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Both land based and online casinos earn the majority of their gaming revenue from slot machines which is evidence of the fact of just how popular slots really are. New generation slots with their cutting edge designs, life-like graphics, bonus games and features as well as the potential for huge jackpot payouts make these machines almost irresistible to players. And it’s interesting to note that they seem to have the same effect on casinos, whose floors and game lobbies are dominated by them…just for entirely different reasons!
Here we’ll take a look at why casinos love these games so much and what it means for you as a player.
Speed of Slot Play
Table games like Blackjack, Baccarat, Craps and Roulette generally play out at a much slower rate than slots with most averaging only around 60 hands/turns per hour. This means that for the casinos to make serious money, these games have to be played at high stakes. Slots on the other hand feature rapid game play and even a casual gambler who plays at a leisurely pace will get around 600 to 800 spins in every hour. Taking into account that many players bet $1 or more per spin, these machines can really rack up a profit for casinos quite quickly.
Payouts are not always very Transparent
At most casinos it’s relatively easy to find the payout information of each game and the house edge that it carries with just a little research. Slots on the other hand can prove to be trickier if you’re looking for the exact payback percentage of each machine. While online casinos publish their slots payout rates, they don’t necessarily do this for each machine so you will have to do quite a bit of research into this if you really want to know. Most people don’t bother which means that even if the payout rate on a particular machine is low, some just might keep playing it anyway, which of course benefits the casino.
Slots are automatic
Table games require dealers which the casinos have to pay salaries, this means that there is an overhead cost to running these types of games, which is a serious disadvantage to the casino if their tables aren’t busy. Slots on the other hand are pretty much automatic and are run by software that governs their functions. While land based slots may require repair and maintenance, this is rare and inevitably they work out way cheaper to run than live dealer casino games.
What does this mean to you?
Taking the points above into consideration, there are two underlying factors that make casinos money on slot machines:
- A larger house edge
- Speed of play
Slots at land based casinos generally net these establishments anything from 5% to 20%, while online casinos generally have a 3% to 5% advantage. While the latter is not as high as some bets on table games it is significantly higher than in games like video poker and blackjack when players play according to good basic strategy. Still, if you’re a slots fan you should always play online where possible and research payout percentages on the games you play to ensure that you are not adding to the casinos advantage by making poor selections.
When it comes to game play speed, the more spins you rack up in an hour, the more the house edge comes into play. Oftentimes you’ll be lucky and end up winning but if you’re trying to conserve your money through sound bankroll management principles and lengthen your game play sessions, then slow your spins down to a very leisurely pace and take frequent break.