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Jeff and Sherry Sims say they handed over nearly $10,000 to a contractor after a tornado damaged their home, but the work was never done.More >>
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Do your spring travel plans include playing some slot machines? If so, read on because some things many of us believe about casino games aren't really true.
With the opening of Toledo's Hollywood Casino, many people who have not visited a casino in years will be coming to check out the excitement. 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. Casino reps 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 casino reps. 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: Casino reps 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 two 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 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, casino reps 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, casino reps say Roulette wheels are not programmed by computers; they stop based on the laws of physics and gravity.
Myth #7: Craps games, which involve dice, have hot and cold tables.
Why it's false: It all depends on the roll of the dice. 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. After a month or so, payouts are tightened to more normal levels.
Other than that last myth, take hot tips with a grain of salt, so you don't waste your money.