Taking the Mystery Out of the Machine!

            I get a daily e-newsletter from the American Gaming Association.  This past week, while leafing through it, a column about debunking the myths of the slot machine caught my attention.  I clicked on the full story and wound up at this PDF:

            My father and I have desperately tried to get people to break the slot habit for more than 2 decades, so I was quite interested to see what myths they were referring to.  Obviously, you don’t put together a flyer like this unless you are hoping to attract people to playing slots.
            Ironically, while I doubt it was what was intended, I could not have put together a better flyer myself.  I agree with virtually everything on it, and I think it does a wonderful job of telling people why you should NEVER PLAY SLOTS!

Here are some points on the flyer:

Players can determine a machine’s odds by counting the symbols on each reel.
False.  Because multiple numbers generated by the RNG can correspond to the same symbol on
a reel, there are many more number combinations possible than are visible to the eye. Even though there may be only 15 symbols on a reel, there can be thousands of virtual stops.

            I couldn’t possibly add to the above statement.  What you see is NOT what you get with slots.  With Video Poker, what you see is EXACTLY what you get.

88-98: The overall percentage that a machine will return to players in the long run. For every $100 wagered, players might lose approximately $2 to $12 over time.

            88%???  That’s about 7 points below what ANY video poker pays.  But, that’s not really the main point.  The real point here is that if you had every slot machine in the world available to you, you would have NO WAY of knowing which is 88% and which is 98%.  Put a video poker machine in front of me, show me the paytable and I’ll tell you the payback with absolute certainty.

            And here is the scariest fact on the flyer:

59: The percentage of Americans who consider slot machines their favorite casino game

            Really? 59%???  No wonder they keep putting up billion dollar casinos!  Please folks, it is time to break the slot habit and keep more of your own money.  Play video poker.  Play table games.  Don’t play slots!