Creating myths seems like a very human thing to do. Even if something isn’t obviously true, deep inside the false statement fits better into our worldview, expectations, and sometimes even morals.
Gambling is no exception. In fact, casino games are fertile ground for myths, conspiracies, and false pattern-seeking that defy logic and common sense. We broke down the 10 most common casino myths, so let’s see why they are so appealing to people, gamblers or not.
Myth #1: Casino Games Are All About Luck
The statement above is, in essence, mostly true. Gambling games are indeed based on luck, but here’s the kicker – a smart casino player can tell the difference between casino games that are solely based on luck, and those that can be mastered. In reality, all casino games can be roughly split into two categories:
- Games based solely on luck (bingo, slot machines, etc.)
- Games that require a certain degree of skill (blackjack, Texas hold ‘em, video poker…).
Luck may be the ultimate make-or-break factor in the world of gambling, but playing a certain game like a pro, knowing all the tactics and strategies, and the ability to read other people’s reactions is a completely different thing.
Here’s a quote from the movie Rounders, where Mike McDermot (brilliantly played by Matt Damon) perfectly sums it up: “Why do you think the same five guys make it to the final table of the World Series of Poker EVERY YEAR? What, are they the luckiest guys in Las Vegas?”
Well, no, they are not. They are simply the best poker players in Vegas at the moment.
Myth #2: Other Players Can Affect Your Winning Chance
If you truly believe this myth, we strongly recommend that you try your luck in online casinos. Needless to say, other players, no matter how many of them sit at the table, cannot interfere with your chances of winning in online casinos or those made of brick and mortar. Yet somehow it’s easier to convince people who push this false narrative that software-powered online casinos are more ‘honest’.
You can be alone in a Vegas casino or surrounded by thousands of players, it means nothing to the roulette wheel, a slot machine, or a deck of cards. They will produce a random result every single time, and no amount of money or spins will exhaust their potential to grant you a big win.
Again, online casinos totally busted this myth because all casino games rely on the Random Number Generator and slots have predetermined Return to Player Percentages, regardless of popularity or online traffic.
Myth #3: Casino Games Are Rigged
This is the oldest myth of them all. And like every other legend (or stereotype), it is partially based on observable truth. Similar to the example mentioned above, we can approach this myth in two ways.
Casinos are a serious business and they are designed to make money. This explains why the house edge was invented. In the long run, all games of chance are designed to feed that machine rather than to pay out to casino players. If we use this logic, then yes, casino games are rigged by design.
Unfortunately for conspiracy theorists, the term rigged can be applied only if the online gambling operator deliberately lies, conceals important info, grants wins or loses ad-hoc, or imposes hindrances/benefits to specific casino players. These days legitimate casinos are so tightly regulated and observed, that pulling a scheme on a scale that big is simply not worth the risk.
What’s the simple truth? You are not designated to lose. If you are lucky and/or skilled enough you can win big time. But if Lady Luck serves you like any other average Joe, or worse, over time you will lose a percentage of your money invested in gambling.
Myth #4: Counting Cards Is Illegal
We’ve heard this nonsense so many times, and in most cases, casinos are to blame for this misconception. They want you to think that counting cards is illegal because it’s bad for their business if you eliminate the house edge even in the slightest.
Counting cards is a thinking process and it’s perfectly legal. You cannot be sued, persecuted, fined, or sent to jail just because you used your brain to your advantage.
On the other hand, casinos hate when players count cards, and they operate on private property. According to the law, they cannot take any legal actions against card counters, but nothing stops them from throwing them out and banishing them from the casino for good. So be careful and know that the law is on your side.
Myth #5: Slot Machines At The Isles Produce More Winnings
This is wrong on so many levels. First of all, slot machines are in fact very different from one to another, but it has nothing to do with their position on a casino floor.
Every slot machine has its own RTP (Return to Player Percentage), which is impervious to heat, cold, holidays, time of day, what year it is, and you guessed it – physical placement on the casino floor. Some slot games are highly volatile, meaning they offer big rewards less frequently, and others have low volatility, with frequent but small payouts.
Myth #6: Casino Dealers Can Determine The Outcome
This is another gambling gem, especially in live casinos online games. Just think about the amount of preparation, resources, and skill necessary for this to work. It’s literally crazy. The sheer complexity of a scheme such as this, paired with the risk of being caught is just not worth the effort.
And for what? Stealing from casual players making low bets?! Cheating in a casino and not getting caught is extremely complicated – it comes with a dreadful risk-to-benefit ratio. It is easier to rob a person with a gun, plus the chances of getting caught are much lower. Disclaimer: don’t go about robbing people. It’s not nice!
Myth #7: Casinos Use Pure Oxygen To Increase Betting
At first glance, this looks like a plan hatched by a Bond villain. The idea is to pour oxygen into a casino through ventilation, which will energize casino players and give them a bit of boost in order to keep them active and willing to gamble more.
Aside from the cost, complexity, and efficiency of this plan, combined with the severe punishment if the casino is caught, people who believe in this myth seem to forget one obvious scientific fact: pumping large amounts of oxygen into enclosed space can cause volatile explosions and every source of fire would be almost impossible to extinguish.
Just look at what happened to Matt Damon’s character in the movie The Martian when he played with fire in an oxygen-rich environment. Newsflash: it was not good!
Myth #8: A Slot Handle Rewards More Than A Slot Button
Of all related casino myths, this one sounds exactly like something you would expect humans to believe. We are tactile creatures looking for patterns in our surroundings, so it’s only natural for us to think that pulling a physical lever has more impact on things than pressing a digital button.
A slot machine is not a Terminator robot sent from the distant future, equipped with a sophisticated AI and senses that surpass those of humans. Slots do not possess a mind of their own. They are unable to make decisions, nor do they see and feel whether you press a button or pull a handle. But if you still want to use a handle rather than a button, be our guest. It certainly does feel better as you play. Just don’t expect to be rewarded better because of it.
Myth #9: Online Casinos Increase Underage Gambling
People who claim that online gambling hosted by legit online casinos increases the risk of underage gambling simply haven’t played a lot of games in said casinos – with an active account no less. Sure, minors can try to gamble for a while using a fake account, or they can secretly log into their parents’ accounts, but sooner or later they will be busted, and here’s how.
Online casinos spend millions of dollars on age verification processes. Identity verification is next to brutal in some cases. A process called Know Your Customer (KYC), followed by constant gambling activity monitoring and identity checks necessary for money withdrawals, makes it extremely hard for minors to actively play casino games, let alone get into serious financial trouble or develop a gambling addiction.
Myth #10: A Losing Streak Means You Are About To Win
This is called the Gambler’s Fallacy or the Monte Carlo Fallacy. Back in 1913, roulette players lost a ton of money at a casino in Monte Carlo when the ball fell in black 26 times in a row. They were massively betting against the black, falsely believing that the streak will cause an imbalance to roulette odds.
Well, guess what? In European roulette, there is a 48,65% chance that the ball will land on black or red every single time a croupier spins the wheel. In American roulette, this chance drops down to 47,37% due to the additional double-zero pocket on the wheel.
The point is, your previous losses will not affect the outcome of your next bet. Your chances do not improve if you have lost a great deal of money on wrong bets. We saved this myth for last simply because it has left many people broke(n), and it can be devastating for both your bankroll, health and relationships. Keep your wits about you. Gambling is fun until the fat lady sings.