Why We Love Slots: Reasons for its Popularity

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BetMGM Feb 25, 2020, 5:33 AM
Slot machine style font, alphabet letters and numbers vector illustration Slot machines are probably the first thing that a person thinks of when it comes to a casino - the idea of pulling a lever, seeing the reels line up just right, the bell ringing, the lights flashing and the casino staff arranging for you to receive your millions. In truth, this might only happen to a handful of lucky winners, but make no mistake, slots are the most popular games in casinos. Casinos, for their part, also love slots. They account for most of a casino's revenue. This is mainly due to the sheer volume of the game being played. So why are slots loved so much? To understand the psychology behind their popularity, you need to understand what makes them so special.

Rags to riches

Few games offer the opportunity to win so much from so little. The dream of becoming an instant millionaire is shared by people across the world. We've all thought about what we’d do with the money. The idea that you could win from as little as a dollar is enough incentive for most people to at least try the game. It is also the reason why players find it difficult to stop playing despite losing their bankroll. It is always essential to gamble responsibly. Slots can be a lot of fun, and they should be treated as such. In the long term, most machines payout between 90-98% of your bets. This means that statistically, this game is not an investment. There is a chance of winning big, and that is exciting. But it is always important to keep it fun and to know how much you’re willing to spend per session. The dopamine from hitting the jackpot is one of a kind. Thankfully, it’s not the only way to win in the game. There are nuanced ways that you can win as you play.

Staggered winnings

3d illustrations of slot machine win line and prize Many land-based and online casino slot games offer staggered winnings. You get the main payout if you get the jackpot, but you’ll also get winnings for different combinations. These are dependent on the slot themselves but could be from achieving three of the same number to three of the same fruit. Some winnings will be enough to top up your bankroll while others will give you access to a bonus round or bonus spin.

Progressive jackpots

Progressive jackpots set the winnings at astronomical figures. The way that they work is that machines, either on their own or linked with other machines over a network, calculate the number of bets and continuously increase the jackpot until it is won. The increase in the jackpot is often a set amount for each time the game is played. Progressive jackpots are perhaps the most popular version of land-based and online casino slot games. They have already made millionaires the world over, upping the stakes with each spin of the wheels.

Low barrier to entry

It can be intimidating to decide which casino games you want to play, both in a land-based or online casino environment. With all the lights and sounds, or game options, it’s difficult to know where to start. Add to that the fear of people laughing or being annoyed with you for not remembering all the rules in the various card games. Instead, most players start off by taking a seat at a slot machine or deciding to play slots online first. The reason for this is its low barrier to entry. You don’t need to memorize a thousand hands or know when to raise or when to call. All you need to do is spin the reels and hope for a winning combination.

Low cost

We’ve already mentioned that it can cost as little as a dollar to win a million, but there are online casino sites that have games for less than a quarter. Compare this to the buy-in for a poker or blackjack game and you start to understand why most people still play slots online. Over time, the costs can add up, so it’s important to remember how much you are willing to spend per session.

Low skill threshold

Slots have perhaps one of the lowest skill thresholds in both a land-based and online casino environment. It’s as simple as pulling a lever or clicking a button. The game itself is up to chance, or the Random Number Generator, to determine whether you win or lose. Some games will offer additional add-ons or bonus levels that require an understanding, not necessarily a learned skill or strategy. This isn’t to say that it’s a boring game. The rush from winning is ever-present.

Entertainment value

Woman Playing Classic Slot Machine in the Casino. Table games like poker, roulette, and baccarat have all released nuanced versions of the game, especially through online casino sites. Although they have evolved, they haven’t been able to add as much nuance and depth as online casino slot games have. This is in part due to the rules at play. For table games, the deck of cards often dictates the play, whereas in slots, it's all about chance combinations. This lends itself to far more creative interpretations.


Online casino slot games come in all shapes in sizes. Some are based on movies, while others are based on towns and sports teams. There are even off-shoot variants that are based on games like Scrabble and Hangman. These themes add an additional level of enjoyment and familiarity with the game.


The nature of the game allows for far more multimedia inserts than traditional table games. There is more room for videos, animations, and music. Altogether, these create a real online casino experience that is fully immersive. The way that the reels spin or how the results are displayed have no restrictions other than maintaining their fairness and randomness. You can expect AR and VR to enter this space in the near future.

Bonus rounds

One Handed Fruit Machine Concept Illustration While in land-based casinos you could earn additional spins, in the best online casinos your bonus round could feel like you’ve opened a secret game. Online casino slot games can feel at times like a video game with levels and stages. It ultimately comes down to the imagination of the game designer. For this reason, it is often a lot more entertaining than most would think.

Playing online

For those who play slots online, many would have started with their welcome bonus coins. Finding the best online casino often comes down to who offers the best welcome bonus. Most will match your deposit amount in bonus coins. Always ensure you’re dealing with a real online casino that is registered and licensed before making a deposit. The bonus coins, however, aren’t free to be withdrawn immediately. Instead, there are certain conditions that need to be met first. Some online casinos require a certain amount of bets to be made before it can be withdrawn. A great way to meet these amounts is to play online casino slot games. Not only are they entertaining to play, but they also have a higher return rate than the land-based machines. Once you’ve played enough to feel comfortable on the platform, why not explore the other games on offer, like BetMGM’s online poker? You might find yourself returning for one or two more spins before logging off though, even if just for the enjoyment of the game.
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Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.

Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.