About $19bn was spent by consumers on various gambling products in 2008-09 – an increase from almost $17bn over the previous decade.
What are your chances of living a life full champagne dreams?
The answer is – very.
There are many ways to lose… oops I mean, win money. The most well-known are the pokies, lotto, scratchies.
Electronic gaming machines
Australia has 20% of the world’s poker machines (and represents 0.3% of the world’s population). It’s also one of the most popular forms of gambling because it is so accessible. Pokies were a popular form of gambling in Australia. In 2008/09, Australians spent $10.5 billion in clubs and hotels on pokies and $1.4billion at casinos.
The Australian jackpot is 10,000. And the lowest payout on poker machines by law is 87% – so for every $100 punters spend, they will lose about $13 on average. Pre-made machines cannot be modified by pubs to alter the payout percentage.
You can’t increase your odds of winning on a pokie by playing one machine all night. A machine that has just hit the jackpot is just as likely to pay out again, as one that hasn’t paid out in awhile. You won’t get better odds if your bets are more than one per spin.
Onlinepokies.com provides tips to increase your chances for winning. Apparently “it does appear that when a machine is first installed that the game will have a better pay back for the first day of use. While the reason for this is not known it does seem to be fact”.
Onlinepokies.com suggests that playing at a Casino is the best option because you can win more prizes and get VIP treatment which allows you to receive rooms, food, and additional bonuses.
If you do manage to get a win on an electronic gaming machine, the best thing to do is walk away – over time all players lose.
Play 1 line and you have a 1 in 50,000,000 chance of winning a jackpot.
A 20-line game with a chance of winning the jackpot is a good bet.
Black Rhinos Machine allows you to get 5 Black Rhinos for Top Prize of $1 per Line. This is 1 out 9765 6,625 with a common price of $5,000

The term “lottery” includes lottos, pools and instant lotteries also known as scratchies. It’s the place where you can make real money. The highest prize in Australia was won by two Oz Lotto winners (30 June 2009), who each received $106m.
Low probability comes with high reward. Odds of winning NSW Lotto and OzLotto are about one in eight million, and the odds of winning Powerball are even slimmer – about one in 55 million.
There are lots of ways to pick numbers –using the birthdays of family members, lucky years in your life, or following the recommendations on the back of a fortune cookie message. But statistics show that selecting your own numbers (as opposed to letting a computer pick the numbers) increases the odds of winning – if only slightly. Many people look for patterns. It seems that almost half of all consecutive numbers occur.
Lotto’s most popular numbers are 2, 24, 26, 31, and 35.
Lotto’s least-common numbers include 8, 9, 15, 33, and 36.
If you pick any number, including 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 7, or any other number, your odds of winning are identical.
The good news is: Good news!

Scratchies are instant gratification, and the best choice if you need it. The odds of winning are one in four. However, most prizes are less that $10.
According to NSW Lotteries, tickets for a particular game are printed in “pools” with an identical prize structure for each pool. There are usually multiple pools for most games, some even having four. The pools are broken into “books” of tickets that are randomly distributed to the NSW Lotteries retail network of around 1,600 agents. Books from other pools are frequently added to the games. The result is that even though a winner has been chosen, there might still be a prize.
The Win for life tickets (Five) are a top prize of $75,000 over 10 years. Books of 50 can have 1,000,000 tickets.
One in a million chances of winning the top prize is possible
Wagering refers to betting on racing and sports. It’s no surprise that this is one of the most popular forms of gambling in a country that annually highlights the Melbourne Cup as “the race that stops the nation”.
Thoroughbred horse racing is third most-watched spectator sport in Australia, after rugby and football.
Racing punters claim that this form of gambling is not about luck – “serious” punters study form, lineage, jockeys, trainers, owners – even the weather. But even the most thorough analysis of a race or sporting event won’t be able to take into account all factors. While the best jockeys might not be the most skilled, it is possible for thoroughbreds to beat faster horses and overcome their rivals.
Greyhound racing is similar in this regard. You can study a dog’s history, research the trainer and compare its size to the others as it walks onto the track, but sometimes the best greyhound on paper just doesn’t perform.
Making “exotic” bets usually increases your winnings, but the odds are lower.
Sports betting is a completely random activity. This is something that punters can’t control.
Odds of horse number 1 winning race ($1 bet) is 21 in 100 – typical prize $4
Odds of horse number 12 winning race ($1 bet) is 2 in 100 – typical prize $35
Games of skill
In games of skill, such as Black Jack, the house margin – which is the percentage of money bet that is kept by the casino or house – always favours the casino. The margin can be slightly reduced by skilled players.
Black Jack’s house advantage is less than 1%, even for the most experienced players
Caribbean Stud Poker’s house margin is 5.5%
Baccarat’s house margin was 1.2%
Pai Gow has a 1.5% house margin
Sic Bo, Big Wheel and Roulette are also games of chance. Roulette has a one in 37 chance of winning one number. 18 of 37 Roulette players have a chance to win black/red or high/low or odd/even.
Other gambling-related activities are possible
Being killed by lightning – 1 in 1,603,250 people
Giving birth to twins – 1 in 44 women
Chances of being stung or bitten by something in the last four weeks – 1 in 55 people