Gamblers Like Either Skill Games Like Poker or Slots and Keno, Rarely Both

Gamblers Like Either Skill Games Like Poker or Slots and Keno, Rarely Both

Las Vegas, Atlantic City, Reno, Monte Carlo and the other casino meccas of the world could not exist without slot machines.

There. I said it and I'm glad.

Yes, there has always been an ongoing war between people who play the skill games like poker and blackjack -- games they can control at least to some extent by the way and amount they wager -- as opposed to the pure games of chance like slots or keno.

My younger brother refuses to play any other gambling game but slots. I have tried to get him to add poker to his recreational gambling, but he says nothing doing. He loves the slots, they love him (or so he claims) and that is that.

One of my favorite casino jokes is the one about the couple who went to Las Vegas. He played poker and blackjack, she stuck to slots. After a day, she came to him for some money.

'Honey,' he said, 'I gave you $200 to spend. What happened to it?'

'I lost it on the slots. But I feel really lucky and want to try some more.'

He reluctantly handed her some cash. She slyly asked, 'Are you winning or losing?'

The husband shrugged. 'I'm down a little,' he said.

'How much?'

'About four hundred,' he said.

She grinned. 'And you get upset with me because I lost only two hundred on the slot machines,' she said. 'How can you justify that?'

'I know what I'm doing,' he said.

Years ago when I lived in Naples, FL. and worked as associate editor of a national lottery magazine, I met a woman from London. Jill owned a condo in Bonita Spings and we began dating. She was in America on a Green Card and wanted to visit Las Vegas before she had to return home, so I rented a camper and we travel across the United States.


She marveled at the bigness of the country. We spent time in Louisiana and Texas, and rolled through the prairie country of New Mexico. She loved the Grand Canyon and Painted Desert, my old stomping grounds, and when we pulled into Las Vegas, she was in ecstasy.

'This is wonderful,' she said in her delightful British tone. 'When I get back to London, I must tell all my friends about this.'

We checked into our room at Sam's Town and I took her on an unforgettable tour of the city that never sleeps. Naturally we stopped at Binion's Horseshoe which at that time ran one of the most popular poker rooms in Las Vegas.

She told me she wanted to play the slots. I said that would be fine and that I would be in the poker room. I sat down at a limit Omaha High-Low game. After an hour or so, I was up about $300.

Somebody tapped me on the shoulder. It was Jill and she wore a smile as wide as the Grand Canyon.


'I won,' she cried. 'Sixteen hundred dollars. On the dollar machine!'

She dropped a $100 bill into my chips and hurried back to the slots. As I tucked the money into my pocket, Randy, the dealer, grinned and said, 'Nice woman.'

'She's British,' I said.

'I rather expected that,' said Tony, doing a bad job of faking a British accent. Tony is Italian-American and hails from New Jersey.

I kept playing poker and fluctuated between $300 and $400 winners. Somebody tapped me on the shoulder. I turned and it was my sweet blond friend from the United Kingdom.

'I won again,' she said, practically shrieking. 'Sixteen hundred dollars on the same dollar machine I love Binion's. I love America.'

Jill is back in England. I miss her. And one of these days when I find that lucky dollar machine that paid her off for her efforts, I'm going to give it my best shot and try to figure out how she did it.

“When I get back to London, I must tell all my friends about this”

  • I love slots , and many many times Ive found myself playing the same one for hrs and hrs determined . Yes I have to agree as well it seems like work more often than not . I don't have any answers , Im not a pro gambler , not what I do for a living but it is my main past time . I like to read these articles and all the comments , always seems to be good insight to take from it , and good to know some feel and think same as I do at times .
  • I agree you have to love it and it is work you can be there for hours I actually find it relaxing I truly believe that is the only reason I play lol Jade you are right i know person that plays slots for a living and bingo and boy she is lucky at it. She is always winning at bingo games. I myself never win and i am addicted to slots...thanks rose
  • That is a story every slot player, including myself has to love and that is usually the way it goes. Out of the blue, her first time, not just once, but twice, on the same machine. That cannot be planned, well not by the slot player anyway. I think OOPaloo makes a good point that "Sometimes gambling can seem more like work than play." And after all, some people do make a living doing it, gambling I mean. If you ever figure out how she did it, you should certainly write that story.
  • Slots hold out the hope of huge immediate gratification
  • Sometimes gambling can seem more like work than play. When you sit patiently waiting for the best cards in a poker tounament for hours on end and every now and then you get a really playable hand and double or triple up and move forward towards the final table. That can feel like tedious labor. Or when you spin and spin and spin a slot machine and keep losing and losing and losing going ever in the descent on that downward spiral towards crapping out bust. That can be like tedious, boring labor. BUT....when you make the final table and even better when you finish in the top three in that poker tournament and a huge multiple of your buy in is deposited in your online account. FESTIVAL! And likewise when you spin the wheel and hit for a thousand times your bet; HOOOORAAAY! PARTY! The point is with slots it can happen at any moment even from the first bet. But with poker, blackjack and other skill games it takes laborious time to climb that mountain to the party at the top. And then maybe you are too tired to celebrate. At least on that day.

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