Generally speaking, I am not a superstitious person. In fact, I don’t consider myself to be someone who believes in the supernatural, but there is one exception: these damn slot machines in Las Vegas. And when I say slot machines, I’m talking about all the machines you insert your money into.
And I get that these machines are controlled by random number generators that determine the outcome, and it is the payoff that vary to determine the paybacks, but this does not explain the differences in the machines. Whether it is a traditional slot machine, video poker, video keno, or any other similar machine, they have minds of their own, along with personalities.
The following are just a few of the machine types I have met up with here in Las Vegas.
The Teaser (trickster, prankster or smart ass)
This machine wants you to think with each spin, “wow, I came really close,” but the truth is there was never anything that was close. You are simply being toyed with. On a slot machine, the last real never comes up to hit a nice payout. Video poker machines give you an initial hand that is one card away from a small jackpot, but when you draw that last card, it comes up empty.
The taunter, although similar to the teaser, is a machine that, deep down, does not like you. Unlike the teaser, where you get close to a big score, the taunter will let you win, but only small amounts. This is then proceeded by a bit of a losing streak, then another small win. Although it seems like you may be nearing the point when you hit a jackpot, your money dwindles. The machine is taunting you. It only wants you to put more money into it. Don’t do this. Find another machine.
The Broken Machine
When I say broken, I don’t mean that it is broken in the sense that a technician could find a problem with diagnostic software. I simply mean that the machine isn’t working right, and this is a part of its personality. I’ve seen this with video keno when a certain number refuses to come up no matter how many games are played. Certain reel combinations and payoffs on slot machines never come up, or a particular video poker hand never seems to appear. The casino doesn’t know these machines are broken, but the machine does, and simply does not care. It’s hard to put a finger on how to spot this type of machine, but if something doesn’t seem right, you may have a broken machine, and it is simply an expression of its broken personality – find another machine.
The Confused Machine
This machine doesn’t know what it’s doing. It doesn’t understand whether it’s supposed to take your money or let you win. You will recognize this type of machine by seemingly not making any progress one way or the other. It’s as if you are treading water with your betting. You may be up a little or down a little, but the more you play, the less anything happens. You’re not going to win any money playing this type of machine. I’m sure over time that this machine will win over the player, but it will take time because the machine has no clue concerning the reason for its existence.
This machine takes your money from the get-go and never relents. You might as well be named Sarah Connor because you have little chance of surviving. Do not think for a second that things will turn around for you, or that the machine must begin paying off because it is due. The Terminator is never due. It will perform a rapid cashsectomy on your wallet. Recognize this machine for what it is, cash out and walk away.
The Scornful Machine
This is a machine that starts out great you’re making a little money, then at some point, you start hitting big. But instead of walking away with a nice profit, you keep playing and lose it all. Usually a person will say they should have quit playing while they were ahead. But this is not what happened. You were playing a scornful machine. You were winning and having a great time. The machine sensed this, but you were not appreciative. The machine became disdainful of you and began to take your money. When you run into this type of machine, you should have fun with it, but always respect it. When you began to lose, cash out, say a quiet thank you and walk away.