Slot Machines - WTF? Seriously, WTF???

Last night, for our anniversary, my wife and I went to a casino for the first time in ages. I’ve never been too crazy about slot machines, I prefer the interactiveness of table games over the mindless plunk-pull, plunk-pull of sitting at slots for hours like some people do.

However, as first-time visitors to this casino, we got a free $10 voucher to be used in slot machines only. Fine, we could kill some time, maybe we’ll win a little. I figured I’d see if 7-7-7 or some similar combination might come up for me.

Instead, I find the most confusing games ever. Instead of watching for pictures in a single straight line, they now offer the opportunity to play multiple “rows” at a time. Only, they aren’t straight rows, either - they’re some complex set of zig-zags looking like a stock forecast going across a 5x5 matrix, and you only briefly see a “map” of the “rows” before you trigger the game. After trying a few variations of this, I gave up even looking at the pictures and just looked at the bottom line to see if the machine thought I won anything. It might as well have been a game of “guess the random number” and being told only yes or no.

Does anyone consider these new, incomprehensible things fun?

All slot machines are, and have always been, Addiction Machines. They have the sole purpose of teasing you along while they rob you blind. They are not fun. I have trouble believing that anyone finds them so.

The wife and I do. The new penny slots can be a lot of fun. Bonus rounds, lots of fun graphics and action, minimal amounts at risk. As a source of entertainment they are fun for thousands of people.

Anyone thinking they are going to win money on them is a fool, of course. But for strictly entertainment they work quite well.

Hate 'em.
The really evil thing about them is that casinos are dedicating more and more floor space to them pushing out the table games. It used to be easy to hop on a blackjack table on one of the riverboat casinos around here, now you must stand in line for a seat to free up.

The ultimate slot machine: a black box, you deposit $100 and scan your casino card, it asks you how long you intend to play. You say “2 hours”, and leave. In 2 hours you come back, scan your card, get $70 back.

Serious question, but when you play those penny or nickel slots in which players often play 20 or 50 lines (or whatever), do you understand why you win? Because I just see lines going all over the place and cannot figure out what combinations are losers, which are winners, or even just how close I came to winning a jackpot. The gameplay is utterly baffling.

Alabama has a lot of “Bingo” machines, which are essentially slot machines but since slot machines are illegal for whatever reason they change the name- don’t look for logic.

Since they’re Bingo machines, what’s on the screen has almost nothing to do with it, it’s all about what’s on a “Bingo card” at the top, and there is absolutely no way in hell you can tell if you won or lost by looking at the screen. You can have 4 identical pieces in a row and win nothing, or you can have what appears to be nothing and win. Essentially it’s a totally skill-free “hit a button and see if you arbitrarily won something” deal.

You might as well be playing with a guy who says “Give me a dollar and guess what number I’m thinking of… I’m not going to write it down but I’ll tell you if you’re right or wrong.”
“Uh, 17.”
“Nope, that wasn’t it. I’m thinking of another number now. Give me another dollar and guess again.”
“Nope. I’m thinking of another one now, give me another dollar and guess again.”
“No, but that’s closer than the others, so here’s twenty cents back. I’m thinking of another one now, give me another dollar and guess again.”
Makes absolutely no sense at all and I can’t understand why so many people literally go there every week, sometimes several times per week, when they couldn’t even begin to tell if they’re getting rooked

Sure. The patterns are all shown in the Game Rules, if anybody ever bothered to read them. Just scroll through to the page that graphically shows every pay-out line. Never try to figure out “how close you came.” Every result is determined at the split-second you hit the “Spin” button. The reels are just for show.

I read them, but darned if I can memorize them. And they’re different for every different kind of machine (to some degree, at least).

Yeah, of course. But isn’t the real thrill of gambling the fantasy of almost having won big?

Stay at home and fantasise, you’re just as likely to win big by a suitcase full of money dropping out of the sky. No pound in donating money to the Charitable Association of Millionaire Republican Donors.

Pay to watch the F-Word with Bono maybe. Hours of flashing colours, bright lights, uncertain endings and the money goes to people who actually need it in the end (and I don’t mean the film production company).

The odds of this thread being considered appropriate for the Pit is equal to your chance of winning. Where’s the cursing at least? WTF doesn’t count.

A lot of them flash the lines that won, in succession. Usually it can be skipped by spinning again. Otherwise, it is very easy to find the slots with 1-3 lines and mechanical action, at least around here. I don’t know if the OP was in Atlantic City or something? They’ve gotta exist there.

You really don’t need to pay attention to the lines though. The machine “may” cheat by having low or adjustable odds for all we know, but it won’t cheat by forgetting to count a line. That is too easy for a human to catch. The metric is also easy: more lines = higher chance to win, but costs you a bunch more. With the higher number of lines, you have to win multiple lines to even break even. It may be easiest to stick with a lower number of lines, e.g. 9 or fewer.

Oh good, it’s not just me that finds them incomprehensible. I was in Las Vegas visiting a friend, and figured I should play the slot machines at least once while I was there. I could not figure out what was going on with those slot machines.

the lurking horror:

We live in New York City, and were at the new Aqueduct Casino.

Yes. So thread over, I guess. :wink:

And the fact that they’re incomprehensible adds to the enjoyment. The reels stop spinning, the payoff happens, and I have no idea if it’ll stop at 10 pennies or 1000 pennies. Kind of cool.

I’ve occasionally played slots, and don’t like some of the electronic machines, but it really doesn’t matter because there’s no skill involved. You don’t have to read the display. Just keep playing and it either takes your money or gives you some more.

Now some of the electronic machines have bonus features. I started by putting $20 in a machine at Harrah’s in New Orleans, and a couple of hours later walked away with $600 mainly from hitting the bonus feature.

Slot machines completely ruin any sort of mystique or romanticism that Vegas has. I used to have at least a somewhat romantic view of Vegas - the idea of playing blackjack or craps, getting your drinks, socializing with some friends, rooting for each other - I could see how it could be fun.

The reality, though, is endless rows of slot machines. And slot zombies. People who sit in front of a slot machine for hours, in a trance-like state, just pressing a button over and over again. I’ve seen people sit at the same machine for 12+ hours at a time (on my way into, and out of the poker room). They just look transfixed, yet depressed - soulless. It’s just flat out depressing.

And the vast majority of casinos are taken up by these slot machines everywhere. They’re loud, annoying, aesthetically displeasing for the most part - and just depressing to walk through seas of them. Ugh.

I have no idea what the appeal is to sit in front of a machine pressing a button over again. Video games are about a hundred times more interesting at a tiny fraction of the price.

They seem a bit puzzling but if you play enough they all seem to have the same type of pattern.
You pick how many “lines” you want to play and see them get highlighted when you choose them. Some of the “lines” get pretty creative but the basic gist is the more lines played = more chances of hitting something.
Then you pick bet per line. You set this as sort of a gauge off of how much money you put in and how long you want it to last. 9 lines x 5 cents per line and you’re talking 45 cents per pull. You’ll get over 50 pulls with the $20 you just stuck in.
Most wins are basically getting the same symbols in a row on your line. Some symbols work as wild cards. Wins are minimal.
What most modern machines have now are the bonus games and that’s what everybody plays them for. You get 3 or more of a certain symbol anywhere on the board and it triggers them. Then you get get some type of touchscreen pick-n-choose game where you uncover various winning amounts. The more you’re betting per spin the bigger these winnings are but the faster you’ll eventually run out of money.
There’s some fun ones out there (I like the SouthPark one) and they really seem to be getting into the themeing thing. There’s a LordOfTheRings one that has a vibrating chair and speakers in the headrest that randomly sound like Gollum is creeping around behind you.
Fun entertaining stuff that all have the same thing in common: taking away your money $20 at a time.

I will completely disagree. I love slots and have great luck playing them. They are random but You are not. I have methods which work a lot of the time.

My last trip to the strosphere I played $1 slots at $3 at a time. I played about $100 and won a $700 win and later a $800 one. My profit was a little over $1000 in about an hour.
If you just start throwing money into a slot machine chances are you will lose. My big play is to find the slot guy working there and ask him/her which machine should be “hot”, tip him $20 and play that one, this works a huge precentage of the time.

We missed on that as dominant style by a generation at least. Vegas, AC, and the Native Reservations try to sell the sophisticated gaming table / thrilling hold-em poker room image, but the reliable cash cow is the busful of ladies on weekend trip plonking their Social Security check into the slot machines. Slots are a cost-effective (no dealers!) way to keep folks coming who just want to gamble on chance, not actual “game” play, and the American gaming industry embraced it eagerly. Heck, even the horse racing industry in many states has spent the last decade lobbying to get slots at the tracks and OTB parlors.