There are many misunderstandings & myths about how gambling works that result from mistaken beliefs about how VLTs work and randomness. Countless gamblers have tried to look for patterns and develop systems that would give them an advantage. In reality, there are no patterns to be spotted that will help you to win in gambling.
Hoping to win is fine. It’s part of the fun. But you should still expect to lose. You don’t have a better chance to win at the first game or the tenth. The probability of winning the jackpot remains the same at each draw and at each spin.
Myth: I can win. I have a system. Players remember a time when they won and try to reproduce those exact conditions again.
Fact: The truth is – there is nothing a player can do that will influence the outcome. The results on VLTs and slots are determined by a computer chip called a Random Number Generator (RNG). The RNG ensures that results are random and impossible to predict. The next spin has absolutely nothing to do with the previous spin. Every spin gives a player the exact same chance of winning or more often losing.
Myth: So close… I almost won.
Fact: Pay out symbols appearing just above or below a pay line only means one thing – you lost. All those “near wins” give players the feeling of getting close to the jackpot. Don’t be fooled. You’re no closer.
Myth: The machine is due.
Fact: No machine is ever hot or due to win. To ensure that no player has an advantage, all machines are programmed to be random with winning results impossible to predict. Machines that have not paid out are no more likely to pay out than a machine that has just had a winning spin. Every spin gives you the exact same chance of winning, or more often losing.
Random number generators make it impossible for a player (or the house, for that matter) to know what result will happen next. Some players mistakenly believe that if a machine has not paid out for a while, it is more likely to pay out or becomes “due” to pay. In reality, every spin has an equal chance of winning, no matter has happened previously.
Myth: When I win my money back, then I’ll quit
Fact: Trying to win back money you’ve lost is a sign of a problem. Set limits on how much you want to spend. Consider your losses as the cost of a night out. Remember, the more you spend, the more you’ll lose.
Myth: Payout can be changed with the flick of a switch
Fact: There is no truth that gaming operators regularly change payouts or that they determine when a jackpot will be won. Winning and losing results are random – 100 per cent of the time. All machines make money over time, some more than others. The difference in how much a machine earns depends mostly on the type of game and how popular it is and not on the payout percentage.
Myth: Someone used the slot machine right after me and won the jackpot. That should have been my jackpot!
Fact: Slot machines & VLTs use a random number generator to select the symbols you see on screen. Pushing the button the exact millisecond the winning symbol is generated is the only thing that determines a jackpot.
Myth: I thought the VLTs were supposed to pay out 92% of the money I put in. That means if I put in $100, I should get $92 back.
Fact: VLTs pay back 92% of the money they take in over the life cycle of the machine, which could be millions of spins, not just your gambling session.
In most Canadian jurisdictions, slot machines and video lottery terminals are programmed to retain approximately 8% of the money bet by the totality of players. At these games, individual players lose on average, in the long term, 8% of every dollar bet. If you bet $100, expect to lose $8. If you bet the $92 left over, you’ll again lose, a little more than $7. If you keep playing, you’ll end up losing your $100. In the course of one sitting, things don’t work that way. The House advantage is only observed in the long term and not at each bet.
Myth: This slot machine hasn’t paid out in a long time. It’s due for a win.
Fact: Machines are never “due” for a win. Since all machines pay at random, the next jackpot could be the next spin or thousands of spins later.
Myth: The longer I play a slot machine or a VLT, the more likely I am to win.
Fact: The longer you play, the more likely you are to pay, as the house advantage taken on every spin adds up. There is no way to predict when the next win is coming, no matter how long you play.
Myth: If I play long enough, eventually I can win back all the money I’ve lost.
Fact: The longer you play, the more likely you are to lose. Chasing losses just leads to bigger losses.
It’s important to know how to gamble responsibly so if you choose to gamble, you can do so in a way that keeps it enjoyable and safe. To practice responsible gambling, you need to know how gambling works so you can make decisions that are right for you.