The real odds of winning when gambling

For most people gambling is an enjoyable recreational activity, but for some, gambling can become a problem. They lose sight of the fact that gambling odds always favour the house.

What are the real odds of winning?

The odds of winning differ between types of gambling activities and it’s important to be realistic:

  • 1st division in Gold Lotto (one game): 1 in 8,145,060
  • Top prize on a poker machine (playing maximum lines): up to 1 in 7,000,000
  • 1st division in Powerball (one game): 1 in 134,490,400
  • The trifecta in a 13 horse race: 1 in 1,716
  • The 10 number jackpot on Keno (one game): 1 in 8,911,711
  • The top prize on an Instant Scratch-Its $5 Crossword game: 1 in 1,700,000.

Sports betting and racing

For sports betting and racing, the odds change depending on the team or horse, past performances and conditions on the day. The TAB or sports betting agency will display the odds.

Lotteries (includes Gold Lotto, Powerball and Instant Scratch-Its tickets)

Golden Casket has information about the odds of winning for each of its lottery products. These are available in-store or on the Golden Casket website.

Casino games

Casinos provide information on each of their table games. Collect a brochure at the customer information desk to find out more.

Electronic gaming machines

In Queensland, electronic gaming machines (pokies) return, on average, between 85% and 92% of the turnover to the gambler (return to player). This means 8% to 15% of turnover is retained by gambling venues. However, you cannot expect to receive 85 cents for every dollar you bet in a single gaming session—the return to player is achieved over the life of the machine, which is usually 3 to 4 years.

You can never predict how each play on a gaming machine will end. These factors do not influence the outcome:

  • the last time the machine paid out
  • anything you or anyone else does to the machine
  • how much you bet
  • how long you have been playing
  • past and future plays
  • the time of day.

Find out more

More information about the odds of winning is in the ‘Know the facts before you play’ player information brochure.