbies who aren’t familiar with what these words and phrases mean. These are some of the most common words and what they mean in the context of gambling:

  • Bet or Wager – the act of risking a certain amount of money against a certain outcome of an unpredictable activity. 

  • Chasing losses – this refers to continually returning to gambling in order to try and recover any money lost. Even when the gambler has lost money, they keep trying to play and this results in their financial situation getting worse. 

  • House Edge – The house edge is the advantage a gambling company has over players in a given game, which is normally represented as a percentage. This percentage is the amount the player would expect to lose in that bet over an infinite amount of time. 

  • Jackpot – the jackpot is the biggest prize a player can win. Pay outs typically are large but the likelihood of winning a jackpot is low. 

  • Pay out – the amount paid to a player when the outcome is favourable. 

Published by Lavismichel Inkel