When Charles Fey invented the first Liberty Bell slot machine in 1887, he could not imagine how successful his invention would be. However, at the moment, we can notice how his innovation has changed the gambling world.
Before the appearance of slot machines, most ordinary people could not win large amounts of money. Such games as roulette or poker, blackjack or baccarat, require special skills and knowledge of the rules. Unsuccessful players could not achieve the top level there. If a player had a lot of money and was silly enough to place high bets, he usually lost everything.
On the other hand, good players rarely had sufficient bankrolls to make high bets. The invention of slots led to significant changes since jackpots could be hit by any individual who visited a casino and inserted a coin into the slot machine for the first time.
Yet, the main reason for the popularity of slots is the opportunity to wager low amounts.
By the way, Charles Fey provided this opportunity since he was not wealthy. He emigrated from Germany to the United States and could not afford to risk vast sums of money.
Symbols on the reels of the first Liberty Bell slot were:
- and the Liberty Bell.
After 100 years after the American Revolution and the conquest of the Wild West, the Liberty Bell was a precious symbol for Americans. That is why Charles Fey called his invention this way.
It is important to note that slot machine manufacturers use this tactic nowadays. For instance, the Book of Ra slot is inspired by the popular movies about Indiana Jones. Most slots developers use trendy, popular, relevant topics for their products. Nonetheless, the use of the current trends does not sufficiently explain their attractiveness.
At first glance, it may seem absurd that researchers study gambling. However, if you take a closer look, it turns out that researchers can offer interesting results of investigations dedicated to gambling, particularly slot machines, explaining why the slots are so attractive.
First, scientists have found the psychological and physiological factors that contribute to the attractiveness of gambling.
A hope to win money and fear of losing everything cause gamblers to feel inner stress. This feeling appears immediately after placing a bet and continues until there are chances of winning.
It occurs regardless of wins or losses. But the higher the bet and the potential prize, the more intense this feeling. While playing slot machines, this feeling is similar to those observed in other gambling game types.
In case of victories, gamblers are undoubtedly happy. And this feeling is the same for any won sum. The payout in slots is often lower than the initial bet. However, players experience the joy of victory.
The victory confirms that the player was correct. So he did not make mistakes. He beat the slot, pressed the button correctly, and chose the "right" slot machine. Nowadays, almost everyone knows that slot machines operate randomly, but gamblers still feel that they are right while winning, and their self-esteem increases. You may notice in casinos those who wait for the recognition of their skills and draw the attention of others.
Stimulation by Losses
Emotions caused by successful results and obtained profits are clear and logical but not so evident in the case of losses. Indeed, negative emotions, such as depression or despair, prevail after losses. Yet, failures don't seem to be reasons for stopping. These feelings are compensated for the opportunity to win back the lost amount. Gamblers cannot stand the temptation to continue to play. Some players describe this state as a sexual phase that stimulates them to keep gambling.
It is much easier to explain this situation using examples from our everyday life. Milan and Liverpool contested the 2005 UEFA Champions League Final. We guess that fans of football remember this match. After the first half, the score was 3:0. The Italian team was ready to celebrate. No one believed Liverpool could win, and its fans started leaving the stadium. It seemed that Liverpool had lost everything. However, the team launched a comeback, scored three goals (within 6 minutes), and won in a penalty shootout.
The same situation is typical for gambling: stresses from losses, fear of inability to compensate, and hopes for a positive outcome make players continue to gamble despite their failures.
Researchers have found that players experience psychological and physically measurable reactions while gambling. They tend to have a higher heart rate, skin permeability, and intense muscular activity. Interestingly, these signs of physical stress are closely related to the size of bets, and it does not matter whether you play for real money or fun.
There is an unusual and surprising fact. There are differences between males and females. For instance, the heart rate in males increased significantly higher than in female research participants.
In addition to the visible reactions of the body observed while playing slots, there is also an increase in hormonal secretion. As mentioned above, the epinephrine blood concentration is elevated and peaks in the first round after a loss. However, differences between games for real money and for fun were observed. In addition, there are also gender-dependent differences.
Why Do People Play Slots?
In addition to this research's results, several studies are dedicated to slot machines. To study why players preferred slots, they were asked about their motivation to play slots. It turned out that the primary incentive for playing slots was relaxation. Negative thoughts disappear while playing, and stress is reduced. It is interesting to note that this effect is delayed and can be noticed even after the end of the game, i.e., relaxation is not limited to the current situation.
An increase in self-esteem is a frequent reason for gambling. Users may select a slot independently. They decide when to start or stop gambling. That is why all players' victories are treated as their achievements. They believe their winnings are not caused by good luck but by their skills. And even if they realize that they are just lucky, this fact also contributes to an increase in self-esteem since luck comes to those who are prepared.
The opportunity to get a considerable amount of money and a portion of excitement is supposed to be one of the most important motivations for playing slot machines.
Slot Manufacturers' TacticsTo be sure, the research results are carefully studied by manufacturers of slot machines. So, to increase the duration of stresses, gaps between rounds in the slots are very short, i.e., a new game starts every few seconds. Losses are quickly forgotten, and the joy of victories replaces disappointment.
Let's make a comparison with weekly lotteries. In the case of lotteries, players feel the peak of excitement during draws, which disappears entirely within several hours. Slot machine breaks between games are short, so emotions don't disappear during the gaps between rounds.
- In addition, some slot machines don't have gaps between winning and getting a payout.
- The player wins, and coins start falling immediately.
- Players can notice how credits are transferred to accounts while playing online casinos.
- It does not matter whether the payout is real or there are just painted figures on the screen.
Instant payouts have a single purpose: these funds should be wagered in the next round.
Thus, manufacturers of slot machines and gaming operators encourage their customers to keep playing with instant payouts.
What Are the Odds of Hitting a Jackpot?
Another incentive for playing slots is a nonzero probability of winning a jackpot. As stated above, the opportunity to make a profit is one of the main reasons for gambling. And the higher the possible profit, the bigger the desire to play. Such advertising of slots as "20 winning paylines" makes gamblers believe that such games have more frequent wins. If operators promise only rare small winnings to players, no gamblers will play such slots. However, if gaming operators provide an opportunity to win a huge jackpot, everything will change.
The maximum payout size is critical when choosing a game. Slot machines, which have jackpots, are more popular among players. Even though they understand that it is almost impossible to win this jackpot, its presence stimulates the players to continue the game. All games are based on luck; in this case, the players do not want to lose their chances of winning the jackpot.
After all, if they stop playing, someone else can get the jackpot in five minutes. The competitive essence of gambling explains it. Indeed, while playing slots, gamblers compete against slots and compete with each other for the jackpot.
Free Games in Slots
Slot machines that offer free spins are top-rated among gamblers. So-called fast profits seem to be an essential element intended to attract players. This is especially noticeable in games with scatter symbols. Users win ten free spins when three scatters come up at any position. When two scatters appear on the screen, sound effects change, and the last and deciding reel starts spinning longer with a higher speed.
Why does this happen? This feature is meant to make players nervous! A player feels almost victorious if the scatter symbol appears on the last reel. And they start thinking they will win and get free spins the next time. Such fast profits as free spins cause the players to keep playing and are responsible for addiction.
Dreams About Big Victories
The minimum bet size is much lower in slot machines than in other casino games, and the maximum bet size can be relatively high. Such a low "entry fee" allows almost everyone to play slots and creates the feeling that you cannot lose much. This makes slots more attractive to gamblers, and this fact is obvious for manufacturers of slots.
Another appealing factor is the favorable bet-to-winning ratio. Even if you wager only 50 cents, you can hit the jackpot exceeding one thousand dollars.
It's almost like an instant lottery, and the dream of huge jackpots attracts a lot of players.
Illuminating and Sound Effects
Illumination and sound effects make slots more exciting. During challenging game moments, lights and sound effects change so that players feel they are about to win. If you hit the jackpot, the visual and audio background explodes!
Researchers carried out experiments in which gamblers had to play standard slots and modified slot machines with removed illuminations and sound effects. It turned out that those who played modified slots stopped playing after a significant payout. As for the standard slot machines where effects accompanied payouts, the gamblers almost always continued to play.
Illusion of Choice
Another tactic for slot manufacturers focuses on the successful outcome of gamblers' efforts but not pure luck. They create such an illusion due to the active participation of players in the gameplay. They must constantly press the button Start, double their bets, choose the number of lines, or select the bet size.
This causes the effect of false choice when the players blame themselves for losses and lack of skills. This also gives players the feeling that they can improve their chances of winning by mastering gaming strategies. However, this is useless since any spin of any slot is random. For example, if we compare slots with sports betting, we can notice the difference in income between experienced and well-informed players and novice gamblers.
Charm of Slots
Thus, there are many reasons for enjoying slots: adrenaline buzz, profit, or escape from boring everyday life. All of these factors are also obvious to manufacturers and designers of slots, and they use them. Is this bad?
On the one hand, it is unpleasant to think that manufacturers want to coax you out of your money. On the other hand, it is a true joy when a slot machine allows you to feel the desirable pleasure of victory when the slot explodes with its bells and whistles! What a victory! Anyway, it is up to you to decide whether to play.
We want to warn you of all possible pitfalls. You need to keep your activities under control.