Five common misconceptions about games and gambling
We’ve all heard murmurs and whispers at casinos: “That slot machine is due for a big payout” or maybe “the longer you play, the better your chances of winning”. In truth both are simply examples of commonly held myths around casino gambling.
Indeed there are several gambling tales and misconceptions amongst casino players. Here’s a ‘top-five’ list of myths so many British, Canadian and Australian online casino players can and often do believe:
Some slots are ‘hot’ and ‘due’ for a big payout.
Wrong, 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 the best online slots payout an average of 96% of all money wagered, but that’s based on the life of a machine and not a single playing session. Because each machine has a random number generator (RNG), over the millions of spins made during the machine’s lifespan, the Laws of Probability means many players will win, but many more will lose.
A slot’s 85% payout means I’ll get back £/€85 of every £/€100 I play.
Just as 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 playersover the full course of its lifetime, not during a single session or evening. And, because its RNG ensures random results, no one can predict when that big jackpot might happen.
Casino sites can change the games’ outcomes.
We’ve all heard the one about live casino 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 pre-set 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. And you are even safer with full-licenced online casinos where games are regularly tested for fairness by an independent third party auditor.
My chances of winning the lottery are better if I choose my own numbers.
People choose lottery numbers for lots of reasons – birthdays and lucky numbers are favourites and many believe that playing those same numbers time and time again boosts their chance of winning over those who prefer random picks.
But this is not true because the outcome of lotto and other games of chance are completely random and cannot be influenced. Every number combination has the same chance of being picked – winning numbers are indiscriminate and independent from previous draws. For lotteries, this means that choosing the same numbers every time won’t help you win any more often or bigger.
If I play longer, I’m more likely to win.
In the case of slot machines, lotteries and roulette wheels… each time you place a bet outcome is completely independent of your previous bet and the previous result. That means the odds are no more in your favour on your tenth bet than on your first. Remember, the house always has the edge and the longer you play, the more likely it is that you will actually lose.