For a long time, slot machines have held the lion’s share of the casino’s real estate. In fact, slot machines in places like Las Vegas contribute nearly 70% of the casino’s revenue.
Why shouldn’t they contribute so much profit? The casinos decide how much the machines pay out, there are no dealers or pit bosses to employ, and the games move at a breakneck pace.
There is a growing trend in some places that have the tables taking over. This is especially true in Macao, where baccarat is the king of casino games.
The advantages that table games hold for the player aren’t new information. That’s why savvy gamblers skip the slots for the table games.
Hypnotized by the Reels
After feeding cash into the slot machines, players often become entranced by the games. This trance is absolutely by design. Everything from the graphics and machine’s aesthetics to the exciting spins and bonus games are designed to lock you into playing the game.
Players lose sight of everything else and are focused solely on spinning the reels. The casinos understand that if players aren’t focused on the money they’re losing, they’re more likely to gamble away their entire bankroll.
The advent of bonuses and storylines has only made the issue more widespread. Players become invested in the following side quest or free spins and lose sight of their losses.
Unfortunately, the jackpot rarely comes, so they feed more money into the machine and enjoy the slow burn. I’ve always thought that Stephen King could make a masterpiece based on the trance that players go into when they’re playing real money slots.
The Jackpot Conundrum
Everyone that has ever strolled into a casino is aware of the massive progressive jackpots. Even those who have never been to a casino are aware of the huge prizes that can be won.
The casinos dedicate a significant chunk of their marketing budget to building the idea that you may walk out of the casino a millionaire.
Imagine that you could play a machine for as little as $0.25 per spin and instantly kiss all of your financial struggles goodbye. Let’s suppose that you set your sights low and aim for hitting the jackpot in the low six-figures. It’s an amount that will still pay off your debt and leave a little for the kids’ college.
Hitting a big jackpot is the dream of many slot machine enthusiasts. Unfortunately, most will never have their moment in the sun.
The odds of hitting even a modest jackpot are so slim that most people will go their entire lives without living that dream. I’ve resigned to the fact that I’ll never hit a slots jackpot, but that’s because I don’t play slot machines.
Savvy Casino Gamblers Want to Employ Strategy
Savvy casino gamblers want to do everything they can to reduce the house edge. And slot machines don’t offer a single way to tip the odds whatsoever.
But the house edge can be nudged much closer to the center by employing proper strategy in some games. Blackjack is the most evident example of the effect that proper strategy can have on your returns.
Card counting is a tried-and-true method for flipping the advantage on the casino. However, if you’re caught using this advantage technique in the casino, you’re going to be forced to leave.
Still, card counting is not illegal, and I regularly speak to a handful of counters that report a decent return on investment.
The prime difference between the two is that card counting eliminates the house’s edge, and basic strategy merely diminishes the edge.
Still, it’s the player’s ability to make decisions that impact the results that seem to matter the most.
Savvy gamblers prefer to have their fate in their own hands and prefer to not leave things to chance.
The House Advantage Is Overwhelming on Slot Machines
Savvy gamblers come in a variety of shapes and sizes. The best advantage gamblers are looking to leave the casino with a profit every time they sit down on the tables.
Some veteran gamblers buy into the concept of gambling being for entertainment and merely wish to stretch their gambling bankroll as far as possible.
The premise is that the longer they can stay on the casino floor, the more entertainment they’re getting for their money. We all know that the house always wins or almost always wins. So, how do we know where the best chance stands?
All we need to do is take a look at the house advantage. It’s also known as return to player or RTP in slot machines; the house edge denotes a percentage of every penny played in a casino that the house stands to keep.
For example, the house edge on the player bet in baccarat is 1.24%. That’s among the lowest in the casino, by the way.
So, a player can expect to lose roughly $1.24 for every $100 wagered. Sometimes, the unpredictable nature of change will spread this out evenly. Other times, it may be loaded towards the back or front of a gambling session.
The RTP on slots can range from as low as 88% to as high as 97%. That means even the best slot machines in the casino average over twice the house edge on a player as games like baccarat.
This edge is how the casino makes its profit. Savvy gamblers understand that the house edge will determine how much time they can spend on the casino floor. Of course, the lower the house’s edge, the better their chance of leaving with some of the casino’s money.
There’s a Social Aspect at the Tables
The table games offer something that you’ll never be able to fully replicate on the slot machines. That’s the exhilarating social setting you will experience.
The craps tables are probably most famous for crowds of hopeful gamblers that cheer and jeer with their wins and losses. The beautiful part of most casino games is that you’re all in the same boat.
Everyone is out to get the casino’s cash, and it’s that common bond that can forge powerful alliances.
You may happen to have a seat next to some fascinating and outgoing personalities on the slot machines. Still, chances are you’ll never get more than a welcoming grin as you take a chair or the look of envy as you hit the jackpot.
The Table Games Move Much Slower Than Slot Machines
The point of gambling is to be entertained, and if you get to leave with a bit of extra money, all the better. Savvy gamblers are immensely focused on stretching their gambling bankroll well beyond its expected life.
Table games are much better suited for several reasons, some of which we have already covered. One that’s often overlooked is the fact that the games move much more slowly.
Blackjack hands take time to develop, and several players are making their play one at a time. The dealing and paying out also help slow the pace down at the blackjack tables.
Craps rounds can sometimes take several rolls to resolve. This means that you’re playing much fewer hands per hour with one of the finest house edges in the casino. Even baccarat, where all the player does is make their initial wager, moves much more slowly than on a slot machine.
When you combine several spins per minute with a high house advantage, slot machines are clearly significant for the casino and terrible for the player. Savvy gamblers have done the math and stick to the tables.
You Can Beat the Tables More Often
You cannot beat slot machines. You may get indescribably lucky and hit the massive jackpot, but still, the slots are raking in cash hand over fist.
Nearly everyone reading this will be a long-term loser on the slots. The jackpots are the only way to avoid this, and even then, it could be barely breaking even.
You’ll still never win every time, but you can walk away with some extra cash more often.
The Choice Is up to You
It’s evident why savvy gamblers are skipping the slots for table games. The house edge, bankroll ramifications, and amount of sheer excitement to be had on the tables can’t be rivaled.
Still, I say that you should just do what makes you happy. If you insist on playing slot machines, then more power to you.