Slot Machines and Gambler’s Fallacy

Make no mistake, casinos exists to make money. The license and process to start and operate a casino is both expensive and laborious, which makes it almost impossible for average people. So you need to be super wealthy to begin with. The state or country that issues the casino license does so with the intent of taking their cut. Essentially modern casinos are a hidden tax on the population.

This article discusses how casinos legally get away with manipulating players for profit. Generally fraud is defined as obtaining financial advantage or property by deception. As this article highlights, casinos routinely engage in blatant deception. Of course this point is debatable because the casino argue that all the facts are plainly available for players. But let’s take a closer look.

Flashing Lights and Exciting Sounds

Slot machines would be particularly dull and boring without the flashing lights and exciting sounds of wins. This alone is not manipulation. The point where it becomes manipulation is when sounds and lights make it appear the player is about to win big. A classic example is when slot machine icons align perfectly, except for one reel. It looks like the player just missed out on a big win. The reality is many slots machines are designed to make it appear this way (not all). The intention is to make the player continue to chase the win they just missed out on. And doing this requires the player to pump more coins into the machine.

Slot machine designers can argue that casinos freely publish payouts of slot machines, and therefore players should know the results to expect. It sounds good in theory, but is not reality. The reality is gamblers are a superstitious bunch that believe in trends, streaks, luck, and all sorts of things that only exist in their mind. In reality, the gamblers allow themselves to be misled by not doing proper research.

Is it the slot machine designers fault if the players don’t do research? No. But is it socially responsible to exploit a vulnerable group of people, who in all probability can’t afford to lose money? Yes, I believe so.

Put simply, it’s your own fault if you put money into a machine and lose. You need to be grown-up enough to understand the risks, and the probability that you will lose. But at the same time, gaming regulators need to be more vigilant to ensure gamblers are not misled. Realistically a gambler is not going to consider the odds of winning. They are only going to be focused on a slot machines features, payout lines, and all sorts of things that ultimately have little to no effect on a machines long-term payout.

So when you are considering a slot machine, if your intention is to make money, carefully consider the payouts and odds. If you intend only to play for fun, with the possibility of making money with luck, then by all means choose a machine with the features and images you like. To do this without risking real money, try free spins no deposit win real money sites. Then you can at least get a better idea of what to expect without risking real money. Again try free spins no deposit sites, but don’t get carried away thinking frequent wins with play sessions means you’ll get the same result when betting real money. If you try any of these free sites, consider it a test of game features only – not a test of a game’s profitability.

Winning Combinations & Payout Lines

The earliest slot machines were very simplistic and consisted of simple reels. The player pulled the lever or pressed the button, and the reels rotated. Modern slot machines are far more sophisticated and incorporate multiple payout lines, and icon combinations that lead to features in a variety of payouts. The complexity of modern slots may interest you, and keep you entertained. Or it may overwhelm and confuse you.

An inexperienced gambler may consider multiple payout lines to be of benefit. They may believe that more ways to win increases their chances of winning. But what they aren’t aware of is that all the payout lines and factors are considered when calculating the player payout.

Put another way, you can have a machine that only wins on one line. You rarely win. But when you win, you win big. Alternatively, another machine may have thirty different payout lines so you win on almost every spin. But the wins are mostly very small. When comparing either option, the end result is much the same in the long run.

Most slot machine players prefer machine somewhere in the middle. So they don’t want to wait a long time between wins. But they also don’t want a lot of small useless wins.

The most successful slot machines have unique and exciting features, such as free spins. The term “free spins” is a little misleading though, because they aren’t free. Firstly, you need to have wagered money to obtain those spins. And secondly, any winnings you obtain in the free spins are factored into the overall player payout.

Using one particular machine at my local casino, there are only two main ways you can win a substantial sum. Firstly, you can get the free spins feature as explained above. Or you could get particularly lucky and win with rare alignment of high-paying icons. The alignment of these high-paying icons is particularly rare, and you may win a few hundred dollars. The feature with free spins occurs quite frequently, and usually you will win at least twenty dollars.

Casino Manipulation

Now let’s get back to the original topic: how casinos manipulate players.

Mostly casinos rely on the emotions and gullibility of players. From the player’s perspective, slot machine is an exciting and entertaining game. You can win real money, and let’s face it, it’s exciting. But a days worth of wage can be gone in an hour of play, even on the less expensive slot machines. As a game on a mobile phone can be addictive, so can slot machines which are specifically designed to be addictive. In my view, this is socially irresponsible.

Arguably adults should be responsible enough to know what’s best for them. This means they should be able to stop themselves from playing a losing game. But in the real world, some gamblers may be desperate for money because of large debts. And these addictive games may be worsening their problems. You can find like-minded people at forums for slots players.

Am I saying we should completely ban these games? Absolutely not, and for one reason. Most government regulations have good intentions. But some regulations exist for the sake of business and profit. In any case, a regulation is part of a nanny state, which is the term given to governments who exert control over the population, as if they were completely incapable of taking care of themselves. Yes there are some cases where individuals need professional help. But the vast majority of players are capable of something as simple as knowing whether they are losing or winning, and when to stop playing.

Ultimately, the gaming industry needs more education, not regulation. Slot machine designers should be allowed to make games is appealing as they want, provided there is no blatant manipulation. This already exists in most modern jurisdictions. But what’s missing is clear information available to be gamblers, so they know what’s real and what’s not. There could be many examples, but one is regardless of the amount of payout lines or winning combinations, the overall payout of a machine is generally the same of any other. So whether you sit at one machine or another for an hour, the overall outcome is likely to be the same. Of course there are some exceptions, such as casino staff deliberately increasing the payout of individual machines. But I’m referring to typical situations.

But back to the real world. The reality is most gamblers tend not to concern themselves with odds and payouts. Their focus is usually only features and icons that interest them. In other words, they alone are responsible for their ignorance. And to make it clear, if your intention is solely to play slot machines for fun, then is perfectly fine to focus on whatever features you find appealing. But playing with intention of serious profit from casinos is a very different matter. If professional play is more your thing, I suggest focus on roulette advantage play, where you can achieve a very large advantage over casinos.