The Experts Speak
IF YOU HAVE $1000
IS IT BEETER TO MAKE
100 TEN DOLLAR BETS OR
10 ONE HUNDRED DOLLAR BETS?
James Anglin Speaks
I do have one comment about your answer to question O-1, in your `Bet
you can't answer these questions' page. You say that one should rather
bet $1000 in ten hundred-dollar bets than a hundred ten-dollar bets,
because the longer you play the more you lose. Actually, I don't
believe it's that simple. Some games, like poker with an ante, may
include a fixed cost per game, and it is true you would pay less ante if
you played fewer hands. But in most games the house has a simple
percentage advantage: on average, you lose a fixed percentage of
whatever you bet, whether you bet it all at once or in nickels over a
lifetime. It just isn't true that the longer you play, the more you
lose. Here is the real answer:
The more you bet, the more you lose. On average, it doesn't matter
whether you bet your money fast or slowly. But if you make a few big
bets, you have a good chance for either a big win or a big loss;
whereas if you make many small bets, your wins will tend to cancel out
your losses somewhat, and you will actually end up with a net loss very
close to the long-run average. So if you want to have a high chance of
making a killing, and are willing to accept an even higher risk of
losing your shirt, make a few big bets; but if you can't afford to lose
that much, and you still enjoy gambling even when you know you will
slowly but steadily lose money and never strike it rich, then you should
make lots of small bets. (If neither of these cases fits you, nor
anything on the spectrum in between them, stay out of casinos.)
Let's Have Your Viewpoint
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