Skip to content # Practical Probability: Casino Odds and Sucker Bets

## Activity Guide

# This guide looks at the activity in detail and goes into the underlying math.

Davis, Tom. (2021). Practical Probability: Casino Odds and Sucker Bets. In S. Bowen (Ed.), Math Circle Activity Database. American Institute of Mathematics. https://mathcircles.org/activity/practical-probability

Contributor(s): Tom Davis

Math Circles: MTC Network

- Activity Description
- Topics Covered
- Session Styles
- Mathematical Practices

Gambling casinos are there to make money, so in almost every instance, the games you can bet on will, in the long run, make money for the casino. However, to make people gamble, it is to the casino’s advantage to make the bets appear to be "fair bets," or even advantageous to the gambler. Similarly, "sucker bets" are propositions that look advantageous to one person but are really biased in favor of the other. We’ll examine what is meant by a fair or biased bet and look in detail at some casino games and sucker bets. Various problems can be extracted from this article that will make excellent Math Circle explorations for students or teachers.