6 Disadvantages to Slot Machines to Keep in Mind

Row of Slots on Left Man Yelling on Right With Hands in The Air

Every time I walk into a casino, I see more gamblers sitting at the real money slot machines than anywhere else. The popularity of slots games is undeniable. But slot machines aren’t anywhere close to the best games for gamblers in casinos.

Here are six disadvantages about slot machines that most casino players dislike. On this page, you’re also going to learn a few tricks to help you avoid the worst things about slot games. But in the end, if you keep playing the slots, you’re probably going to lose more money than if you played other casino game options.

1 – Playing Too Fast

Most gamblers are what I call “action junkies.” I know a lot about action junkies because I love the action of gambling just as much as anyone. In fact, I still have to watch my tendency to seek action closely to make sure that I’m not making any bad decisions when I gamble.

Slot machines are actually designed to take advantage of action junkies. These types of gamblers usually want to get as much action as possible. And slot machines make this easy, with the next surge of action at just a single press of the “Spin” button.

You’re going to learn more about this in the third section in this article, but slots games are notorious for having terrible return to player percentages. In many cases, the slots have the worst return in the casino.

This is bad for many reasons, but the main reason why it’s bad is because the slots game keeps a big percentage of every dollar you run through it. And when you’re an action junkie, you run more dollars through the machine because you play too fast.

If you want to reduce your slot machine losses, you have to reduce the amount of money you put in the machines. You can do this by playing slots slower and/or playing on slot machines with a lower per coin cost.

2 – Not Enough Jackpots

The only way to win as a slot machine gambler is to hit at least one jackpot that’s big enough to eliminate all of your previous losses. This sounds like a good plan, but the problem is that it’s rare to hit a jackpot of any level, much less one that is big enough to show a long-term profit.

The fact is that there aren’t enough big jackpots being hot on slot machines. While many slot machines have jackpots, the majority of these jackpots aren’t big enough to make your slots play profitable if you are lucky enough to hit even one of them.

Row of Slot Machines

The other issue is that many slots players don’t always play on slot machines that offer jackpots. Or they don’t always play on slot machines that have a jackpot that’s big enough. This is something that you have control over, so stop playing on any slot machine that doesn’t offer a big enough prize.

You’re still likely to lose overall as a slots game player, but at least with this strategy, you have a chance to get ahead if you do happen to get lucky.

3 – The Terrible Return Rates

Slot machines have terrible return rates by just about any way you measure them. When you compare the return rate for the average slot machine to other games offered in casinos, the list of games that are worse is extremely small. Usually the only game with a worse return in the casino is keno, and it’s not even available in most casinos anymore.

On the other hand, almost every other casino game available has a better return rate than the average slot machine. And the other issue is that most casinos don’t let gamblers know exactly what the rate of return is for individual slot machines, so you end up guessing.

The average rate of return for slot machines overall is somewhere between 90 and 92% as a best guess. But even if you take an overly optimistic view and go with an average return of 95%, it’s still terrible in comparison to other casino games.

It depends on the bets you make and if you strategy, but the following games all have opportunities to receive returns of 98% and higher.

  • French Roulette
  • Baccarat
  • Craps
  • Video Poker
  • Blackjack

In addition, almost every other table game offered in casinos has a return rate of 95% or higher. The truth is that slot machines are a bad option for gamblers.

4 – Complicated Paylines

I admit that this might be a personal problem more than an overall problem with slot machines. I’m sure that many slots game players don’t mind a machine having so many paylines that you can’t possibly track all of the possible winning combinations. But I hate it.

This is probably because when I started playing slot machines most games had three reels and three or nine paylines. It was a huge deal when new reel slot machines came out that had 25 paylines. Now, it’s a challenge in some casinos to find a slots game that only has three reels.

I understand how slot machines work and I know that the return is programmed into the machine and is going to be the same no matter what shows up on the reels. But I still want to be able to see a win when I get a win.

Casino Slot Machine Reels

The sad thing to me is that this is never going to change. In fact, it’s just going to get worse.

5 – The Penny Slots Lie

I know a lot about marketing and advertising and I realize that penny slot machines are just a marketing gimmick. But this doesn’t stop me from being offended by what I consider false advertising.

If you’re going to advertise that you offer a penny slot machine I expect to be able to play on the machine for a penny. But this isn’t the case. The base coin value might only be a penny, but the machines force you to play with multiple paylines activated, so you can’t play for a penny.

I understand why the casinos don’t let you play for a penny a spin. The casinos would still make money if you played for a penny a spin, but they wouldn’t make enough money to leave the machine on the floor.

Casinos track their average profit per square foot of floor space and when a machine isn’t making enough money the casino replaces it with a machine that they hope is going to make more profit.

Instead of looking for a penny slot machine, I look for machines that let me bet a quarter or 50 cents and have a decent jackpot. And even these machines are getting hard to find.

6 – Bonuses Are Never Good Enough

I’ve seen some huge slots bonuses over the years, including a few of $10,000 and higher. But all slot machine bonuses have something in common. No slots bonus is ever good enough.

A slot machine bonus, no matter how big it is, is only good for one thing. And sadly, the thing a slots bonus is good for doesn’t help you win.

The only thing a slot machine bonus is good for is that it lets you play slots longer than you could if you didn’t have a bonus. Slot machine bonuses don’t do anything to help you win.

This doesn’t mean that you should stop taking slots bonus offers. The opposite is true. You should use slots bonuses every time you play slot machines. Just don’t expect them to actually help you win.

Here’s the best way I’ve found to use slot machine bonus offers. You know that you need to get lucky and win a jackpot to get ahead playing slots. A slots bonus offer can give you more spins to try to hit a jackpot.

Find an online slots game with a good jackpot, get a big bonus, and play on the machine until you get lucky with a jackpot or run out of money.

Our Final Thoughts About These Terrible Things

While not everything about slot machine play is terrible, there are plenty of reasons to not like how the machines operate. Slot machines play too fast, which takes advantage of most gamblers’ need for more action. And the sad fact is that the more you feed the slot machines, the more you end up losing.

Hitting a slots jackpot is the only hope you have of winning in the long run, but there aren’t enough jackpots being hit. The bad news is that this trend probably isn’t going to change anytime soon.

The worst thing about slot machines is the terrible return rates. Almost every other casino game offers a higher return, yet most gamblers stick with the slots games.