7 Tips For Slots & Video Poker Players – Gambling Mindfully

The notion of mindful living – being attentive, aware, or careful of things such as kindness, etiquette, eating, and even gambling – has come to the forefront of recent research.

Solitary gambling is a style that some people prefer.  Slot players, video poker players, video keno players – basically any machine casino game play – prefer different expectations from their gambling.  The need for social interaction isn’t necessarily a criteria for a good time. When gambling alone, it is easy to lose one’s self, so being mindful, or in the moment, can become very important.

Video Poker Machines at Mohegan Sun

Video Poker Machines at Mohegan Sun

Stadium gaming has given some players who prefer solo gaming a chance to play games such as roulette, blackjack and baccarat, getting a social element without the intermingling involved and the ability to play different table games without moving tables. Electronic gaming has even made boisterous team-like games such as craps accessible to the single player.

Group electronic table games

Zindel Segal, a Distinguished Professor of Psychology in Mood Disorders at the University of Toronto Scarborough, has researched mindfulness in a way to transcend to solitary gambling.  His research can be taken to suggest that automatic routines, habitual patterns, and favorite games play into the solitary gambler’s play. Patterns of negative thinking, such as “tight machines,” “low casino payoffs,” and casino superstitions can slip into the players awareness, changing the “in the moment” enjoyment. He suggests seven ways that I believe gamblers can transcend those negative thoughts.  Here’s how:

  1. Living on “automatic pilot” (rather than with awareness and conscious choice). This brings to mind the awareness of your bankroll.  Continuous playing on a slot or other machine without a stop limit, or taking a walk for a break can mindlessly cause over-betting your bankroll and gambling beyond one’s means.  NETG SUGGESTION – be aware of time and money played.  Keep a log, and bring only the money for that session. While playing , set a loss limit.

    A Simple Casino Log for winnings & Losses

  2. Relating to experience through thought (rather than directly sensing).  This brings to mind the many times gamblers tend to remember events such as re-occurring close bonuses in slots, re-occurring cards or patterns in video poker, table game card repetition, or even player snafus.  The reality it we tend to be aware of certain parts of experience, not the whole.  Obsessing over the pair of 6’s that next gets a third can cause thoughts of casino cheating or fixed outcomes.  NETG SUGGESTION – be aware of the science, the need for fairness with gaming commissions, how RNG’s work and casino house edge.
  3. Dwelling on and in the past and future (rather than being fully in the present moment).  “I never win at XYZ casino.”  That’s the past talking, because we constantly want to see a cause and effect to base our next action by. On the positive side, this includes going back to a particular machine that you won on previously.  NETG SUGGESTION – remember your success on the next play’s outcome  is not dependent upon the previous play. Every bet placed is an “in the moment” event, with not connection to your previous bet.
  4. Trying to avoid, escape, or get rid of unpleasant experience (rather than approach it with interest).  Going to the casino to gamble is not a good thing to do when you are angry, upset, or in an altered state. NETG SUGGESTION – Gamble when it is your primary interest to do so, and you have calculated your sufficient bankroll. When gambling is your secondary thought or reason to go to the casino, maybe that’s not the time to go in the first place.
  5. Needing things to be different from how they are (rather than allowing them to be just as they already are).  Chasing wins can be catastrophic to your finances.  When losing, accept what’s happening, play to only your bankroll, or even call it a day.  It can turn in an instant – but the house edge will always play a big part in your continued play.  NETG SUGGESTION – accept the results as part of gambling.  The casino is there to make money while entertaining you – but they don’t owe you anything.  Fight the good fight, but don’t let recent trips or event recent losses in that session wreak havoc with your emotions.
  6. Seeing thoughts as true and real (rather than as mental events that may or may not correspond to reality). Understanding the science and mathematics involved in gambling is the first step to perception problems.  The gambler’s fallacy is the belief that the chances of something happening with a fixed probability become higher or lower as the process is repeated. The idea that a machine is “due to hit,” or is “hot or cold” is a human perception in an in an extremely small amount of time.  Correct assumptions of that particular machine can only be expected over long-term play, something none of us have the time to do with one machine.  NETG SUGGESTION – Accept the science & math in slot machines with the Random Number Generator.  Acceptance is the key!
  7. Treating yourself harshly and unkindly (rather than taking care of yourself with kindness and compassion).  “shoulda, coulda, woulda” – these are the things we tend to be ourselves up over during a session.  “I coulda moved to another machine,” “I shoulda taken a break,” “I woulda had a better day if I had studied mt Video Poker strategy more.”  NETG SUGGESTION – Take the experience as a learning one.  Remember, the best plans for your casino visit still might go awry because of house edge, many casino visitors, availability of your “favorite machines,” and on & on.  Remember the things you could have changed, accept the things you couldn’t – and don’t beat yourself up in the process.  But if it concerns spending more money than expected, and that becomes a pattern, re-assess your need to gamble.

I hope this has been helpful.  It’s so easy to get wrapped up in the excitement of the casino.  Just walking in can give you a boost of adrenaline, sending those endorphins screaming for excitement.  But try to be in control, in the moment.  Being mindful in life can mean being mindful in your gambling.

Binbin

Special Thanks to Professor for permission to use his research for this post.

Zindel Segal is Distinguished Professor of Psychology in Mood Disorders at the University of Toronto Scarborough. His guiding professional intention is in using empirical data to advocate for the relevance of mindfulness-based clinical care in psychiatry and mental health. He has carried on a longstanding and valued collaboration with John Teasdale and Mark Williams devoted to the proposition that offering training in mindfulness meditation to formerly depressed people can address relapse triggers and support long-term recovery. Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy—the program developed through this work—has now been evaluated in over 10 studies worldwide. He also serves on the Advisory Board for MindfulNoggin.com which offers a digital platform for MBCT.

Slot Machine Quiz – True or False

Can You Take the Slot Machine Truth Quiz and score 100?

I’m read that slots are not going to be prevalent as much in the next few years.  Millennials’ money is being sought, casinos are reducing the importance of their “bottom line,” and casinos are looking to offer more amenities, less gambling.  So, before the technology changes so much that this quiz is obsolete, let’s see if you would know about those one-arm bandits…….take the quiz below.  True or false!

1. A cold machine is due to pay a jackpot soon.

2. Machines that pay better are put near the doors of casinos.

3. The odds change when the casino expects a large crowd

4. Penny slots are your best deal

5. Slot Machines are fixed to beat the player

6. There are ways to beat slot machines

7. Always cover all the lines – bet max lines.

8. If I leave the machine, and it hits a jackpot, I would have hit it if I had stayed

9. Casinos can change the payoff % with a flip of the switch or a technician opening it up briefly, doing whatever they do.

10. There is no link between the card reader and the RNG in the slot machine.

————————-The Answers————————-

1. False – depending on your definition of soon. If you are going to sit and play for the next month non-stop, you’d probably see some good hits.

Is This What Gambling In Massachusetts Casinos Going to Make Us Feel Like?

A psychological term known as the gambler’s fallacy pertains to this perception. The previous outcome has no impact on the next slot pull – it has no memory of previous games. The truth is, a cold machine is just a machine that hasn’t paid for a while, that’s all.

2 . False –  Once upon a time a machine or two was placed near a casino entrance that paid better (a long time ago.). However, today there is no need to entice you in to play like the old days, machines with higher payback % are strewn around the casino.

Row of one armed bandit slot machines in casino brightly lit

Modern casinos don’t put easy machines near doors or at the end of a row of slots. If they did, why would anyone play the tough slots? Want a higher paying slot, try bumping up in denomination – and even then, it’s a sure thing.

3. False – Nope it’s not done.  Do you know why?  They don’t have to. The casino edge is all around you – why pay more people extra to do all that when they’ll make money just leaving them alone? In fact, aside from frowns of the Gaming Control Board and the time to make all the changes, the crowds on weekends aren’t worth the effort – it’s busy most days at modern casinos.

4. False – Actually, the term penny slots is manufacturer magic.  penny_slotsIf you play, you know that there is a lowest bet on most “penny slots.” The latest don’t even give you a chance to play a penny under their certain limit.  Aristocrat has .25, .40 as their lowest bet. Under that, you just have to cash out!

But back to the question.  Even though you may be betting small, the sad truth is that overall, penny slots have the highest casino edge per spin of all slots. And, since the per-spin amount is higher than other slots, the total hourly cost of playing them is often higher than other machines.

5. True – of course! It’s called Casino Advantage. senior-playing-slots It’s not true that they are fixed to cheat – but of course they are fixed to win. The machines are designed to have a sizable house edge and the more you play, the more you spend.

6. False – unless you mean physically hitting the machine, which will probably draw some undesirable attention. No book, article or system is ever going to teach you how to win at the slots. There are smarter ways to manage your bankroll when playing slots, such as knowing the individual machine’s rules, or watching for random bonus machines getting close to being hit.  But even then, it’s just trying to play smarter, a sure-fire method to win.  Please, don’t waste you money or effort. The simple truth is that slot machines are a gamble – pure and simple. Enjoy them at your own risk – and simply as entertainment!

7. True – if you want to have the best way to maximize your bankroll and give yourself the greatest advantage at the luck of the RNG.  That doesn’t mean max bet, just max lines.th (50)  Some machines, such as “Quick Hit” and their many variations should be played with max bet – it’s like playing video poker on one credit.  It you don’t want to give yourself a chance for the better payoff, then that’s your decision.  Whatever floats your boat.  But, always MAX LINES.

8. FalseWheel of Fortunethat machine doesn’t know who is pushing the button or pulling the lever.
The random action of paying out does not depend on the amount of spins that have previously occurred – or the temperature of the coins or bill you put in, or the time between plays. It is the exact moment that the reels are spun that determines the outcome of the spin.

9. False. The slot machines have a computer chip in them that determines the pay back percentage. These are preset at the factory. In order for a casino to change the pay back, they would have to change the chip. th (49)In most jurisdictions there is paper work that has to be filled and submitted to the Casino Control Commission for each machine if the chip is changed. It is time consuming and the chips are very expensive. For this reason, it is more economical to decide on the pay back percentages before purchasing the machines and having the factory ship them with the proper chip.

10. True – There IS no link between the card reader and the RNG.mrrewards-927x282 By not using your player’s card you are denying yourself valuable comps and sometimes cash back from the casino.

How’d cha do?  The only good score is 100 – 10 out of 10.  If you got any wrong, look it up and learn to accept the science and technology involved.  It might make your experience, and your bankroll, better knowing the truth.

Binbin

Casino Gambling, “EV” & Slots

Twin River Slot FloorWhat do you expect to happen when you start gambling?

Anyone who gambles at a casino knows that the EV is always going to be negative.  That’s what’s called “the house advantage.”  If you think you are ever entitled to win at a casino, you are incredibly naive.  Your best bet at that time is to leave go to a store with your bankroll, buy something you like at a good value or on sale, and enjoy wearing it for a lifetime – that is a positive EV!  Any single bet can force a casino to pay out, but on a long-term basis, it will make a lot of money off almost all gamblers. Most gamblers deal in very short-term play, which means anything can happen, but certainly can’t tell you anything about the expected long-term play, especially slot machines.

Even though patrons of casinos know there is always a house advantage, the knowledgeable gambler, or advantage gambler, tries to lessen the negative EV by knowing the best rules, practicing the best strategy and using comps and freebies in their overall experience.

Two related posts include:

Casino Gambling and EV – Blackjack Considered

Comps and Your Daily Theoretical

Let’s look at a fun, but high house advantage game – SLOTS.

Big Win - Everytime?

Big Win – Everytime?

First, let’s take a quick look at the truth behind slot machines, concerning the science, technology and math involved. Continue reading