Is Tilting the Chair The Right Way to Save Your Seat?

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Chair tilted onto a slot machine

Have you ever seen a tilted chair on a slot machine? It’s often an indicator that someone is looking to save a machine they’ve been playing on. Other examples may include someone leaving a few cents in a machine and a players card.

The reality is that many casinos loathe players for tilting a chair. It’s a safety issue, not so much that the multi-hundred-pound slot machine will flip over from the chair’s weight, but more likely that a player will trip over the chair, for instance, not seeing that its base is extended into the air from the tilt.

More recently we’ve been seeing more frequent notes on players card screens and signage that casinos are politely asking players not to tip chairs. We’ve seen slot attendants un-tipping them as it were to put them back on the floor when they see it. Ultimately, fixing the safety hazard trumps saving the seat.

So what to do? Here are other ways that you can save a slot machine – not all processes will work in all situations, but it’s good to know better ways to do so.

Players Card Machine Locks

A few forward thinking casinos have begun implementing solutions on the players card screen that can lock a machine for a few minutes.

We reached out to Konami, which received a lot of positive press a couple of years ago when the option was rolled out at Resorts World. Turns out, it’s been a feature that’s been around a long time!

“Konami’s SYNKROS casino management system allows casino properties to enable a Slot Machine Reserve feature,” said Tashina Laczano, Director of Marketing and Communications at Konami. “This feature has been available for nearly 10 years. It’s a great feature for players because it allows them to reserve the game machine using their player loyalty account.” 

She added, “It’s fully digital right there on the machine, without the need for improvised barriers/obstructions – which aren’t guaranteed to save the player’s position, and can be unsafe or awkward. The most common use case is when players need a break to use the restrooms, etc.”

This solution lets a player who needs a bathroom break hold their machine without creating a safety issue. Players are required to cash out before locking their machine, so if they forget to return or opt not to return to a given machine, when the timer hits 0 it unlocks and becomes available for another player.

“Casinos with the Konami system have the option to enable it, and often they include time limits to how long the reservation is in effect – to prevent players from abusing the privilege beyond common courtesy to other guests,” Laczano said. She also noted that since it’s being done through the player system instead of the slot, it can be enabled on any slot machine.

This is a great use of technology, and helps casinos manage the safety issue with a smart outcome. The fact that it’s been around so long, however, makes us wonder why more casinos don’t make such a feature available – and is perhaps something players can do to nudge things along by asking them for it. Many casinos are already using Konami’s system, which means it wouldn’t be a big ask for them to offer the Slot Machine Reserve feature to players as well.

Slot Tech Assistance

Sometimes casinos will allow their slot techs to lock machines on behalf of certain players for similar reasons and timeframes. This is a more manual variation of the same solution, so there’s the risk a machine may be out of service longer, and therefore not generating revenue.

As such, this tends to be a service saved for more frequent and/or higher tier players. Some players may find this frustrating – one forum we frequent laments the locking of a limited amount of high denomination Dragon Link machines by high limit players, for instance – but casinos will do their best to strike a balance so they can cater to their players while not blocking out others.

Ask a Neighbor

We’re not always the biggest fans of this, because it puts machine monitoring in some random person’s hands whether they want to have that burden or not, but it’s certainly an option. You know the drill: “Can you watch my machine while I go to the bathroom/ATM/ticket cashier?”

We’ll often times warn the other player if we are going to potentially move on soon, so they know that it’s not a forever thing, but oftentimes players just need a moment to take care of something, and lending a helpful hand isn’t that difficult.


Flipping that chair may be the instinct many will have to save a slot machine, but it’s not the best approach, particularly for the safety of other players around you. Fortunately, casinos are offering other ways to make saving your slot a safer experience, while still giving the player the ability to return to a machine they’re enjoying.

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10 Replies to “Is Tilting the Chair The Right Way to Save Your Seat?”

  • Kristy says:

    What is the etiquette around someone playing a different machine while playing another? This happens A LOT at my local, Graton.

    • says:

      Usually casinos have signage that says during busy times, only one machine per guest, but in practice things vary widely. If someone is occupying a machine and not playing it, and isn’t open to moving, it’s really up to us if we want to grab a staff member to ask them to move – clearly pros and cons to that as well. We’d then have to sit next to that person and play so it may be less than ideal, and not worth it to some.

  • HTE says:

    It’s not just tilting chairs, though. In my area, people will rotate their swivel chairs away from the machines, and the casinos pit up signs telling them not to do that either. It’s probably to minimize the number of conflicts caused by someone turning a chair back around and playing the machine before the other player gets back. People do it anyway, and it’s pretty annoying when nobody knows if there’s actually someone coming back or not, and the chair is unoccupied for like an hour.

    • says:

      Makes sense, and it sounds like from a comment from another player, some casinos even encourage the rotation method as a way of reducing the risk of injury from a chair flipped up. Of course, when others (like yours) discourage it, it only makes things more confusing, which is why we like the electronic lock out solutions like the one Konami offers.

  • Christine says:

    Tilting the chair is a safety hazard agreed. Recently I observed a patron return to a machine that was being played by another patron. She told the patron that the machine was hers and she tilted the chair and get off her machine and very cross in her output. The poor lady had no idea and was shaken by it. I felt terrible for her. She moved to another machine . Did the rude lady thank her or aoologize? No. Was the chair tilted ? Did a staff member correct the chair probably. I think there should be an easy switch to flip .see how I did that… that you can lock the machine out for ten minutes and the screen should read “Locked “and the time of the lock out and when time is up

    • says:

      Thanks Christine! What you’re describing is exactly the sort of system Konami offers as we wrote about here. Hopefully more casinos will adopt it!

  • Sharon says:

    At my casino, Hollywood Aurora Illinois and Joliet Illinois, they want you to turn the chair around so the back rest against the machine. Only if you are leaving for a short time.

    • says:

      That sounds like a compromise to avoid the dangers from flipping the chairs, but still creates confusion if a machine sits like that for a long time.

  • Elizabeth Woods says:

    Brian, in defense of not leaning a chair on the machine. My husband leg was injured as he came around the corner and hit a leaning chair with his leg. His flesh was torn, was hospitalized, had 22 surgeries and his leg amputated, below and above the knee. He died as a result of his injury. Sad ending to a 25 year marriage to the love of my life 💔

    • says:

      Wow – that sounds absolutely awful and we’re sorry to hear it. And this clearly is the sort of thing the casinos are trying to protect guests from having happen.

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