KEEPING IT REAL
Wrong thoughts and true feelings
By Frank Scoblete
If you read a lot about casino gambling, be it about table games or slot machines or some combination of both, you run across plenty of the true and plenty of the false. Most good writers give you the math and the underpinnings of the games. If there are actually strategies of play that can make the game a closer contest between the house and the player, they will give those strategies or point you to where you can ﬁnd them.
Others, especially on the Internet, might be giving you a smelly load of something that should not be released at all, much less in a horrifying load. Writers who think their feelings actually overcome the math of the games are delusional. In short, they are wrong. Dead wrong.
I do not dismiss feelings per se. Yes, players are entitled to their feelings. Of course. If things have been going in the right direction for you, feeling good about that is, well, good. If things have been going awful for you then not feeling so hot is also cool.
But don’t confuse your feelings with truth. A certain slot machine has been hot; it might continue in that way or it might just stop and become the machine version of ice, or it could do something in between.
The programming, the infernal programming, allows the machine to do the good, the bad, and the indiﬀerent from the players’ perspective. It also allows the casinos to make sweet-smelling loads of money. That’s something we shouldn’t forget.
I think most of the readers of this magazine understand the reality of slot machines. If these folks have played for any length of time, they know what they are really facing—and for some players that very ﬁrst night of slot play could be enough time to teach this important lesson. The machines are not there to make you money over any concept of the long run and unless you are hit with luck of the Olympian variety, your chances of being ahead over time are remote indeed.
Your hopes and feelings are ﬁne but they are not anything in any way aﬀecting the actual slot machine. Hopes and feelings are just hopes and feelings. Their power is inside you but the slot machines have no access to your insides, although they can rumble them at some times.
What are some of the false ideas on which players seem to hang their hopes and feelings?
IT’S GONNA GET HOT!
The machine has been deadly cold. It is eating your credits as if it is Godzilla eating Tokyo. But, come on, a cold streak is always followed by a hot streak, right? Well, hold onto your hat and heart.
Slot machine programming is as random as humans can make it. The machine is not in charge of deciding that hot follows cold or cold follows hot or any such thing. A hot streak might happen; it might not—at least while the player is there.
No player has the time or the money to be hanging on one machine for close to inﬁnity to see when it actually hits a hot streak. It is just random decisions.
We all know how our feelings can color our perspective on things. I think of Thanksgiving dinners with my family. I have not had a bad one in all my life. It is my favorite holiday of the year. Yet on television and in print, you constantly see references to the holiday as a horror for some people – and for them it is. Their feelings before, during and after solidify what a rotten time they had, are having and will have.
Thanksgiving has no eﬀect on the real world. Your family might. Your friends might. You might. But Thanksgiving is just a holiday to do with as you please. The giant redwood tree is not too concerned with Thanksgiving being good, bad or indiﬀerent no matter what you feel about the holiday.
Thanksgiving in all its guises can be a slot machine. You make of it what you will but your will has no inﬂuence over how it works the way it works.
I CAN PSYCHICALLY TELL WHEN A MACHINE WILL PAY OUT!
No, you can’t. Okay, tonight you really felt this machine was going to hit. Wow! It hit and hit and hit some more. As you were feeling your psychic insight, players all over the world felt that their machine would hit and hit and hit and the darn things didn’t do a darn thing.
And you have had just such a thing happen in the past. You felt this was going to happen and— nope! It is as simple as to say, “I got lucky” or “I didn’t get lucky.” And luck is not really anything real; it’s just what happened and how you feel about it.
You and your friend are walking down the street and a giant brick falls from a building and hits your friend’s head. That was bad luck for him but it was good luck for you since you didn’t get hit. Or you got hit and he didn’t. Luck has no predesign.
Anyway, I hope you feel good the next time you enter a casino and that those good feelings continue for the trip!
All the best in and out of the casinos.