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Best of John Grochowski

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Why players like video slots

9 June 2009

Slot machines the most popular games in casinos today for lots of reasons. They're easy to play. You don't have to worry about strategy mistakes. There's a chance at a big jackpot that could change your life — or at least pay the bills for a month or two.

Video slot machines make up the fastest-growing segment of they market. Some of that's because of the entertainment value of bonus rounds, some is more frequent small wins that keep you in action longer.

I took an unscientific survey of players, asking if there was more to it than that, more reasons why they liked their slot play on video screens.

Betty H., Illinois: "You just seem to win more often on video. I don't have a lot of money, I usually only bring $50 or $60 when I play, and I like to buy my lunch out of that. Sometimes I get a comp, and my friend sometimes gets 2-for-1 coupons, and we just split the cost. That makes lunch cheap. Still, I'm often playing with only about $40 or so.

"When I was playing three-reel slots, that usually wouldn't keep me going for the day. I would get down to my last $10 and I'd switch to quarter video poker, one coin at a time, to stretch my time until my friend was ready to leave.

"Now with video slots, I don't have to do all that. You get something back more often than you do on the three-reel games. You don't go through those streaks where you don't hit anything for a whole $20 bill. And it can be pretty cheap. I like the 9-line nickel games. I bet a nickel on each line. You can make your money go pretty far that way. Sometimes I'll drop to pennies. Even with 20 lines, I'm only betting 20 cents at a time.

"And once in a while I'll hit a good bonus, and I'll have a good time for the day, and even win a little money. I don't play anything but the video slots anymore."

Tom D., Wisconsin: "They're just fun. A lot of the video slots are games I'd like to play on my computer, even without gambling on them. I think I only played three-reel slots once or twice. Honestly, they bored me. My wife likes them. She says you can win bigger jackpots on the reel games, and she's been pretty lucky. She hit a $10,000 jackpot once, and hit a progressive for a little over $2,000 another time.

"Me, I just play for fun, and for me, watching reels spin around isn't fun. I get a lot more enjoyment out of playing the bonus rounds on the video slots."

Cindy G., Indiana: "I didn't used to like the video slots, because it didn't seem like you could win anything on them. You'd be playing and playing, waiting to go to the bonus round, and when you got there, you'd win 85 nickels. Oh, boy.

"Now they're making more games where it feels like you can get bigger wins. The ones that give you free spins, those are the ones where you really can win something. Especially the ones where your free spins can win more free spins.

"I remember the first time I played a game with free spins. It was a mistake. My boyfriend and I were trying different games, and I heard the Beach Boys singing. I always liked them, so I sat down to play a game called Catch A Wave. I don't even remember what I got, but suddenly the song started playing and the reels went crazy, spinning and spinning. I won over a thousand nickels, and I didn't even know what I had done."

Debbie F., Indiana: "I just like all the crazy themes. All the movies, and the old television shows, and some new television shows, too.

"Wheel of Fortune, of course, but Alien and Men In Black and Twilight Zone and the Beverly Hillbillies and Star Wars. I guess you can have those themes on the three-reel games, too, but it's not the same. Being able to see scenes from the movies when you play Star Wars, that makes it fun."

Jerry C., Wisconsin: "You know what's important to me? You get a chance to play and win while you're not betting. It's all in the bonus rounds. The longer you can make those bonus rounds last, the more money you can win, and the longer you can go without making another bet. It's really a best of both worlds kind of thing.

"I really like it when there's different levels to the bonuses. Then you can really make it last. There's an older game that I love called Cash Crop. It's a simple bonus, where you're just picking things. There's no real skill or strategy, but you can make it last and last if you're lucky. The farmer in the animation plants his crop and it grows, and if you pick the right plants without finding the hungry gopher, you get another crop. After that you can get another crop and another. You can go five minutes without making a bet."

Recent Articles
Best of John Grochowski
John Grochowski

John Grochowski is the best-selling author of The Craps Answer Book, The Slot Machine Answer Book and The Video Poker Answer Book. His weekly column is syndicated to newspapers and Web sites, and he contributes to many of the major magazines and newspapers in the gaming field, including Midwest Gaming and Travel, Slot Manager, Casino Journal, Strictly Slots and Casino Player.

Listen to John Grochowski's "Casino Answer Man" tips Tuesday through Friday at 5:18 p.m. on WLS-AM (890) in Chicago. Look for John Grochowski on Facebook and Twitter @GrochowskiJ.

John Grochowski Websites:

www.casinoanswerman.com

Books by John Grochowski:

The Craps Answer Book

> More Books By John Grochowski

John Grochowski
John Grochowski is the best-selling author of The Craps Answer Book, The Slot Machine Answer Book and The Video Poker Answer Book. His weekly column is syndicated to newspapers and Web sites, and he contributes to many of the major magazines and newspapers in the gaming field, including Midwest Gaming and Travel, Slot Manager, Casino Journal, Strictly Slots and Casino Player.

Listen to John Grochowski's "Casino Answer Man" tips Tuesday through Friday at 5:18 p.m. on WLS-AM (890) in Chicago. Look for John Grochowski on Facebook and Twitter @GrochowskiJ.

John Grochowski Websites:

www.casinoanswerman.com

Books by John Grochowski:

Winning Tips for Casino Games

> More Books By John Grochowski