Why do People Play Slot Machines over Table Games?
Have you ever heard of a ‘hold percentage?’ Unless you’re a Vegas insider, you probably have not. The hold percentage is the amount the house retains on all money wagered on a casino game. It doesn’t matter the game, the house will always take a hold percentage. Slots have the notorious distinction of having the highest hold percentage of any casino game. So why do people keep playing slots?
The answer is quite simple on its face, but more complex the deeper you analyze players’ behaviors. First of all, there’s the hook. Who’s going to pass up a chance to win millions off of a few coins? That’s one of the biggest drivers of slots popularity. Jackpots on progressive slots can reach into the millions. It’s the classic get-rich-quick dream, to become an instant millionaire. And, while rare, it does happen, despite the high hold percentage.
Besides the drive to win a life-changing amount of money, slots popularity can also be traced to the individual nature of slot machines. Unlike table games, slots are a solo game. There’s no other players involved. More importantly, how you play won’t alter someone else’s game. If you’re at a blackjack table, there’s a possibility that you taking a card could harm another player’s hand. This creates fear in some players, making them unwilling to play group games.
This fear is real and based in social anxiety. Being able to withdraw into their own slot machine, which can create a physical barrier from others, is often the most comfortable way for introverts and those who suffer social anxiety to gamble. The privacy of a slot machine is welcoming for these kinds of gamblers.
Beyond the drive to strike it rich and maintain privacy, there’s the simplicity of slots. There’s no strategy to study and memorize. No math or complex equations. There’s simply the push of a button or the pull of a reel. Slots are incredibly easy to play, which is why so many people are drawn to them in the first place.
Finally, there’s the positive reinforcement that comes from small wins. Slots with multiple paylines can require larger wagers than single payline slots. So, if you’re wagering 25 credits a hand, and the slot trickles a few credits back to you every time you spin the reels, you’re being conditioned to keep playing because the slot is paying out, even if it’s in small amounts.
Don’t take this article as a warning to avoid slots. I’m actually a slots player myself, like millions of other gamblers. Just know going in that slots don’t have the best hold percentage compared to other casino games, but they’re definitely one of the most fun!