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Hunger Games movie odds board and wager station.

"I'm still betting on you."
Cinna[src]

The Hunger Games is a major source of gambling and produces intense betting, both in the Capitol and the districts. It was introduced in the 10th Hunger Games. Katniss mentions people from District 12 betting on the two tributes reaped, and that "odds are given on their ages, whether they're Seam or merchant, and if they will break down and weep."[1] In the Capitol, betting takes place throughout the Games, starting before training and increasing in intensity until a victor is determined. Various statistics are tracked and reported to help people place their bets, such as each tribute's list of kills.[2] Some people close to the Games, such as head stylists and presumably Gamemakers as well, aren't allowed to bet. Cinna mentions that he's not allowed to bet, but if he could, he'd put all his money on Katniss.[3]

10th Hunger Games

The 10th Hunger Games is when betting is first implemented. The idea is thought of by Coriolanus Snow after a comment from Festus Creed while the mentors were in a meeting about how to make the Games gain more viewers. While the Games occurred, crowds of Capitol citizens gathered around the Capitol stadium as they support their tribute. On the third day of the Games, a fight between Coral fans and Treech fans started over who would be the victor, and Coriolanus was happy that the Lucy Gray fans were better mannered.

Betting odds were not created yet.

74th Hunger Games

Betting plays a role in how the tributes conduct themselves. Katniss tries to appear strong in the arena, because "who's going to bet on a tribute who keeps sniveling over the deaths of her opponents."[4] Katniss thinks to herself how "one of the heaviest days of betting is the opening, when the initial casualties come in".[5] However that doesn't compare to when the betting gets really hot in the Capitol after the final eight, when they do family interviews.[6] Peeta, when realizing Katniss intends to go to the feast in spite of her telling him otherwise, tells her to never bet at cards, as "you'll lose your last coin."[7]

Betting Odds in Movie

The movie gives examples of betting on the Hunger Games, showing wager stations and the odds of each tribute to win. One odds board pictured was titled "Morning Line Odds," a term based on horse racing. Odds are continually updated over time, where the odds for a tribute can be seen increasing or decreasing. Training scores are important because they give the audience a starting point for betting that will continue throughout the Games.[8]

The odds list for each tribute 3 days and 16 hours before the Games began (multiple numbers indicate changes seen during the film) were:

Hunger Games Movie: Morning Line Odds
District Male Age Female Age
1 Marvel: 5-1 17 Glimmer: 7-1 17
2 Cato: 3-1 18 Clove: 5-1 15
3 20-1, 22-1 14 30-1 13
4 15-1 12 10-1, 9-1 16
5 8-1 15 "Foxface": 7-1 14
6 24-1 16 23-1 17
7 5?-1 17 7?-1 16
8 3?-1 14 5?-1 13
9 22?-1 14 28?-1, 30?-1 14
10 15?-1 18 10?-1 16
11 Thresh: 10-1, 11-1, 8-1 18 Rue: 60-1 12
12 Peeta: 23?-1 16 Katniss: 23?-1 16

The odds for the Tributes in the last 6 districts will be considered unknown as they are copies of the odds of the Tribute with the same gender but six districts earlier. They are given a question mark.

Katniss and Peeta were given very low odds, presumably because they're from District 12 which rarely does well, but however their odds are not seen when the camera focuses on the District 11 Tributes' odds. Rue's odds were a very low 60-1.

Cato has the highest odds at 3-1. The District 3 female ended with the lowest known odds of winning in the film.

Trivia

  • The odds expression b-a is the expected number of wins, a, after b losses. In other words, it is the chance of winning after a+b games, and the chances is expressed as a/(a+b).
    • Cato, with an odds of 3-1, would be killed three out of four games he participated (in case "time-reversals" are allowed). He therefore approximately had a 25% chance of winning the Games. Rue, with an odds of 60-1, will have roughly a 1/61 chance of winning the games.
    • If every Tribute has equal odds of winning the games, they will all have odds of 23-1. This is held by the District 6 female and possibly the male as well.
  • There are two scenes where the odds tables are shown.
    • In the first, the camera focuses on the District 11 Tributes, showing Thresh's relatively high chance of winning, and Rue's extremely low chance of winning. The District 10 female's odds are also shown, with an odds of 10-1.
    • In the second, the camera focuses on the entire betting board. Note the odds on the Tributes listed on the right side are almost copies of the odds of the Tributes listed on the left side. Rue's odds also inexplicably went up to 7-1 due to this phenomenon.
  • The odds tables are extremely inaccurate (possibly even incomplete) and over-stated even for a real-life morning line odds, and they sum up to much greater than unity.
    • In fact, the odds of the Tributes on the right side of the betting board, from District 7 to 12, are mostly copies of the same-gender Tribute six districts earlier. This explains why Rue has a betting odds of 7-1, and the District 8 male is also given odds of 3-1, tying with Cato. Because of this reason, most betting odds of Tributes from the later 6 districts have unknown odds, as they did not put in any effort in determining the odds of the remaining Tributes.
      • Rue is a notable exception, as she has a 60-1 odds, but on the scene where the listings of all the tributes are posted, her odds are 7-1, the same as Foxface.
    • From the morning line odds board, the chances a Tribute from the first 6 districts will win is approximately 126%, which is a high normal for the sum of probabilities in a typical real-life betting board. If the last 6 districts have odds that are exact copies, then the total outcome sums up to an absurd 250%.
    • Nevertheless, the District 1 and 2 Tributes have a 70.83% chance of winning the games, consistent with how the Career Tributes were highly favored by the Capitol, but still giving enough chance for all the remaining districts except for possibly District 12 to get at least one male and one female victor in the previous 73 games.
      • This already pushes the odds of the remaining 20 Tributes to only 68-1 if the odds sum up to 100%, and to only 36-1 of the odds sum up to 125%. This is lower than even the District 3 female's odds of winning! (From 29.17%/20 = 1.459% and 54.17%/20 = 2.709% respectively).

References

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