Common Myths and Concerns
People often hold false beliefs or myths about gambling that can lead to problems. Some of the more common ones are listed below.
Myth: If I keep gambling, my luck will change and I'll win back the money I've lost.
Reality: Each time you place a bet, the outcome is completely independent of the previous one. This means that the odds are no more in your favor on the tenth bet than they were on the first bet. Over time, the more you risk, the more you'll lose.
Myth: I almost won; I must be due for a win.
Reality: "Almost" winning in no way means that a real win is around the corner. Future gambling outcomes are in no way influenced by previous outcomes.
Myth: If I play more than one slot machine or in more than one poker game at a time, I'll increase my chances of winning.
Reality: Sure, you may win more often by playing two slot machines or poker games at a time, but make no mistake about it: You'll also spend-and ultimately lose-more doing so. Remember, over time, the more you gamble, the more you'll lose.
Myth: I have a special strategy that helps me win. I pick certain numbers for the lottery and press the stop button on a slot machine at exactly the right time.
Reality: The outcome of most games of chance, particularly lotteries and slot machines, is completely random: You cannot influence it, regardless of what you do. For lotteries, this means that betting the same numbers every week won't help you win any more than betting different numbers will. The odds of winning Lotto 6/49, for example, are 1 in 14 million each and every time you play: It doesn't matter how many people have purchased tickets or what numbers you play-the odds are the same, regardless.
Whether or not you win playing slot machines is based solely on the randomly drawn numbers generated by the machine's computer-numbers which determine the game's outcome even before the reels stop. Pressing the stop button may speed up when you find out what the game's outcome is, but it won't influence what that outcome is in any way.
Myth: If I see a certain card coming up frequently in a poker game, I should bet on it because chances are it will come up again very soon.
Reality: There are 2.6 million possible hands in a deck of 52 cards. Since each hand is independent of the last, the chance of one card coming up again once it's already appeared is no more (or less) likely than that of any other card.
Myth: I have a feeling that today is my lucky day. I just know I'm going to win.
Reality: Hoping, wishing or even needing to win money has absolutely no influence on the outcome of a game of chance.
Concerns of negative outcomes may prevent approaching a loved one, or friend suspected of having a gambling problem; common concerns are listed below:
I'm worried that if I talk to my friend or family member about their gambling, they'll be offended.
It's quite understandable that you would worry about offending someone who you suspect might have a gambling problem by trying to talk to them about it. That's why it's important to gather what information you can about problem gambling beforehand and approach the person in the right way. Remember: Don't accuse or preach when discussing the problem. Just enquire, talk about the facts, express concern, and offer support.
I'm not an expert: How can I solve someone else's problem?
You're not expected to solve someone else's problem: The best you can do is get informed, ask questions, express concern, and be supportive. If your friend or family member has a problem with gambling, you can only assist them in dealing with it-you cannot solve the problem for them.
If I don't say anything, won't the person eventually stop gambling on their own?
While some people can solve their gambling problems on their own, most need the support of family and friends, a professional counselor, or support group. Changing behavior can be extremely difficult and require a considerable about of time, effort, and support from various sources.