National Gambling Helpline Freephone 0808 8020 133 8am-midnight 7 days a week

Myths & facts

MYTH: The more you gamble, the more likely it is that you'll have a big win.

FACT: The outcome of each gambling event is down to chance. Spending longer gambling doesn't have any impact on the outcome of the next gamble. This is known as the 'independence of events' - each event outcome (e.g. lottery draw or reel spin) is independent from those before or after. Given the house edge and return to player mechanisms described above, a longer amount of time spent gambling will usually mean paying more for that leisure time.

MYTH: If you keep playing for long enough, you'll eventually win all your money back.

FACT: Actually, the more you gamble, the more likely it is you'll lose more money. The odds are always stacked in the favour of those offering the bet – the bookies, casinos and lottery companies know that some people will win, but more people have to lose so that the companies can stay in business.

MYTH: Knowing a game well increases your chances of winning.

FACT: Again, it's all down to chance. Games such as poker and sports betting can benefit from extra knowledge, but you still can't guess the outcome. You might think you're the best poker player around, but someone else may be better or have stronger cards. Your football team might have won the last two matches, but that doesn't mean they'll win a third. Remember to always play it safe.

MYTH: When gambling, keeping track of previous results can help you figure out the coming results.

FACT: There is no pattern when it comes to gambling. If there were a pattern, everyone would learn it and no one would ever lose. If no one lost there'd be no money left in the slot machines, and the bookies and casinos would become bankrupt and wouldn't be able to pay the winners. Believing this will only cause you to lose lots of cash and stop gambling from being fun.

For help, support and advice about problem gambling please contact the National Gambling Helpline on 0808 8020 133 or via the NetLine.

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