5 Myths Worth Busting to Help Keep Gambling Fun

BCLC looks at common misconceptions about games and gambling

We’ve all heard the chatter – a slot machine is due for a big payout, or maybe that the longer you play, the better your chances of winning. Truth is, both are examples of commonly held myths around gambling. When BCLC recently looked at gambling myths and misconceptions in the province, five topped the list for many British Columbians:

Myth 1. Some slots are ‘hot’ and ‘due’ for a big jackpot.

Truth is, a slot machine is just as likely to have back-to-back wins and big payouts as it is to have a losing streak. Here’s why: On average, B.C. slots pay out 92% of all money wagered, but that’s based on the life of a machine, NOT a single playing session. Because each machine has a random number generator, over the millions of spins made during the machine’s lifespan, the Law of Probability means many players will win, but many more will lose.

Myth 2. A slot’s 85% payout means I’ll get back $85 of every $100 I spend.

Just like a slot machine’s payout rate is calculated over the course of its lifetime, so is the amount returned to gamblers. So if a slot pays 85% of the money wagered on it, those winnings will be returned to players over the full course of its lifetime, not during a single session or evening. And, because its random number generator ensures random results, no one can predict when that big jackpot might happen.

Myth 3. Casino staff can change the games’ outcomes.

We’ve all heard the one about staff who tweak the payout on a machine, but that simply can’t happen. Every slot machine has a computer chip that determines the payback percentage. These are preset at the factory, which not only ensures that every play on a slot machine has a completely random outcome, but also that winning can’t be predicted or controlled by casino staff.

Myth 4. My chances of winning the lottery are better if I choose my own numbers.

People choose lottery numbers for LOTS of reasons, from family birthdays to lucky favourites, and many believe that playing those same numbers boosts their chance of winning over those who prefer random picks. Not so. Because the outcome of most games of chance, particularly lotteries and slot machines, is completely random, you can’t influence it. Every number combination has the same chance of being picked – winning numbers are random and independent from previous draws. For lotteries, this means that betting the same numbers every time won’t help you win any more than betting different numbers will. And in the case of Lotto 6/49, you have approximately a 1 in 14 million chance of winning the jackpot, regardless of how many people have purchased tickets or what numbers you play!

Myth 5. If I play longer, I’m more likely to win.

If I haven’t won yet, I can’t stop now – I’m due, right? Slot machines, lotteries, roulette wheels… each time you place a bet on a game of chance, the outcome is completely independent of your previous bet, meaning the odds are no more in your favour on your 10th bet than on your first. Remember, the house always has the advantage, and the longer you play, the more likely it is that you’ll end up losing.

***

BCLC’s GameSense provides the information you need to make healthy decisions about gambling, from slot machines and table games to the lottery and sports betting. To learn more about how to keep gaming fun, visit: gamesense.com.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Interior Health officials outline pandemic response in virtual town hall

Kelowna-Lake County MLA Norm Letnick moderates digital discussion, Q&A with Interior Health leadership

Second Vernon-area high school exposed to COVID-19

Kalamalka Secondary School staff, students urged to self-isolate if showing symptoms

Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen cancels April 2 meeting

Staff working to install videoconferencing system during COVID-19 pandemic

Significant snowfall forecast for Interior mountain passes

Allison Pass, the Okanagan Connector, Rogers Pass and Kootenay Pass could see 15 to 25 cm of snow

Community newspapers bring people together in time of isolation

Black Press offices have been receiving calls of support, appreciation

Trudeau announces 75% wage subsidy for small businesses amid COVID-19

This is up from the previously announced 10 per cent wage subsidy

Morning world update: Cases surge past 600,000; positive news in Germany

Spain suffers its deadliest day as Germany considers April 20 to possibly loosen restrictions

VIDEO: Penguins roam empty halls of Vancouver Aquarium

COVID-19 has forced the Vancouver Aquarium to close access to guests – leaving room for its residents

Kids get back to learning in B.C., online

Ministry of Education rolls out new tool for school

67 more B.C. COVID-19 cases, two more deaths in Vancouver region

Positive tests found in Surrey, Langley long-term care facilities

‘Corona Busters’: Vernon man drives vintage ambulance in appreciation of health-care workers

Rob Newport says he aims to make people smile during the COVID-19 pandemic with Ghostbusters-themed ride

‘Now is not the time to bag that peak’: BCSAR manager discourages risky outdoor adventures

Call volumes are not going down, even as the COVID-19 pandemic persists

Food Banks BC already seeing surge in demand due to COVID-19 pandemic

Executive director Laura Lansink said they expect applications will keep increasing

Nanaimo couple caught aboard cruise ship with four dead and COVID-19 present

Four ‘older guests’ have died on Holland America’s Zaandam; cruise line confirms two COVID-19 cases

Most Read