A friend asked me the other day “do people really make money on slots?” To answer the question, I had to stop and take a part a slot game and the ups and downs of the money. The answer is that, yes, people often win money on slot games. And then they put it right back into the game. The problem is that the long term result of playing slots for real money is that we usually lose money. And if you want to test this theory, you can do so while playing slots for free.
But you have to be aware of what you’re doing and of course take note of your beginning and ending point. But don’t just track the money. Track the emotions. I find I can really see the difference how my feelings affect my slot play if I play in a free roll slot tournament because there I have a limited stake to play with, which is more like playing with real money.
First, let’s stop and take a look at the beginning of a slot game. Often when you start playing, you’ll hit a win in the first few spins that will put you above your starting point. Now if this win is the million dollar jackpot, we’d probably all collect our winnings and happily leave the casino. But the win we see is more likely to be a small amount, in proportion to what we bet. So, say you’re betting a dollar a spin and you win $10 on your third spin. Do you stop playing? Of course not. You spin again because what you’re after is the jackpot.
So, you play the slot game for a while. Let’s say you started at $50. So, you go up to $80. This is good because now you have $30 of the casino’s money to gamble on. And then you’re back down to $50. But you were up one before and you know you can do that again. So you play some more. And then you realize you’re down to $20.
Not good. Now you can’t quit because you’re behind. One good spin could win big — or at least win the $30 you lost back. So you keep playing. And you’re up to $100! Great, now you’re playing on the casino’s money. Watch someone play slots. Unless they have extreme self-control, they’ll do this until bouncing up and down dance until they’ve run out of money. That’s how the casino makes money.