Slot machines aren’t games that I often play, except when I want to risk a few dollars chasing an insane jackpot. Slots just have too many things that I don’t like. And even though the machines seem to be busy every time I’m in a casino, many other gamblers share my same dislikes.
This article covers 6 of the top things that many gamblers hate about playing slot machines. These aren’t deal killers for every gambler, but they’re enough to keep me from playing on slot machines often.
1 – You Can’t Find Return Numbers
One of the first steps you need to take if you want to improve your gambling results is to learn about the return to player numbers for every different gambling opportunity. When you participate in gambling opportunities that offer the best returns, you win more money, or at least you lose less money.
The return numbers for most gambling activities are readily available. All you have to do is a quick search online or on your phone, and you can get a list. If you can’t find the return number for a gambling activity, the odds are good that the return is bad.
I learned a long time ago that if I couldn’t find the return percentage for a game that I shouldn’t play it. And this is one of the main reasons why I rarely play slot machine games.
It doesn’t matter if you’re talking about a physical slot machine located in a casino or an online or mobile casino that’s only available on an electronic screen, most slots manufacturers try to keep their return percentages secret.
Of course, the slot manufacturers have a good reason for keeping their returns secret. This reason is the subject of the next section.
2 – Return Percentages Are Terrible
Not all slot machines have a secret return number. You can find the exact long term return numbers for some slot machines, and you can also look up some general slot machine returns as a whole that are required to be reported by some states to get an overall idea of the numbers.
What you find in these cases isn’t good news. Slot machines as a whole offer terrible return numbers. The actual return for individual slot machines varies a great deal, but you can expect to have a return of 90% or less overall when you play slot machines.
This return is terrible in every way you can look at it. If you compare it to other casino games, it looks bad. Blackjack games often have a return of 99% plus, video poker games range from 94% to over 99%, and baccarat is over 98.5% if you don’t make the tie bet.
But if you want to really see how bad 90% return is, you can run a few numbers. A 90% return means that for every $1,000 you run through the slots, you only get back $900. This is a loss of $100. You can run $1,000 through a slot machine betting $1 on every spin in less than 2 hours.
3 – Can You Really Win a Jackpot?
Slot machines that offer big progressive jackpots and big static jackpots get a lot of play. Every slots player dreams of hitting a lucky combination and walking away with hundreds of thousands or millions.
You probably see news stories and advertisements showing a few lucky slots winners, so you know that jackpots do get hit from time to time. And if someone else is able to get a big jackpot, why can’t you win one?
The truth is that you have the same chance as everyone else of winning a jackpot. The problem is that this chance is so small that the odds say you’re never going to hit one.
The exact odds of hitting a jackpot on a slot machine varies based on how the game is programmed. But all jackpots have extremely high odds working against you. These odds are so bad that most slots players spin the reels their entire life and never win a jackpot.
If you still want to play slots after learning how bad the return is, you should only play on machines with a good jackpot, but the fact is you’re probably never going to win.
4 – Falling Into a Mind-Numbing Trance
I suppose that there’s really not a big negative about what I cover in this section, but I hate it anyway. You might feel differently about it, and it’s ok if you do.
Slot machines are designed in a way that makes it easy for gamblers to forget everything else that’s going on in their life when they play. This can be a form of escape, and some people are looking for exactly this.
But when you fall into what I call the slots trance, it means that you forget about how much you’re betting and how long you play. This usually ends up meaning that you lose all of your money. And this makes what you’re trying to escape from even worse.
You still have the same things going on in your life, and now you’ve made it worse by losing money.
This is the main reason why I recommend deciding exactly how much you’re willing to lose before you play slots and only putting this much money in the machine.
When you do this, you control how much you can lose even when you fall into the mind-numbing slots trance.
5 – Pay Lines That Are Confusing
When I started playing slots, if you found a machine with 25 pay lines, it was big news. Most slot machines still only had 3 reels, and the pay lines were simple.
Now it’s hard to find a simple slot machine with a simple pay line. Instead, you have machines that have 100’s of pay lines that make it impossible to track all of them.
Maybe it’s because I’m getting old, but I don’t like it when I can’t track all of the pay lines. I know it doesn’t really matter because the slot machine is keeping track of wins and losses, but I still want to see and understand how to win.
I understand how slot machines work. The reels shown on the screen don’t really have anything to do with how much you win or lose. They just represent the results of the computer program running the machine.
You could get the same results if the machine simply listed a loss or how much you win without the fake reels being shown on the screen. But the reels are part of the fun for most slots players, so the casinos still show you what you want to see.
6 – Huge Slots Bonuses Are Misleading
When you look for places online or on your phone to play slots, you’re bombarded with slot machine bonus offers. Some of them are outrageous, with promises of bonuses of $1,000 or more. I’ve seen slots bonus offers of $10,000 and higher at times.
In some ways, there’s nothing wrong with it. But you have to understand that online and mobile casinos build their bonuses in a way that almost guarantees that you lose every penny that you deposit. The big slots bonus offer is designed to get you to deposit more so the casino can win more.
Slots bonus offers, whether they’re big or small, are all about getting more of your money. This is the opposite of how most slots players look at bonuses, but the truth is sometimes painful.
Read the rules for these bonuses. You’re going to see that you have to play for so long that you’re going to lose all of your money before the bonus is cleared. Of course, you’re probably going to lose all of your money if you don’t take a bonus anyway, so you might want to get a bonus even if it’s not a great deal.
Slots are the favored game for the majority of casino gamblers, but there are plenty of reasons why you should avoid playing them. The first reason is that it’s hard to find an accurate return to player percentage for most slot machines. And if you do get the numbers, they show that the return is lower than almost every other casino game.
While some slot machines advertise a huge jackpot, what are your odds of hitting it? You might fall into the dreaded slots trance watching the reels spin in hopes of hitting that jackpot.
Online casinos advertise big slots bonuses, but are they as good as they look? Sadly, the answer is almost always no.