Slot machines began their existence a while back. It was a different time so you can understand why the objective of these automatons wasn’t the same as it is now (or maybe the objective is exactly the same but aimed at a larger crowd. We will let you, the reader decide which statement is more accurate). The one-armed bandit (as it was known back then, and to some extent now) was born in a simpler time and wasn’t as important in its source of house revenue as it is now.
Evolution of Slots
It used to be an elementary device to entertain the wives and girlfriends of the gentlemen who used to perform the “real” gambling in the house. The machines offered some entertainment value with small stakes and even smaller prizes. There had to be something for the women to do while they were waiting for their significant others to have fun gambling.
Of course, in time things changed and the one-armed bandit became so much more than what it was during its inception. From fruit machines (there was a point in time when the prizes were actually bubblegums which gave them the nickname “fruit machines”) to a significant source of revenue, Slots underwent a full transformation. The target demographic has also changed during the inexorable development of the Slots. Nowadays it’s not unthinkable to see even young men playing these machines and pouring significant sums in the slots one coin at a time.
The inherent mechanisms of the games, like many other things, also changed and this shouldn’t surprise anyone. The rampant march of technology cannot be stopped by anything, and nor should it. Back in the day, Slots were fairly simple automatons with three reels and a lever on the side (the lever, itself is the reason why they were called one-armed bandits – the lever was the metaphorical hand, and they were taking your money without giving you much in return). Today, the Slots machines are computer controlled and have many more reels, lines, screens and electronics behind them, and they are button-activated (although in some models still have a legacy the lever on the side but it’s just for show).
Enough chit-chat about the nature of these fascinating inventions of the gambling industry, though. It’s time for me to give you a brief overview of how things actually play out, what the house edge is and why you should or shouldn’t play the Slots. I will also attempt to debunk some of the myths revolving around the machines, because there are many fairytales, legends, fables and the like that can actually be quite hurtful to your understanding of the game, as well as your wallet. And so, is it a good idea to play Slots?
We have what you might call “mixed feelings” as far as Slots go. We mean, yes, we might play a few games in-between our other gambling experiences, but that doesn’t mean we are particularly fond of them. You can lose a lot of money on Slots simply because the game is really fast-paced with low bets. You can waste your entire bankroll 25 cents at a time within an hour or two.
Slots and the House Edge
This is disturbing, when you think about it. This is not even mentioning the fact that Slots offer some of the worst bets in the entire casino. The house edge is huge and you’re basically wasting your money in the hopes of winning. Today’s multi-line slots can offer you to bet on many lines, thus raising your chance of beating the game, but reducing the winnings themselves, which is what makes these machines even more dangerous. You can spend your entire bankroll in the blink of an eye and still be under the impression that you were winning until you realized that your pockets were empty.
This is not the only problem I have the Slots, though. I’ve always seen gambling as more of a social experience. For me it’s always been a way to make new friends, have some fun and get some of that sweet casino money in the same time. When you play Craps, Baccarat or Blackjack, for example, and you start losing a lot, there is almost always someone to make you think about what you’re doing as you’re going through your bankroll at unimaginable speeds.
We’ve even seen the Dealers telling bettors that it’s probably time to stop for the night and go grab a drink. It may not be the Dealer – it might be a friend, another unfortunate gambling enthusiast or anyone, but in the social portions of the gambling establishment, there will probably be someone to get you back to earth and make you think about what you’re doing before you’ve lost too much. However, with the Slots, it’s more like man versus machine – it’s you against it. There is no one to tell you to stop and you won’t really want to stop either way, because “you’re winning” (as discussed earlier). This illusion of winning and and the flashing colors, amusing sounds and false sense of accomplishment is what makes Slots so addictive. This can be a real problem for many people. I, myself, still play them from time to time, but never bet much and never play for too long.
“Ah, but you don’t know about that magic system I paid $50 for,” I can hear you exclaim, “and that’s why you’re telling me not to bet too much. If you knew the secret, you would be rich right now and not telling me not to bet on Slots!” You continue. If you’ve ever encountered such offers for magical systems, I can understand why you would think that, my dear reader.
However, trust me when I say this – there is no magic system to beat the game and there never will be. If there were such a system, casino owners and managers would’ve removed every slot machine from Las Vegas to Monte Carlo and beyond and one-armed bandit would be a term used to describe only actual bandits who have only one arm. I mean, think about it – if you were losing thousands of dollars every day because people have figured out a way to lie to your machine into giving them money, would you just silently observe while your business is falling apart?
Do Not Rely on Fake Slots Strategies
The truth is that such “strategies” and illusions of winning are what keeps people playing. Without them, people would’ve realized the truth – that Slots offer terrible odds and that they would be just wasting their money if they thought they would win anything. So when someone approaches you, or starts bragging and advertising their “winning strategy” online, please, advance to the topic with a high degree of caveat because you risk a lot and will probably not get anything in return. Slots make way more money than they lose. While there is a small chance that you win more than you lose, the odds are seriously against you.
All of this isn’t to say that playing Slots is the most horrible thing you can do in your life. No. But if you want to enjoy the experience in any way, shape or form, it’s a good idea to bet small amounts and always keep in mind that it’s quite possible that you will lose. If you take the illusion of winning out of the equation (because trust me, in most cases it’s really just that – an illusion), then the experience can be actually quite enjoyable, even though you’re losing.