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Types of gambling

Casino games

While almost any game can be played for money, and any game typically played for money can also be played just for fun, some games are generally offered in a casino setting.

  • Blackjack
  • Pai Gow Poker and Tiles
  • Poker
  • Spanish 21
  • 3-card poker
  • Baccarat (punto banco)
  • Caribbean Stud Poker
  • Casino war
  • Craps
  • Fan-Tan
  • Faro
  • Let it ride
  • Pachinko
  • Pyramid Poker
  • 4-card poker
  • Red Dog
  • Sic Bo
  • Texas Hold'em Bonus Poker
  • Roulette
Electronic gaming
  • Slot machine
  • Video poker

Other gambling

Sports betting
Arbitrage betting

Non-casino gambling games

Bingo (as played in the US and UK)
dead poo
pull-tab games

Other non-casino gambling games include:

Card games, such as Liar's poker, Bridge, Basset, Lansquenet, Piquet, Put, Teen patti
Coin-tossing games such as Head and Tail, Two-up*
Confidence tricks such as Three-card Monte or the Shell game
Carnival Games such as The Razzle or Hanky Pank
Dice-based games, such as Backgammon, Liar's dice, Passe-dix, Hazard, Threes, Pig, or Mexico

Fixed-odds gambling and Parimutuel betting frequently occur at many types of sporting events. In addition many bookmakers offer fixed odds on a number of non-sports related outcomes, for example the direction and extent of movement of various financial indices, the winner of television competitions such as Big Brother, election results,[8]. Interactive prediction markets also offer trading on these outcomes, with "shares" of results trading on an open market.

Parimutuel betting

One of the most widespread forms of gambling involves betting on horse or greyhound racing. Wagering may take place through parimutuel pools, or bookmakers may take bets personally. Parimutuel wagers pay off at prices determined by support in the wagering pools, while bookmakers pay off either at the odds offered at the time of accepting the bet; or at the median odds offered by track bookmakers at the time the race started.

Sports betting

Betting on team sports has become an important service industry in many countries. For example, millions of Britons play the football pools every week.

Arbitrage betting

Arbitrage betting is a theoretically risk-free betting system in which every outcome of an event is bet upon so that a known profit will be made by the bettor upon completion of the event, regardless of the outcome. Arbitrage betting is a combination of the ancient art of arbitrage trading and gambling, which has been made possible by the large numbers of bookmakers in the marketplace, creating occasional opportunities for arbitrage.

Other types of betting

One can also bet with another person that a statement is true or false, or that a specified event will happen (a "back bet") or will not happen (a "lay bet") within a specified time. This occurs in particular when two people have opposing but strongly-held views on truth or events. Not only do the parties hope to gain from the bet, they place the bet also to demonstrate their certainty about the issue. Some means of determining the issue at stake must exist. Sometimes the amount bet remains nominal, demonstrating the outcome as one of principle rather than of financial importance.

Betting exchanges allow consumers to both back and lay at odds of their choice. Similar in some ways to a stock exchange, a better may want to back a horse (hoping it will win) or lay a horse (hoping it will lose, effectively acting as bookmaker)

Staking systems

Many betting systems have been created in an attempt to "beat the bookie" but most still accept that no system can make an unprofitable bet profitable over time. Widely-used systems include:
  • Fixed stakes – a traditional system of staking the same amount on each selection.
  • Fixed profits – the stakes vary based on the odds to ensure the same profit from each winning selection.
  • Due-column betting – A variation on fixed profits betting in which the bettor sets a target profit and then calculates a bet size that will make this profit, adding any losses to the target.
  • Kelly – the optimum level to bet to maximize your future median bank level.
  • Martingale – A system based on staking enough each time to recover losses from previous bet(s) until one wins.


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