From a pair of dice found in an Egyptian tomb from 3000bc, through gambling on the streets of Ancient Rome, to 10th century Chinese card games – through thousands of years of gambling history, reality got mixed with gambling myths and facts.
Along with gambling that developed tremendously with modern technology and online casinos, casino myths and far-fetched theories evolved to keep up with the pace. The combination of luck and skill gives gambling a mysterious aura which sets the stage for many gambling myths, some loosely connected to reality and others just being figments of overactive imaginations.
Many gambling myths suggest that casinos are designed to cheat players out of their cash, and some of these myths offer tricks to fight back and increase the player’s chances to win. But what most casino myths conveniently ignore is that payout percentages depend on nothing other than the game’s RNG (Random Number Generator) that is heavily regulated and in most cases even advertised by the casinos.
In this guide we will take a look at many of these superstitions and explain the difference between gambling myths and facts. Our list below covers the most common casino slot myths for both land-based and online casinos, as well as superstitious legends about table games, dealers, players and more.
This is one of the most famous casino myths which is actually based on some fact, but like many other myths on our list, imagination took it too far. Like any other business, casinos need to make money in the long run and they earn it thanks to the house edge. To get that house edge, all games of chance are statistically designed to earn the casino more money than it pays out to players over time. But that does not mean you cannot win, or that the odds are stacked against you.
You are just one of the thousands, if not millions of players that the casino makes money from over time. So contrary to casino myths, you are never being set up for a loss. Each casino game has a Random Number Generator (known as ‘RNG’ for short) that is simulated billions of times by casinos and game developers. This guarantees an exact payback percentage and gives every player an equal chance to win.
RNGs are also constantly checked by authorities which regulate both land-based and online casino sites. So ditch the conspiracy theories, go and play responsibly and you’ll find that sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. That’s the game!
First let’s set the legal record straight: counting cards is not illegal and you cannot get thrown into jail for counting cards at the casino! Casinos obviously still don’t want you to count cards at their tables, simply because you are using your skill to increase your chances of winning and thus tilting the house edge in your favour.
So if you’re caught counting cards, you will be probably be asked to leave for good and the casino will notify other casinos about who you are, so they can ban you too. But casinos cannot take legal measures and bring you to court for counting cards. Funny enough, in this case many casinos try to keep the lines blurred between casino myth and fact, to keep players thinking that the law is on their side on this issue, but it’s not!
A slot machine is just that: a machine, so until machines develop independent thoughts and feelings, a casino slot machine will not know that it hasn't paid out in hours and will not feel obliged to perform. On a more serious note, slot machines use an RNG (Random Number Generator) which creates new combinations with every spin.
So each spin is a random, isolated event and there's no guarantee that another pull of the lever or press on the ‘spin’ button will get you closer to winning. So now that you know it’s not personal, you can ditch the feelings of regret and envy that hit you when someone else wins on a slot machine you've just left.
This is a common gambling myth in Las Vegas casinos mostly, with some vivid imaginations taking it even further to claim that casinos add pheromones to the air circulation in order to encourage players to bet more ‘aggressively’. It all sounds pretty far-fetched to most people, but some use this casino myth to rationalize why they still feel energized when they have no money left to play with. Well, that it is probably their own adrenaline!
Further separating casino myths from facts: the notion that you will feel less tired with more oxygen in the room is not a scientific fact, and there is also no conclusive evidence that more oxygen could influence your gambling habits. If you are still not convinced, know that tampering with air supplies is illegal in both the US and the UK. So pumping oxygen, or anything else into the air for that matter would be a risky move for casinos.
Casino staff working secretly to cheat you out of winning is another common casino myth that some people believe in. It is fair to assume that if a dealer knows how to operate the roulette table he/she can surely cheat. But there are far too many random factors affecting the outcome of a roulette wheel for the dealer to have any effect.
With the ball and wheel travelling in opposite directions and the frets encouraging the ball to ricochet wildly, it's hard to imagine the kind of training that would allow a dealer to control all these elements and send the ball to the desired slot each time.
If a dealer will be caught cheating, the penalty to the casino will be huge compared to the little that can be won by a scamming dealer. And if that’s not enough to bust this gambling myth, there's also the fact that any cheating system can work both ways. So because the sheer randomness of many games preserves the odds in the house's favour, it would be against the casino's interests to introduce any predictability.
The explanation separating this casino myth from fact is twofold. Technically yes, there will be more jackpot payouts, bigger prize pools and more wins in a busy casino than in a quiet one, but only because there are more games being played at a given time. But as an individual player your chances remain the same whether you're one of hundreds or the only person on the casino floor.
One great way to enjoy the best of both worlds is to play at an online casino. Where you can play from the comfort of your own home. The top slots online sites offer massive jackpots (sometimes bigger than those of land-based casinos) as they are buzzing with thousands of players at any given time. But as everyone is playing online, you don’t need to worry about any noise or distractions!
One of the biggest concerns with online casinos is how to prevent underage gambling. Because players don’t need to attend the casino in person, there is a casino myth that says it’s easier for minors to gamble online.
To manage this potential hazard, online casinos enforce strict regulations around identity verification, supplying or documents and constant monitoring of player accounts. All which make it extremely difficult, if not impossible for minors to gain access to casino accounts. No system is ever fully proofed, but online casinos spend millions on age-verification processes and technologies, so the problem of underage gambling is considered to be a lot less common than some media reports suggest.
While luck plays a big part and is always a factor, the casino myth saying that all games are pure luck isn’t exactly true. Casino games are divided roughly into two categories of ‘soft’ games that are mainly based on luck and ‘skill’ games which as their name suggests, enable players to use their skills to affect the game’s outcome to some degree.
Slots and bingo for example are classified as soft games, given there is very little a player can do to affect the outcome of a spin or the numbers being called. However as players can develop and use their skills to count cards at blackjack or implement a Texas Hold'em poker strategy, table games are considered as games of skill. But not all is wrong about this gambling myth – although not ‘pure’ luck, chances and luck still play a big role in all casino games, including those that are considered to be games of skill.
Along with gambling myths suggesting that you can control the outcome of your own game, there is a casino myth suggesting that other players can affect the outcome of your game too. But as we explained before, this is impossible! As all the games are regulated by the RNG, all outcomes are random and independent of each other.
So just like every one of your swirls on the roulette, casts of the dice or spins of the reels are random, they are of course totally independent from those of other players. If you are still concerned with this myth, why not try an online casino? Given you initiate your own, encrypted session directly with the online casino, you really have nothing to worry about other than your own gameplay.
It is thought that back in the days casinos wanted to encourage players to spin the reels on their slots, so they put the looser slot machines closer to the isles to attract players that walk by. And so, another casino slot myth was born.
Although different slot machines have slightly different payouts, realistically it’s impossible to find slot machines that pay more in the long run. You also need to take into account more factors like volatility, win frequency and stakes. For example, if you play on a progressive slot machine with a huge jackpot you can win hundreds of millions in theory, but the actual chances of winning are literally one in many millions.
Many slot machines in land-based casinos offer a choice to spin the reels by pulling the lever or pressing the ‘spin’ button. According to this casino slot myth, pulling the good-old handle will give you better chances to win than when pressing the ‘spin’ button. As we previously explained when trying to separate other gambling myths from facts: slot machines do not have any knowledge of their own and thus cannot make decisions.
The slot machine does not know if you press the button or pull the handle, and cannot decide to give you better or worse spins. This one makes no sense and is based on pure superstition. But if you are still not convinced, go ahead and play at an online casino, where online slots will never have a physical handle – so the problem is solved!
This casino slot myth is partially true. On some slot machines, bigger wins will be paid out at better odds if the amount wagered on the spin was the maximum bet allowed (or at least bigger than the minimum). Still, the average RTP (Return to Player) is usually within the 92% to 95% range. This means that you will only notice the difference in big wins, which don’t occur very often. So in the meantime you will have to play a lot more and thus increase your chances of losing money.
There are some strategies that slot players use, especially with progressive jackpots where it is thought that betting more overall can produce better results. However these theories are hard to prove.
Like everywhere on the internet, it is always important be cautious when looking for an online casino. Although there are some unlicensed casinos that operate illegally, the majority of online casinos are legal and highly regulated by local authorities such as the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) in Britain.
All online casinos that operate in the UK must have a UKGC licence and are regularly tested and audited. The license requires casinos to be fully compliant in areas such as their RNG, Responsible Gambling policies, Customer Approval (KYC) procedures and all other areas of social responsibility and customer protection.
For reasons above, we only feature on our website casinos that are fully licenced and 100% legal. We also do further research and write comprehensive reviews of all the online casinos that are worth playing in the UK, including quite lucrative online casino bonuses available to players that register through our site.
Gambling myths are mostly based on superstitions and not much else. And in this article we tried to separate casino myths from facts by simply stating the obvious truth. But myths about casinos tampering with odds, rigged games and cheating dealers sometimes still replace common sense, especially with players that had an unlucky spell. So if you had a losing streak just walk out of the casino and let go of the conspiracy theories. It will make it easier for you to come back next time with fresh chances to win.
Now that we’ve debunked many of these myths, it is also important to remember that whether you play a pure game of chance or decide to improve your chances by developing your game skills, gambling is based mostly on luck. So play within your limits, stay safe and when your luck is down, take a break until next time.
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