Gambling myths

Gambling myths

People often have risky beliefs or myths about gambling. If you act on these beliefs, you are much more likely to have a gambling problem than a big win.

The following are some common gambling myths…and the reality!

Myth:

If I keep gambling, my luck will change and I'll win back the money I've lost.

The Reality:

Every time you place a bet, the outcome is completely independent of the previous one. This means that the odds are no more in your favour on the tenth bet than they were on the first bet. Over time, the more you risk, the more you are likely to lose.

Myth:

I almost won; I must be due for a win.

The Reality:

"Almost" winning does not exist. Either you win or lose. Future gambling outcomes are in no way influenced by previous outcomes.

Myth:

If I play more than one slot machine or in more than one poker game at a time, I'll increase my chances of winning.

The Reality:

Sure, you may win more often by playing two slot machines or poker games at a time, but make no mistake about it: You’ll also spend—and almost inevitably lose—more doing so. Remember, over time, the more you gamble, the more you are likely to lose.

Myth:

I have a feeling that today is my lucky day. I just know I’m going to win.

The Reality:

Hoping, wishing or even needing to win money has absolutely no influence on the outcome of a game of chance.

Myth:

I have a special strategy that helps me win. I pick certain numbers for the lottery and press the stop button on a slot machine at exactly the right time.

The Reality:

The outcome of most games of chance, particularly lotteries and slot machines, is completely random: You cannot influence it, regardless of what you do. For lotteries, this means that betting the same numbers every week won't help you win any more than betting different numbers will.

The odds of winning Lotto 6/49, for example, are 1 in 14 million each and every time you play: It doesn’t matter how many people have purchased tickets or what numbers you play—the odds are the same, regardless.

Whether or not you win playing slot machines is based solely on the randomly drawn numbers generated by the machine’s computer—numbers that determine the game’s outcome even before the reels stop. Pressing the stop button may speed up when you find out what the game’s outcome is, but it won’t influence the outcome in any way.

Did you know? A recent study showed that 43 per cent of Ontario adults believe at least one gambling myth or misperception.*

* Responsible Gambling Council (2007) A Survey of Gambling Myths Among Ontario Adults