With spring vacation season now here, many people will be hitting the slot machines somewhere during their travels.
They will also be bringing with them many popular misconceptions about how casinos operate, and how to increase your odds of winning.
State regulators and casino operators say these are for the most part untrue, no matter what that "high roller" at the bar tells you.
Myth #1: Casinos pump oxygen in to make you stay longer and spend more.
Why it's false: Adding anything to the air patrons breathe would be a violation of state and federal air quality laws. Casinos say they do not do this.
Myth #2: Slot machines near the doors and aisle pay out more often than other machines, so newcomers will see patrons winning.
Why it's false: This is absolutely untrue, according to casinos. If it were, no one would play the machines in the middle of the aisles. They all pay the same.
Myth #3: If a slot machine has been "cold" for a half hour or so, it is due for a big payout.
Why it's false: Casinos say this is also untrue: A computer number generating program determines when a machine pays out. It could be twice in a row, or just once over 2 hours.
Myth #4: Security officials, watching on hidden camera, decide when a certain patron is due a big win, and hit the "trigger."
Why it's false: This would violate casino gaming rules, so it is untrue as well. The house cannot decide when someone wins, or they could play favorites with their friends and relatives.
Myth #5: You can increase your odds at the slots by keeping track of the lemons and other symbols, and then figure out when it is due to pay.
Why it's false: Slot machines are programmed by a "random number generator." The lemons, other symbols, and even the handle are just for show these days, casinos say. Counting spins and symbols would not even help Rainman.
Myth #6: A computer determines when and where the Roulette wheel stops.
Why it's false: Unlike slot machines, casinos say Roulette wheels are not programmed by computers. They stop based on the laws of physics and gravity.
Myth #7: Craps games (dice) have hot and cold tables:
Why it's false: It all depends on the roll of the die. The table does not determine how the dice falls.
Myth #8: Big winners are given free meals and hotel rooms.
Why it's false: Most casinos would rather see big winners not come back. It's the biggest spenders who get the freebies, so that they continue to come back and drop those $100 bills.
Myth #9: Casinos "loosen" the slot machines the first week they are open, to pay more frequently, so that more people go home happy and will tell their friends how great the casino is.
Why it could be true: This myth may have some truth to it, according to gambling experts. While no casino will admit to loosening its machines to pay more, it is very easy to do (as they are now controlled by computer), and would make a lot of sense.
As always, don't waste your money.
Don't Waste Your Money is a registered trademark of the EW Scripps Co.
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