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

Island road trip unkind to playoff-bound Silverbacks

As the ‘Backs hit the road, the chase for a better playoff berth in the Interior was heating up.

Word on the street: What is your biggest pet peeve regarding cellphone use?

In light of Unplug and Play Family Literacy Week run by the… Continue reading

In photos: Reino Keski-Salmi Loppet at Larch Hills

The race saw over 700 athletes take to the ski trails

Habitat for Humanity ReStore planned for former Safeway location in Salmon Arm

If renovations go as planned, store in Centenoka Park Mall could open in May or June

In photos and video: Snow collapses cat shelter at Shuswap SPCA

Organization says no cats were injured, help wanted to rebuild

Officials reaching out to those in contact with Canada’s first coronavirus patient

The illness has sickened at least 1,975 people and killed 56 in China

B.C. VIEWS: New coronavirus outbreak an important reminder

Walking the line between cautious and alarmist

Communities in Bloom: Resolutions to make 2020 bloom

Along with work in the garden, Sicamous residents can help out with the annual banner project.

Snow angels: B.C. volunteers shovel for those who can’t

‘They’ve helped me make it through the rest of the winter’

Kobe Bryant killed in California helicopter crash: reports

NBA star was reportedly in his private helicopter at the time of the crash

Investigation launched after six dead puppies dumped in Richmond hotel parking lot

RAPS reminds people they can always give up puppies they can’t take care of

Summerland Steam earn one win, one loss in hockey action

Junior B team in third place in division

It’s okay not to have kids, confesses mother of four

For someone who has committed parenting an obscene number of times, it… Continue reading

Most Read