Herein is a list of common mistaken beliefs, superstitions, and fallacies surrounding gambling in casinos. Many of them are repeated often enough that people believe them to be true, despite evidence to the contrary. Note that law-related matters are based on Nevada law; I have no direct knowledge about other gambling places like Monte Carlo.

  • In Roulette, Zero and Double Zero are "House Numbers," and that's where the house's edge comes from. If you bet on them, you nullify the house's edge. It doesn't matter what you bet on, the house edge operates against you all the same.
  • Slot machines/Video Poker machines hit jackpots on a regular, predictable schedule. People who believe this tend to disregard times when the jackpot reaches two, three, or even five times its "expected" payoff level, and also disregard fast pays and back-to-backs. I once saw a woman hit three Royal Flushes in a row. It happens, it's just not highly probable. Nevada law dictates that the results must be determined randomly. Besides, no company or casino would want any player to be able to know when a jackpot was due to hit.
  • Casino employees know when a jackpot's about to hit. See the one above. If they knew when they were supposed to hit, why wouldn't they get a friend to play the "due" machine, and split the winnings?
  • "That was MY jackpot! I was sitting at that machine and went to get a drink!" Just because someone hit a jackpot at the machine you were sitting at moments before, it doesn't mean you would have hit the jackpot. In between plays, slot machines and video poker machines are constantly generating random numbers, and determine the spin or hand when you press the "Spin" or "Deal" button. Hit it a second sooner or later, and you have a totally different hand. This is yet another reason why the idea of a machine being "due to hit" is silly.
  • Casino dealers know how to best play the game they're dealing. Many low-level casino employees, dealers included, are gambling addicts, and don't know how to calculate odds for even the simplest of the casino's games. I once had a Craps croupier scold me for playing on the Don't Pass line (which actually has marginally better odds than the Pass Line, but then you're "betting against the other players").
  • Blackjack has the lowest house edge. This one's technically true, but you have to be a top-notch player, something that fewer than 5% of all of the players are capable of, for this to be true. For most people, Craps and Baccarat are better.
  • The machines/tables/dice are rigged. Although this was sometimes true in the days when Las Vegas was run by mafia types, and possibly even as recently as the 70's, casinos today are run by huge corporations that stand to lose too much if they're caught cheating. The house edge on the games pulls in millions weekly for most casinos; they don't have any reason to cheat. Some small operations (Bars with video poker machines) have been busted for operating crooked machines (Royal Flushes are never dealt, for example) in the past few years, though.
  • Comps are a way for casinos to thank their players. On the contrary, comps are a way to encourage a player (Especially a bad player with a lot of money) to stay in the same casino, and not take his money somewhere else before the casino's had a chance to suck down as much as possible.
  • Casinos sometimes turn the payback on slot machines down to zero, or close to it, on busy weekends. Again, this was something that sometimes happened 30 years ago and before, but not today. Nevada law states that no game may have a payback lower than 75%. Some casinos do turn down the payback rates on some of their slot machines at certain times, though... just not below the legal minimum.
  • Casinos don't like trying new games. Casinos LOVE trying new games that players might not be familiar with - or, even better, think they're familiar with. However, most players prefer the traditional classic games, so many newer games last only a year or two. The last time I was in Vegas, I saw a casino that hosted a variant of the old children's card game, War...
  • Casinos keep a card shark dealer waiting in the wings to bring out when someone gets on a hot streak. Casinos rotate dealers regularly, and don't keep a cheating dealer on call. However, smart pit bosses DO keep track of what dealers seem to be running "hot" or "cold" at any given time, and will put in a "cold" dealer if someone's on an expensive winning streak. There's no guarantee that'll break the streak, though.
  • Casinos water down their free drinks. Casinos serve cheap alcohol (Although I'd hesitate to say that the big ones, like Caesar's Palace and The Mirage, use cheap booze) , at full strength. They like it when you get drunk... you're more prone to doing something stupid then.

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