What math is used in live casino games?
- The Intricate Math Behind Live Casino Games: Can They Be Beaten?
The knowledge of most people regarding math in casino games starts and stops with the game of Blackjack – most people are familiar with the concept of the house edge in that game, and are also familiar with the idea that this game can be beaten with the correct strategy. And some card counting, but that won’t be the topic of today’s article.
Blackjack is a very rudimentary game, with some specific table rules that influence the house edge ever so slightly, and in the end the house does have an edge that is about 0.50% in the most ideal of the conditions. Everything about Blackjack is transparent – you know the odds and percentages precisely.
However, there is a new breed of games such as the live dealer game show Monopoly Big Baller that hide most of their game mechanics, only revealing the parts that need to be revealed, and telling you what the house edge is. Crazy Time is another game that reveals the main parts of the game, yet hides the most important ones, but in this one players are more inclined to look for Crazy Time statistics to identify the best bets.
Let’s explore these two games in detail to show how do game developers use math in their games and why, unlike in the game of Blackjack, the players can’t do anything about it.
- Monopoly Big Baller
Monopoly Big Baller is a live presenter game that uses the game of bingo as its main element, and then if you win on a bingo card you enter a bonus round where you play Monopoly with dice. Bingo is a mathematically very complex game, and on top of that the game developer added a random element that can let you have some ‘free hits’ and ‘win multipliers’ on your bingo cards. It is unknown to the player how often do these multipliers and free hits come in.
Also, during the bonus round, you get to play a Monopoly board with a lot of wins scattered around. The size of the wins can vary, so it’s yet another random element that players can’t influence and know nothing about. It’s just there.
- Crazy Time
Crazy Time is a standard money wheel type of game, with 54 segments, so players have a precise knowledge about the exact expected occurence of each of the available outcomes. It’s a matter of math and the law of probability, not much different to the game of roulette.
Since this part of the game is all about probability, same as in roulette, the players attempt to beat the game by identifying the ‘hot’ or ‘cold’ outcomes. This is known as the gambler’s fallacy, and undoubtedly the game is designed specifically to reinforce this kind of behavior.
What players don’t know, on the other hand, is the random element that is involved with each of the four available bonus rounds – Coin Flip, Cash Hunt, Pachinko and Crazy Time. So, while the player may have a pretty good idea on how often should Cash Hunt hit – once every 27 spins is the answer – the player has no idea what size of wins does Cash Hunt usually provide.
Here, as in Monopoly Big Baller, the main random element that players would want to know details of is hidden from plain sight. The best a player can do is to look at the historical results of spins to find out how much does Cash Hunt – or one of the other bonus rounds – usually pay and what is the expected range of wins.
- What’s next and how will AI influence live dealer games
Both of the games described above were designed in a traditonal, normal human way of doing things. With the emergence of AI, the math in live dealer games will likely become much more intricate, and might even start feeding on return information from the players to find the perfect balance. Ideally, the players would find the bonus round extremely interesting, potentially very profitable, perhaps even beatable – yet it should still have a significant house edge. We can expect AI to be responsible for the next stage in evolution of math in casino games.