PlaySmart Backgrounder: Gambling/Lottery Myths and Truths

 

Myths and Truths

While 74 per cent of frequent gamblers consider themselves very knowledgeable about playing slots and games[1], there are still common misunderstandings and long-held myths that exist about gambling. PlaySmart, Ontario’s new comprehensive gambling education resource, is designed to take away the myths about gambling, not the fun.

 

Gambling

Myth: The longer you play, the more likely you are to win.
Truth: Slots machines, roulette wheels and card tables are based on randomness and chance. The outcome of any play cannot be predicted, nor can your chances of winning, no matter how long you play.

Myth: Staff at casinos and slot facilities can change game outcome.
Truth: Every play on a slot machine has a random outcome which means the outcome of any play cannot be predicted or controlled by casino staff.

Myth: Winning comes in streaks, so if you are on a winning streak, you should continue to play.
Truth: There’s no such thing as a winning streak. Games are based on randomness and the independence of events. Just because you’ve experienced a few wins, doesn’t mean you are going to win future plays.

Myth: If a slot machine hasn’t had a recent win, it’s due for one.
Truth: Every slot machine has a Random Number Generator. It’s a computer chip that is constantly running so every win or loss is entirely random. As such, slots have no predictable patterns and there’s no such thing as a machine that’s due to win.

Myth: Machines go on ‘hot’ and ‘cold’ streaks.
Truth: Every slot machine has a Random Number Generator. It’s a computer chip that is constantly running so every win or loss is entirely random. As such, each play is separate from the last and what happens in future plays is not related to what happened in past plays.

Myth: Hitting the stop button on a slot at just the right moment will cause a winning combination.
Truth: There is no strategy to improve your chances of winning because wins and losses are random events and every spin is independent of other spins. Slot machines use computers that randomly pick numbers to determine where the reels will stop. There is nothing you can do to the machine that will affect its outcome.

Myth: When playing roulette, if red has come up 14 times in a row, then betting black next will result in a win.
Truth: Roulette is based on randomness and the independence of events. Each play is separate from the last and what happens in future plays is not related to what happened in past plays.

Myth: The chances of winning are better at some times of the day than others, such as between 3 a.m. and 5 a.m. for slot machines.
Truth: The outcome of any game play cannot be predicted, regardless of the time of day you choose to play.

Myth: If you’re smart, you can beat the odds playing table games.
Truth: Although most forms of gambling require no skill, skill can be applied to card games such as Blackjack and Poker. In these games, players have some room to apply their skill or knowledge, but the gambling operator will always have the house advantage. Advanced players may learn how to reduce their cost of play, but in the long run they too will almost always lose money.

 

Lottery

Myth: Choosing the same lottery numbers every week or choosing certain numbers will improve the chances of winning.
Truth: Every number combination has the same chance of being picked. The winning number selection is random and independent from previous draws. You cannot influence the outcome, so betting the same weekly numbers or choosing certain numbers won’t help you win.

Myth: Buying a lottery ticket when the jackpot is higher will help your odds.
Truth: Lottery numbers are drawn at random and are unrelated to any other factors.

Myth: Some lottery numbers are drawn more often than others.
Truth: Lottery numbers are drawn randomly. Any number is just as likely to be drawn as any other number.

Myth: If a store advertises they sold a winning lottery ticket, they will likely sell another.
Truth: The selection of winning lottery numbers is random and independent from previous draws.

Myth: Your chances of winning a lottery are better depending on where you purchase your ticket.
Truth: Lottery numbers are drawn randomly and are not impacted by where a ticket is purchased.

More information is available at PlaySmart.ca

For more information contact:
OLG Media Relations
1.888.946.6716

THE ONTARIO PROBLEM GAMBLING HELPLINE 1-888-230-3505

Disponible en français

[1] OLG Responsible gaming lottery and gaming research – May 2015

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