When you gamble, it may seem like you’re in control of what’s happening, but you’re not—in fact, it’s completely random.
Randomness refers to events happening by chance, without any purposeful plan. In gambling, an assortment of mechanisms is used to ensure a game is unpredictable. That’s how gambling works. Each game is designed to use randomness to make sure the house has an advantage, to make the results both unpredictable and independent from previous or future plays.
Here are some examples of how randomness is built into gambling:
- In slot machines: Random number generators provide thousands of numbers per second, determining whether you win or lose. Each spin is independent, random and unrelated to previous or future spins, making it impossible to predict what will happen on each play.
- In blackjack: Approximately six decks of cards are used, and carefully shuffled, making it virtually impossible to know what cards are coming next.
- In craps: When you throw two dice onto the table, it’s impossible to control the outcome. That’s why they call it “throwing the dice.”
- In lottery: Winning numbers are selected at random and there is no way to predict what numbers will come up.
A series of wins can happen from time to time and that’s all part of the fun. However, this should not be mistaken for the illusion that you may be “on a roll” or have control and influence over the game and outcome.
Now that's random
Celebrating your 100th birthday:
1 in 50
Dying from falling down the stairs:
1 in 6,330
Being killed by a venomous bite or sting:
1 in 160,000
Being struck by lightning:
1 in 240,000
Dying from flesh-eating bacteria:
1 in 1 million
Winning the Lotto 6/49:
1 in 14 million