Welcome to Las Vegas, Atlantic City, or wherever. The gambling awaits!
You need to answer one question before you wager a single coin: Are you there for fun or to make a fortune? While we all want to leave with more than we came with, we all know the old saw that the gambling palaces were paid for by the losers.
Let's look at slot machines since most of you will play these easy to play games.
But first let's be realistic. All casinos are businesses. They are in it to make a profit. So, it is clear that slot machines pay less then they take in.
It is also clear that casinos have a somewhat fixed cost in providing the slot machines. Each machine takes up about the same floor space. It uses about the same amount of power to make those wheels spin. Maintenance and security would seem to be about the same for each machine. This is regardless of the value of the coin one feeds the one armed bandit.
I was amazed on my last Las Vegas visit to see so many 1 penny slot machines. At first, I wrote it off to the economy. Then I realized an economic truism.
The casino must make a certain amount per machine to cover all those expenses. So, if they need to make X dollars per machine…how can one compare a machine that requires a dollar per spin with one that requires merely a penny?
The answer is simple. They pay out less in winnings for the cheaper machine.
Forget all the bells and whistles. In the long term (and casinos are always dealing with long term math – we do not) the house always wins. With a cheaper machine, the house just needs to win faster since the amount bet is much lower. Hence, it is fair to say that the pay-out is smaller on a lower value machine than a high one.
Many feel that all slot machine are awful. However, they can be fun to play. So, if you decide to play the slots, you need to decide if you just want to have some fun or a somewhat better chance of going home with a few extra dollars. Of course, your budget will enter into this Big Time!
Whatever you decide, remember to have fun and know that the house always wins in the end.