Problem Gambling Help SA

Odds, Myths and Facts

What are your odds? Odds are they are against you.

If you gamble for the chance to win money, do you know what the odds are of actually winning? The odds are clearly stacked against the gambler – meaning you should always expect to lose. In every betting game, the odds are against the player. Some people may not realise the true statistical probabilities that ensure that, over time, they will lose money.

What are the actual odds you will win? Visit the What are your odds website to find out.

Remember:

  • Odds are always against the better
  • The 'house' always has the advantage, the 'edge'
  • The longer you gamble, the more likely you will lose more often than you will win

What are your odds of winning on the 'pokies'?

Pokies are programmed to pay out less than you put into them, so the odds are you will lose. Some forms of gambling such as 'poker machines' are influenced completely by chance – in other words there is no way to know what the outcome will be. The more sessions you play on a poker machine, the more likely you are to lose.

The poker machine is always the winner. Think about these facts…

Myth - "I know that if I hit the button on the machine at just the right moment, I can stop the reels at a winning combination"

Fact - Gaming machines use software that runs a Random Number Generator (RNG). The RNG continuously cycles through numbers. When you hit the play button the RNG picks a combination at random at that given microsecond. Anything you do after this initial press will have no influence on the outcome of the game.

Myth - "The person who played the machine after me won big. I should have kept playing as that win would have been mine"

Fact - Each combination produced by the gaming machine is completely random. This means that the next winning combination on a machine is not predictable. Each spin is a random occurrence which has no bearing on what has happened previously or is about to happen.

Myth - "My gaming machine hasn't paid out for a while, it is therefore due for a win"

Fact - The outcome of a game is random and not predicable. You may win on your next spin, or lose the next ten. It is totally random.

Myth - "If you bet in a certain pattern you have more chance of winning"

Fact - The outcome of each game is completely random.

Myth - "If I cash out after every win, it will increase my chance of winning"

Fact - A player who cashes out after every win has exactly the same chance of winning as a player who does not cash out. Cashing out has no influence on the outcome of game.

Myth - "Some poker machines are luckier than others"

Fact - Each poker machine is simply a computer programmed to give random results.

Myth - "Gaming machines tend to pay out at higher amounts or more frequently at certain times of the day"

Fact - The outcome of all games is random. Winning or losing combinations are not linked to clocks or calendars.

What are your chances of winning on some forms of gambling in South Australia?

  • Poker machines
    Getting 5 Black Rhinos on Black Rhinos Machine (Top Prize) ($1 Bet per line)
    Odds of winning - 1 in 9,765,625

  • Lotto
    Winning First Division (playing 1 game)
    Odds of winning - 1 in 8,145,060

  • Oz Lotto
    Winning First Division (playing 1 game)
    Odds of winning - 1 in 45,379,620

  • Powerball
    Winning First Division (playing 1 game)
    Odds of winning - 1 in 76,767,600

  • Keno
    Winning First Division (Spot 10, playing 1 game)
    Odds of winning - 1 in 8,911,711

  • Keno
    Winning First Division (Spot 9, playing 1 game)
    Odds of winning - 1 in 1,380,687

  • Super 66
    Winning First Division (playing 1 game)
    Odds of winning - 1 in 1,000,000

  • The Pools
    Winning First Division (playing 1 game)
    Odds of winning - 1 in 2,760,681

  • Instant scratchies
    Winning First Division with $1 High Tier (playing 1 game)
    Odds of winning - 1 in 1,000,000

  • Trackside
    Picking, at random, a trifecta in a 13 horse race
    Odds of winning - 1 in 1,715

Now see how your odds of winning compare with non-gambling related activities:

  • Chances of experiencing depression in your lifetime^ - 1 in 7 people
  • Chances of experiencing mental illness every year - if you are a young Australian^ - 1 in 4 people
  • Marriage ending in divorce - 1 in 2.3 marriages
  • Chances of going bald (if you're a man) - 3 in 4 men
  • Dying from heart disease - 1 in 4 people
  • Having your car stolen* - 1 in 340 cars
  • Dying from a venomous bite or sting - 1 in 1,000,000 people
  • Being killed by lightning - 1 in 1,603,250 people
  • Dying from an asteroid impact** - 1 in 700,000 people
  • A woman giving birth to twins*** - 1 in 80 births

Some figures taken from Centre for Gambling Research Fact Sheet - Gambling Odds 2003

^ http://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au/docs/Factsandfiguresaboutmentalhealthandmooddisorders.pdf, accessed 29 July 2013 

* 'National Cars Project', Attorney General's Department, South Australia, accessed 22 May 2013; Facts and figures about 'Mental Health Issues', accessed 29 July 2013

** Discover Magazine, article 'Death by Meteorite', accessed 29 July 2013; Facts and Figures 'About Twins', accessed 29 July 2013

*** http://www.twins.org.au/twins-and-twin-families/about-twins/facts-and-figures, accessed 29 July 2013 

Immediate help is available now. Contact the Gambling Helpline now for free and confidential support, 24/7

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