Poker machines

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Poker machines

Pokie machinesGaming machines, or poker machines, are the most common form of betting for people who have issues with gambling. They can be hard to walk away from.

Gaming machines in NSW are designed to make a profit for the venues licensed to operate them:

  • hotels
  • registered clubs
  • the casino

Sure, you might have a win or two. But more you play, the more the odds are stacked against you.

So how do they really work? Is it possible to affect their performance? What are the real odds of winning? We can tell you right now that they’re designed to take your money. Check out the video, or read on...

Gaming machines: facts and myths

In the video below, actor Jay Laga'aia shows you exactly how the pokies work - from the inside out - and the psychology behind them.

Each gaming machine has a built-in computer program that randomly generates thousands of possible outcomes every second. When the button is pressed, it randomly picks one result from thousands of possibilities. The next second it generates thousands more possibilities. It does this continuously, every second, all day and night.

The machine accepts any credit bets. It then randomly determines the position of the symbols on the video display to produce an outcome, which is completely unrelated to the previous game's outcome.

If the machine determines a win, credits are paid. If not, the machine just continues to generate outcomes until the button is pressed again.

They're designed to take your money

Poker machines are there to make money for venue owners, not provide wins for players. The pokies design can trick you into thinking you're not betting much, so you have nothing to lose. Take one cent machines. because it looks like you're only parting with a small amount of money, your financial judgement about how much you're actually losing is disrupted.

The lights and noise help create excitement to keep you gambling even if you're losing.

However, you can be confident gaming machines are not rigged

The NSW Government checks the operating programs for all gaming machines to ensure they meet strict technical standards. It's illegal to tamper with machines or change how a gaming machine operates without prior approval.

The bottom line

You can never predict how a play on a gaming machine will turn out. It makes no difference whether you:

  • play a machine straight after someone else has had a big payout
  • play a machine that has not had a big payout over a long time
  • play at certain times of the day or night
  • play on certain days of the week
  • press the buttons a certain way.

The odds of winning a typical $5,000 prize on a $1 poker machine are 9,700,000 to 1.

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