Why is Slot Machine Gambling Considered "The Crack Cocaine" of Gambling Addiction?

Why is slot machine gambling so addictive? Why is it coined the “crack cocaine of addiction”? Why is slot machine gambling considered to be the MOST addictive form of gambling that exists today?

I will try to answer these questions in this article. The questions are quite significant, and the answers can help to explain why so many people have gotten hooked on the “slots”, “pokies”, and “fruit machines”.

Slot machines use what is known to psychological behaviorists as “intermittent reinforcement” Basically, what this means is that a winning hand on a slot machine only happens sometimes.

This type of reinforcement is known to be very powerful because an individual is only rewarded at certain intervals. This can create an addictive reaction , resulting obsession quite easily. When you reward only sometimes., it is sure to create an obsessive reaction.

In addition, studies have shown that the neurotransmitter dopamine plays an important role in developing a gambling addiction. Dopamine is known as the “feel good” chemical. The illusions of patterns in slot machines, and the intermittent winning spins create a rush of dopamine in the brain that makes people desire continued play.

You have probably heard in the past that gambling addicts are “addicted to the action”and not really as interested in winning money like they may think they are. This is because the dopamine rush is so powerful and pleasurable, that the action of gambling becomes euphoric in its’ own right. It is a means it itself rather than a means to an end.

The role of dopamine is in the brain is very significant and powerful. Individuals with Parkinsons Diseases who were taking medications to increase dopamine in their brains were becoming addicted to gambling, specifically, slot machine gambling. Once these individuals stopped the medication, their addictive and obsessive gambling stopped. This happened to a significant amount of people taking these types of medications.

Slot machine addiction is considered to be the “crack cocaine” of gambling for a few different reasons.

Crack cocaine is one of the most highly addictive drugs that exists today. Slot machine gambling is also considered to be the most addictive form of gambling… hands down.

The two can also be compared to each other because of the very quick, accelerating progression of the addiction. A person can hit total despair and devastation with a slot machine addiction in one to three years. Other forms of gambling do not accelerate as quickly.

Another comparison is how both forms of addiction can create such debasement, despondency and despair because of the power and intensity of the addictive substance/behavior.

Stealing, prostitution, drugs, loss of job, marriage, and finances are common with both of these addictions. You may have heard horror stories of individuals with either of these addictions. These stories are all too common.

As you can see, it is very easy to compare slot machine addiction to crack cocaine addiction. The common characteristics of both addictions is quite impressive.

Why is Slot Machine Addiction Considered The MOST Addictive Form of Gambling?

This question is related to the above two areas that I have covered, except for a few other concepts which I believe are worth noting:

o Slot machines are designed by psychologists and other specialists who are specifically instructed to design slot machines to seduce and addict people.

o The new video mulit-line electronic slot machines have graphics and colors that are very compelling and stimulating to the eye.

o The music in video slot machines is very stimulating, repetitive, seductive , and truly reinforcing. There is strong subliminal suggestion in this.

o The bonus rounds in video slot machines can encourage continued play, even amidst great losses, since bonus rounds are very exciting and provide a rush.

o The speed of play, and the speed of modern slot machines keeps your adrenaline pumping, especially with all of the above factors.

o The jackpots in slot machines can be huge, however, the chances of winning these jackpots are equivalent to winning the powerball lottery, if not more improbable.

o Slot machines can be a place to “zone out”. Today’s slot machines can put you into a hypnotizing trance that is hard to break out of.

o Slot machines require little or no skill, making it easy to just sit there and push the buttons, without a thought, forethought, or contemplation.

o It is very easy to keep playing slot machines because all accept dollar bills, and give players coupons upon ending play. Money loses its’ value and becomes “monopoly” money.

o ATM Machines are usually in close proximity to the slot machines, again, encouraging continued play.

o Many slot machines use denominations of 1 cent to 5 cents. This fools the gambler into thinking that they are not spending much. What is not being said, however, is that the maximum bet can be as high as $15 to $20 per spin. Is this really a penny or nickel machine?

Minimizing Risks in Online Gambling

Protecting yourself when gambling online can be difficult if you are new to online gambling. Not all online casinos found on the internet are legitimate. The first thing a person must do is acquire as much information as he can on the legitimacy of a casino. There are numerous websites that have written reviews on casinos which will help a person determine whether a casino is a scam or not. Some online casinos will have a statement issued on its site that Players gamble at their own risk. Keep away from such sites.

Most of the new gamblers online have the habit of making a rush decision when choosing an online casino. They never take the time to do a proper research of the casino to verify whether it is secure enough to gamble at. A legitimate online casino should have a license, 24/7 customer support, promotional bonuses, good software for its games and give clear instructions on its payout schemes.

Learn to stick to your gambling budget when placing a bet online. Don’t lose control when you are losing and start digging into your bank account to get more money to continue playing. Know when to quit and don’t hold onto the belief that the more you play will enable you to win back the money you lost. This type of thinking will make you so frustrated and determined to play more that you will eventually become a compulsive gambler.

Choose an online casino that offers a variety of free games for you to play so that you can get familiar with the games and improve your skill at it. Refrain from playing at casinos that offer betting special offers instead of free games. You will have a better chance of winning by playing free games to improve your gaming skills than play at a casino which only offers betting special offers if you join.

The rules of an internet casino site will not be the same as that of other internet casino sites. So always be clear about the rules in each online casino you play at so that you don’t encounter any problems with the games and payments in case you happen to win. Only play at online casinos that offer games that you enjoy. Also, make sure that the game software is easy to download into you computer. Legitimate online casinos will always have the latest gaming software and if your computer is an old one you will definitely have problems downloading the software. Invest in a good computer by upgrading your existing one or by purchasing a new one.

By doing so, you will be able to enjoy the many games offered by these legitimate sites. Minimizing risks in gambling will only be a success if you take the time to do your homework and learn about the pros and cons of online casinos. This will not only increase your chances of winning but will also lessen the problems that you will encounter in the gambling world.

Online Casino Gambling – Why is it So Popular?

You can play anywhere

Most gamblers don’t live near a large casino that can provide them with access to a wide variety of games of chance. If you aren’t located near casino, where else can you look for gambling entertainment? Local gambling options are usually limited to underground poker games, video poker at a bar, or slots; not a lot of variety. Gambling online allows you to play at any time of the day for as long as you want to play. Playing online saves you gas and time.

Casino bonuses

Casino bonus incentives make playing online much more attractive compared to playing in a casino. Lots of online casinos will offer you credit after you make your first deposit that is equal to a percentage of your deposit. In some cases the online casino may even match or exceed your deposit.

Wiser decisions

Gambling online provides a player with a quiet distraction free environment. Gambling takes a lot of concentration and can be very stressful. An active noisy environment can add to game related stress, which can adversely affect your performance. When you gamble at home you don’t have to worry about what you wear, and you can listen to music you like or watch TV while playing.

Practicing is easier

If you need practice lots of online casinos offer free games. When you exceed your monthly budget for online gambling, you can use online games to practice until you have money to play again. Practice makes perfect.

Third party software

Gambling online allows you to use computer programs to assist you with your game. There are tons of programs that are available that can help increase your chances of winning. In real life casino gambling there is nothing that can be compared to using a program to help you make intelligent gambling decisions. Why play at a real life casino if you will have better chances when playing online?

No mistakes

When playing online, there is chance for a dealer error, misdeal, or game operator errors.    

About Casino Gambling – Poker, Blackjack, Roulette, Slots & Craps

Casinos… Think of Las Vegas or Monte Carlo, bright lights, ritz, glamour, people winning money, but mostly people losing money! You may be intrigued by the idea of going to a casino but don’t really know too much about them – please read on to learn more about the fun of a night out to a casino…

According to Princeton University’s ‘Wordnet’, a casino is ‘a public building for gambling and entertainment’. Don’t be overawed if you do go, relax and enjoy. You will most likely have the chance to play slot machines or one-armed bandits as they are commonly known and perhaps other games of chance and some skill. One major thing that you do need to be aware of, is the way that a casino will look to tilt the odds in its favour, which is more commonly known as the casino’s “edge”. However, some games such as poker are played with players versus players and in this case, the casino cannot get an advantage as it is not effectively playing. In these circumstances, the casino will take a “rake” on the bets that players make against each other.

If you have ever been to Las Vegas and gone to one of the casinos there, the first thing that you will notice is the fact that they more often or not have the slot machines (otherwise known as ‘one-armed-bandits’ or ‘fruit machines’) right as you go in. This is because they really don’t require too much understanding to play and it’s not uncommon to see people playing these machines for hours on end. The slot machine will typically involve a lever on the side (the one arm!) and three reels with patterns of symbols on, located in the centre of the machine. The reels revolve as you pull the lever and the idea is to generate rows of matching symbols to win, having paid your required stake via the slot usually on the front of the machine.

There may be times when you will play on a machine which will have extra options available for you to use, often giving the illusion that you will have more control over the reels and a better chance of winning. This may be the case over the short-term, but always remember that playing in casinos is fun, but the house always has the long-term advantage. To give you a quick example…if you were to play a game where you had to bet on what number would lie face up after the roll of a die, then you would expect to see the casino pay six times the amount bet for a win, but in fact the casino would pay five times to maintain its advantage.

This system is often found in famous casino gambling games like Poker, Craps, Roulette or Blackjack.

Blackjack has always been played in casinos because players will play their chips against the House dealer with the successful gambler being paid against pre-determined odds (ie by getting a true ‘Blackjack’ which in other words is a two card combination adding up to 21, the House will pay you 3:2, or 1-1/2 times your initial wager). If you play fair, the chances are that you may end up with a profit, but more often than not, the casino will win, unless you count the cards. Card counting is a black art as far as casinos are concerned and if you are caught, you will be blacklisted worldwide! Effectively, because the playing cards are only used once and then discarded, anyone with a good memory and a highly analytical mind can determine their own odds that a certain card will or will not appear again, tilting the odds in his favour.

Poker is one of the most played games in the world. Its popularity has grown massively over the past couple of years and many casinos would not offer a poker game due to the fact that they were limited to taking a rake (as discussed previously). You may be aware that poker is essentially a playing card game were players are dealt poker cards face down, and then take it in turns to place bets (represented by poker chips with a specific value) based on the strength of the cards that they hold, combined with other community cards placed face up in the middle of the poker table. The player with the strongest combination should win what’s known as the pot (the combined bets of all the players for that hand), however one of the reasons that poker is so popular is the element of ‘bluffing’ where a player may actually have a poor hand, but believes that he can make his opponents believe that he has the strongest combination by means of subtle psychology! This can be as subtle as staring one’s opponent into ‘folding’ his cards, or by moving his entire stack of poker chips into the middle of the table – what’s known as ‘going all in’.

Roulette is a classic casino game, whereby a croupier gently spins a perfectly balanced, wooden roulette wheel with either 37 or 38 recessed ‘pockets’ along the bottom edge of the roulette wheel. As the wheel begins to spin, the croupier will roll a small white ball the opposite way with the intention being for the ball to bounce of raised points on the wall and to finally come to rest in one of the numbered pockets. In European casinos, the wheel’s layout features pockets numbered 1 – 36 and alternate between red and black with the number one, coloured red and zero being coloured green. However in American casinos, you are more likely to see a second double-zero 00 pocket also coloured green.

Again the House pays out against set odds displayed on the cloth covering the roulette table. Typically this will offer 35:1 for single number bets where you bet on one number to win, 2:1 for any column of numbers, and evens for any red, any black, odds or evens.

Craps can be the most fun to play and certainly watch. It’s also the fastest game in the casino with often more than 60 bets per hour. Players will wager bets against the casino on the result of a roll of a die, or the series of rolls of two dice. The great thing about craps is that you don’t have to be rolling the dice to bet, you can bet on how lucky you (hope) the guy rolling is going to be, which is why it can be so entertaining. Essentially, the guy with the dice is called the ‘shooter’ and the basic bet in craps is called the ‘Pass Line’ bet, and by rolling a 7 or 11, the shooter will roll a pass line winner, and can play again. If he rolls 2, 3 or 12, these are known as craps and this is a pass line loss. Any other number becomes the shooter’s point and he continues. It really is a fascinating game with many more rules and options.

At the end of the day, a night out to a casino can be wonderfully entertaining, but casinos have learnt over hundreds of years how to make their games very, very addictive. They are quite happy to let you win a little here and there, but they know that in the long run, it’s you that’s going to be making them happy – do take care!