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28 March 2017
By Frank Scoblete
Slot machines and table games are two very different things – and the casinos know this quite well. Slot machines are the cash cows of casinos, bringing in often more than twice as much money as table games.
It is easy to get a good idea of why such a case holds true. If we take a $1 slot of the traditional three reels variety, we can speculate how much money this machine will make for the casino. We can then make a comparison with a table game. Obviously this comparison will be a generalization, but it will hold.
Let's say that a slot player puts in $3 per spin every six seconds, meaning 10 spins per minute. That’s $30 per minute. If the house has an edge of 10%, the player can expect to lose $3 per minute over time. In an hour that comes to $180. That’s what the player loses, and that’s what the casino makes.
Now let's look at a $10 blackjack player. He plays two hands a minute, which comes to $20. The house edge is around one-half of a percent, meaning he loses 50 cents for every $10 wagered. In a minute he loses $1. In 60 minutes he loses $60.
We can see that a $1 slot player loses three times more money than a $10 blackjack player.
So why would anyone play those slot machines? Well, first of all, not all slots are of the traditional variety. They come in all sorts of arrangements, from videos of movies, cartoons and television shows to outlandish multi-play machines where you can wager a few pennies all the way up to five or more dollars.
Slots offer the opportunity to hit a big one, whereas a game such as blackjack would require a long string of good luck – a really long string – to bring in some big bucks. All slots come in with high house edges and can be played quite fast. The more decisions a game has, the better it is for the casino. High house edges and fast speeds are the bane of casino players – and slot players know this quite well.
So if you wanted to open a casino, the crowd you’d want to bring in is undoubtedly a slot-playing crowd. If you check many of the newest casinos, they have table games all right, but they are mechanized – they are slot machines!
Slots are more economical for casinos too. Not only do they make far more money, but they cost far less to buy or rent. Slots don’t need salaries, sick leave or medical insurance, and they don’t get into arguments with players. People are far tougher to handle than machines.
In the contest between slot machines and table games, well, it is actually no contest.
[Read Frank Scoblete’s latest books "I am a Dice Controller: Inside the World of Advantage-Play Craps" and :I am a Card Counter: Inside the World of Advantage-Play Blackjack." Both available from Amazon.com, kindle, Barnes and Noble, and at book stores. Visit Frank’s web site www.frankscoblete.com]
This article is provided by the Frank Scoblete Network. Melissa A. Kaplan is the network's managing editor. If you would like to use this article on your website, please contact Casino City Press, the exclusive web syndication outlet for the Frank Scoblete Network. To contact Frank, please e-mail him at email@example.com.
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