What are the Odds?

Bingo Balls with Risk caption
Gambling always involves risk

Every time you place a wager, you’re betting on an uncertain outcome. And there’s no guarantee that the outcome will be favourable. Whatever game you're playing, the one thing they all have in common is that winning or losing is based on random chance. Every spin, every hand, every ticket…there is nothing you can do to influence the outcome.

Lots of people dream of winning the lottery, hitting the jackpot on that slot machine, or getting the “perfect” poker hand. But do you know what the real chances are? When you flip a coin, there’s always a one in two chance you’ll land on heads. Each toss is independent of what came before, so two tosses don’t guarantee you’ll land on heads even once.  Sometimes, chance works in your favour, sometimes it doesn’t. That’s how it goes. Knowing the odds before you play means you know what your true chances of winning really are

Know the facts. Luck is neither for you or against you. In fact, luck has nothing to do with whether you win or lose. There’s no way to predict the outcome of the game — it’s completely random. The simple truth is that the only thing you can count on is unpredictability.

Here's a video you can watch which explains about the Odds when it comes to Slot Machines ... 


Here's some info compiled by Atlantic Lottery's (ALC) PlayWise program on the odds found in their games .... 

Video Lottery Terminals (VLTs)

Atlantic Lottery offers a wide variety of video lottery products and there are many differences among games, including:

  • the game rules;
  • how they are played;
  • the number and value of prizes;
  • how frequently prizes are awarded;
  • the odds of winning particular prizes.

Game Outcomes

Game outcomes are determined randomly. Each time you hit the play or spin button, the machine determines the outcome. Nothing you do will influence the outcome. You can whisper to the machine, rub the screen, even blow on your money before you put it in. It might be fun, but that’s all it is.

Understanding the Odds

Every play has the same chance of being a winner or loser as the one before it and the one after it; however, your odds of winning prizes of different amounts vary based on the size and number of the prizes available to be won. For example, the average odds of winning the highest prize in most video lottery games can vary from one in tens of thousands up to one in millions, while the odds of winning a smaller prize are better.

Prize Payouts

The thing about VLT payouts is that you can’t predict when they will happen. They just do or they don’t on each spin. Think of losses like your shadow, not worth chasing.

  • Payouts vary from game to game and play to play depending on the amount wagered on each play.
  • The payout average of every video lottery game is over 90%. Over time, more than 90% of all wagers are returned to players in varying amounts.
  • Even though more than 90% of all wagers are returned to players (i.e. you may win on some plays), this means that all players will over time lose an average of up to 10% of all amounts they wager. If you reinvest all of your winnings without cashing out, you will eventually lose all the money wagered.
  • The maximum bet on one play is $2.50 and the highest maximum prize permitted in any play is up to $1,000.00, depending on the province.

Slot Machines

Slot machines are only offered by Atlantic Lottery at our Red Shores casinos in Charlottetown and Summerside, PEI. As with VLTs, every outcome on a slot machine is random and the longer you play, the more likely you are to lose money. Although slot machines and VLTs may look similar, they differ in a number of ways.

  • The payout percentages of slot machines are different than VLTs.
  • The payout average of slot machines ranges from 87% to 95% depending on the slot machine being played.
  • Players will lose on average between 5% and 13% of amounts wagered and will eventually lose all money wagered if winnings are reinvested.
  • Maximum bet levels are different from VLTs. They vary depending on the game theme being played. For game-specific bet level options and potential associated prize payout amounts, please reference the pay table menu on each slot machine.
  • Jackpot payouts are different than VLTs. They also vary depending on the game theme being played. Please reference game-specific payouts on the slot machine.

Sports Products

The odds for PRO•LINE, FANTASY, FUTURES and STADIUM•BETS fluctuate with each of the sporting events players can select from. These odds represent the probability of each outcome actually happening. The higher the odd, the less likely of that selection winning, and vice versa. You must wager on two or more selections (referred to as “parlay” style wagering) to place a bet with PRO•LINE, FANTASY, FUTURES, and STADIUM•BETS allows for one selection per ticket. 

Choosing to wager on the selections with higher odds (referred to as “underdogs”) and/or adding additional selections to your bet may increase the potential payout of the ticket, but it also lowers your likelihood of winning. On the other hand, choosing the selections with the lowest odds (referred to as “favourites”) and/ or minimizing the amount of selections on each bet you place may increase your chances of winning, but it will result in a lower payout.

Ticket Lottery

Draw Games

With ticket lottery games, you either choose your own numbers or accept randomly generated “Insta Pik” numbers. What’s important to know is that your odds are the same either way. There are no “lucky numbers”. That doesn’t mean you can’t play your favourites as long as you know they have exactly the same chance as any other combination. Top prizes on draw games tend to be large, but so are the odds of winning the top prize; the value of, and odds of winning top prizes vary significantly between games.

Instant Games

Atlantic Lottery offers a wide variety of Scratch’N Win and Breakopen tickets, each with a unique prize structure. The overall odds of winning are clearly stated on the back of each ticket. NOTE: The odds of winning a prize depend on ticket series. Check ticket backs for information.

Table Games

Atlantic Lottery table games are available at our Red Shores casinos in Charlottetown and Summerside, PEI. Although table games do have an element of player skill, remember that you have no control over the cards you are dealt, the move of each player and the house advantage. Odds and game information are available on site at the casinos.