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Best of Frank Scoblete

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The music of the machines

9 October 2018

Before the slot machines became “paper machines” — that is, when real coins went in and came out, and the noise of those thousands upon thousands of coins going in and coming out filled the casinos, sometimes backed up by the occasional screams of joy from slot players who had hit jackpots — I could hear a kind of music, a kind of celestial symphony as I walked through a casino, except this symphony was not in the stars but indoors.

I sometimes called it the “sound of the slots,” but I realized it contained far more than just machine sounds. These sounds emanated from every direction.

Those pre-paper casino slot areas had a certain atmosphere: a combination of machine music, along with piped-in sounds of singers and rock bands, mixed liberally with players’ adrenaline, their cigarette smoke swirling in the air currents, and a cacophony of voices raised in triumph or despair, with players’ bodies showing clear signs of anticipatory excitement. And above and in between and throughout, there were the persistent sounds of the slot machines with their coins clank, clank, clanking away.

All these elements made up the casino atmosphere. The casino was a world of its own. Its fauna was players; its flora was those always active machines. Visually there were so many colored lights, and twinkling lights, with machines having their own special lights, and each type of machine created its own rainbow. Many had original sounds too. In all, the casino was a symphony of dissonance.

Today with the advent of credit slips and the simulated sounds of coins, the music of the machines has dimmed somewhat. The piped in music overhead is often louder than the machine sounds but the other elements are basically the same. Casinos are still their own worlds; it’s just that these worlds are a little less cacophonic, somewhat more subdued.

Still, the heady atmosphere surrounding all players in a casino still works wonders in getting players to play, some of them often throwing caution to the winds as they hunt the big win on their favorite slot machine. The world of the casino, the sounds, the sense of things hidden that could explode with good (or bad) exists behind the music. I think most players sense this although they might not think it.

I certainly do believe that casino gambling, especially slot play, is more of an emotional activity than a cognitive one; we ride the emotional waves, surfers on the undulating ocean of chance.

I’ve written in the past about slot machines being a vehicle of meditation for many, if not most, slot players, and I maintain this is a true insight. If you watch slot players so many are lost in their own worlds – worlds created by the charging atmosphere of the casino. I once did a television show where the host asked me, “Where are the true secrets of the casinos hidden?” I answered him, “They are hidden in plain sight and in many sounds.”

The music of the machines, mixed with the other atmospheric elements described above, dominates the minds of slot players – even machines whose sounds have been somewhat muted by modern technology. It is possible that casinos activate the “suspension of disbelief” in players more so than a movie or book. Do you get more lost playing a slot machine than you do seeing the latest Hollywood film? You might.

Until the end of the Renaissance, many philosophers believed that there was a kind of music in the heavens; that heavenly bodies – the sun, moon and planets – working together created such music, even if it weren’t music you could actually hear with your ears. In short, God’s creation was musical.

That notion has faded into the archives of wonderful ideas that just aren’t true. Science has shown us how those planets, suns and galaxies work and they have nothing to do with a symphony of any kind. Indeed science has replaced the grand symphony conductor Himself.

It is also true that in a very small way, scientific technology may have dimmed the total symphony of the casinos owing to the “paper machines,” but it hasn’t muted it. The music of the machines; the music of the casinos; the sense of things hidden but powerful, still exist in the temple of Dame Fortune. Walk through a casino and you are still in the grand concert hall.

And, finally, this is what I want you to do. When you first step into the casino, don’t just plop yourself down and start playing your favorite machine. Walk around, up and down the slot aisles, and feel the symphony of which you are now a part. Look at the players. What are they actually experiencing? It might surprise you to reflect on the feelings you’re feeling in those moments.

So if you are a slot player, or table player, or both, allow yourself to experience the music of the machines and welcome to this alternate world.

Visit Frank’s website at www.frankscoblete.com. Frank Scoblete’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:

Casino Craps: Shoot to Win!

> More Books By Frank Scoblete