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thinking they had won 23% of spins poker cheat

edit:casino time:2019-01-11

Alessandra Malito is a personal finance reporter based in New York. You can follow her on Twitter @malito_ali.

If people knew about the LDW trick, they’d be less likely to be fooled into thinking they’re winning — and becoming problem gamblers, according to new research from the University of Waterloo in Canada. “Slot machines are designed to capture your attention toward those cool animations and the neat sounds, but that is where they can lead you astray,” said Michael Dixon, a professor and research director in the Gambling Research Lab at Waterloo.

Americans lost $116.9 billion gambling in 2016, according to data from H2 Gambling Capital, a market data firm focused on the gambling industry. That number includes losses from games at traditional casinos, state lotteries and regulated online gaming sites, according to Cardplayer.com. The U.S. has the largest gambling market, followed by China with $62.4 billion spent on gambling.

See: 10 signs that you may have a gambling problem

Using a trick known as “losses disguised as wins” (LDWs), modern slot machines make players think they’re winning more than they are by blaring happy tunes and shining lights. It looks and sounds similar to an actual win, but in these cases, the “win” pays less than the person bet.

Watching the video prepared the players by teaching them how to play, what determines a win (earning more than was bet) and what is a loss (earning nothing or less than the bet). When a player wages on 15 lines, losses happen about 68% of the time, with wins about 14% of the time and LDWs about 16%. In one hour, the player is exposed to 680 losses, 140 wins and 188 LDWs.

Celebratory music, flashing lights and the thrilling feeling that the next try may be the winning one drives slot machine players to push the button again — and again. But sometimes when a slot machine tells you you have won, you have actually lost.


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