06 February 2006

A taxonomy of online gambling products

One thing I’ve never come across is a single page or slide that organizes all major forms of online gambling into a useful taxonomy. Why bother with a taxonomy? Among other things, it forms a convenient way to quickly group products to be able to talk about shared attributes and efficiencies. So here one is, first draft:

PvH: Player versus House betting (Fixed Odds Betting; House sets/takes risk)
  • Purely mathematical (with a normal distribution, sufficient volume, house actually takes no risk, no player skill required)
    • Roulette
    • Slots (* can be pools aspect to this)
    • “Soft Games” – hi-lo
    • Fixed odds lottery
  • Skill based - mathematical (players who understand the underlying mathematics/odds can maximize their chance to win and drive down the house edge)
    • Backjack
    • Craps
    • Baccarat
    • Virtual sports (e.g., Virtual racing)
  • Skill based – environmental and variable information affect outcome; event based
    • Traditional (e.g., sports)
    • Format (fixed odds, american handicap, asian handicap)
    • Racing vs. all other sports (racing, due to betting complexity, often treated separately)
    • Spread betting
PvP: Player versus Player betting (House takes a percentage of play; house takes no risk)
  • Poker
  • Betting exchange
  • Spread betting exchange
  • Backgammon
  • Mahjong
  • Aspects of “Be the dealer”
APvH: Aggregate Player versus House Betting (House takes a percentage of collective play with no risk)
  • Pools betting
  • Lottery
  • Bingo

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