When you walk into a casino, generally one of the first sights that will catch your eye is the brilliantly lighted display of a bank of progressive slot machines.
Last week’s column was devoted to the latest monthly gaming report released by the Illinois Gaming Board and how the financial statistics revealed about the slot machines at the properties in the Chicago area impact decisions players can make about where to play.
The only information that is revealed about slot machines is derived from the monthly reports published by state gaming commissions.
Have you ever thought of a casino in terms of a stock exchange or commodities market? Sure, it’s a stretch, but similarities are there.
It is crucial for basic strategy blackjack players to ascend to the next plateau if they are committed to being as successful as possible.
Penny video slot machines may in fact reign as the biggest money makers in casinos around the country, but does that necessarily mean players must surrender to their beguiling ways? I think not.
The dramatic evolution of slot machines extends beyond technological advancements. Today’s computer-driven games are also masters at manipulating the people who play them, thanks to the ingenuity of the researchers, mathematicians, and marketing specialists who develop them.
It’s a fact that the 10s, faces and aces are the most powerful cards for blackjack players. Knowing when there are an abundance of them during the middle game of a 6-deck shoe can be advantageous for players.
Sound money management is an ongoing issue for recreational gaming enthusiasts. It revolves not only around the amount of money you gamble and the loss limits that individual gamblers establish for themselves, but also the amount of money you win and what you decide to keep.
Fact: There will always be people trying to scam money out of people who are trying to win money. It just seems some folks who are looking for guarantees to win "money for nothing" are easy targets for scam artists who prey upon their gullibility.
It seems unfortunate to me that a majority of the marketing energy generated by casinos is geared toward slot machines. New varieties of multi-coin, multi-line video games are constantly being introduced and heavily advertised while table game marketing and promotion is virtually non-existent.
I think it's rather strange that slot machines, more than any other game in casinos, including video poker, often bring out the worst in gamblers.
Have you ever wondered why slot machine jackpots are the only casino winnings for which players are held accountable for federal and state taxes, while big scores made by table games players go undocumented?
Just how much do the casinos know about you? If you're a slot player and you use a player's club card, it's a cinch they know quite a bit.
Have you ever fallen into the trap of playing a slot machine longer than you had intended? In all likelihood, it happened because you were waiting for "just one more bonus round" on one of the video games that have taken over casino floors nationwide.
There's a school of philosophy known as "empiricism". The dictionary defines empiricism thusly: Experimental method; search for knowledge by observation and experiment; a disregarding of scientific methods and relying solely on experience.
Even if you're a regular casino player, baccarat is an easy game to ignore simply because it does not have the high profile presence on casino floors as games like blackjack, craps and roulette.
The majority of people who play slots know very little about the operation of the machines, the computer programs that drive them, and the economics of the games.
The new generation of touch screen table games making an impact on casino floors worldwide may never completely replace traditional felt tables, chips and dealers, but it has become a viable alternative.
Speaking generally about the games of preference for casino gamblers, there are three categories of players: Those who prefer slots, those who prefer tables, and those who prefer video poker.
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