The Casino – A Zoo Full of Slot Vultures

A Casino or Wildlife Preserve?

Ever look at the casino as a wild life preserve?  It can seem to be very similar. There are many different kinds of wild life in the casino preserve like:

  • The Blackjack Hoot Owl (Tells you the best way to play, whether you want to hear it or not)
  • The Slot Crow (Always complains loudly about the tightness of machines and how they never win)
  • The Strategy Dodo (doesn’t know how, doesn’t care to know how, and wants you to stop everything to lead them through whatever game it is they’re playing)

In the slot machine exhibit,there are many different species of slot players.  Some are quiet and keep to themselves.  Others expect everyone around them to be social, sharing their legendary wins, their misinformed superstitions, and giving their unasked for advice.

But one is genus in the slot exhibit is considered the most annoying and rude of all of them – the SLOT VULTURE, or the Scientific name “Aegypius Monachus Unum Armate Apparatus.” (Latin for ‘One Arm Machine Vulture’)

senior-playing-slots

The elderly can be easy prey for the “Slot Vulture”

Anyone can see them, they are easy to detect, especially if your are in the slot machine pits. It only takes a  few minutes for the most aware casino visitor to notice them – circling around certain machines.

They seem to cunning and sly, but it’s easy to know what there intention is – THEY WANT YOUR MACHINE!

Maybe it’s their favorite, or maybe the limit progressive is getting close to the “must pay by” jackpot. Either way, I like to outwit the slot vultures around me. I try teasing them, like:

  1. making them think I was leaving, but, oops, just stretching.
  2. checking my wallet or email – EVERY TIME MY CREDITS WERE LOW.
  3. acting like I was calling someone to ask them to bring more money

Yes, the slot Human Slot Vulture is a conniving, rude and annoying animal, yet quite naive since we are quite aware of them and understand their animal-like intentions. Their normal habitat can be found in the slot machine area of any casino.

The following comparison is inspired by “Wild Birds Expert” Melissa Mayntz article “20 Fun Facts and Trivia About Vultures” found in Birding/Wild Birds Expert at About.com.  Notice the resemblances of the two species.

Territorial - "I am playing all these Machines!"

Territorial – “I am playing all these Machines!”

Fact 1. Vultures are relatively social roost in large flocks. Human vultures however are content to hunt alone or in very small groups, since they are very territorial once they sit down

Fact 2. Vultures prefer fresh meat but are able to consume carcasses that may have rotted so much as to be dangerous for other animals.  Human Vultures prefer fresh meat as well – we all know that the last human slot player made their new prey available and ready to eat, I mean Slot Machine and “DUE to hit.”

images (3)Fact 3. Vultures have excellent senses of sight and smell to help them locate food, as do the human variety.  Human vultures have keen eyesight to view slot players leaving seats even before the previous slot player has actually “vacated” the seat. This makes them much fun to play with by faking them out repeatedly.

downloadFact 4. Vultures have bare heads, often bare necks and relatively weak legs and feet. This similarity could explain the fact that less slot players are millennials and most slot players are “boomers” and older.

Fact 5. It is a myth that vultures actually circle dying animals waiting to feed. These birds are powerful fliers and will soar on thermals while they look for food, but when they locate a carcass, they will approach it quickly to begin feeding before other predators find it.  However, the human species tends to hover, and watch, even before the carcass, or player’s session, is dead – often feigning interest in their play to get in position to pounce on the next empty seat.

Now for the weirdest of all, and probably the most shocking:

Fact 6. Vultures urinate on their legs and feet to help cool off on hot days.  Did you know that most Las Vegas casinos have employees clean the seats in the early morning for this same reason!

Luckily, the human species won’t hurt you.  They usually just move on to their next possible conquest.

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Have a great session, but be careful – it’s like a zoo in there!

Binbin

(Please enjoy one of my most read rants “Stupid Human Tricks” here.  Sometimes I can’t help myself.  But as Tim Dressen in his book “Outsiders Guide to Las Vegas”) reminded me, “It’s my Blog, so I can post my opinion if I want to!” )

 

 

Buffalo Slot Machine Mania

Slot Machines – If you walk into any land-based casino, you’re likely to see several machines, and in some of the bigger venues you’ll find hundreds or thousands of them. But among all those one arm bandits, there have always favorites. Those that  have been popular include Double Diamond, Red White & Blue, Blazing 7’s, Wheel of Fortune, Megabucks, and Cleopatra.

There is a new most popular slot machine, and you can hear it across the casino floor, wild buffalo herds have become an iconic symbol in casinos around the world thanks to Aristocrat Technologies’ wildly successful Buffalo-themed slot machines.

“Buf-fa-looooooo”

“It’s insane how popular it is,” said Paul Riley, a London-based blogger for Gamingslots. “It seems to be everywhere now. At one time, you might see one here or there; now, it’s like casinos have their own Buffalo areas.”

Consider all the variations after the original – Buffalo Deluxe, Buffalo Grand, Buffalo Stampede, Buffalo Gold and the inclusion of these games on the Wonder 4, & Wonder Tower multiple game entries. Enter any casino and you’ll find them. Buffalo has been named the top-performing game for four consecutive years in the annual Goldman Sachs Slot Survey. But, why has it taken the top slot spot?

Ric Anderson of the Las Vegas Sun hints that it is a perfect balance between high and low volatility, saying, “Players say Buffalo strikes an almost perfect balance between the two. The game appeals to a broad range of players, from those who seek fat payoffs to those who are content simply to receive lots of spins. Buffalo’s formula tends to keep players at the game for lengthy periods, thanks to a bonus design that provides free spins.”

The game-play features that contribute to Buffalo’s popularity include:

• A bonus within a bonus. Receive three coins on the first three reels of the game and bonus spins are unlocked. Get more coins on those free spins and more free spins are awarded.

“One of the things players say they really love is the bonus retrigger,” said Matt Wilson, director of marketing and sales at Aristocrat. “They like the ability to accumulate more free games along the way.”

• Reel power. On many slot machines, symbols had to line up for players to win. Not so on Buffalo. As long as the correct symbols appear anywhere on consecutive reels, starting from the farthest left, there’s a payoff.

• Multipliers that multiply each other. When a 2x symbol appears as part of a winning spin, the win doubles. When a 3x symbol comes up, it triples. But when two or more 2x or 3x symbols pop up, they multiply each other to crank up the win by a multiple of six. It’s possible to receive three 3x symbols to multiply the win 27 times.

Paul Riley explains, “The wins are done in a way that they generally come in the bonus feature of the game,” Riley said. “When you hit the bonus feature, there’s almost like a punch-the-fist-in-the-air moment because there’s a good chance you’ll have a big win…….the game’s graphics and audio — such as a loud stampeding noise when buffaloes appear on the reels, and wild animal sounds like the eagle sound, are on par with the classic ringing noise of a slot machine.”

“Buf-fa-looooooo”

So, are we going to see soon from Aristocrat?

“We are thrilled to bring RELM XL to our customers,” said Jon Hanlin, Aristocrat’s vice-president of commercial strategy-gaming operations. “We introduced the new cabinet at Global Gaming Expo 2017, and the response was universally positive, both in terms of the cabinet design and in the games we are launching on RELM XL.”

The cabinet stands nine and one-half feet tall. It features an attractive mechanical wheel “topper” and unique 43-inch J-curved monitor with full touchscreen capabilities, classic reel symbols, stereo sound, and LED edge lighting. The cabinet also houses a physical bell that rings in celebration of a big win.

That’s where its Buffalo franchise comes in. Aristocrat’s first release of the new cabinet and technology includes Buffalo Thundering 7’s and Buffalo Inferno. Buffalo Thundering 7’s features traditional 7’s, bars, multipliers, large symbols including the Buffalo, and a wheel that gives players a spectacular big-screen stepper (three reel) experience.

Buffalo Inferno, designed for the higher denomination stepper player, features a mechanical wheel that delivers dollar values and a multi-level progressive.

“Buf-fa-looooooo”

The next slot in the Slot Machine Hall of Fame.

Binbin

6 Crucial Habits for Slot & Video Poker Players

senior-playing-slotsIf you love to play slots at your casino of choice, then you love the excitement that precedes that first pull. You spot one of your favorite machines, it’s open and calling you to join in. You rush to it like a long lost friend. But in the rush to play, many players forget to be mindful of certain important events that precede that play – there are things you need to check before that first push of the button. So many slot players get caught up in the excitement of playing, the anticipation of winning or even the disappointment of a losing session, that they forget the following checklist before they play. Forgetting any one of the following items could cost you money and/or comps. Remember this Pre-Play Checklist

1. Get a Rewards Card

MLife Rewards Club of MGM

MLife Rewards Club of MGM

It’s free. It reduces the casino edge by earning comps on dining, shows, and giveaways. That free hotel room might not feel free with losses, but if you’re going to play, get something for it, no matter how little you may play. And, always get two cards. How many times do you lose your card or forget it in a machine? Lots! Before you regret sitting at that favorite machine and finding your card is missing, always ask for more than one card at the rewards desk.

2. Check the Game Denomination

Have you ever played a penny slot machine, only to realize it was a dollar, not a penny? It happens when slot and video poker players mistake the basic denomination of the machine. Be sure you’re spending the correct amount you intend for your bankroll.  Some machines have denomination options, like nickel, quarter, or dollar video poker.  Be careful on these machines after you have chosen which game to play – you still may have to check and choose the correct denomination for your play.

3. Check Your Players Card

Being More Careful with your Players Card is just one of the things to be careful with in the casino

If I only had a dollar for every time I made a player aware that their players card needed to be re-inserted, I could double my bankroll. Before you play, insert your card and wait to see that it registers your name. If it starts blinking, take it out completely and try it again. Some casinos, like Mohegan Sun, only process one event at a time.  If you love to put in your money or TITO at the same time as the card, the card usually doesn’t register. Take your time and insert one, then the other.

By the way, don’t be a “conspiracy Charlie” (or Charlene) concerning what the card does. It is not connected to changes in denomination, it doesn’t change payoff percentage because “it knows you won” and it doesn’t hold back jackpots. Don’t play without your Card, it’s the only way you can earn comps these days with the new casino players clubs. Most casinos only comp you only according to the playing data registered by your card.

4. Be Sure Your Money or TITO Ticket registers in the Machine

Ticket In, Ticket Out! TITO

Ticket In, Ticket Out! TITO

Sometimes in your rush, you have trouble with your money or your ticket. One trick is to use a machine next to you if you have trouble. Some slots just have trouble reading what you add. Use that machine to get a fresh TITO Ticket.

5. One Last Check – Money in, players card registering, the denomination is correct. Ready to go.

6. Leaving the Machine

Before you leave that machine, win or lose, follow these easy quick Habits for Leaving the Machine. This habit will stop leaving your players cards in the machine as well as your money.  Yes, it does happen!  And there are people in the casino watching for just that mistake.  It only takes a moment with you looking the other way to happen someone snatch your ticket without you noticing.  It happened to me one morning at Red Rock Resort in Las Vegas, it can happen to you, too.

When cashing out, get in the following habit:

  1. Push cash out button.
  2. Right hand takes card
  3. Left hand positioned at TITO dispenser.
  4. Check for both in hand before leaving.

Remember, CARD & TICKET, CARD & TICKET.

Now, go get that jackpot.

Binbin