Understanding Variance and How to Negate It

Any online casino player worth their salt will understand the concept of variance. Essentially the invisible forces affecting each and every move you make at the table, variance is an ever-present concept you need to understand if you want to boost your chances of success in the virtual arena.

Now, does this mean we're going to show you how to completely eradicate variance from your casino endeavours? Unfortunately, no. Variance is unavoidable. In fact, variance is simply a technical word used to describe the fluctuation of results around an expected norm or, to put it another way, the swings of positive and negative results you experience.

Making Mathematically Correct Moves
Whichever online casino game you're playing, whether it's roulette, blackjack or baccarat, there's always a “correct” and “incorrect” move to make. Now, we've put these words in quote marks because there aren't technically any “correct” or “incorrect” moves in reality. What we basically are referring to is moves that have the a positive or negative expectation.

For example, if you held a total of 19 in a game of blackjack and the dealer was showing a 4, the “correct” move would be the stand. Because you have a strong total, the dealer is weak and your chances of going bust are high if you hit, the mathematics of the situation suggest it's best to stand. Now, this is where variance comes in. Although it's correct to stand and the dynamics suggest you'll win more than you lose if you follow this strategy, nothing is guaranteed.

In casino gaming, there are very few situations where you'll be 100% guaranteed to win. When this is the case, variance will also impact your results. In the example above, you may lose ten times in a row. Does this mean it's wrong to stand? No. What it means is that you're experiencing negative variance. Fortunately, variance also swings the other way and, over time, your results will even out (move closer to the standard deviation).

The More You Play, the More Variance Becomes Obvious
In theory, the more times you encounter a certain scenario, the closer your overall result should move towards the expected outcome. In other words, if you stood on 19 vs. the dealer's 4 1,000 times, your number of wins should outweigh your losses.

That's all great, but is there a way to negate negative variance? Well, since you asked, yes there is. Online casinos are great at giving you ways to make extra cash for your time online. For example, if you review the latest deals on CasinoShark, you'll see there is £575 in bonuses up for grabs across its top five ranked casinos. Although CasinoShark doesn't have any say in the deals offered, it is able to give you a comprehensive overview of the industry in an unbiased way.

Essentially like a comparison site for casinos and casino bonuses, the platform is a great way to find the latest deals so you can then use them to your advantage. For instance, let's say you found an offer where you could get a £100 bonus after your first deposit. Although you'll have to unlock this cash by playing at the site in question, the fact remains that you'll get £100 pushed into your account.

Don't Forget Your Safety Net
Once you've received your cash, it then acts as a safety net that will either cancel out any losses (i.e. if you bet £10 and stood on 19 vs. a 4 but lost ten times) or enhance your win streak. Either way, casino bonuses can help reduce the impact of negative variance on your results.

Although this extra money won't guarantee you'll win in the long run, it is a great way to give yourself an extra bit of protection against an invisible force that can't be stopped.