More simply, slots, is the easiest and arguably the most addictive game in casinos. For approximately one hundred and twenty years the slot machine has been in existence and grows more in popularity as time passes.
To play, the player simply inserts a coin into the machine, presses the button or pulls the lever, and watches three or more reels spin. Once the spinning stops, if all of the reels each land on an image or symbol that collectively creates a winning combination, the player wins the amount that the combination is worth. The appropriate amount of coins will pour out of the machine for the player to collect and exchange for cash. Slot machines require no skills or special abilities.
Who Plays and Why
Mostly played by gamblers who do not favor card games and compulsive gamblers, the revenue from the slot machine makes up more than half of the total revenue of the casino. To maintain interest and attract new players, slots vary in theme and format. Themes can include anything from nature to television shows and movies. For the players who like to mix cards and slots there are video poker machines that randomly choose cards that the player hopes will be a winning combination. There are even video blackjack games for card gamblers.
Since slot machines are very easy to play, and are usually the cheapest per round, they attract the most players, both experienced and novice. Though there is no skill involved in playing slots, some players feel that there is a strategy to wining the highest payout, but the only thing involved in playing slot machines is risk. For many players it is easy to develop a problem habit. Unlike card games, slot machines require only a small bet, so players can play for hours before winning or losing a substantial amount of money. Players can lose track of time and be completely immersed in the game while waiting for “lady luck” to strike and grant them a winning combination.
Then and Now
The past few years have brought about some advancement in the technology Some slot machines still have reels while newer ones have computer screens that display virtual reels. Some slots are completely touch screen while others now take tickets with barcodes printed on them instead of coins. Payouts for winning combination vary with casinos and machines.
Because they are so popular, there is no indication that they will ever be removed from casinos.
The popularity of slots and ease of play ensures their place in gambling. From the first slot machines built in the 1800s to the current slot machines, millions of people have spent phenomenal amounts of money in hopes that the next spin will be a rewarding one. For many, as long as that chance remains there is still a reason to play. Unless there is some illegal system within the casino or a gambler with illegal cheating devices, there is no cheating, which makes the game even more attractive. More than likely, slot machines will remain a staple of casinos for years to come.