The myth of casinos pumping extra oxygen into their rooms to keep players alert for longer and the misinformed idea that some tables or hot and whilst others are cold are just few of many examples of the urban legends that circulate about casinos.
Whilst many optimistic gamblers believe in illogical myths on how to increase their odds, cynical onlookers believe rumors about the unfair running of casinos. In both cases, many of these popular ideas which are repeated time and time again are complete misconceptions.
However, they do betray an irrational fascination with the world of gambling in general, and that of the casino culture in particular.
We have picked the best ten most popular misconceptions to finally get the facts straight.
- 1. The largest Casinos in the world are in Las Vegas, Nevada
- 2. Your chances of winning either Red or Black at Roulette are 50/50
- 3. Big winners get special treatment in the Casinos
- 4. Casino's pump extra oxygen into their rooms to make gamblers play for longer
- 5. Keeping track of the patterns on the slot machines could help you win
- 6. Business is never difficult for casinos, they do not depend on the economy and they are always making money
- 7. Card counting is illegal
- 8. Some tables are hot and lead to big wins whilst others are cold
- 9. There are hidden magnets inside the roulette balls
- 10. At the end of the day, the casino always wins
1. The largest Casinos in the world are in Las Vegas, Nevada
There is a popular global misconception that the largest casinos on the planet can be found in Las Vegas.
In fact, although Las Vegas definitely has the most prominent casino culture, the world's real mecca is, Macao China.
Both The Venetian and The City of Dreams Resorts in Macao, tower over the MGM Grand and the Bellagio in Vegas.
Whilst the Chinese replica of this romantic Italian city measures 546,000 square feet, the MGM Grand, Vegas only has a surface area of 120,000 square ft.
Moreover, ironically, even the MGM Grand branch in Macao is bigger than the original, measuring 221,952 square feet.
2. Your chances of winning either Red or Black at Roulette are 50/50
In truth, the American roulette board includes two green spaces, a zero and a double zero, this reduces the overall chances of winning either red or black to 47.4%.
For European roulette odds are slightly higher since this version doesn't have a 00, this increases your chances of winning either red or black to 48.6%.
Unfortunately, the 50/50 chance is just a false hope.
3. Big winners get special treatment in the Casinos
Owners are trying to maximize their profits and big winners are bad for business.
The champagne and luxury hotel rooms are reserved for the big spenders, who are not always on a winning streak.
Loyal customers are expected to receive free hotel rooms and drinks on the house, however, some innovative loyalty programs like the MGM's M Life, offer the chance to meet celebrities and access the most exclusive locations. You could even get the chance to swim in a shark's tank if you spend enough. The amazing thing about this scheme is that the casino counts every dollar spent within their premises, including hotels rooms, drinks or private cars.
4. Casino's pump extra oxygen into their rooms to make gamblers play for longer
Casinos have the reputation for being very devious in their tactics to encourage a shameless dispensation of cash, however, we think this particular tactic is merely an urban myth.
For years, the casino industry gave off the impression that they were pumping extra air into the room so that people would stay alert for longer.
Why? If you have ever been to a mountainous region you will have noticed that a lack of oxygen makes people feel sluggish whilst an extra boost would keep them sharp enough to gamble the night away.
That is the reason behind this cynical rumour.
5. Keeping track of the patterns on the slot machines could help you win
Punters can count oranges and lemons all they want, but the computer dispenses randomly generated numbers. It is very hard to beat a machine with logic.
There is another popular misconception that these machines are programmed to pay out at a certain time and therefore you have less chance of winning right after someone else has won a jackpot. Once again, the machine is a completely adhoc generator of information, it has no will, rhyme or reason.
6. Business is never difficult for casinos, they do not depend on the economy and they are always making money
The popular idea that casinos are “recession proof” is sadly a complete delusion. As with any business venture, the success of the casino industry in different parts of the world fluctuates.
Even though, these inconsistencies may be less extreme than in other areas, there have been undeniable peaks and lows within the gambling industry over the past 50 years.
Although they weren't hit as hard by the recession, around 2011, the gambling industry as a whole faced declining sales figures and saw a decrease in customers.
7. Card counting is illegal
The film 21 was incredibly popular when it was released but it didn't appear to address the popular misconception that card counting is a legal strategy which can be used to get ahead in a game of blackjack.
That said, even if there is no official law preventing card counting, it is certainly against the rules of most casinos.
Since they are privately run ventures, they reserve the rights to ban people from their premises when customers break the rules.
As the movie illustrates, staff may also choose to take justice into their own hands, if they catch customers cheating. However, this would probably be illegal intimidation on their part.
8. Some tables are hot and lead to big wins whilst others are cold
Gambling is always centered around proportionality. The only reliable indicator of your chances of winning are the odds. Each dice thrown or card played is a separate statistical moment which is subject to its own individual streak of luck.
Proportionality cannot be change. Every time the dice are rolled the odds of winning are exactly the same and they can be calculated through concrete mathematical rules.
This type of misconception, which assumes that a moment of good luck, will influence the proportionality of a subsequent unconnected event, is often known as hot-hand fallacy.
It is thought that people cling onto these ideas to retain a sentiment of control over completely random happenings.
9. There are hidden magnets inside the roulette balls
Actually the balls are usually made from teflon and they ensure a totally fair game.
Despite the preconceptions that casinos are run by devious gangsters, most establishments are actually very respectful of gambling rules and regulations. There are regular checks to all casino equipment to ensure that they function as fairly as possible
10. At the end of the day, the casino always wins
This is the misconception of cynics who believe that casino are robbing their customers under the guise of “bad luck”. However, due to tight regulation, evidence of foul play and corruption this is simply unfounded in the majority of cases.
Although, the odds are stacked towards the casino, people still go home without thousands in their pocket on every given night.
However, there are exceptions to every rule, a lot less cop films would have been made if corruption wasn't a phenomenon.
If you want to find out more, check out our selection of the greatest casino heists.
If you've heard any wild rumors about casinos that aren't listed above, leave it in the comments section-we'll do the fact checking for you