Popular casino myths start as rumors and grow into urban legends eventually accepted as truth. But do casinos really pump in oxygen? What about your chances of beating the house? We look for the answers.
What’s your favorite popular casino myth? Is it the one about casinos pumping oxygen?
Is it the one about ‘loose’ or tight slots, suggesting there are right and wrong machines to play?
How about the idea of ‘tricking’ a machine with various bet sizes?
There are plenty of casino myths or urban legends to choose from, and most people have heard them all. But which stories have truth, and which are complete fallacies?
Do Casinos Pump in Oxygen to Keep Visitors Awake and Gambling?
Here’s the theory: a constant supply of fresh oxygen gets pumped into casinos to keeps patrons awake, alert, and continuing to gamble. Hence, the casino makes more and more money.
But here’s the problem: have you ever seen a hospital bill?
Oxygen – pure medical-grade, hospital-type oxygen – is expensive. Pumping it through an entire casino 24 hours a day is going to cost the house a LOT more than they’re going to make off your next hand of blackjack!
Additionally, oxygen is a flame accelerant and potential fire hazard – a particularly bad idea in an area where people are smoking (more on this later!)
Is the air conditioning a little cooler than most places to keep customers alert? Sure! But no, they’re not “pumping in oxygen.” Casinos would lose money by doing this, and what’s the #1 thing casinos DON’T want to do?
The houses have much better ways to encourage people to keep playing, such as:
Do Casinos Offer Free Drinks to Players?
This one is just common sense. Casinos are businesses, operations that depends on a consistent stream of players trying their hands at games that are ever so slightly tilted in the house’s favor.
If you find a player or group who’s spending money and playing these games at a high rate, wouldn’t you want to keep them happy?
But this one isn’t as cut-and-dry as the oxygen question. Personal experience plays a role as well. When I go to a casino, I like to play blackjack. At some establishments, you’ll be as sober as a judge after a 60-minute session while other casinos make sure your drink is never empty.
Receiving free drinks, and the number of them, depends on factors ranging from “how busy is the casino?” to “how much does my waiter/waitress like his/her job?”
Or maybe “how much does my waiter/waitress like me/the other people in my group?” They’re only human, after all.
But here’s one truth: don’t expect to drink free for a night by just walking around and occasionally glancing at a machine or table. Yeah, they’ve seen this trick before and before long, you’ll be heading up to the bar to fork over some good, old-fashioned cash in exchange for your beverage.
Can I Get a Free Room at the Casino if I Gamble?
Again, accounting for personal experience, the key seems to be consistency over quantity.
Example: sitting at a table playing $25 per hand is likelier to get you comped than playing $1,000 on a single hand.
Casinos value customers, and they want to create meaningful, lasting relationships that engender loyalty. So that hypothetical player going $25 per hand for a couple hours is worth more to that casino over the long haul than the showoff who bet $1,000 once to impress someone before heading off to the next casino.
The ‘hierarchy’ of comps goes something like this: free drinks, followed by free food and finally, free lodging. Those who qualify for all three are known as ‘RFB’ (room, food, beverage) customers.
For obvious reasons, however, there’s no sign or scoreboard indicating how much you have to spend to receive any or all of these perks. At least part of it depends on your rapport with the casino staff and the particular pit boss on duty at that time.
So if we can’t identify a particular dollar amount, what would help you to get a free room? Small crowds might help – after all, a room that sits empty for a night doesn’t do the casino any good at all.
Search the Internet, and you’ll find tales of people who claim they’ve received all kinds of freebies after placing just 1-2 modest bets on a roulette wheel or spending a few minutes at a slots machine.
Maybe they did – but odds are it didn’t happen at the Venetian on a Saturday night.
Casinos Are One of the Few Places That Still Allow Indoor Smoking
Verdict: True (but…)
As a blanket statement, there’s nothing wrong with saying “you can still smoke in a casino.”
Just be prepared to encounter some gray areas. Keeping this answer specific to Las Vegas casinos, most establishments have designated spaces where smoking is permitted.
Where? Generally speaking, it can be outdoor areas, or anywhere where:
- No food is being prepared
- No children are allowed
Good news – this includes the gaming pits, which are off-limits to children, and most areas of the sportsbooks.
One place where there are no gray areas? The Park MGM, which became the first Las Vegas casino known to go 100% smoke-free.
Smoking is a matter of personal preference. However, there’s no denying the trend in our society is toward further restriction of smoking. Research has shown a correlation between smoking and the desire to gamble, so it would seem enacting such bans across the board might constitute bad business in Vegas.
The House Always Wins!
This one seems like the easiest to disprove.
But it hasn’t, and it won’t. Why? Because the average doesn’t dictate specific instances.
Don’t forget, casinos are businesses. Just like your job or your business, if you’re not making money, what’s the point?
So yes, there’s a ‘house edge’ built into many games that shows, over the long haul, how much the casino can expect to make as a percentage of each dollar wagered.
Using blackjack as an example, the odds are such that the casino can, on average, expect to take in about $2 for every $100 wagered.
And over time, that’s what happens. Look at a casino’s profit/loss statement or other financial documents and you’ll find figures that are usually in line with the respective house edges.
But it doesn’t mean you are guaranteed to lose money when you walk into a casino. Those profit margins aren’t overwhelming, so for every person who loses big, the chances are a respectable number won modest or even impressive amounts as well.
What Can Be Done To Beat The House?
People write books, they do podcasts and even write thesis papers on profitable strategies for every game you can imagine. These wouldn’t hold up if it was impossible to win at the casino.
Over time, yes, the odds are in favor of the house. But there’s nothing preventing you, personally, from walking out of the casino on a Saturday night with a nice profit.
And if you want to attempt to beat those odds and do so on a regular basis, there are plenty of resources out there to help you learn specific strategies for blackjack, roulette, craps, and any other casino game you can name!
People love gambling, they love going to the casino. For many the idea of making money is just a bonus. For others, it’s the only reason to go.
Whatever your motivation, the name of the game is having fun. Now that you know the truth, hopefully you’ll enjoy your next casino trip just a little more.
So, Do casinos pump oxygen? Do they give out free drinks? does the house always win? we hope we’ve answered these questions for you and debunked the myths. Happy gambling!