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Best of Frank Scoblete

Gaming Guru

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Making money

13 November 2018

I used to do a lot of consulting for casinos and casino companies, and at times such consulting dealt with slot machine companies (by the way, I was a player-friendly consultant!).

I remember the first time I met some slot honchos and one of the lead guys asked me, “What is the purpose of the slot machine?”

It was not a hard question to answer. “To make money,” I said. “For your company and for the casino. If the casino makes money on your slots, they will order your other slots.”

“And what about the players?” he asked.

“No,” I said. “For the players it is entertainment; the ups and downs, the thrills galore. But the players know they are facing tough odds over time. I doubt many of them think they will win over time.”

“And what is your job?” he asked.

“To make sure the players enjoy the game and that your company and the casino can make a profit without alienating the players. The casino will come back to you for more ideas and the players will enjoy playing the machines based on your ideas. Your company is your machines. My job is to give you a good return but give the players a good reason to play your machines. That also has to do with giving players some decent returns at times.”

To make money, the casino must make sure the foundation of the game is solid and such a foundation draws in the players for a first and second look. The machine can’t appear too difficult to play. It must be attractive to the senses and to the sense of adventure that many slot players seem to exhibit.

I will give you an example from the table games about games being seemingly too complicated to play: Many players will come over to the craps tables and see the complicated layout and hear people calling out an amazing variety of bets and say to themselves, “This game is too complicated for me to play it.” And they flee. The layout alone can be dizzying to a novice player.

You can’t have that with slot machines. Once a slot machine is put on the floor, people have to be intrigued enough to start playing it. They can’t look at the façade of the machine and think, “My lord, what the heck is that? Let me move on.”

That first play is so very important. Then the player must enjoy the experience enough to keep playing it; perhaps recommend it to their friends and acquaintances.

The game cannot be too complicated or players will turn away from it. Slot players – and, in fact, most all casino players – are not looking for complications and difficult games. They want quite simply an easy-to-understand thrill ride. The want, quite simply, the slot machines to be quite simple. In simple lives the magic of casino gambling. Casino games developers of table and slot machines must recognize this.

Now, with a machine that has the look and the feel of a good machine, the slot companies want to make sure that players can play many – that is a multitude – of decisions on the machine without getting too discouraged should they hit losing streaks. The more decisions a player plays the more the casino makes. But speed with no reward for the players is not a fun ride. Players have to feel, though not necessarily think, they have a shot at winning today or tonight. Feelings are a key to gambling.

The element of speed is twofold. The casino, as stated, makes more money if the game is fast but the player does not want to lose more money because of such speed. So the house has to balance fast and fun; that’s the one-two punch. Fast enough to make a decent profit but fun enough to engage the player. This is not an easy task.

Slot manufacturers will offer the casino movie and television machines (the Game of Thrones with or without the beheadings); star power machines (the Frank Scoblete “wonderful man” machine – just kidding, just kidding) and cartoon machines based on famous cartoons or just recently created ones to bring the player into the machine’s orbit.

It is a relatively well-known fact that most slot players will increase their speed of play as time wears on. At first the slot players may take their time leisurely pressing the play button but after a while (and maybe after a few drinks) they pick up the pace of such pressing. Indeed, if you watch the same slot player for a couple of hours you will usually see his or her speed increase; and sometimes it will increase spectacularly.

Another way the casino increased the profit margin was to offer “low denomination” multi-line machines; no, not just quarters, but penny and five-cent and 10-cent denominations. Many of them accepted 20 or more credits! A five-cent player could suddenly become a dollar player – without actually realizing it – by playing multiple lines, up, down, across and zig-zagged, the increase in expense went up immensely.

And here is the canny part: The returns are based on the lower denomination even if the player is pouring a dollar a decision into the machine. Yes, a five-cent machine returned the low five-cent average even if the player was putting in a dollar or more. (Keep in mind that usually the higher denomination machines return a greater percentage to the player.)

Finally, the slow weaning of players off the “arm” of the “one-armed bandit,” a weaning that has taken about 50 years to achieve, is now in place. You will rarely see players pumping the arm and, in fact, there are far fewer arms to be seen. The old has given way to the new, and the new creates a far faster pace for the player. Hitting “credits” engulfs the player in fast decisions. And that’s good for the casino.


Visit Frank’s web site at www.frankscoblete.com. Frank’s latest books are I Am a Dice Controller: Inside the World of Advantage-Play Craps, Confessions of a Wayward Catholic and I Am a Card Counter: Inside the World of Advantage-Play Blackjack. Available from Amazon.com, Kindle, Barnes and Noble, and at bookstores.
Recent Articles
Best of Frank Scoblete
Frank Scoblete

Frank Scoblete is the #1 best selling gaming author in America. His newest books are Slots Conquest: How to Beat the Slot Machines; Everything Casino Poker: Get the Edge at Video Poker, Texas Hold'em, Omaha Hi-Lo and Pai Gow Poker!; Beat Blackjack Now: The Easiest Way to Get the Edge; Casino Craps: Shoot to Win!; Cutting Edge Craps: Advanced Strategies for Serious Players; Casino Conquest: Beat the Casinos at Their Own Games! and The Virgin Kiss.

Frank and Casino City Times columnist Jerry "Stickman" teach private lessons in dice control. Frank's books are available at Amazon.com, in bookstores or by mail order. Call 1-800-944-0406 or write to Frank Scoblete Enterprises, PO Box 446, Malverne, NY 11565. Frank can also be reached by email at fscobe@optonline.net.

Frank Scoblete Websites:

www.goldentouchcraps.com
www.goldentouchblackjack.com

Books by Frank Scoblete:

> More Books By Frank Scoblete

Frank Scoblete
Frank Scoblete is the #1 best selling gaming author in America. His newest books are Slots Conquest: How to Beat the Slot Machines; Everything Casino Poker: Get the Edge at Video Poker, Texas Hold'em, Omaha Hi-Lo and Pai Gow Poker!; Beat Blackjack Now: The Easiest Way to Get the Edge; Casino Craps: Shoot to Win!; Cutting Edge Craps: Advanced Strategies for Serious Players; Casino Conquest: Beat the Casinos at Their Own Games! and The Virgin Kiss.

Frank and Casino City Times columnist Jerry "Stickman" teach private lessons in dice control. Frank's books are available at Amazon.com, in bookstores or by mail order. Call 1-800-944-0406 or write to Frank Scoblete Enterprises, PO Box 446, Malverne, NY 11565. Frank can also be reached by email at fscobe@optonline.net.

Frank Scoblete Websites:

www.goldentouchcraps.com
www.goldentouchblackjack.com

Books by Frank Scoblete:

> More Books By Frank Scoblete