Some people can play the same slot game for 12 hours, but I can’t. After a while, my mind numbs out, and I need a challenge.
That’s usually when I go back to the tables to look for some blackjack.
At least I have to think about the cards.
Gambling is supposed to be fun, and there are times that it’s a lot of fun. Especially, when I’m winning.
Although I wouldn’t consider myself a slot game fanatic, I’ve tried a lot of different games. I’ve played cartoon themes, East Asian themes, Middle Eastern themes, space themes, etc. There is usually something for everyone.
I sometimes wonder what playing slot games were like before they had bonus games. I don’t mean the reels go wild and spin around. I mean real changes in the game experience.
The most fun I’ve had in a bonus game was shooting monsters. If only we could trigger the bonus game whenever we wanted to play it.
A few years back, I visited Vegas with a couple of friends for the weekend. We were in a talkative mood, so we started playing slots together. One of my friends suggested we make a prop bet on who would get to the bonus game first.
That was a crazy weekend. We drank more beer than I remember. At one point I think we were propping on which casino server would come by next.
The way we gamified the slot games that weekend always fascinated me. I’ve tried it again a few times since then, and it’s been a lot of fun.
Here are several ways my friends and I have figured out how to make playing slots more interesting.
1 – Bet 1 Credit per Machine for an Hour
I don’t know what inspired my friend to suggest this. We played a lot of machines. It’s an old idea.
Someone once told me he used to go from machine to machine. He’d put a coin in and play it until the machine stopped paying. That was his idea of a serious gambling tip.
My buddy suggested we see how many machines we could play in an hour. The three of us each bet 1 credit. If the game paid anything, we kept playing.
It didn’t take long for us to get separated. We met back up about 90 minutes later. I played around 30 machines. My other friend played about 40 or 50.
My buddy came in with the fewest machines. He hit a couple of bonus games. If there is a science to this method of gambling, we didn’t figure it out. But it was fun, nonetheless.
2 – Set a Time Limit
This is a bit like a prisoner thumbing his nose at the prison. My wife and I were playing slots one night, and I mentioned I was bored. She wanted to keep playing.
“Just one more hour,” she implored.
So I set a timer for an hour. I couldn’t help but tease her. Every 15 minutes, I came by and told her how much time she had left.
You’d be amazed at how intense those last 15 minutes felt. At one point she completely tuned out everything. It was all about playing the next game.
When we left the casino, she said she wasn’t trying to get a fix. To her, it felt more like trying to race to the finish line. We’ve tried the time limit thing a few times.
The more control you have over your own actions, the better.
3 – Make a Prop Bet With a Friend
That wild Vegas weekend happened long ago, but my friends and I still make prop bets if we play slots together. It adds a little more excitement to the game.
Here is how we do it, but there are a million possible variations.
- Two players sit side-by-side on identical games
- Both players start with the same budget like $50
- Both players bet another $50 on the prop
The first time we did this the, prop was on who would get a bonus game first. But over time we’ve changed it up.
The variation I like best is when the prop goes to whoever loses their bankroll first. This way even if you lose you win. The guy whose money lasts longest doesn’t always lose it.
The worst prop bet we made was on two old-style games. We made a bet on who would get three red 7s first. After an hour we gave up.
4 – Hold an Impromptu Tournament With Friends
My wife and I played in a slot tournament once. It was a spur-of-the-moment decision. After we signed up, we started to have second thoughts.
It was an interesting experience. Ten identical games were roped off and reset to pay ungodly sums of prizes.
The players were given 1000 credits. When the game host said “go” we started beating on the buttons furiously, playing as many games as possible. Whoever won the most credits won the tournament.
Although my wife and I didn’t win that tournament, it did give us an idea for hosting a “slots party” one year. We took about a dozen people to a nearby casino and sat six people at a row of machines.
Everyone put some money into the prize pool. We had a grand prize for whoever won the most money in a 15-minute time period. We had a second prize for whoever had the second-highest balance.
If anyone lost their bankroll in the 15 minutes, the rest of the group bought their dinner.
One of the guys called out the action. We attracted some interested onlookers from the other players in the casino. I don’t think the casino staff had any complaints, but a few of them looked our way.
This was a smaller casino, so I guess they were happy to have such a large group playing slot games.
5 – Switch After Every Bonus Game
When you’re playing by yourself, those bonus games liven things up. One night I had a run of really bad luck. After losing $100 on a game, I put another $50 in.
And then I hit a bonus game.
After the game finished, I had about $125 on the machine. I was still down, but it wasn’t that bad. I stared at the screen for about a minute and got up.
For the rest of the night, I played each machine until I hit a bonus game. After the bonus, I withdrew my money and found another machine. This kept me moving and helped shake that numb feeling of bad luck.
I’ve used this strategy many times since then. I do it to break up the monotony of the evening.
Why not just hit the tables? I guess I’m not a hard-core card player.
6 – Earn the Game You Want to Play
One weekend we drove to a casino in Oklahoma. On the way there, my wife and I talked about which games we wanted to play. We both had our favorites for this casino.
When we got there, the place was packed. It was a holiday weekend, so getting to our favorite games was a challenge.
I must have waited three hours to get on the game I wanted to play. By that time, I had tried several other games. None of them were as satisfying as the one I wanted to play.
I remember having that feeling in some other casinos. Somewhere out west, there was a game called Double Dragons. The bonus game asks you to choose your dragon.
Everyone played that game. Working my way toward it was half the fun of finally getting to play it.
Those two experiences led me to set a goal. I have to earn my way to a specific game.
7 – Go on a Treasure Hunting Adventure
The last variation on the earned game strategy is to turn it into a treasure hunt. Instead of having a specific game in mind, I want a minimum win.
I refined the activity by limiting it to games of a certain type. I called it “treasure hunting” one night because I was only playing fantasy-themed games. It’s a good way to give yourself a goal each time you hit the floor.
An uncle of mine once said something to the effect of, “The only thing you can predict about slots is they will take your money.” I only ever saw him play poker games at the casino.
The first time I played slots I had no luck at the tables. I had a few dollars left and went to the quarter machines. I burned a few hours “rolling it up” over in the corner.
After a few years of using slots to break up the monotony of gaming at tables, I realized I was using slots to break up the monotony of gaming on slots.
What’s important is to have fun. But sometimes you can become so familiar with your favorite games that they stop being fun. By adding an element of risk or adventure to your usual slots, you can put the fun and excitement back into the game.