Gambling’s Ebbs and Flows with Game Choices

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Frustration

Have you ever put a slot or series of slots on your “Do Not Play” list? It’s a conversation I’ve had with players quite often over the years. Some of us just have brutal runs on slots, enough to make us swear them off for awhile.

For Brian Christopher, it was at one point Coin Combo. Some bad runs early on led him to avoid the game for awhile. He came back around to it, and won one of his first ever Grand jackpots on it… and now it’s a game he personally selected for his Brian Christopher Slots at Plaza area.

For me, it was Lightning Link, Dragon Link and all its siblings – for whatever reason I could not get anywhere on these games forever. The last couple of years I’ve given them more time, and have come to appreciate them like so many other players.

Why does this happen? As humans, we look for patterns, and when a game doesn’t seem like it has something for us, it’s easy enough to walk away. It’s also a bit protectionary – gambling, because it involves real money, has an emotional side to it.

It’s easier to move on from games that are beating us down. It’s even sometimes healthy for us to take a break altogether from the casino if it’s feeling particularly punishing.

Sometimes players who straddle the line between game types will rotate. For awhile, I avoided Blackjack, after some particularly harsh runs. But recent rounds playing low stakes with friends have reminded me the fun side of the game, particular in a social setting.

I’ve largely sworn off craps, and on the rare occasion where I try to dive back in, I’m often reminded quickly why I did – the swings that can happen are a bit too much for me, especially when the table minimums are uncomfortable for me on many tables nowadays to begin with.

Video Poker has often been a standby, but I don’t do the hours-long sessions I would periodically do a few years ago – a few rough runs has reduced my time on Video Poker, at least for now. I could also do with a bit of brushing up on my skills to make sure I’m playing optimally.

Each of us who have been playing long enough can identify games they favor and ones they’ve sworn off, and that’s largely due to our personal experiences. But none of these games have it out for some players and not others – the ebbs and flows are an aspect of gambling that aren’t necessarily smoothed out in one or a few sessions. 

For many of us, it’s easier to just set it aside and play something else than worry about why we’re not getting anything good. And it makes for interesting conversations when we share our do not plays and find out it’s another player’s go to machine.


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