Beating a One-Armed Bandit

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December 3rd, 2016
Back Beating a One-Armed Bandit

Slot machine players are special people.

Believe it or not, I have a feeling in my heart for slot players. They attack those one-armed bandits with so much determination that sometimes I expect them and the machine to erupt in smoke and fire.

My brother is a slot player. I have tried to talk him into playing poker, as I have related to readers of this website in previous columns, without luck. He loves his slot machines and is determined to beat them.

I can understand his feelings for slots. When I lived in Springfield, MO., I used a special bus service to travel to Downstream and Indigo Sky Casino about 70 miles west of the city.

I would pay the bus operator $15. In return, I would receive a round-trip ticket to the casino along with a certificate that would give me $15 credit toward any slot machine I wished to play.

That was interesting. I wasn't a slot machine player, but free money is a great inducement to making you try something new.

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I decided to use my free cash on the video poker machines.

Now I am a big advocate of skill games as the readers of this website know. To me, a video poker machine is far superior to any other slot machine. Those other slots don't require skill to win. And you cannot win at video poker without knowing at least something about odds and the game of poker.

My usual routine was to ride on the bus until I arrived at the casino. Then I would take my $15 ticket and either play deuces wild or jacks or better on a video poker machine.

The free money was very lucrative for me. I would win anything from $10 to $80 -- sometimes more -- by running those $15 through the machine. Then I would cash in and play live poker in the poker room.

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It isn't easy beating a one-armed bandit. I admire the ingenuity that goes into the construction of a slot machine, one that talks, screams and beckons to passing customers.

My brother tells me there aren't many winners at the slot machines at The Meadows in Washington, PA. where he plays. He sees the same losers week after week. None of them smile.

'They know how slim their chances are of winning,' my brother tells me. 'But they still keep trying.'

All I can say iss thank goodness for the skill games a casino offers. Without blackjack, poker and sometimes dice, the odds would really be stacked in favor of the house. I wish all the slot players of the world the best of luck. They'll need it. Let the games begin.

“It isn't easy beating a one-armed bandit.”

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