Hijacking Mrs. Gump’s line (“Life is like a box of chocolates.”) from the movie Forrest Gump, I now apply it to the casinos’ favorite revenue stream, the slot machines. Nowhere in the casino kingdom is spectacular diversity as apparent as in the slot machine aisles and in the slot machine choices players have the opportunity to make. Like a box of assorted chocolates, there are machines for every love, lust, desire, hunger, dream, passing fancy or momentary whim of the slot player.
The slot manufacturers’ credo comes from another movie, Field of Dreams – “If you build it, he will come.” So these slot bosses have built an Everest of slot machines and, yes, he and she and you and me and everyone else seemingly has come. Those machines are the all-American game.
Many slot players are looking for the magical road to life-altering riches and the casino slot machines have plenty of choices if that’s what a player wants. From five-cent attempts at jackpots of tens of thousands of dollars to dollar-denomination attempts at millions if not tens of millions of dollars, if a player wants to dream and fantasize about what life would be like if he or she had the means to tell the overbearing boss to “jump in the lake” those machines will fuel such a dream. Ah, the joy of it all; fantasizing can be fun.
If outlandish dreaming is what you want, then those multi-casino progressives are the machines for you. So what if the house edges are in the double digits and the odds of hitting one of the life-altering jackpots can be around 50 million to one – someone has to win those monster payouts, so why couldn’t it be you?
If you are the type of slot player who likes to stay current with the popular culture of television and movies, or with stars of film, serials or comics, then there are dozens of machines that will cater to you. You have Elvis and Star Wars and Clint Eastwood and Betty Boop and Rambo and Wheel of Fortune, along with such superstars as Hellboy and Frank Scoblete (just kidding). Simply walk around the slot floors and you feel as if you are on a Hollywood set or in your favorite television show’s studio. Or it can be just you and your favorite star sharing an intimate gaming session together. There’s even a machine called “Scrooge” but why anyone would ever think one of these could be loose is beyond me.
Are you a man or woman who tenaciously holds on to traditional things with a death-like iron grip? Do you eschew the new-fangled machines with all their hype and pomp and celebrity worship and prefer a remnant of the past in your play? Well there are still plenty of those traditional-style machines all over every casino – Red, White and Blue; Sizzling Sevens; Wild Cherry; Double Diamond and many more.
Now what if you are a player who wants to boldly go into the slot machine universe where only the bravest of the brave have gone before? Then there is now a multi-verse of multi-line machines that can take 10, 20, 50 or more coins (credits) on penny, nickel, quarter and higher denomination machines. These machines can be so confusing that some players have no idea of how or why they have won (or lost) as the hit frequencies of the machines can be outrageously high for putting in mega-multiple and even more multiple coins than you have ever played before.
Keep in mind you can hit on every spin of a mega-multi-line machine and still lose your shirt or blouse or whatever it is people lose nowadays. Hit frequencies and winning frequencies are not the same thing. You can hit like mad and lose like crazy. But those almost constant hits on these mega-multi-line machines can mind-meld players the way Mr. Spock of Star Trek fame did in those great movies and shows. The constant hits have a hypnotizing effect. Oh, yes, these machines take you to another world completely.
Some machines have classic symbols, some have wild and wacky video entertainment, some have outrageous sound effects and some, believe it or not, still actually take coins because there are still players who enjoy getting blood poison from the metal coatings rubbing off – well, to each his or her own.
Naturally and as always, there are better and worse machines to play, depending on what you want as your slot playing experience. I tend to advocate the most conservative possible playing style, risking the least amount of money for the best possible chance of coming home tonight with even a small win. Most slot players are not like me. I am the type to say that if slot machines are like a box of chocolates, just give me a wedge of plain dark chocolate and I am content.
If you are the type of person who needs all sorts of bells and whistles, then you might want some large chocolate ovals with nuts and raisins and berries and fudge and creams of every variety and whatever else the manufacturer can cram into it.
You will never find such diversity of experience at blackjack, craps, roulette or any of the other table games. Compared to the slot candies in the machine box, those table games just can’t hold their head high in the diversity department. And maybe that’s why slot machines are the diet of the masses.
[Read Frank Scoblete’s book Slot Conquest: How to Beat the Slot Machines! Available at Amazon.com, kindle, Barnes and Noble, and at bookstores.]