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What Are the Odds?

Surprising stats & percentages

By Frank Scoblete


Gamblers have a natural fascination with odds. Sometimes the odds discourage us from making a bet; other times, we bet on extreme longshots in the hopes of scoring a gigantic win.

Of course, the odds don’t only apply to games of chance—they apply to all areas of life. I thought I’d put together a short list of some of odds you might find interesting, in and out of the casinos.

What are the odds of winning the come-out roll on the pass line bet?

Not counting the numbers that become points, there are eight ways to win and four ways to lose during a come-out roll. You win on 7 or 11 but you lose on 2, 3 or 12. So your odds of winning are two to one.

What are the odds of a person throwing 154 numbers at craps before sevening out?

Approximately 5.6 billion-1. Patricia DeMauro achieved this unbelievable feat on her second turn with the dice! Craps players look at her legendary roll as the Holy Grail of craps play. But please, don’t hold your breath waiting for it to happen again.

What percentage of our presidents went to the same college?

About 25 percent of our presidents went to Harvard. So who says Harvard only graduates smart people? Think of all the lousy presidents we’ve had.

What are the odds of getting a heart attack?

Four to one. (Those odds are enough to give you a heart attack right there!) And by the way, the best place to have a heart attack is in a casino, where there are trained EMT’s ready and waiting to get you back to the machines and tables!

What percentage of blackjack hands will a dealer win?

Roughly 48%. Thankfully, some of the hands that the players win 3-2. Other hands, we can split or double down on. Otherwise, blackjack would be deadly.

What are the chances that a gaming cashier will get a divorce?

Approximately 35 percent of married casino cage workers won’t stay married to their current partner. Players aren’t the only ones who can lose in the house of Lady Luck. Maybe counting all that money makes them realize they’re married to someone who doesn’t have anywhere near that much?

What are the odds of winning the big jackpot at Megabucks?

An astounding 50 million to one!

What are the odds of dying in a dog attack?

Fido ain’t so friendly; there’s a 147,706 to one chance you will get bitten to death by man’s best friend. There’s an almost 99 percent chance you’ll step in dog poop! Why do people keep pets that can kill them? A nice goldfish can be fun.

What is the probability of a man going to a National Football League game?

About one in 11 will enjoy a game with the pigskin—unless their team loses, and the sports book collects.

QUESTION: What are your chances of dying by getting hit with an asteroid?

ANSWER: That’s 200,000 to one. With 300 million people in the United States that means approximately 1,500 people might be killed by something from space. Who says we aren’t being invaded? Maybe these asteroids are really aliens that just look like rocks.

What are the odds of getting hit by lightning?

They are 83,92-1. And, yes, you can get hit by lightning twice, and lightning can strike more than once in the same place.

What are the odds of getting a royal flush on your first five cards?

649,740-1. You have a better chance of getting hit by an asteroid.

What are the odds of catching a ball at a major league baseball game?

The odds are 563-1. (The odds are longer if you’re a Mets player!)

What are the winning and losing statistics in Pai Gow Poker?

Players win approximately 28.61 percent of the hands; the dealer wins approximately 29. 91 percent; and the rest of the hands are draws, approximately 41.48 percent. These percentages make Pai Gow a decent game.

What percentage of the American population is overweight?

Boycott the buffets, because over 64 percent of Americans are fat. I’m one of them. I guess there is a primitive instinct for us to eat as much as we can, because we don’t know when or if a next meal is coming. Excuse me; I have to take a pause from writing this article for a snack.

Why is roulette considered an “unbeatable” game?

Because the house does not pay back what a win is worth. If you bet on a number, you have a 37-1 chance of winning. But if you win, the house only pays you 35-1, keeping two for itself. This means there’s no chance of beating this game in the long run.

Frank Scoblete’s newest books are Casino Conquest: Beat the Casinos at Their Own Games; Slots Conquest: How to Beat the Slot Machines, which features advantage-play slots; and Casino Craps: Shoot to Win,which comes with a DVD showing controlled throws. They’re all available on, or at your favorite bookstore, or by mail-order by calling 1-866-SET-DICE. You can also call that number for a free brochure.


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