Have you ever heard of the cash-out curse? Perhaps a friend told you they experienced it, or warned you about it when you wanted to withdraw a jackpot. Or maybe you yourself believe you have been the victim of this notorious curse.
Some people think that if they withdraw a lot of money from a casino, they will suddenly find themselves experiencing a terrible losing streak. This is the Cash-Out Curse.
How literal the “curse” part of the belief is depends on whom you speak to; there are players who are 100% convinced they are suffering a dire supernatural fate, while there are others who are using the word in a more figurative way.
How seriously people take the cash-out curse also varies. For some, it may be completely serious, while for others, it might be more something they joke about to try to console themselves during a losing streak.
Regardless, this article will address the cash-out curse in detail.
Reasons You Might Worry About a Cash-Out Curse
We believe that there are several common reasons why people might think that there is such a thing as a cash-out curse. These are:
- Concerns about punishment by the casino
Below, we get into each of these in-depth so you can understand whether there is anything to these beliefs, and what you can do to try and break free of this so-called curse if you are experiencing it.
Punishment By The Online Casino
Let’s start with a case where players discussing a cash-out “curse” are speaking figuratively. These players are not worried about supernatural forces. Instead, they think that the casinos are out to get them.
- What Some Players Believe
Here is what these players believe is happening:
- They win a jackpot
- They make a large withdrawal from their account
- The casino has to pay out, so it does not interfere
- The casino wants its money back, so it finds a clever workaround: it causes the player to experience a losing streak after the withdrawal
- The Reality
It is important to know that legitimate, reputable online casinos never engage in this type of behavior. This explanation for the cash-out curse is a myth.
The entire basis of most online casino games is random chance. If the games are not random, nobody is going to want to play them. The randomness makes them fair.
If it were to come out that a casino’s games were not truly random, and that they were cheating their winning players, imagine how people would react. The casino would be ruined. For starters, it would lose its license. But it would also lose it player base.
In fact, many casinos employ third-party testing agencies to verify to the public that their games are random and are not being tampered with. This provides you with further evidence that casinos are not punishing players who win big and withdraw.
Additionally, the business model of casinos is based on a rock-solid foundation of mathematics.
Casino games have edges that favor the house through probabilities. Based on these house edges, casinos can expect steady revenue without cheating anyone. These house edges account for the fact that now and again, players are going to withdraw big jackpots. The rules of the games are designed so that over the long run, the casinos profit anyway.
If the house always wins in the long run, why take chances cheating the occasional winner? It just would make no sense.
- What to Do About It
Thankfully, you do not need to do anything to prevent or mitigate the casino punishing you for winning, because it is not happening in the first place. We have successfully debunked this theory through simple logic.
So, do not bother jumping from casino to casino in search of one that will finally stop “punishing” you. Doing so will just sunder your relationships with quality casino sites out of paranoia.
Now let’s talk about people who believe in the cash-out curse in a more literal way. Those who are superstitious may think it is not the casino that is out to get them, but some kind of higher power.
- What Some Players Believe
Players in this category could blame the universe, Lady Luck, a god or gods, the fates, or even just the mysterious whims of irony and coincidence for their losing streak.
They might ascribe any number of motivations to one or more of these forces. Some might think it is a punishment, others that it is some kind of a test or a lesson. Still others might think the world is just a cruel place.
But regardless, they sincerely believe that if they had not scheduled the withdrawal, they would not now be in the midst of a losing streak.
- The Reality
Well, we want to respect everyone’s beliefs, so we are not going to tell you that you are delusional if you believe you are cursed when you make big withdrawals, but we do not think you are.
We believe that what happened to you was probably random misfortune (we will get to the “probably” part in our section on self-sabotage). We do not think that there are higher powers targeting you for your actions.
- What to Do About It
There is not much to do directly about this, because sometimes bad things just happen for no reason. But you can at least look into why you believe you are cursed.
Is it worth the effort? It certainly can be. Believing the world is against you is a pretty awful way to go through life. In fact, it can cause you to miss out on opportunities and mire yourself in bad situations. It is worth it to break free of that belief if you can; by doing so, you may find you become “luckier” overall.
Address Cognitive Biases
One thing you can do is consider whether cognitive biases are coloring your perspective falsely. In fact, this can also help you overcome the paranoia that the casino is cheating you.
Ironic moments feature sharp contrasts that grab our attention. When we win a bunch of money and then lose a bunch of money, naturally, we notice.
What we do not notice nearly as often are the many times we don’t win and withdraw a lot of money, and then we still end up losing a lot of money.
Losing streaks happen. Sometimes they follow big wins, and sometimes they don’t. If we think we spot unusual patterns, we need to ask ourselves whether what we are seeing is really significant, or just a product of where our attention is drawn.
Face Your Fears Head-On
Let’s say for a moment you do have superstitious beliefs, but you are not sure you want to have them anymore. If that is the case, you can begin by trying to understand where they came from and what they do for you. Often, superstitions help us to cope with our fears in some way.
Take losing streaks. In or out of the casino, losses hurt. And the idea that they are sometimes the result of pure randomness can be frightening, because it reminds us that there are some things that we truly do not control.
Let’s say you think that the fates are smiting you for withdrawing your winnings (maybe you tell yourself you do not deserve them), and that is the cause of your cash-out curse.
What is the payoff of this belief? Thinking the fates are out to get you might seem pretty scary at a glance.
But is it as scary as thinking your losses are random? Maybe not, because you might be able to negotiate with the fates. Perhaps you can change something about how you think, feel or act to get them to think you do deserve your money. They might spare you the next time if you are a little more grateful, for example, but randomness is not something you can negotiate with. It does not matter what you do; losses will strike for no reason whatsoever, and there is nothing you can do about it if you are going to play the game.
If you are willing to face the fear you feel when you confront that reality, you may find that you gradually overcome your emotional pull toward superstition.
In the short run, this may not leave you feeling great. But in the long run, remember, it will probably make your life better. The possibility of random losses is scary, but at least you will not give up on possibilities anymore because you think the fates are after you.
There is one more reason we think that some players might buy into the idea of the cash-out curse. This one is a little different from the rest. It is self-sabotage.
The reason this one is different is because unlike the others we have talked about, it might actually be going on.
Here is an example of how the cash-out curse as self-sabotage could play out:
- A player wins a jackpot
- The player does not feel they deserve the jackpot (maybe unconsciously)
- The player makes a withdrawal of the jackpot
- A kind of “sinking feeling” begins to disturb the player
- The player returns to playing casino games, and makes some likely unconscious but costly mistakes
- Suddenly, the player is on a losing streak, and marvels at the fact that the cash-out curse has struck them yet again
Indeed, someone with this pattern may be hit with the cash-out curse a statistically improbable number of times. They take this as further evidence that they really are cursed, and that what is happening cannot be purely random.
Ironically, it isn’t purely random in their case, but it never occurs to them to wonder if the common factor driving these losing streaks is them.
- What to Do About It
If this is going on with you, there is a more urgent need to address it than there is to address the other issues on this list. After all, in this scenario, you would actually be contributing to your own losses.
Before you can do something about that, you have to know what is happening in the first place.
So, what is going on in this type of situation? Well, that depends on what is underneath the cycle, driving it. There are more possibilities than we can discuss here, but let’s go over a couple of examples to give you some idea.
Example 1: Anxious Aaron
Let’s say Aaron is hit at random with the “cash-out curse” one day after a big win. He notices what happened and tells a friend about it. That friend tells him it is a curse, and that it happened to her too.
Now Aaron is worried that every time he makes a big withdrawal, the curse will strike.
Every time he makes a large withdrawal, his anxiety levels go way up.
As a result, when he returns to playing casino games after his major withdrawals, he is prone to mistakes he would not usually make. These mistakes lead to losing streaks. His belief in the curse continues, raising his anxiety even more when he withdraws in the future.
How can Aaron break free of the cycle? He needs to interrupt it at some point. The easiest way to do that is probably to understand what is happening. If he can see it clearly, he will realize he is not cursed, and that his poorly-managed anxiety is the cause of the losing streaks.
Chances are his anxiety will go down on its own at this point since he is no longer freaking out about curses. But even if it does not, he can now learn how to manage it better. This should release him from the cycle.
Example 2: Self-Loathing Sarah
Now imagine another bettor with a similar self-sabotage cycle. But whereas Aaron’s cycle was entirely accidental, Sarah’s is not.
Sarah was punished growing up when she succeeded at things so, she feels it is “bad” to be successful. Now, she does not think of that consciously most of the time. But unconsciously, the belief is there.
So, if she wins and withdraws a big jackpot, she feels a deep sense of guilt, like she has done something wrong, and deserves to suffer for it.
She then makes some “mistakes” when she resumes playing casino games. Again, she does not consciously think about them, but they are not really accidents either. She is unconsciously sabotaging herself so that she will lose money.
If she ever figures this out, she will probably be horrified, and protest, “That isn’t me, I don’t want to suffer. I’m not crazy or anything.”
She isn’t crazy, and she really doesn’t want to suffer. But that doesn’t mean her actions aren’t her own. In fact, she probably is trying to “get ahead of things” in a way. When she was a child, if she rushed to punish herself (i.e. by preventing herself from succeeding), it might have spared her worse from her parents.
Now, of course, she is no longer in that situation. But it can be hard to shake those childhood beliefs. Her unconscious mind really may believe that “cursing” herself in this fashion is protecting her from a worse fate than the losing streaks.
Sarah has a bigger challenge ahead of her than Aaron does if she wants all this to stop. She will have to acknowledge what she is doing to herself and why she has been doing it. She also will need to get to a place mentally where she understands truly that it is no longer necessary to self-sabotage.
No One is Truly Cursed for Withdrawing Online Casino Winnings
In this post, we have examined how paranoia, superstition, and self-sabotage are all factors that can drive players to believe in a cash-out curse.
But we have also explained why casinos are not trying to steal your money, as well as how you can address superstition or self-sabotage.
Once in a while, yes, you might lose money after making a big withdrawal. While this is never a fun experience, at least now you understand that it is not a meaningful one. You are not cursed, and you do not have to be scared that winning will always lead to losing!
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