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The Roaring Silence

Updated: May 9

With apologies to Mannfred Mann.

We’ve all been there - plugging away at our favorite slot machine for hours - without a whiff of a win - while all around us others are making plenty of noise racking up jackpots. The cacophony of winning slots in some casinos can be overwhelming at times. Clangs, beeps, bells, spinning wheels, singing choruses - for everyone else – while our machine just sits there, unresponsive to our every whispering wish that something – anything – would hit for us. How is it that everyone else is winning, except me? A reasonable question.

The only worse thing is when almost nobody is winning anywhere in the casino. Do you even have a chance then? Fuhgeddaboudit.

When it happens occasionally it’s no big deal. Wins and losses come in cycles. But when it’s a repeat occurrence -day after day, play after play – it’s worth sitting up and taking notice. Maybe they HAVE tightened the machines. It’s possible. The key is to be aware of it and plan your play accordingly.

Things change in casinos. Often. A house where you usually find yourself enjoying a fair number of returns – even breakeven trips (color those wins) - over time, may suddenly go cold.

Why? It depends upon several factors. If you’ve noticed that your favorite casino has been investing extra time and money in upgrades, then maybe they ARE in a hurry to recoup what they spent or plan to.

Gambling is gambling and cold streaks can last awhile, but regulars who pay a little bit of attention can sense when something is more out of whack than usual. That’s when we pull back, reducing the size and frequency of our wagers.

Money management is always key when gambling. It’s the only component you have any control over.

So, when do I chase after a win? Only if I’ve come close to hitting it big several times.

If I've played for 30-60 minutes with few close calls or wins of any size, I pack it in for the day, even if I have some bank left.

Head back to the room or go home and find something else to occupy your time. If you’re still seriously craving a game, go to a different casino, and apply the same parameters to your play there. If you can’t rustle up a decent win after a reasonable effort, scram!

When you do return to your favorite local haunt, if there is still a roaring silence up and down the slot aisles, keep your money stashed and try again later. A day, week, months, six months or even year, if need be. Gauge what you think is going on as best you can. Eventually, things may return to “normal” at your favorite casino. If not, move on - permanently. Casinos do compete for your business. In larger Nevada towns, at least, where there are many different places to play. Make them understand that they must earn your patronage.

Thanks for reading.

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