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Best of John Grochowski

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Why players like video slots

11 October 2011

It was mid-afternoon on a Monday, and I was waiting to check into a Las Vegas hotel. Just in front of me were four older folks, two men and two women, and they were talking slots.

"I can't believe how many people are playing those video slots," said one tall, thin, white-haired gentleman. "There's nothing more boring than a video slot machine."

I decided to get the other side first-hand. So I asked players who didn't seem at all bored to tell me why they choose video slots.

Jason: It's always something new, isn't it? I really like Lord of the Rings (from WMS Gaming) right now going on the quest to collect all those rewards. I like those games where you can spin the wheel by touching and dragging on the screen, too (Bally Technologies' U-Spin games). And those games where there are four games on the screen. I was just playing that new Hangover game (by International Game Technology). With four grids of reels, I felt like I always had a chance to go to the bonus, and I went pretty often.

It's really a lot of fun. At least to me it is. They keep adding more and more things to do and things to look for in those games. I see a new game, I have to try it and see what they've done this time.

Beverly: The free spins make them fun. I like the free spins a lot more than the games where you're picking aliens or something. I pick the right thing on one of those and get 60 credits, and think, "So what?" That just pays for a couple of spins. With the free spins, sometimes I don't win anything, but I had a turn on one game where I kept winning more free spins and more free spins. At the end, I'd won more than 11,000 pennies, and that was all in the bonus where I wasn't betting any more money. It was great!

Maria: On video, I'm always getting at least a little something back. I play mostly pennies now, and even if there are 25 lines I'm only betting a quarter. So I can make my money last and last. Sometimes I win a little money, mostly I lose a little, but I have fun for a pretty long time.

Albert: I'm kind of a competitive guy, so I like those new ones where you have a little competition. I played sports in high school, and played softball for a long time. I still play a little, but not three teams like I used to. That fishing game's been out a while (WMS' Reel 'Em In: Compete to Win). People have a lot of fun, waiting for that big fish to come and trying to get more points than the other players. Now I like (IGT's) The Dark Knight, when you get into that race where Batman's on his cycle trying to catch the Joker. That little bit of competition just spices it up a little for me.

Jerry: 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.

Helen: You know what's funny about them? All those old television shows coming back as slot machines. I think that's a hoot. You get the old film clips and the music. MASH and Lucy and the Beverly Hillbillies. Newer shows, too, like Sex and the City and the Sopranos, but I really like the old ones. I wish the Batman games were the old TV shows, the ones with Adam West, instead of the movies!

Louise: Some of it is just really cool technology. I like those chairs with the special sound and the effects that make you feel like you're part of the game, like (WMS') Wizard of Oz. When my husband and I first went to a casino on our honeymoon in 1993 and we tried those reel games and some video poker, who'd have thought it would all lead to this?

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:

Winning Tips for Casino Games

> 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:

> More Books By John Grochowski