What randomness really means in poker machines

You have all probably heard about poker machines operating randomly, though what exactly does that mean? In gambling, random means that we are unable to accurately control or predict the outcomes that will occur next. Randomness also means that each outcome is independent of one another. That is, the outcome of each spin on a … Continue reading What randomness really means in poker machines

Why is gambling so hard to kick?

It’s been months since a win, your partner fights daily with you over it, you struggle to have enough money to fill the car with petrol and the red letters are now coming weekly threatening to take away your beloved car.  As you leave another session empty handed, broke and filthy with yourself you might … Continue reading Why is gambling so hard to kick?

Supporting others

If you have experienced problem gambling, or maybe still are, it is likely you have experienced a wide range of distressing consequences. This may include, to name a few: financial hardship, feelings of depression and anxiety, and relationship problems. Perhaps one (and likely the only) advantage of having suffered through this is that you are … Continue reading Supporting others

Why should I understand the poker machines?

An understanding of the ways in which the poker machines operate is an important part in treatment of problem gambling. We may assume we understand how these machines work because we play them often or because ‘people have told us how they work’. However, an accurate understanding of the poker machines must include an understanding … Continue reading Why should I understand the poker machines?

What is Return to Player?

If you are a regular pokies player, you’ve probably heard of something called the 'Return to Player Percentage'. It is something often talked about but not always well understood. It is important to clarify what Return to Player Percentage is, as misunderstandings can lead to problem gambling. By law, every poker machine in Australia must … Continue reading What is Return to Player?

Acceptance and commitment – Part I

It’s 5pm, knockoff time. You just got paid today. You are thinking of dropping into the club on the way home and going for an hour on the pokies. You’ll withdraw $100 and if you lose that, that’s it. There’s a little voice at the back of your head saying you won’t be able to … Continue reading Acceptance and commitment – Part I

The Marketing of the Machines

The construction and marketing of poker machines is a massive and constantly expanding industry. Success in this industry is based on the ability of game designers and marketing teams to create machines that give players an illusion of control. The illusion of control is the tendency for people to believe they can control or at … Continue reading The Marketing of the Machines