Let’s get real about the reality behind the most common
Gambling certainly has its share of myths. The result can be a reliance on rituals and strategies that many people believe improve their chance of winning.
But do they work? In a word, no. To keep it fun, it’s important to remember that gambling outcomes are random and that it’s impossible to overcome the house advantage. Here’s the reality behind some of the most common gambling myths.
1. I nearly won—I must be due for a win.
Reality: You can’t predict when or if you’re going to win. When you gamble, each play is independent and unrelated to the ones before. In other words, nearly winning doesn’t mean you’re due a win. Future gambling outcomes are in no way influenced by previous ones.
2. My chances of winning the lottery are better if I choose my own numbers.
Reality: It doesn’t matter what numbers you play. The outcomes of games of chance, like Lotto 6/49, are completely random. Regardless of what you do, you cannot influence the result. Every number has an equal chance of being drawn, whether you pick it or a computer randomly picks it for you.
3. I have a special strategy that helps me win.
Reality: No strategy or system will help you overcome the house advantage or beat the odds. Many such strategies actually encourage gamblers to bet more money, resulting in greater losses. Every game of chance is designed around randomness, so no matter what system you use, you can’t influence the result.
4. If I keep playing I’ll eventually win.
Reality: When it comes to gambling, persistence doesn’t pay off. All games are based on random outcomes. Each time you place a bet, the result is completely independent of the previous ones. Losing 10 times in a row doesn’t make it more likely that you’ll win on the 11th try. Not even a tiny bit more.
5. Casino staff can change game outcomes.
Reality: Every play on a slot machine has a random outcome, which means they cannot be controlled by casino staff. It’s true for all casino games, and all casino staff. No matter what game you’re playing, the results are unpredictable.
6. Some slots are “hot” and due for a big jackpot.
Reality: Slots don’t get hot or cold. Slot machines use a random number generator to determine the outcome of each play, ensuring each spin produces a random result unrelated to the last one. When you lose several times in a row, or win several times in a row, it’s purely random. The result was not pre-determined.
7. The use of special rituals can help me avoid bad luck.
Reality: Rituals and charms don’t affect your chances of winning. Play can’t be influenced in any way, so the ritual or charm has no impact on the outcome. All results are completely random.
8. A slot machine with an 85 per cent payout means I’ll win $85 for every $100 I put into it.
Reality: A slot machine’s payout percentage is averaged over its lifetime—not just one session, day, or week. If it pays out 85 per cent of the money wagered, those winnings will be paid out over the course of its lifetime. Thanks to each machine’s random number generator, it’s simply impossible to know when the next jackpot will hit.