Common Myths about Gambling

Distinguishing between gambling fact and fantasy can prevent you from losing more than you bargained.

People often hold false beliefs or myths about gambling. Whether it’s believing in lucky numbers or rituals, or that they can somehow influence the outcome of a game, that type of thinking can lead to problems.

Here are some common myths and the truths behind them.

“If I keep gambling, my luck will change and I’ll win back the money I’ve lost.”

Each time you place a bet, the outcome is completely independent of the previous one. That means that the odds are no more in your favour on the tenth bet than they were on the first bet. Over time, the more you risk, the more you lose.


“I almost won; I must be due for a win.”

“Almost” winning in no way means that a real win is just around the corner. Future gambling outcomes are in no way influenced by previous outcomes.

“If I play more than one slot machine or more than one poker game at a time, I’ll increase my chances of winning.”

You may win more often by playing two slot machines or poker games at once, but you’ll also spend, and ultimately lose, more. Remember, over time, the more you gamble, the more you lose.

“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.”

The outcome of most games of chance, particularly lotteries and slot machines, is completely random. You cannot influence it, no matter what you do. For lotteries, that means that betting the same numbers each week won’t help you win any more than betting different numbers. The odds of winning LOTTO 6/49, for example, are 1 in 14 million each time you play: It doesn’t matter how many people have purchased tickets or what numbers you play – the odds remain the same.

Whether you win playing slot machines is based solely on the randomly drawn numbers generated by the machine’s computer. Those numbers determine the game’s outcome before the reels stop. Pressing the stop button may help you learn the outcome of the game faster, but it won’t influence the outcome in any way.

“I have a feeling today is my lucky day. I just know I’m going to win.”

Hoping, wishing or even needing to win money has absolutely no influence on the outcome of a game of chance.

“Online betting apps and sports betting sites are all the same.”

Some gambling sites and apps are licensed, and some aren’t. If you live in Ontario, make sure you play on a licensed iGaming Ontario (iGO) site or app as they have responsible gambling features built in to keep your play safer. Visit the iGaming Ontario website for a complete list of licensed sites and apps in Ontario.

“The way to make money on the big game is to bet on every outcome.”

All bets involve some risk, so there’s no such thing as a sure bet. Gambling shouldn’t be used as a way to make money, but as a way to have fun.

“As long as I play within a budget, I’m gambling safely.”

Playing with a set budget is a great way to stay away from financial harms. But if your gambling impacts other important areas of your life like time spent with loved ones, it may be a sign you need help.

When is gambling a problem?

Gambling becomes a problem when you have trouble stopping.

Problem Gambling Signs

Get help for a gambling problem

There’s a treatment centre ready, willing and able to help you.

Find Local Help

About the Responsible Gambling Council

The Responsible Gambling Council (RGC) is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting safer gambling by influencing positive change and advancing responsible gambling standards in Canada and around the world.

About RGC