July 23, 2007

Psychology Design and Economics of Slot Machines

Via Boing Boing, we came across this online course unit from Stanford design professor Michael Shanks. It is always interesting to see how casinos and casino-makers are employing clever manipulations to trick us into playing their games.

From the Unit titled The Psychology of the Slot Machine:


Slot machines take advantage of basic human psychology to maximize their appeal. In contrast to most other casino games such as blackjack or poker, playing a slot machine requires no skill, intellect, or decision-making ability. This non-threatening aspect is critical to the appeal of slot machines versus other casino games. In addition, there is no downtime while playing slots—the “action” is nonstop, and is designed to engross the player completely. Of course, the fundamental appeal of the slot machine, as in any other casino game, is the opportunity of winning and making a lot of money. However, slot machines are unique in that literally every coin a player puts in has a possibility of eliciting a huge payout, albeit a statistically negligible one. This aspect of slot machines provides initial and continued stimulus to the player; studies have shown that playing a slot machine activates dopaminergic neural pathways traditionally associated with pleasure or risk-taking. Beyond that, however, slot machines keep players engrossed through a psychological phenomenon known as operant conditioning.

Read the Whole Unit at the Professor's Website

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July 3, 2007

Eight in One Gaming Table From GameroomAntiques.com

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Multi-game tables are not that hard to find out there, but finding a multi-game table that includes Craps is. You can imagine our excitement when we stubmled onto this beatuy. The distributor's website doesn't look like much, but hey, they are selling tables, not websites! Here are the features:


A classy dining table, or a fun game table to enjoy, this beautifully finished table and chair set can accommodate friends and family in every way. Set up the roulette and craps for casino night for those serious gamblers or flip the top to play a game of poker. When the night is over, tuck away all the game pieces in the functional storage unit. The chairs, sold as a matching set with this table, have genuine leather seating with a comfortable backrest. The chairs adjust to your desired height, and roll to wherever you want.

Avialble in Mahagany or Honey Oak.

Included in the Game Table:

* Dining Table
* Poker Table
* Roulette
* Craps
* Checkers
* Chess
* Backgammon
* Functional storage unit

Also Included are:

* Roulette ball
* Two decks of playing cards
* Clay Poker Chips (100 count)
* Chess and Checkers/Backgammon Pieces
* Dice
* Craps Stick
* Backgammon Dice Cup

Game Table Dimension: 54" x 31 ½"H
Leather Chair Dimensions: 27"W x 27"D x 35"H

Go check it out at GameroomAntiques.com

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June 18, 2007

Bingo!

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Bingo is often the "forgotten" casino game. Most people probably wouldn't even consider it when rattling off a list of games found in casinos. But still, bingo is one of the most popular games of chance played in this country! It is beloved by charities and churches alike for fund-raising, and it is a game that is both easy to play, and easy to host.

So whats stopping you from hosting your own bingo party? NOTHING!

To begin with, you can pick up a set of bingo supplies here at Casino Supply.com. They have everything you will need from balls, to tumblers, to cards. And while some bingo versions serve up the random spots by using playing cards to deal out the numbers, we prefer the tried and true ping-pong ball approach. Nothing quite beats that visual of the ball coming out of the tumbler.

Once you have your supplies, you will want to know how to setup your bingo evening. Here is a list of the types of covering patterns you can go for, and the nicknames they go by.

If its your first time calling a bingo game, you may want to read this BBC article on bingo calling. Its got all you need, right down to the nicknames given to the balls that come out. (essential for adding flavor to the calling process!)

You can also learn more about the basics of Bingo, and even some of its history on Wikipedia

Finally, if you are interested in playing more than hosting, here's some crucial info on your chances of winning from the Wizard of Odds.

So there you have it. A bunch of BINGO links, for hosting your own game, or learning where to play the best games. And the next time someone asks you what your favorite casino game is, don't forget to consider BINGO!

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June 6, 2007

The Osbournes To Become Slot Machine

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In the endless search for new and more interesting slot machines, manufacturers have hit upon a whole new category of potential one-armed-bandits: reality TV dysfunctional famillies.

Yes.. according to Jackpot.co.uk...

Online casino software developer Microgaming has signed a licencing deal with one of the most recognisable (though some would say dysfunctional) families in the world, the Osbournes.

In what it's a slight departure from Microgaming’s current successful licenced slots (including the massively popular Lara Croft and Hitman slots), the deal will see Ozzy, Sharon, Jack and Kelly feature in slick, graphic intensive video slots, set for launch later this year.

Now we wonder whats next... The Hogans?

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June 1, 2007

The Straight Dope: What Casino Game Offer the Best Odds?

Myths and schemes about casino games and bets are as old as gambling itself. The logic behind many of these concepts is sometimes dizzyingly complex, but the idea is always the same. They always end with the line "and that is why XXX is the best bet in a casino". We've all heard them a thousand times, and we've heard it from every angle possible.

But the question lingers... what IS the best bet in a casino?


Luckily for you, we know where to get the Stright Dope. After the Jump, find out what we've learned.

ArrowContinue reading: "The Straight Dope: What Casino Game Offer the Best Odds?"

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May 31, 2007

Poker Chip Flash Drive

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Its the final table at the World Series of Poker. Ivan Betchyabluffin has just gone all in against John Q. Everyman. Ivan is from Russia, and hes got only a pair of deuces, but hes bearing down against what he is sure is trip kings or better! What on earth is going on here??!?!

Ahhh.. Ivan is in fact a Russian defector! And he is actually transferring the super secret spy plans to the CIA agent John! But how is he slipping the plans? Why in his super cool USB flash drive disguised as a poker chip of course!

Now you too can pass along super spy messages in poker tournaments, OR you can just have a flash drive that will sit comfortably in your pocket. Spy, geek, or poker freak, you can pick up this 1 gigabyte flash drive at Target.

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May 14, 2007

A Blast From the Past: Punchboards!

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We were recently reminded of a great old gambling game called the Punchboard. You surely have seen this type of game in action, most likely in such venues as The Price is Right.

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But the truth is, these games were once all the rage! At least, so says Wikipedia. Of course, Wikipedia also mentions that they are ripe for cheating, but we know that if modern casinos were to bring these games back, they would be closely regulated.

So consider this a call to action to the casinos out there... We want to see some punchboard action again! Giant elaborate ones! Perhaps this could even spark a whole art craze to see who could create the biggest most elaborate punchboards! And how do you serve them up? Easy, when a member of your "players club", or however you name it, swipes their player card, they are entitled to one punch on your massive punchboard. Its a win/win for you and the players. Hold it on a big stage in a central spot, call some attention to it, and we have a recipe for fun!

So we here at Casino Snob has spoken, we want to see Punchboards make a comeback.

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May 10, 2007

World Series of Poker Entry for Under a Buck?

We had to scratch our heads at this news story that Gambling Planet had up:

While some players battle it out at online satellite tournaments, PlayersOnly players have found an even easier way to get to the WSOP. The winner of the WSOP Low Bid Auction currently running on the popular casino, poker and sportsbetting site – the bidder with the lowest unique bid – will get a $12K WSOP prize package for the price of their winning bid. Since there are a number of values under a dollar that haven’t yet received bids, the winner may actually get himself to the WSOP Main Event for a buck or less. ....

The WSOP Prize Package being auctioned includes airfare, accommodation and enough cash to register in the ultimate poker tournament, the World Series of Poker Main Event, which will be held in Las Vegas July 6 – 17 at the Rio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

Bids can be placed online at www.playersonly.com/bidWSOP. Bids can also be placed by cell phone by text (Full Phone Bid instructions also at www.playersonly.com/bidWSOP.) Any registered player can place bids and players can place as many bids as they want. Registration is free, however PlayersOnly.com accepts registrations from U.S. residents only. There is a charge of US$1.99 per bid – but the first bid online is FREE.

This is actually a very interesting form of bidding. One would assume that the lowest bids (.01, .02..etc) will have more than one bidder, and so they will not be winning bids, but then again, maybe they WANT us to think that!

WE CLAIM $0.81 !!!!!

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April 19, 2007

The Slot Machine Watch!

We saw this on Boing Boing, and decided it was far too cool not to pass on!

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Behold, the Girard Perregaux 1945 Jackpot Tourbillon. This beauty is a marvel of watch-making is being covered over at the Watchismo Times, and we want one!

Just introduced this week at the Geneva SIHH show, this hautegadget has an actual miniaturized mechanical slot machine just above the hands and tourbillon. Each roller has five symbols , hearts, diamonds, spades, horseshoes, and three liberty bells for jackpot. When the arm on the side is pulled, the spin also activates a striking mechanism of chiming gongs - for those vintage casino sounds.

Wow. We don't even want to KNOW what this vintage beauty would cost us, but it is really something special. We could sit anywhere and play slots all day! Only one question, where do the quarters come out from?

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April 9, 2007

Kardwell International: Roulette Tables and More For The Swanky Home Casino

Sometimes you and your "crew" can't make it out to your favorite big-time casino, but that doesn't mean you have to be stingy on the gear! If you are as serious as we are about making every casino experience as spectacular as it can be, then why not get together and splurge on some real casino furniture.

Pictured below, we have an excellent folding roulette table from Kardwell.

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We've mentioned Kardwell in passing back when we learned that Vegas was becoming a furniture capitol, and we have to say we just like their furniture.

Now, this roulette table is not simply for your once a year game. At around $1500 (the roulette wheel is sold separately), this table is for the serious gamers only. But just think of it, if everyone in your gang chipped in say $100-$150 bucks, you can turn your den into a swanky casino. We're sipping martinis at your place in our minds as we write this!

Besides the fun of having your own semi-professional gear in your house for parties and get-togethers, you can also rent it out to other clubs and fund-raising groups. Imagine the fun you'll have being a dealer at the Rotary Club's next Casino Night fund raiser!

Head on over to Kardwell's for this table, and many other really high-end home casino gear.

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Oh, and don't forget to look the part with a cool green Vegas Visor!

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