++ Gambling: Help and Referral ++ -
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Games of chance have nothing to do with skill or strategy. Most gamblers know it and are realistic about their odds of winning.

But some gamblers have misconceptions about this type of game. For example, they may believe that with the right tricks and strategies, luck will be on their side. Or that doubling their wager or changing slot machines will affect their odds of winning.

Don’t believe it! There is no way to control chance or luck. Good luck charms, lucky numbers, and careful calculations never increase your odds of winning in games of chance. Here are a few things to consider:

Can luck smile on you?

Throughout the ages, people have believed that mysterious forces guide their destiny. Even today, some think of luck as a person who smiles down on them or as a force to harness. Some gamblers are convinced that playing more often will make them better or luckier. But in fact, the exact opposite is often true. 

Is it possible to influence chance?

Chance is always unexpected or unpredictable. People have no power over it. Some gamblers may think they can control luck or develop enough skill to gain the upper hand. But nothing that you can learn or do will make you luckier. Luck is just that—luck.

Does one round affect the next?

Winning a game of chance is always an isolated event. Imagine that at the exact moment the mailman knocks on the door, your phone rings. That does not mean the phone will ring every time the mailman knocks. Each game is a separate event, too. It is never affected by the results of previous rounds.

If you play long enough, do you have a greater chance of winning?

Dr. Robert Ladouceur, director of Centre québécois d’excellence pour la prévention et le traitement du jeu, uses a simple example to illustrate your odds of winning when gambling. He explains that if you flip a coin four times in a game of “heads or tails,” you may win three or four times in a row. However, if you play long enough, you should expect 50% heads and 50% tails.

What is the best way to win?

According to Dr. Robert Ladouceur, the only sure way to make money in gambling is to stop playing as soon as you win. If you continue to play, the law of averages always catches up with you.

In other words...

  • Chance has no memory: A slot machine has no greater chance of “paying out” on the hundredth spin than on the first. Each spin is a new spin.
  • Chance is indifferent: Whether it is nice out or raining, whether you are rich or up to your ears in debt, nothing changes your odds of winning.
  • Chance is black and white: In games of chance, you either win or lose. You never come close.
  • Chance is not magic: Good luck charms and lucky numbers may be fun, but they do not improve your odds of winning.
Test your beliefs about luck!
Do you believe you can gain the upper hand and put luck on your side by working on your skills? Do you recognize yourself in the following statements?
If I win, I think luck is with me, and I bet my winnings again. 

If I win and leave with more money in my pocket than I started with, I think that gambling is a good way to make easy money and it is smart to keep playing. 

If I win then lose my winnings right away, I tell myself that it was just a tactical error, and next time I will leave in time.

If I lose a lot or keep losing for longer than usual, I think I am just in a dry spell and I have to keep playing if I want to win.


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