The house always wins, the saying goes. And while it's true that games are statistically skewed towards the casino, it doesn't mean the establishments are cheating you out of your money.
Casino players will always blame something other than themselves when they lose. Here, we round up five of the most common myths about casino games.
Remember, if you want to avoid getting scammed online, always sign up to a licensed and regulated casino that has players' interests at heart. It's possible to beat the house with sensible bankroll management and optimal play. But if you lose big or scoop a jackpot, just put it down to luck.
1 - Video Slots Aren't Random
Slot machines are governed by sophisticated programs called Random Number Generators (RNGs). They govern every single spin of a slot to ensure it is random and fair. More importantly, every spin of the slot is independent to the next. Many players believe that a slot that hasn't paid out in a while will suddenly award a massive jackpot, but the machines just don't work that way.
Regardless, casinos are full of superstitious players who will hang round machines that haven't paid out in a while. Once the player leaves (having lost a massive bankroll) the new player moves in, hoping to bag a jackpot. It doesn't happen.
It's true, however, that the layout of some slots makes them more "volatile" than others. By picking games sensibly, and sticking to a good bankroll strategy, players can better avoid bad losing runs.
2 - Hot Tables Stay Hot, Cold Tables Stay Cold
Just as slots are believed to blow 'hot and cold', so table games are thought to go through spells. Players might hover around a roulette table that is awarding lots of winning spins, or sitting at a blackjack table that has an oddly disproportionate amount of 10-value cards.
The truth, as with slots, is that spins are independent of each other. In fact, a casino wouldn't be performing its job properly if players were routinely winning or losing unnaturally. Similarly, blackjack decks are checked and shuffled regularly. If a Craps game, slot, or roulette table has a run of winners for the players, it's simply down to chance.
3 - A Roulette History Is Worth Watching
Roulette tables will always have a list of past numbers. They flash up on the display (online players can also see these on Internet roulette games) for everyone to see. In some land-based casinos, you can even get a roulette card to mark down the previous numbers spun.
But a history is a complete waste of time. As mentioned, roulette spins are independent from one another. Just because a wheel turns up seven red numbers in a row, it doesn't mean the wheel is 'owed' a series of black numbers. Not that it stops players from altering their bets, of course.
In the old days, 'biased wheels' had slight imbalances which seemed to favour one side of the wheel to the other. As a result, it appeared that some numbers would appear more than others. Biased wheels are extremely rare in 2017, however. In any case, any defective wheels are quickly spotted and replaced.
4 - The Roulette Dealer Can Fix The Wheel
In land-based casinos and in Live Casino games online, the roulette dealer handles all the action. They spin the wheel and drop the ball, ready for it to land in a slot and get winners paid.
But casinos are strictly licensed and regulated, and human croupiers must go through background checks before working for the casino. Dealers are checked when they start a game, and the ball must be tossed in the wheel in a certain way for the spin to be valid. Anyone attempting to fix the outcome of the wheel will find themselves on a one-way journey to the dole queue.
5 - Card Counting Will Get You Arrested
Big stories have emerged about gamblers being denied wins for "cheating". Consider Phil Ivey's 'edge sorting' scandal that saw him denied nearly $20 million in baccarat winnings for following the patterns of cards in the deck and making bets accordingly.
In those cases, the casino refused to pay out - or asked for the cash back - but he was never arrested. In fact, Ivey took Crockford's Casino to a London court to claim his winnings (he lost).
Card counting teams were most active in the 1970s and 1980s as sophisticated players - mostly students - devised a way to keep track of high-value cards in the shoe. The teams won millions.
Like the edge-sorting cases, casinos won't look kindly on your card counting in blackjack. But they won't be calling the police or fetching the closest hammer for some backroom justice - a blacklist will be your most severe punishment.
6 - A Big Win Is Coming
Just like roulette histories are a waste of time, so is the belief that a big win is just round the corner. The Gambler's Fallacy is the belief that a long bad run will turn around - if the gambler just keeps betting.
Of course, casino games don't have a memory, and if you lose $1,000 on five separate slots spins, it doesn't mean you won't lose $1,000 on your sixth.
Casino Myths FAQs
Are Casino Games Fixed?
No. Cards are shuffled automatically by audited machines (or by software online). Slot machine RNGs (Random Number Generators) are also checked to ensure every spin is independent and fair. The spin of the roulette wheel ensures a random outcome each game.
Can Slots Have Hot And Cold Streaks?
No. Video slots are programmed with RNGs, making each spin independent. Players like to stick to games they are doing well in, but there is nothing to stop them hitting a bad streak.
Is The Roulette History Worth Following?
No. Each roulette wheel spin is independent from the last. It doesn't matter if 10 black numbers have appeared in a row, there is no 'pattern' that says the next must be black or red.
How Do Casinos Handle Card Counters?
Card counters will be asked to leave a casino, and will usually be blacklisted. Anyone caught cheating or using banned technology to affect a game will be reported to the police.
Are Random Number Generators Truly Random?
Yes. RNGs are tested independently by auditing labs before games hit the casino lobby.
How Can I Trust An Online Casino?
It's important to play at licensed and regulated casino websites. These ensure that the software developers featured operate properly and agree to have their games regularly tested.