Perceived Persistence and its Influence on Slots

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Over time, slots have become tougher. We’ve talked about the reasons why here, but that can also make them, on the surface, seem less exciting when you’re going through deeper and deeper runs of dead spins.

But slot makers have found a way to solve for this, and it comes with the concept of perceived persistence.

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I recently spoke with Matt Bourie of the American Casino Guide Book to discuss the topic. The video is above to watch in full, but here’s some of the points we covered.

Perceived persistence elements make it seem like you’re progressing towards something, even when it’s not. Originally, this took the form of the pot on games like 88 Fortunes and Dancing Drums.

But it was the three pot format that began with Fu Dai Lian Lian that really supercharged it. Now, you’ve got three separate objects that are all growing, with coins flying up to the bags, the bags growing. All this activity for a bonus that most of the time doesn’t trigger. But it sure feels like a lot more is going on.

Psychologically, the progress still triggers something in our brain, and a percentage of players chase the pots or bags, thinking their is a significance, or even if there’s not, if they’re full the game must be ready to bonus, right?

But it’s not, because ultimately the bonus is equally likely to happen on any spin, so ultimately it just encourages players to keep going – and that’s the point.

Last year, the top 10 performing core (non-leased) slots all had a perceived persistence element. The top 10 games mean they were working the hardest on casino floors, generating the most revenue. As always, we vote with our wallets, and casinos focus on the slots we play and put them on the floor.

So ultimately, they have to some degree found a way to make slots feel more active in an era when they’re harder than before. Not all games have these features (notably, some of the top performing games in the leased category, Link games, don’t have this element), but many of the ones we’re playing do, and with that comes more like it.

This is why we invest time discussing these elements – as players, we should understand what this means and keep it in mind when we play, so we don’t get sucked in, chasing something that isn’t a chase.


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2 Replies to “Perceived Persistence and its Influence on Slots”

  • Kristy Ramer says:

    Thanks Josh for the helpful information. Unfortunately, I am one of those people who cannot walk away from full pots. I am working on that but it is soooo hard. Thanks again, Kristy

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