Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Slot Machine with Advertised Probabilities

Have gamblers flocking because they have slightly better odds
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I recently read that slot machines account for approximately 80% of the total revenue for the average casino. So much money at stake for casinos and yet they seem to make such a meager attempt to lure you to THEIR slot machines instead of a their competitors’. Sure, large jackpots are nice, but everybody knows that the chances of winning them go down proportionally to their size. People who play slot machines are not necessarily behaving rationally, but they aren’t stupid either. I’m sure that if it was well known that slot machine X has the best odds in the house, people would flock to it, even if its odd were still far worse than 50-50. What’s more, people would be far more inclined to make higher bets in it (play full coin). Following this logic, the casino has an interest in advertising this fact with neon lettering and flashing lights so everybody knows about it. Perhaps even placing a prominent plaque listing its odds and comparing them with other popular slot machines. Assuming that there is no casino cartel and that the mafia doesn’t burn down the building (who would even think of such a thing), the laws of economics predict that with an informed (efficient) marked, you will actually make a larger net profit, despite the fact that fewer people will now use the “regular” slot machines.
imho, Mar 02 2009

(?) 13th Annual Guide to the Best Slot Paybacks in the Nation http://www.casinopl...ve/0604cp/slots.htm
Not sure where they get their information from, or whether it's regulations, but it would make sense for a casino to publicise a favourable position in tables such as these - which is precisely what they do! [zen_tom, Mar 02 2009]


       Whilst I disagree with gambling being allowed at all, if it is allowed this idea does make good sense in terms of honesty and transparency. Rather than pure probabilities, it might be more usefully expressed as 'loss per pound/dollar; e.g. a 75% payout machine would be marked: "lose 25¢ for each $1", making it less attractive than the nearby "lose 22¢ for each $1".   

       A prompt, before you start playing, could read:
"Do you want to lose an average of 25¢ for each $1 you put in?" to which the user must answer [Yes] in order to proceed.
vincevincevince, Mar 02 2009

       Reminds me of law in New Jersey requiring games to have an element of skill. This resulted in the "skill stops" found on some slot machines.
Spacecoyote, Mar 02 2009

       This may attract the minds of the poker types, now that they have numbers to mentally crunch. The downside is that if Granny (there seem to be a disproportionate amount of these using slot machines, if Hollywood is anything to go by) suddenly can see that the new machine has better odds than the one she's been faithfully using for years, but is still rubbish, she may then quit, and start going bowling with her knitting mates instead.
Skrewloose, Mar 02 2009

       //The downside is that if Granny ... she may then quit// not a downside by any means
vincevincevince, Mar 02 2009

       Don't they already do this in Vegas, or were the huge billboards advertising "Loose Slots" talking about something else?
zen_tom, Mar 02 2009

       //"Loose Slots"// refers to the presence of a small number of machines with a low theft-ratio amongst a large number of machines with a high theft-ratio. Misleading advertising at its worst I'm afraid.
vincevincevince, Mar 02 2009


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