Are You an Idiot for Playing Slot Machines?

Confused Man Standing in Front of Slot Machines

Slot machines are definitely the most-popular casino games throughout the world. Millions of people spin the reels each day in hopes of unlocking big bonus features or even winning a jackpot.

However, slots take your money quicker than any other casino game. They’ve long held the nickname “one-armed bandits” for this reason.

At some point, you might question your sanity when playing slot machines. You may even wonder if you’re an idiot for pumping money into these games.

I’ll discuss more on the downside of slot machines along with if you’re truly are a moron for playing them.

Why Do Slots Take Your Money So Quickly?

No game has the potential to drain your bankroll faster than slot machines. The following reasons explain why slots are riskier than other casino games.

Fast Play Rate

When you sit down to a blackjack table, you probably won’t see more than 100 hands per hour. This game exposes you less to the house edge than most others.

However, slot machines give you an opportunity to play at a much-faster rate. You can easily perform 500 or more spins per hour on the average game.

Of course, you could always slow down your play to conserve money. But you may find it boring to force yourself to take more time in between spins.

Closeup of Slot Machine Reels

Low Hit Frequency

Hit frequency refers to how often you can expect to win with each casino game. Baccarat, blackjack, and European roulette offer some of the highest hit frequencies in the casino.

However, these games also pay even money. The casino can afford to see you win more often at these tables when considering that they’re offering life-changing jackpots.

Slot machines, on the other hand, feature varying degrees of prizes. Some of these games offer seven-figure jackpots, while others boast several features that deliver big money.

In either case, the casino gives you an opportunity to win much bigger payouts. They must counteract this aspect by lowering the hit frequency.

Low RTP—Especially in Land Based Casinos

Slots return to player (RTP) is lower on average than what’s seen with most other games. This fact is especially true in brick-and-mortar casinos.

Land-based penny slot machines offer between 88% and 91% RTP. Even the quarter and dollar games only pay up to 95% RTP.

You can look forward to higher payout percentages through real money online slots. The latter feature 96% RTP on average.

Even at this rate, though, you won’t enjoy the same payback that’s available through baccarat (98.94% RTP), blackjack (98% to 99.5%), craps (98.64% on don’t pass line), and European Roulette (97.3%).

How Casinos Convince You to Play Slot Machines

Slots can put you in a world of hurt by the end of the night. This is especially true when considering that game developers use the following tactics to keep you playing.

Exciting Features

Slot machines offered very few features decades ago. Times have changed greatly in this regard, though.

Modern slots come with bonus features that include everything from infinity reels to unlimited win multipliers.

These bonuses give you a chance at huge payouts. They also create more onscreen action that makes your overall gaming experience more exciting.

Big Jackpots

In the 1990s, game developers began rolling out seven-figure progressive jackpots. The same prizes are still available to a large degree today.

IGT’s Megabucks, for example, has paid out a $39.7 million jackpot (2003). Microgaming’s online Mega Moolah payout has delivered $21 million (2018).

Of course, these massive jackpots are exceptions to the norm. But you can still find plenty of other seven-figure prizes in both the land-based and online gaming industry.

Losses Disguised As Wins

Losses disguised as wins (LDWs) are the most-nefarious way that casinos keep you spinning. An LDW refers to when you win a prize that’s worth less than your spin cost.

You may wager $1 and win $0.25. Logic tells you that this spin resulted in a $0.75 loss. However, game designers include animations and sound effects to make you feel like a winner.

These effects go off no matter if you win $1 million or just a dime.

LDWs can separate you from reality. You may be down $200 in a session but feel like a winner when the sounds and animations keep going off.

Video Game Style Graphics

Slots technology has experienced its most-rapid changes within the past decade. Developers realize that they must stay relatively close to video game technology if they’re to succeed.

After all, nobody wants want to play a three-reel slot with boring fruit symbols after just finishing a Fortnight or Call of Duty session.

Game producers now offer high-quality 3D graphics and detailed animations. They also integrate more in-depth storytelling elements into slot machines.

What Are the Benefits of Slots?

Slots may seem like a hopeless proposition based on the information above. However, you can also look towards the following benefits when enjoying these games.

Sheer Entertainment

Slot machines first became popular in the 1960s after progressive jackpots were introduced. Due to limited technology at the time, people didn’t mind spinning mechanical reels as long as a potential five-, six-, or seven-figure payout awaited.

As mentioned before, though, technology has changed greatly. Consoles like PlayStation and Xbox take gaming to an entirely new level.

Slots developers have worked hard to make slots more entertaining as well. They produce games with high-quality visuals and various features to make slot machine stay relevant.

Easy to Get Into

You don’t need an instruction manual to play slot machines. Instead, you simply need to place your bets and spin the reels.

Of course, the more-detailed bonus features may require a visit to the help screen. Then again, you don’t need to know how these bonuses work just to unlock them.

Anybody can start playing a slot machine with little time wasted. This aspect is perfect for new gamblers or just those who want to relax rather than using in-depth strategy.

Chance to Win Big

The odds are against you winning a life-changing sum of money through slot machines. Nevertheless, you can still keep these dreams alive through a number of slots.

At the time of this post, over a dozen online slots offer a seven-figure jackpot.

You’ll also find plenty of huge progressive jackpots in brick-and-mortar casinos too.

You don’t even need to seek out jackpot slots to experience big wins. Infinity reels, Megaways, unlimited win multipliers, and more can lead to huge payouts.

Earn Bonuses & VIP Rewards

One of the most-exciting parts about playing slot machines is collecting comps afterward. Both land-based and online casinos offer VIP rewards based on your play.

You can’t pump $20 into a slot machine and expect a penthouse suite. However, you can at least look forward to a free drink or a little cashback without risking much.

Assuming you’re a high roller, though, you can look forward to much bigger rewards. Land-based casinos are famous for offering everything from limousine transportation to free hotel rooms for their biggest players.

Do the Good Outweigh the Bad with Slot Machines?

You can see that there are both good and bad aspects to playing slots. Therefore, you aren’t necessarily an idiot for spinning the reels.

You’re only a moron if you play beyond your means. Assuming you take rent money and blow it on a single slot session, then you should be cursing yourself out afterward.

Slots are a valid form of entertainment when played properly. You can treat these games like any other enjoyable activity as long as you stick to a reasonable budget.

View of Airport Slot Machines

Even then, you always want to keep the potential risks in mind. Casinos use features, high-quality graphics, animations, and LDWs to keep you glued to your seat.

Gambling establishments are far from saints when relying on these factors to earn more revenue. But you don’t have to fall for their tricks either.

You can develop a bankroll management plan to improve your chances of playing within reason. This process merely requires you to sort out your finances and determine what you can afford to part with.

You may determine that you have an extra $500 to put towards slots. In this case, you might divide your bankroll into five $100 increments for multiple sessions.

In any case, you don’t have to feel like a loser just because you enjoy playing slot machines. Instead, you can play under control and bet responsibly.


Slot machines remain the big breadwinners for casinos. They encourage gamblers to risk more money than any other game.

The potentially low RTP combined with less-frequent wins are what really eat away at your bankroll. Casinos also rely on LDWs to separate you from the fact that you may indeed be losing.

However, you can avoid falling prey to casinos by putting together a bankroll plan beforehand. As long as you don’t bet more than you can afford to lose, you’ll be perfectly fine with slot machines.