Keeping Focus on the Fun Side of Slots

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100x win on Mystical Unicorn

When you’ve got friends around you who bet bigger, it sometimes helps to lean on the ones that ground you. I have one that has busted my chops lately for sending him pictures of $100 wins that are on $1 bets. “Pocket change,” he declared.

He’s certainly not wrong that $100 isn’t going to make or break things in my life – it isn’t a Megabucks jackpot. But one aspect of playing slots I’ve worked hard to maintain over the years is the idea that it should be fun, regardless of the stakes.

I’ve been playing slots 20 years, ever since I was able to take my first trip to Foxwoods as a 21 year old. I had kindred spirits in both my mom, who loved to low roll on slots, and my grandmother, who I’d play video poker with and who would always make it a point to cause a ruckus over two pair. Yes, that was 10 quarters, but we’re winners!

My gambling budget has ebbed and flowed through the years. When my budget has retrenched due to other life priorities, I’d always take the time to recalibrate and find the fun again at lower stakes.

Sometimes, it was to seek out games with bonuses that were fun regardless of outcome. Earlier in my gambling “career” it’d be games like Village People Party, that would just blast some classic music in a way that would make it fun even if you picked a pooper right away.

The setup and structure of many modern slots can be fun in its own right because they can do all sorts of things not possible 20 years ago. Games like Buffalo Gold and their building potential as you retrigger and collect gold heads can be so exciting, and online slots have continued that momentum with all sorts of games that have the ability to build to these amazing outcomes when things go just right.

The shift to more volatile games means it’s harder sometimes to keep things going with that lower bankroll, but it’s not impossible. During a recent trip to Detroit for some iGaming research, I gave myself $100 one night, played for a couple of hours, and still had $65 of it to take home at the end.

Another night I casino hopped to two other casinos, giving myself $100 in each location. One casino took the $100 but it took a couple hours, whereas the other I left with almost double my money – a $20 loss for the entire evening.

I know some of you don’t even have that level of budget sometimes, and it can seem daunting to make your money last on a lower budget, but you can do so, and have fun while doing it – the trick is to shift from a mindset of handpays and massive cash-ins and focus more on enjoying the moment. Celebrate those bonuses, crank up the music and enjoy it for what it is!

Slots certainly have a financial connection given you’re winning or losing real money, but we don’t demand profits out of other entertainment trips. We’re certainly not going to come out ahead financially leaving Disney World, but at the same time we still get something out of those experiences.

We hear from a lot of you about punishing casino trips, not getting any major wins, and that’s always tough to read. I’ve certainly been there emotionally, just as I have been there when I got my first handpay, or an insane Grand jackpot once on a cruise ship.

That’s why the goal of finding fun is so important – it can help ground you. Find cheap games with fun bonuses when the day isn’t going your way – every casino still has a few of them lurking somewhere. Shift the focus from bets that chase big jackpots to just enjoying the games on offer.

Along the way, amazing moments can still happen, but those will live in their own level of woohoo – the average casino can’t always deliver that level of excitement, but you can still focus on the fun.


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