By Lina Martinez

Despite the quite draconian federal laws about gambling, the US has seen a steady rise in numbers of people gaming. And, those figures look set to increase even further if reports of the ban on sports gambling prove true.

It’s no real surprise. Gambling is a huge business, and money talks, as we all know. Casinos alone receive revenue of almost $160 billion every year. That’s more than the vast majority of nation-states in the world.

Gambling is supposed to be fun, of course. You spend what you can afford to lose, and it doesn’t matter. But we all understand that gambling too much can lead to addiction - and the outcomes are never pretty. Financial ruin, the end of a relationship - even trouble with the law. They are all possible outcomes to the gambling addict.

But is it all worth it?  And can a gambler - addicted or not - ever actually win? We thought we would take a closer look. Let’s get started straight away - is it ever worth rolling the dice?

Sascha Duscher

You can’t count on anything

First of all, it’s important to understand that the odds are stacked against you. And, no matter how slight, they will always beat you in the long-run. Take the roulette wheel as the perfect example. Most first-timers think they are taking a 50/50 punt on red or black. But they forget about the two greens. It stacks the odds in the house’s favor by a considerable amount. And, you will walk away with a loss more times than not.

You will ‘win’ more on pretend betting

As point out, you can play online slots for both real and play money. Of course, you can’t win anything with play money, but the chances are you will still come out ahead of the person that uses their bank card. Again, playing the slots is fine if you have money to burn. And, it is true that a big win can rake you in a fortune. But the statistics suggest you will have to be very lucky.

The dawn of sports betting?

Ask any professional gambler how they make money, and they will always tell you to look for value. What they mean by that is looking at the odds a bookmaker will give you of something happening. If you feel it is more likely than they say, it is a good bet. This is why sports betting is so popular abroad. As mentioned here - - if are good with statistics, it is possible to win. Expect to see a flurry of activity around sports betting if it ever gets its legal status back for this very reason.

Games of skill

Poker is the obvious candidate, here, as it isn’t just the cards you are playing against. There is also a human element, and you can trick and bluff your way through with nothing higher than a six. However, it can take years of learning to develop skills that will protect you at the poker table. And every time you sit down, you still need to prepare for a loss.

So, there you have it. As you can see, it is possible to win at gambling. Avoid the standard casino games and rely on your skill, and you might just tip the balance. However, it is still necessary to only play with the money you can afford to lose. Good luck!