There is no denying that the iconic image of a casino normally contains three games: poker; roulette; and slots. Slots are so widespread because they earn their keep consistently. They operate on such a simple concept that no slot can become outdated or obsolete, so many slots persist through decades of use both online and in a physical casino. The attraction of slots lies mainly in their high jackpot appeal and earning potential, and in their graphical appeal, often tying in to films or games. And yet realistically their popularity on paper, statistically, doesn’t make a lot of sense. The house edge in slots are generally higher ranging from a 10% house edge to anything as low as 5% in some online slots, and yet somehow slots manage to accrue millions of players every day. American casinos have slots as their most popular games and some of the greatest hits online are slots. So the question is, why exactly is this the case, and why are so many people hopping onto slots as their staple and stable fix?
It doesn’t matter what casino you go to. There is bound to be an immense, borderline terrifying selection of slots to pick from. Much like any other arcade game, each slot is unique and has its own gameplay, its own bonus rounds, its own advanced mechanics for you to learn and get used to. Even if you get bored of one slot there is always another refreshing slot to reinvigorate your gambling spirit. Even more so, slot developers are always creative in developing pre-existing games and coming up with new ones. Whether the new slots are more or less volatile, with huge life changing jackpots or a steady tide of small wins, there is always a new slot for you.
Another key reason is in its financial accessibility as a game. In a physical offline casino, even cheap seats at cheap tables often only accept a minimum bet of as high as $5. Some might start at $10 and hike it up to even a $25 starting price or even more. But in the case of slots, you’ll find that the vast majority accept a low, low price of 1 cent as its minimum entry. You can get much more mileage out of a $30 run on a slot machine than you would on a table that would take all your money in just a few games.
The other advantage when dealing with online slots is there isn’t the pressure of space in a physical casino, and the games move faster and faster due to their digital nature. The development of a slots run is far quicker both physically and online than a game of blackjack for example, with its various hands, players and stages of play.
No matter how high you bet at a blackjack table or a roulette table, even with incredible luck, the payout is within a reasonable degree. A big winner at poker could net you a 20x payout, maybe a 15x payout with roulette. Not slots. Slots have the same massive winning potential as a lottery. Bets ranging in the cents have won thousands of dollars in physical casinos or even millions online. Dollar slots in physical casinos have netted multi-million life-changing jackpots.
Realistically you will never get a jackpot that high as an average player. But it isn’t unheard of. Moreover, there are plenty of sites and slots that give four figure payouts every day. It really is a question of whether you have the willpower to power through the losses and chase that win, and that thrill is something only slots can really provide in a casino environment.
No need for experience
Perhaps the biggest advantage of slots, however, is that it is entirely luck based with no need for skill or proficiency. It takes little to no learning to be able to play slots, you merely crank the handle and pray. Some slots contain advanced mechanics, sure. But generally, these advanced mechanics are explained by the machine, whether physical or online. They are a gateway drug of sorts for the casino, and they are renowned for their addictiveness for good reason. If you are entering a casino with no experience and want to get into the game, the slots are a great place to start. Moreover, they provide a refreshing change for seasoned gamblers looking to go back to basics.
There is no need for time or practice to get good at slots and understanding the odds. The only way of finding out is pulling that lever. Slots are so simple that simple slot machines are integrated in video games marketed towards children. As a result it really proves that there is no barrier to anybody playing, and is perhaps the reason why they have always been so popular at seaside arcades in the UK.
A solo experience
Whether you choose to view this as an advantage or disadvantage is up to you, but slots more often than not are played entirely alone with the machine. There is nothing to stop you and a friend taking up adjacent machines, or making friends with a stranger playing at the reels, but the games are isolated. You can have as much or as little social activity in slot playing as you’d like, especially with the introduction of new community slot games.
However, needless to say, there can be no backlash at you for winning a game or messing up another’s odds if you’re playing by yourself. Poker games and casino debacles are infamous for causing violence in films and underworld history, so the last thing you want is to irritate the wrong guy and end up facing retribution outside in the parking lot or a tirade of verbal abuse online. Of course, that is not to say poker both online and physical, and community based casino games in general, are all dangerous and not worth playing. But if you’d like to keep your gambling to yourself and only have yourself and the machine to worry about as variables, slots are the game for you.
Overall, slots pay well, keep well and keep their players hungry. They have the potential for huge streaks of wins and huge streaks of losses, and the potential for a massive win every so often with often microscopic betting price. They appeal to the high roller and the small-time penny plinker. So the question is less why are slots most popular, and more why aren’t you playing slots yourself?