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Guy bets lifesaving on roulette

This clip where a guy bets his whole lifesavings on the single spin of the roulette wheel has been pretty widely circulated around the net.

Whilst he got lucky (actually extremely lucky), I’d say there are at least two reasons why he’s a bit of an idiot (not mentioning the most obvious being that he bet every penny to this name!).

First, he apparently placed a wager of US$138,000 on normal American roulette rather than European roulette.  In case you’re not a roulette player, there is a major difference between the two roulette variants. That is, European roulette has only one zero (0) whereas the American roulette wheel one additional green pocket market double zero (00).  And there is a very simple, mathematical reason why you should never place a bet at an American roulette table.  The odds paid are 35 to 1 for both European roulette and American roulette even though there are more pockets on the American wheel!  So it’s obviously a much better deal to play European roulette.  Let use this guy as an example – he placed an even money bet (which is black/red, high/low even/odd) on a wheel with two zeros which has a house edge of 5.26%.  However if he had he simply gone to another casino that offers European roulette he could have reduced the house edge to 1.35% because when playing European roulette you can receive back half an even money bet (which he placed) if the ball lands in zero. In European roulette, you have a 1 in 37 chance of winning but when you place the same type of bet in American roulette, you have a 1 in 38 chance.  European roulette offers a lower house edge. In fact, that extra pocket on an American roulette wheel nearly doubles the house edge meaning that in the long run you’ll lose money nearly twice as fast compared to playing European roulette!

Plus, as I noted in last week’s post, the lad probably should have also made a trip to Canada to pull this stunt so that his winnings were tax free.

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