By Pascal Janson
Have you noticed that most times you enter any casino, the place is full of rows and rows of slots… but only a roulette table, or maybe just a poker table?
There’s a reason why that is, but it’s not due to the casino needing an extra array of lights or sounds, that they line the playing area with slot machines. The strategic placement in it is based on a much more commercially-oriented objective.
Because it’s fact… casinos and gambling are in it for the money.
From the casino’s point of view, those slots are the casino’s main earners. Pound for pound (or rather, “coin for coin”?) slot machines generate more earnings than poker, or blackjack.
Most people will think that poker and blackjack are a casino’s biggest money-making operation, but casino make much more revenue on other games.
We can forego the mathematical calculations of the roulette game (readable in Wikipedia, under “Roulette”), but know that the profit margin on an European / French roulette owner is less than 2.7%, and the American roulette margin goes lower yet.
Today, we aim to dissect some of the fundamental points as to why such scenarios are as they are.
The majority of casino-goers maintain several misunderstanding on how placing a bet really functions at the table, and you can fault all your favourite 007 spy-flicks, if you believe all punters are betting thousands (or tens of thousands) with each flick of the wrist. It doesn’t really happen like that. The vast majority of people are not multi-millionaires throwing chips like shooting skeets.
Bets are typically reasonably contained, due to the potentially high payouts with just small bets.
In such instances, a mere $25 bet can bag you nearly $1,000. Because of ratios such as that, it’s easily explained why the majority of gamblers make small bets!
Naturally, casinos might get a lucky gambler making bank really big at the table, netting a prize like $250,000. Sure, it certainly isn’t the norm… and when it does take place, the casino really feels it.
Slot machine bets pretty unremarkable. It’s a casual sort of game, most times. Although, you can find higher bet machines available, and these sometimes are as high as $100.00 a bet .
However, moneys won in slots are aren’t too great, thanks to an incalculable number of chance and probablity factors that 3 or more reels result in a winning combination. Due to this, casinos bank higher earnings on with slot machines, instead of other games.
Another revenue generating advantage slots carry over other table games is that, in the latter, casinos are playing against multiple opponents simultaneously; its odds of losing are higher.
These odds stacked against the House are even composite, since a winning combination could come from more than one player at the table, even though some end up losing. You’ll sometimes find teams working covertly, pretending to be casual players who don’t know each other.
Or like in blackjack, the dealer can also end up staying on a low hand, and fstill forced to payout all those players who didn’t bust. And if the punter went for a “double down”, it can cost the casino twice as much on that 21.
As you probably are aware of, there is no shortage of tricks which sometimes present the gambler with an upper hand, when players are able to pull them off. And casinos are always on the lookout for people doing stunts like these. Which is why the moment you’re caught being clever, you’ll be shown the back door faster than you can say “Shaken, not stirred” .
Though odds stand mostly poised in the casino’s court, hence the adage, “The House ALWAYS wins in the end”, casinos certainly don’t stand for “unfair” advantages… at least, for gamblers .
This is the gaming industry, and they are very much on top of their game when they have to take care of security and guarding their interests (i.e., advantages). A full network of strategically placed closed-circuit cameras ARE monitoring you, as well as the undercover security teams . Card counting, sleight of hand, accomplices… trying this stuff may cause you a lot of trouble, if you are identified as using them to trick the casino.
But getting back to the main point, poker and roulette can present substantial risk to the House, because of some tricks that punters could use to outmanoeuvre the casino . Clearly, such systems cannot produce such advantages in playing slots, and that’s why the slot machine remains the casino’s auto-pilot big income generator.
Possibly, one of the biggest advantages slots presents (like any gambling game), is that slots is particularly and compulsively ongoing. With slots, you’re almost always close to winning at least a little something, and this psychological advantage the House has with slot machines keeps a lot of people pulling that lever beyond any a sensible limit. You’re always thinking, “One more, just one more… Come on, one more…. ARGH!!!”.
Casinos leverage all they can, so the first thing they show you when you walk into the casino is the slot machines, and not firstly the roulette tables. Again, casinos are a, business whose sole obejctive is turning profits, so everything has been meticulously thought out .
Although it can be fun to blow a little money on casinos and slots every now and then (who doesn’t like the idea of winning a fat jackpot?), always excercise your own common sense, and never bet money you can’t afford to lose!