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Best of Frank Scoblete

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Slot Critic Lashes Out

26 February 2020

Not everyone likes playing casino games. Indeed, many casino table-game players don’t like playing slot machines even though slot machines are overall the players’ favorite games in the entire casino world.

Critics of playing slots have marshaled their arguments and I have decided to outline in a question and answer format what such critics have to ask and say.

CRITIC: It makes no sense to me playing a machine that keeps somewhere in the vicinity of 10 percent of everything you bet more or less. How can you stand a chance to beat such a game? You can’t. It is bad gambling is it not? I mean winning over time is impossible. Why do it?

FRANK: While not writing about slot machines, I think author Ralph Ellison gave us a hint as to why people take on impossible tasks. He wrote: “Life is to be lived, not controlled, and humanity is won by continuing to play in face of certain defeat.” (The Invisible Man)

You can’t control a slot machine. There is no slot player that thinks he or she can beat the game over any extended length of time. Casinos will even advertise their good games as paying back around 98 percent. That means the casino will keep two percent of everything a player wagers. And our critic is correct; many machines are holding more than just two percent.

But life always ends sadly; after all, we do take our leave of this world. The fact that the casino has an edge is not tantamount to saying going along for the ride is a sad thing. The actual playing is as much fun for many players as the dream of long-term winning. Why? Because winning is not in the machine in the long run and with the exception of players who hit outrageous million-dollar jackpots, the actual joy of playing the slot machines is the wishing and hoping and, yes, the occasional wonderful sessions or trips.

“Certain defeat?” Yes. Certain misery? Not really. The doing of it is fun for the slot player or, let’s be quite clear here, slot players wouldn’t do it if they didn’t enjoy it.

CRITIC: Isn’t the purpose of casino gambling to actually beat the house? What is the purpose of playing a game if you can’t ultimately beat it? Are players so unaware that they play the games without realizing the house has an edge on every game?

FRANK: Except for the occasional advantage-player at specific games, and such players are very few and very, very far between, all games in the casino have a house edge. The casino couldn’t exist without such edges and without edges there would be no casinos for players to play in and/or against.

Some of those edges are quite small and some are quite large. The bottom line for all of these edges means that the player is going to lose over time. Players know this but the act of playing is fun for such players and that act in and of itself is the reason for them playing. Winning is fun, yes, but playing is the second most fun.

Look, of the 30 major league baseball teams, only one will be the champion at the end of the season. That means 29 didn’t go all the way in the long run of a baseball season. The 10 teams (of 30) that made the playoffs will lose their very last game of the season. That can’t be fun.

So why play if defeat is a given over a six-month season and over many weeks of the playoffs? Because the sheer act of playing is an act of fun, for the players and the fans. Yes, there are high points and low points of the season but just about every player knows that just about every team will be a loser in the end.

Now, of course, whenever an analogy is used by a writer it opens up many disputes. Let’s leave those aside, shall we? The bottom line is that every player who wishes he could win a world series is not going to do it in any given season.

Slot players face the same thing. But the joy of engaging in the contest overcomes the sorrow of defeat.

CRITIC: So you believe the object of the slot player is not to beat the house? You are saying that the play is as much fun as winning?

FRANK: That’s not what I said. Here is the idea in a nutshell; people play because playing is fun. Yes, everyone who plays wants to win; they even fantasize about some of those mega-jackpots, but they realize they will probably not win one.

Think of the lottery. With one or a couple of exceptions, millions of people do not win the big jackpot. But they play anyway even though they know this clearly.

Now there are other winners who don’t get all the numbers but do get a few and win smaller prizes. Great! Still, they are a tiny fraction of players overall.

Those of you reading this, have you ever played the lotteries? You knew you would probably not win, so why play?

I think we are just too critical about people who enjoy the “impossible dream” of beating the house!

Visit Frank’s web site at www.frankscoblete.com. His latest books are I Am a Dice Controller; The Confessions of a Wayward Catholic and I Am a Card Counter. All available from Amazon.com, Kindle, Barnes and Noble, e-books, 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