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Slot machines

Visit any casino in gaming markets across the country and the evidence is clear: Slot machines dominate the gaming inventory.

Slot machines are the darlings of the casino industry. All of the marketing energy, direct mail solicitations, and product research and development revolve around them.

Table games have dwindled noticeably while slot inventories continue to grow.

It's a no-brainer for the casino owners and operators. People love the lure of chasing jackpots, even though the odds of catching a big one can be in the hundreds of thousands to one or higher against you.

Only blackjack requires skill to play correctly and reduce the house edge as low as possible. All table games have a built-in house advantage that guarantees a profit from players as a collective group.

The difference between the revenues generated by slots as opposed to table games is sheer volume. So much more money is wagered on the slots more frequently and at such a greater pace that they are bound to be the main bread winners.

The entertainment value and interactive features of slot machines are truly remarkable. They're fun to play, but they have an addictive quality to them that requires players to be on guard when it comes to fully enjoying their recreational casino outings.

In order to arm yourself against slot fever, it's a good idea to familiarize yourself with the table game options available at the casinos.

Table games are played at a much more comfortable pace, giving both you and your money a rest. Learning to play them can enhance your casino experience so that you don't become a slave to the slots.

The actual mathematical advantage that the casinos enjoy at the table games is much lower than the revenues they generate.

Reckless and uneducated play contributes to this fact.

For example, many people who sit down at a blackjack table really don't know how to play the game correctly. Many people who play craps spend inordinate amounts of money on the bets that pack that highest house edge.

Learning to play the table games, and, more importantly, learning to play them skillfully and correctly, can help arm you against the relentless grind of the slot machines and the marketing war the manufacturers and the casinos wage against players.

Playing the tables is completely different than playing the slots. At the tables you interact with other people. The important thing is not to be intimidated.

Take the time to learn them and to play correctly and you'll be a well-rounded, informed gambler who will become the master of your own gambling destiny.

BONUS ROUND-UP

AMERISTAR: If you’re a fan of wings, the place to be is Heritage Buffet every Thursday. A wide selection of bone-in and boneless chicken wings, including southern fried, adobo, chimichurri, garlic parmesan, African jerk, spicy caramel, and sesame teriyaki will be served in addition to all of the regular buffet favorites. Assorted bottled hot sauces, plus all the traditional wings sides and dipping sauces, are available for $19.99 per person.

BLUE CHIP: Options Buffet is a seafood lover’s delight this month. Feast on fresh catch from the Great Lakes cooked to order on “Fresh Fish Fridays” from 3 to 8 p.m. for $26.99 per person plus tax. Something new every Sunday is a fresh seafood boil, featuring an abundance of selections including swordfish, ahi tuna, and more. The price is $26.99 per person plus tax. Add a one pound bucket of crab legs for $9.99.

FOUR WINDS: Every Wednesday it’s “Senior Day” at each of the Four Winds destinations. W Club members 55 years of age and older are eligible for the following perks: Buy one buffet, get one free at New Buffalo and South Bend. Receive 25 percent off at Timbers at all four locations. Receive 25 percent off at Hard Rock Café Four Winds in New Buffalo. Receive 25 percent off at Kankakee Grille at South Bend. Also, earn 100 W Club points playing slots and table games each promotional day and receive $10 in instant credit/free slot play by swiping your player’s card at a promotional kiosk from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. (EDT). Please visit the W Club or guest services for complete details.

HARRAH’S JOLIET: The property’s gala year-long 25th Anniversary celebration continues this month on Aug. 25 with the “250,000 Reward Credits Giveaway.” Drawings will be held every 30 minutes from 4 to 8:30 p.m. in the promotions area. The big 100,000 Reward Credits finale drawing will take place at 9 p.m. Please visit the Total Rewards Center for complete details.

HORSESHOE: The Hammond property wants its guests to know that “saving the planet is fun”, which is precisely why the “People, Planet, Play” drawings are set for Friday, Aug. 31. The earning period for slots and table games play on the promotional day is 6 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Entry activation will be held 4 to 8:45 p.m. followed by the hourly drawings from 5 to 9 p.m. at the promotions desk. Swipe your Total Rewards player’s card for a chance to win up to $1,500 in free slot play. One winner will receive a three-night hotel stay at Harrah’s SoCal from Friday, Oct. 12 to Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018, and the opportunity to compete in the “People, Planet, Play” finale game show for a share of over $50,000 in prizes.

MAJESTIC STAR: Don’t miss out on the “Prize Patrol Hot Seat” promotion every Tuesday this month from 4 to 8 p.m. Five Majestic Rewards players actively playing slots will be randomly selected every hour to win $250 in Promo Cash and a Majestic Star Casino collector’s t-shirt. In addition, all of the players at the same bank of slots as the winner will also be awarded a collector’s t-shirt.

Opinions are solely those of the owner. Reach him at jgbrokopp1@gmail.com.

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