Basic Card Odds and Probabilities

If you’re planning to make a bit of money playing cards, there’s a few things you need to bear in mind. Firstly, what are you playing and who’s it with? You’ll have better luck playing Blackjack in a casino where the dealer stands on soft 17. Second, is there anything you can use to increase your advantage? Things like an online casino bonus so you don’t need to use solely your own money. And finally, do you have a good grasp of the odds and probabilities involved? Well, the first two are on you, but luckily this infographic gives you a handy breakdown of some of the essential numbers involved so that you can get to grips with the maths before you sit down at the table or computer to play some games! The most important sum you’re going to see running through here is 1/52, the odds of a single card being dealt out of the deck.

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Some professional gamblers love the WNBA

Minnesota Lynx head coach Cheryl Reeve (L) celebrates with Rebekkah Brunson after winning Game Three and the Championship against the Atlanta Dream at their WNBA Championship basketball game in Atlanta, Georgia, October 7, 2011. REUTERS/Tami Chappell (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)

For many sports fans, the WNBA is a joke. You’re never going to see a bunch of high rollers looking for a big suite in Vegas to party for a WNBA game.

That said, there are some professional gamblers who have become very interested in the WNBA, and they’re doing very well. BusinessWeek explained this trend in an article from April:

Tim York’s WNBA fetish makes his wife jealous. “She sometimes asks me, ‘What do you see in women playing basketball?'” says the 31-year-old Houstonian. “Sure, some of the girls are nice to look at while they’re playing. But that’s not why I do it.” Unlike creepy voyeurs, or purists who like watching a below-the-rim game played at a reduced tempo, York’s interest in women’s basketball is purely financial. “I tell her all the time, ‘There’s money to be made in this sport.'”

A professional gambler and owner of the Las Vegas-based handicapping company Sharp Group, York is at the forefront of the women’s sports-betting movement. As Women’s National Basketball Assn. franchises prepare to start training camp this month, York’s in the middle of his annual analysis of all the league’s teams and players. In the three years that he’s been betting on the WNBA, his preparation has paid off: York says he has made a considerable portion of his estimated $100,000 annual earnings from the league. It’s quite a feat given that the WNBA comprises only 12 teams that play a 34-game schedule over a four-month regular season. When it comes to women’s basketball, York says, “I consider myself to be one of the best in the business.”

There isn’t a whole lot of competition. While $2.76 billion was legally wagered in Nevada’s sports books during 2010, according to the Nevada Gaming Control Board, there’s no record of how much was bet on the WNBA. Scott Ghertner, director of sports and promotions for MGM Mirage (MGM) in Las Vegas, figures it was “perhaps a couple of percentage points at the most.” And that’s exactly how professional gamblers like it. “It leaves an opportunity,” says York, “for guys that do this for a living to step in and see things that the odds-makers sometimes don’t.”

Jay Rood, the sports book director for MGM Mirage, concedes that bookmakers have created an opening for WNBA gambling pioneers to exploit. Bookmakers “probably don’t pay as close attention to the WNBA as we do with other things,” he says. That’s because most casual gamblers aren’t interested in women’s sports—even the ones where the players are almost naked and tackling each other. “We booked the Lingerie Bowl this year,” Rood says, referring to the Amazonian pay-per-view football contest that aired during halftime of Super Bowl XLV. “But it was very, very lightly wagered into.” In Rood’s experience, women’s sports is the domain of professionals or, as he calls them, “the sharpest players.” If you’re betting on the WNBA, you probably mean business, Rood says. “It’s one of the hardest sports to profit at.”

There’s really nothing new here. The idea behind betting sports is to get superior information and take advantage of a line that is not up to date or is out of whack for another reason. Check it out if you’re looking for an opportunity. With the NBA lockout, you might be seeking it out anyways next year . . .

  

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