In a recent trip to a US State where gambling is legal and regulated (Nevada), I decided to perform a completely unscientific experiment.
I picked a random slot machine inside of a local casino next to where I was staying. Okay, you caught me… it was not entirely random, it was named “Cats“. The particular statistics on the system:
- Maximum bet: $1.50
- Playable lines: 1 to 30
- Bet per line: 1 to 5 cents
I decided to put in $1.00 and on one line, bet one cent, then repeat this action 100 times. This is so I had some method of calculating how much money I actually spent while counting the amount of chances I had to win.
I then put in $30.00 and on all 30 lines, bet one cent per line and again repeated this action 100 times.
Furthermore, I decided to put whatever money I had at the end of those two tests and bet the maximum amount until drained (or I became a millionaire) and see how many chances (spins) I could get.
The most difficult part of this entire testing phase was actually keeping track of the spins instead of just mashing the button to “get more games in”.
The results should not shock very many people (at least I hope not):
Test 1: 100 spins at $0.01 with only one line: $0.65
Test 2: 100 spins at $0.30 each, playing 30 lines at a penny a pop: $27.66
Throw it all on the line: $28.31 at $1.50 per play or 30 lines at $0.05 per line… How many chances or spins did I end up with before being out of cash? 70!
The maximum amount of money that I had banked was up to $33.45. For those math challenged (or those bad with money), I was actually ahead of the game somewhere in those 70 spins and also went down to around $3.00 at spin ~45 before “hitting it big” and gaining 2400 “credits” (or $24). I ended up walking away with $0.86 as I could no longer bet the maximum amount. Total amount “spent” as a result of those 70 spins at $1.50 each was $105.
Gambling is just that, folks: a big gamble. A couple tips to avoid being disappointed that I learned many years ago:
- Never expect to walk away a winner. As a prime example: Las Vegas was not built to attract winners, but losers.
- If you decide to take your chances and spend some hard earned cash on a chance at becoming rich: set aside a particular amount that you can afford to never see again and stick to only spending that.
- If you actually choose to play the worst gamble in a casino, slot machines, do so understanding that every time you push that button or pull that handle, you have the exact same chance as ever (whatever odds the machine is set at) of losing or winning: no machine is “hot” or “on a roll”. It is completely random every single time. The big draw is that chance of winning lots of money (see also: Lottery), with relatively little investment (time or money).
- Pick a machine that strikes your interest as well as your budget level, after all, you are paying for entertainment.
- After spending your budget, walk away!