I write quite a bit about poker and why everyone who likes to gamble should learn how to play. But it’s not the best choice for every gambler. Depending on why you’re gambling, other games can offer more.
Slot machines don’t offer the same chance of winning over time that poker does, but this doesn’t mean they’re not a better option for some players. Here’s a list of seven reasons why slot machines are better than poker.
1 – You Don’t Need to Learn Strategy
If you want to be a winning poker player, you need to do a great deal of work. You have to learn how to play, and you need to spend months or years learning strategy and improving your game. But if you play slots, you don’t need to learn anything about strategy because there isn’t a strategy that helps you win.
You can do some things while playing slots that help your bankroll last longer, and you can try to find return to player numbers for several slot machines so that you can play on the ones that offer the highest return, but once you hit the spin button or pull the handle, there’s nothing to do but hope for a win.
When you play slot machines, if you want your bankroll to last longer, you can find machines that have lower cost per spin, and you can take fewer spins per hour. While both of these are good, they aren’t exactly strategy.
If you can find the return to player numbers for some slot machines, you can only play on the machines that have the highest return, but this still isn’t going to help you overcome the house edge. In addition, finding return numbers for slot machines is difficult.
Return to player is simply the difference between the house edge and 100%. If the house edge on a slot machine is 4%, the return to player is 96%. This means that on average the slot machine pays back $96 out of every $100 wagered on it, and the casino keeps the rest as revenue.
The only other thing you can do that’s close to strategy on slot machines is track progressive jackpots and play on the machines that have a jackpot so high that it might overcome the house edge. This is a risky strategy because even if the progressive jackpot is high enough to overcome the house edge, you still have to hit it. This can take hundreds of thousands of spins or more, and other players are trying to hit the jackpot at the same time.
If you want to have a chance to turn a long-term profit, are willing to work hard at learning the best strategies, and are willing to invest years reaching your goal, poker is a good option.
But if you just want to take a shot at a jackpot without needing to learn any strategy or think about your playing decisions, slot machines are the way to go.
Another strategy issue with poker is that you need to pay attention to what the other players are doing. You need to watch how they play hands so that you can spot playing tendencies and make more profit from them later. You don’t need to pay attention when you play slot machines because the machine takes care of everything.
2 – You Don’t Have to Deal With People
Some gamblers love to interact with dealers and other players, but other gamblers just want to be left alone. When you play poker, you have to communicate with the dealer and sit at a table with many other players. But when you play a slot machine, it’s just you and the game.
Many gamblers who prefer to play alone have started to transition to online and mobile gambling options. You can play most casino games and poker online. Mobile and online casinos have thousands of different slot machines, with some individual casinos offering over 100 different slots games. At last count, some Microgaming online casinos have over 400 different slot machines.
Online and mobile gambling is great, but it doesn’t have the same feel as sitting down at a real slot machine and watching the reels spin. Even when you play poker online, you still have to deal with the other players. While it’s not as bad as sitting at a real table with them, it can still be frustrating at times.
The only thing you have to deal with playing live slots is other players on machines close to you. When the casino is busy, it’s hard to find a machine that doesn’t have other players close by. And you can’t stop people from sitting down close to you.
One way to help with this is to walk around every casino you visit to identify the slot machines that are the least accessible. Look for machines close to corners and at the end of rows. Every casino has a different layout, but most have at least a few machines that offer a little more privacy than others.
3 – You Can Play as Fast or Slow as You Want
When you play poker, the speed of the game is dictated by the dealer and the other players. You can take your time when playing your hand if you need to, but even that has a limit. The problem usually isn’t that you want to play poker slower; the problem is that you want to play faster, and the dealer and/or other players are slow.
Online poker is much faster than live poker, but you still have to wait for the other players at the table to play their hands. A few online poker rooms offer a type of speed poker, where you get moved to a new player and start a new hand as soon as you fold.
While these games are even faster, I don’t prefer them because you never learn anything about your opponents. This might not seem like a big deal, but if you want to maximize your profits playing poker, you need to find weak players and exploit their weaknesses. Speed poker makes this impossible.
When you play on a slot machine, you’re in complete control of the speed of play. You can play as fast as you can push the buttons or pull the lever. Or you can take your time and just play a few spins every minute. Playing slower has the added benefit of making your bankroll last longer.
4 – Better Online Bonuses
Most online poker rooms offer bonuses, but they aren’t even close to the bonuses that online slots players have access to. 100% matching slots bonuses are common, and many online casinos offer 200% and higher match bonuses.
You can also find some online slots bonuses worth thousands.
I’ve seen bonus packages of over $10,000 for online slots players.
The other big advantage of online slots bonuses over online poker bonuses is that you can usually play with your slots bonus as soon as you make a deposit. When you get a poker bonus, you usually have to clear it by playing a set number of raked hands or by acquiring a set number of player’s points. In addition, you usually only receive small chunks of your poker bonus at one time. This can be as small as $5 or $10 at a time.
It’s important to read the terms and conditions for every slot machine bonus you consider taking because every online casino has their own set of rules. You should learn more about the types of online casino bonuses and make sure you understand what you need to do before you can cash out.
The good news is that you don’t have to worry too much about it if you’re chasing a big progressive jackpot. When you play progressive slot machines, you just want to play as long as possible to give yourself the best chance to win big.
The only thing to watch out for in the terms and conditions when you play progressive slot machines is to make sure there isn’t a maximum cash out amount. Most slots bonuses don’t have a maximum, as long as you meet the playthrough requirements.
5 – Progressive Jackpots
Poker only offers a couple different ways to make a large pile of money. You either need to win a big tournament or grind out your winnings over time. In order to do either one of these things, you have to put in a great deal of work improving your skills.
On the other hand, you can find many different slot machines that have large jackpots. Most large jackpots on slots are progressive ones, but some machines have a set top prize worth tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands.
You don’t have to learn anything about strategy or play a certain way to hit a big slots progressive jackpot. You just have to play on a progressive machine and get lucky.
If you want to take a chance to win a life-changing amount of money, a progressive slot machine is your best choice in the casino. You just need to make sure that you read the rules to verify what you have to do to be eligible.
Some progressive slot machines require every pay line be activated and that you wager maximum coins. You don’t want to line up a one-in-a-million pay line and not have it activated.
You can find great progressive jackpot slot machines in land-based casinos and online. When you play online, you can get a big bonus like I covered in the previous section that doubles or triples your bankroll. When you get a bonus, it gives you more chances to get lucky and hit a big win.
6 – More Variety
In most casinos and poker rooms, the only games offered are Texas hold’em. Larger poker rooms offer Omaha and seven card stud, but even with these games, you have a low number of choices.
On the other hand, even the smallest casinos have several different types of slot machines, and the big casinos have hundreds of different slots varieties.
It doesn’t matter if you play online or at a land-based casino; you can pick from many different slot machines. Some casinos have thousands of slot machines, so you can try many different games every time you play.
Even if you consider the different poker variations, different limits, and cash game and tournament offerings, you still have only a fraction of the choices when you play poker.
It’s also easy to get bored when you sit at the poker table for hours, especially when you have a run of poor cards. It can seem like you fold every hand for an hour, and it’s easy to get distracted.
But when you play slot machines, you can quickly move to another machine if you get bored with the one you’re playing. You can try out the old-fashioned three-reel machines or play on one of the newer video-based slot machines with numerous bonus rounds and games within games.
Some slot machines even have a storyline that you watch as you play. You can unlock new parts of the story and new bonuses the longer you play.
Poker really hasn’t seen anything new for years. A new game gets introduced from time to time, but players are still choosing Texas hold’em as their main game.
Slot machine manufacturers are constantly developing and introducing new games. This is true for land-based manufacturers and online software developers. New slot machines bring new players into the casinos and keep experienced players interested.
7 – Slot Machines Are Easier to Play
Even though popular poker games are easy to learn, slot machines are even easier. To play poker, you need to learn the basics of poker, including the value of cards, the rank of hands, and how hands are formed using a deck of cards.
The next step is learning the specific rule of the variety of poker you’re playing. Texas hold’em is the most popular variety of poker, and it has a specific set of rules. Other forms of poker that have different rule sets include seven card stud and Omaha.
You also need to learn the differences between limit, pot limit, and no limit poker and the differences between cash games and the various types of tournaments.
When you play slot machines, you simply sit down at a machine, put some money in, and press the spin button. You can pick how many lines you want to activate on some machines and adjust the number of coins to bet per line on some machines, but even these are simple choices.
If you’re looking for the easiest game to play in the casino, slot machines are always towards the top of the list.
Poker might offer a better chance at long-term profits, but slot machines have advantages for many gamblers. When you just want to play a simple game and not worry about strategy, slot machines offer a big advantage over poker.
You don’t have to deal with other gamblers when you play slots, and you can get big online bonuses that you can use to chase a huge progressive jackpot. And you can try new slot machines every time you play.
It’s still a better long-term strategy to master poker if you want the best chance to win, but it takes a great deal of work. Slot machines don’t require any work, and you still have a chance at a big win if you get lucky.
Michael Stevens has been researching and writing topics involving the gambling industry for well over a decade now and is considered an expert on all things casino and sports betting. Michael has been writing for GamblingSites.org since early 2016. ...
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