WHAT YOU THINK IS WHAT IT IS
Thoughts create your reality, even when it comes to gambling
By Frank Scoblete
Hamlet said it best: “There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so.” (Thank you William Shakespeare!)
The above is probably correct in just about any circumstances except perhaps a brick falling on your head from atop a building, giving you a concussion. Your thinking didn’t cause the brick to fall, but other than accidents of this type I think what you think is what it is.
Which brings me inevitably to casino players, and slot players in particular. All casino players have opinions about the games they play when in the houses of Lady Luck.
Yet, here is what’s important: many players have an opinion about themselves because of the game or games they play. These opinions can go from “I am great because I play this game” or “I am smart because I play that game” or “I am embarrassed because I play this other game.”
Craps players never refrain from explaining just how great the game they play is to them. They are proud to be craps players. You’ll never hear a craps player being embarrassed because he or she plays craps.
[Please note: Actually, craps is still a male game—perhaps 95 percent of the players are men.] Maybe craps enthusiasts associate themselves with the ancient history of the game or maybe they love the (male) camaraderie with the other players when they play the game. When craps players say, “I am a craps player,” maybe they are really saying, “Look at me, you peasant, I am one of the greats! Craps is a game that separates the men from the boys (and maybe the girls too).”
Blackjack players know that the game they play (that is, if they play it correctly based on the computer-derived basic strategy) means they have knowledge that most casino players don’t have. When they say, “I am a blackjack player,” they are really saying, “I am one of the smart ones in this casino because, unlike you, look at what I know! This isn’t a game anyone can play, folks.” To play blackjack right, you have to…well…play blackjack right.
And what about roulette players? Many think they are part of the James Bond tradition, even if the individual isn’t rolling in the lap of luxury or showering in golden money or looking to kill another spy trying to take over the world.
Sir Roulette says: “I am sharp. I am sophisticated. I play the game of the aristocracy. I play a game that is probably the ﬁrst casino game that has lasted for centuries.” I guess that’s something to be said there. And slot players? What about slot players? (Come on, you know where this is going.)
Here is what I hear when I hear them say that they play the slot machines. I quote one from just last week: “I am just a slot player.” (Just? Just?)
Or two weeks ago: “I only play the slots.” (Only? Only?)
There is no puﬀed-up, swollen-chested pride in playing a machine; no sense of accomplishment or arcane knowledge. You press a button, a decision is reached, you press the button again and that’s all you need to know. You aren’t a member of the aristocracy by doing this. It’s just press the button, wait for a decision and press the button again.
Is that all there is? Yes. And no.
You see, the game a player plays is just a game. It has no intrinsic meaning. It is—merely—what the player thinks it is. You don’t think slots are anything? The casino doesn’t think that. Not at all.
Not at all.
You see, the true value of the slot machine is determined by the casino, not by what a player thinks. It is a brick falling from the roof. Are craps players high above the peasant class? Not really. The casino would get rid of all its craps tables before it got rid of all its slot machines.
The casino would get rid of all of its roulette games before it got rid of all of its slot machines. Yes, throw in blackjack, mini-baccarat, and all the other table games, and each and every one would be booted from Dame Fortune’s gaming house before a casino would release all of its slot machines.
How important is the slot machine to a casino? The most important game of all. Between 65 and 90 percent of casinos’ revenue comes from those formerly one-armed bandits.
[Please note: Except in cases of humor, slot machines are no longer called one-armed bandits. Most don’t even have one-arms at all!]
There would be no casino revolution without the slot machines. The world is now full of slot machines, of every variety and denomination, and when I say the “world” I do indeed mean the “world.”
There is no casino industry without the slot machine. Indeed, there are some casinos near me that have no real table games. These have bought faux table-game machines that merely mimic live table games.
What mimics something is not the thing in and of itself.
And the slot players? They are the most important players in the casinos, in the casino “world,” and they should know that. Words such as “just” or “only” should not apply to any slot player. No sir. A slot player should think of him or herself as the main engine of an empire that has exceeded ancient Rome.
Casino aristocracy? Go check the slot aisles. All the best in and out of the casinos!
Frank Scoblete’s website is www frankscoblete com His books are available from Amazon com Barnes and Noble, Kindle, e-books, libraries and bookstores.