Calling all land casino players! Have you ever had the feeling you're being duped? Bamboozled? Taken advantage of? Well, you just might have been right about that. It's no secret that casinos have their own aces up their sleeves when it comes to milking players for all they're worth. Heck, they even give out comps (complimentaries) for players who've lost too much to keep them coming back.
But which of the rumors are real, and which are just straight up myth? Which are the ones you should actually be looking out for?
Keep on reading down below for the 6 REAL tricks that casinos utilize to make punters spend more than they ever intended.
1. There's a reason you gamble with chips, not cash
Obviously, there's a practical reason why chips are used on a table rather than cash. Their distinguishing colors make it easier for dealers and players alike to keep track of what is what. But, aside from this, gambling with chips instead of actual physical money takes some of the edge off the risk involved.
It's all about psychology here. With what are you more likely to wager C$1000 with? A stack of cash, which might disappear before you very eyes, or toy-like colorful chips which hold no worth outside of a casino? Take a wild guess.
Ding ding ding.
Did you answer correctly?
It's the chips.
2. Bring on the comps! Free food, drinks, and even accommodation.
What land casinos are thinking when they give complimentary gifts:
‘Don't worry if you just lose a couple of thou on the roulette table, here's a free stay at our luxury rooms at the hotel instead. We'll just keep the cash and give you something that costs us zilch in return. Fair deal right?'
When a punter receives a free stay in a luxury room worth thousands, they might be tempted to think that they've ‘equalized' their losses. Think again. You're going to keep losing thousands, and the room is a free expense for them. It's all a mind trick.
It doesn't even have to be accommodation. Casinos have food and drink servers bringing round free alcohol and nibbles all the time (although this might be a bit problematic if there's a strike on). If you're drunk, you're going to bet more. If you have a full belly, you'll be in a better mood and bet more. It's a simple formula.
3. You should really watch out for those land based slot machines
Unlike online slots, land based slots can have many, many many flaws. Some of them might even be used to work to the player's favor.
However, that is most often not the case. Slot machines have been known to give ‘visual cues' to the player that entices them to spin more. For example, some Canadian casino slots were known for flashing 5-of-a-kind hits momentarily. By momentarily, we mean just a fraction of a second. Still – enough for the human eye (and brain) to register the hit during play.
The hint of a massive win like that would be enough for anyone to keep on chasing the elusive big win. Key-word: ‘elusive'.
4. You know how you associate certain smells with casinos? That's not a coincidence
We're not joking when we say that there are entire ‘scent companies' dedicated to creating unique scents for casinos. Scent companies are used by major brands, like Coca Cola and the Hilton among many others. And the idea of scent marketing makes sense. Wasn't it Aristotle who said that smell is the basest of the senses? It also means that we're more susceptible to being triggered by a specific smell.
So, you walk into a casino. You smell the special casino smell. And your mind suddenly starts telling you: ‘You know what you should do right now? Go gamble a crap ton of money for some fun'. Again, this is all about psychology, and – boy – do casinos do it right.
5. Cue the bright lights and stimulating sounds
Although they're not as effective as scent, lights and sounds still play a crucial part in casino trickery. Bright lights and stimulating sounds are all part of the ‘playground design'.
In a 2009 study entitled ‘Casino Decor Effects on Gambling Emotions and Intentions', researchers Finlay, Marmurek, Kanetkar and Londerville found that the playground design had the most impact in making players gamble more. They based their conclusions on 5 categorical variables: lighting, color, crowding, symmetry in layout, and spatial clustering.
Guess what they found?
Bright lights coupled with the right sound could set players in just the right mood to push the envelope (of money) further.
6. Nice, open spaces means more comfort, means more gambling
Casinos want to make you feel like you're the only player in the world who's important. Plus, personal space is a critical factor in making anyone feel comfortable. That's why casinos layout their floors so that tables and slot machines alike are well spaced.
In fact, this plays into the crowding and spatial clustering categories observed in the 2009 study. Casinos like the Bellagio and Aria are key examples of this type of layout. They embody the idea of luxury beautifully.
And now, the (pretty hilarious) myths
- Casinos pump oxygen from pressurized tanks into the floor to keep players awake: nope, they do not. The scent thing though? That's real.
- Psychedelic carpets to hypnotize players: again, nope. Have you entered a modern casino? No psychedelic decor in sight.
- Casinos have maze like designs to disorient the player: the playground design has gained far more popularity in recent times thanks to scientific studies. No more mazes.
- Casinos don't keep any clocks or time-telling devices to disorient the player: we've been in casinos, we've seen clocks. End of story.
- Casinos scramble phone reception: we honestly don't want to even entertain this one. It sounds more like a Cold War plot out of The Americans rather than a real-life conspiracy. No, casinos do not scramble phone reception.
When in doubt, stick to online casinos
You know which casinos employ absolutely 0% of these tricks to make you gamble more?
Online casinos have such a massive audience, world-wide, that they don't need to make ‘players gamble more'. In fact, they keep a close watch on players' deposits and withdrawals to make sure they're being smart. And not getting addicted.
Scroll above to find yourself a trust-worthy, licensed, secure online casino that will combine the excitement of slots and table games, with the bonuses and promos only online can provide.
Do you want further information on reputable casinos? Or do you have some stories of your own to share? Contact Playcasinos.ca directly on [email protected] and our team will get back to you ASAP.