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There’s strength in numbers

By Frank Scoblete


I’m just a slot player,” some slot players will say as table-game players look at them with pity, concern, contempt.

Slot players sometimes feel that they are less-valued casino players than other casino players. How do I know this?

I’ve asked them once they have warmed up to talking about their play. Speaking to a writer will often put players off because they think that writers have a tendency to be snooty and condescending.(Maybe some writers are.)

Slot players should realize that without them the casino industry across the country and across the world would not exist. You’d have some venues such as Las Vegas and Atlantic City (maybe a couple of casinos) and here and there across the world but the revenue country-wide and world-wide would be cut way short.

Slot machine revenues make up 60 to 90 percent of many casinos’ income—and that’s a lot. Yet, when you have thousands of casinos all over Earth, there are not enough players to keep them all afloat.

If we suddenly stopped all casinos from using slot machines to generate income, well, most casinos would fold quickly.

Take this to heart: Slot players rule; they are the royalty of casino play. Period. Without those players, the machines would be useless. Even the thriving slot machine business on the Internet would crumble and we would be left with silly games about candy and creatures no one with any intellect can stand. You’d spend a lot of time playing against teenagers and college students looking to while their study time away.

If you are a slot player, and I would guess you are if you are reading this, then take the fact that you are royalty to the casinos’ hierarchy as a given.



Slot players like to be comped. Actually, just about all casino players like to be comped, but sometimes slot players undervalue their comp power. They subscribe to the computer-generated ratings of the value of their play. These ratings, in my opinion, are somewhat skimpy.



You are a 25-cent slot player, not a heavy hitter like those five, ten, twenty and hundred-dollar bruisers, some of which need an attendant to record the amounts they gamble that are over 10 thousand dollars.

Most 25-cent slot players do not think of how much money they put through the machines in the four- to six- to eight-hour stretches they play, which is the average time for such players.

Let’s take a look at the amount of money that might go through the former one-armed bandits.

[Please note: I still like using the ancient title “one-armed bandits” despite the fact that almost no one uses that term anymore. It accurately described those early slot machines. I give tribute to them. They started the slot machine revolution that has come to fruition today.]

Let us take a simple machine—the traditional one with three symbols that pay us if they hit. You can prorate the new machines you might play to the three- symbol winners that allow you to put in much more money/credits than the traditional three.

The newer machines can take a lot more money from you, as can the progressive machines, which have high house edges. Your comps should be more if you play the newer machines.

The average house edge on the 25-cent ma- chines is about 10 percent.  A player might face 12 decisions an hour. That’s 75 cents (full coin) that comes to $9. That’s almost as much as the $10 table-game wagers. The house edge on table games is usually well under 10 percent—more like a high of 2 to 5 percent. (The exceptions would be some bets on craps that can go sky high, even higher than the 75-cent slot-machine take.) A six-hour slot player at the traditional machine will put through $540 per hour and $3,240 in six hours. That player will be expected over time to lose $340 per day. Table-game players can expect to receive approximately 30 to 50 percent of their expected losses in the form of comps.

Now, spend Friday, Saturday and Sunday in the casino and that $3,240 rises to $9,720.The expected loss would be $1,020.

[Please note: You can make this any three days. You can make this as many days as you go to the casinos in a month or year. It’s the total amount of expected losses that the casino needs to figure out what you are worth to them. Midweek players are worth more to the casino than weekend players. I am not exactly sure what the percentages are in this case.]

Let us take 30 to 50 percent of the expected losses. The 30 percent return would be $306, while the 50 percent return would be $510. Mid- week casinos will often give even low-level slot players free or greatly reduced rooms and restaurant reservations (you can get very, very fat at the buffets!).

Yes, many casinos will offer gifts. Some players have so many steak knives that they would have to buy a ranch. Some casinos give them bottles of free wine.



If you are a dollar player or a five-dollar player just figure what the casino should give you as a reward for your expected losses. And get a host. Sometimes hosts will get you more!

All the best in and out of the casinos! D


Frank Scoblete’s website is books are available from, Barnes and Noble, Kindle,  e-books,  libraries and bookstores.




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