When Luck Meets Superstition: Gambling Myths, Busted

When it comes to superstition, there’s nothing more widely covered than luck. Over the thousands of years of written history, humanity has collected records of an incredible variety of lucky charms. For those not into this matter, lucky charms are amulets that are believed to bring good luck to the bearer. Some of them are more famous, like a four-leaf clover or a horseshoe, others are more obscure, like the moss collected at midnight, during Full Moon, from the skull of a hanged man. Even today, people didn’t stop believing in objects and rituals that can change the laws of probability.

This is probably why there are still so many gambling myths out there that need a good bustin’.

Roulette betting systems

The roulette wheel was, for ages, the most reliable random number generator: it has so many variables – the exact speed at which the wheel turns, the speed of the ball launched by the croupier, the moment of the launch, the draft, and so on – that it would take a supercomputer to successfully predict where the ball will land. Still, many have attempted to crack its “secret” – unsuccessfully, I must say. Even though betting systems have repeatedly been demonstrated to be unsuccessful – bogus, in short – people still believe they can beat the merciless probabilities and break the bank. In reality, it’s all about luck.

“A jackpot is due”

Hitting the jackpot on a slot machine has better chances than winning the lottery – but the odds are still millions to one. Still, there has been at least one lucky gambler than hit million-dollar jackpots twice in his lifetime – and there are millions of people who have played the slots for years and haven’t pocketed any even slightly more significant wins, ever. Some gamblers believe there is a correlation between how long it has been since the last time a slot machine has paid out a jackpot and how likely such a massive win can be. Thinking that a jackpot is due has convinced millions to keep playing and playing – and ultimately leaving the casino with their pockets empty, because there is no correlation between the time that’s passed since the last jackpot and the next payout. None, never.

“The games are rigged”

Those with at least an unfortunate losing streak behind them have probably thought at one time or another that the games they play must be “rigged” somehow to cheat them out of their money. This is, of course, untrue. All gambling establishments, no matter if they are land-based or online, operate under a strict supervision and must prove they are fair – as in completely random – periodically to be able to continue offering their services and making money. Besides, being fair is essential for their survival as businesses – just think of how many players would still visit a proven cheater casino in today’s connected world, when news spread with the speed of light. All casino games have a built-in “house edge” designed to make sure the casino will always profit from the games – after all, casinos are businesses and not charities – but they are not cheating. They are not allowed to.