Mindful Gambling While Playing Slots and Video Poker

The notion of mindful gambling while playing slots and video poker seems to be an odd topic. The notion of mindful living has become an important way of living in the moment. Being attentive and aware of things such as kindness, etiquette, eating, and even gambling has come to the forefront of recent research.

Mindful Gambling and single player machines

Solitary gambling is a style that many people prefer. With the recent spike in legal online sports betting, the need to interact and gamble is not needed any longer. Slot players, video poker players and video keno players prefer different expectations from their gambling. The need for social interaction isn’t necessarily criteria for a good time. When gambling alone, it is easy to lose one’s self in the activity. Subsequently, being mindful, or in the moment, is an important part of solitary gambling.

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 Stadium Gambling

Zindel Segal and Mindful Gambling

Zindel Segal, is a Distinguished Professor of Psychology in Mood Disorders at the University of Toronto Scarborough. He has researched mindfulness in a way that transcends to the solitary gambler. His research suggests that automatic routines, habitual patterns, and favorite games play into the solitary gambler’s play. Patterns of negative thinking take away from the fun factor. Thoughts such as “tight machines,” “low casino payoffs,” and casino superstitions can slip into the players awareness, taking the player out of the moment’s enjoyment. Mr. Segal gives seven to help the player be mindful and enjoy the session.

Playing on “automatic pilot” & Bankroll Control

Continuous play on a slot or other gambling machine without a stop limit is not a good practice. Sure, playing solitary sessions can take us away from stressful situations and bring relaxed recreation. Ordinarily taking a walk for a break can be helpful to not over-bet your bankroll and gamble 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

Relate to Your play with thought

Gamblers definitely remember re-occurring close bonuses in slots, re-occurring cards or patterns in video poker and repeated keno numbers.  The reality is we are aware of certain parts of experience, not the whole.  Mindful Gambling While Playing instead of obsessing over the pair of 6’s without a third on the draw can cause thoughts of casino cheating or fixed outcomes.

NETG SUGGESTION – be aware of the science, Gaming Commission rules, and how RNG’s work with casino house edge.

Dwelling on and in the past and future

“I never win at XYZ casino.”  That’s the past talking.  We constantly want to see a cause and effect to base our next action by. As an example, going back to a particular machine that you won on previously. But, remember, the machine has no memory of the previous action to base the next gamble on. Each single play is an entity of its own. Repetition and patterns are human perceptions of past actions that simply do not have an influence on the next bet.

NETG SUGGESTION – remember your success is not dependent upon the previous play. Every bet placed is an “in the moment” event, with no connection to your previous bet.

Gambling angry, or to avoid & escape

Going to the casino to gamble when you are angry, upset, or in an altered state is not a good thing to do. Be in the right mind for recreational gambling. Be in the moment employ mindful gambling while playing

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.

Needing things to change after negative results

Chasing wins can be catastrophic to your finances.  When losing, accept it – losses happen. Play only to your session’s bankroll.  For instance, maybe just call it a day and leave. Yes, your “luck” can turn in an instant – but the house edge will always play a big part in your continued play. Accept the science & math. Acceptance is the key! 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 results as part of gambling.  The casino is there to make money while entertaining you.  Fight the good fight, but don’t let session losses  wreak havoc with your emotions. As a rule, don’t buy into the “it’s due to hit” mentality either.

Don’t Treat yourself harshly and unkindly

“Shoulda, coulda, woulda” are the things we tend to get upset 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 my Video Poker strategy.”  Of course, my favorite is “I shoulda checked NETimeGambling.com before I left for some advice.!”

NETG SUGGESTION – The best plans for your casino visit still might go awry. In addition to  the house edge, a busy casino and the lack of availability for your “favorite machines,” could change your plans.  As a result, 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 can also mean mindful gambling while playing slots and video poker.


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.


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