10 Sinister Tricks Casinos Use On You

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No matter how great your understanding of the odds, at the end of the day the house always wins. There’s so much more going on in the average casino than meets the eye. Most of us only see the flickering lights and the sound of coins being inserted into slot machines. The lively atmosphere inside casinos are designed to keep us entertained and comfortable, as long as we are playing. Casinos are big business, and there are reasons why it’s been that way for so long. They use several tactics to maximize the business’ profits and to keep you coming back for more. Here, we are revealing some of the tricks they use to manipulate players into playing for as long as possible.

1. Most casinos don’t have clocks. Everything you see is designed to keep you in there as long as possible.

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Image: Kay

To maximize their revenue, they want visitors to spend as much time as possible. In order to do so, most casinos have the habit of making sure that there are no clocks. This makes players feel like time is passing by at a faster rate and keeps them engaged. For the same purpose, dealers don’t wear watches, so don’t expect them to be telling you the time. And those who occasionally visit casinos know that you can’t use cell phones while seated at a table.

Besides, most players who visit casinos are on vacation, which contributes to the indifferent attitude of staying up longer than usual. While casinos in the United States aren’t forced to inform players about how long they have been at the table, the UK has passed a law that forces them to encourage players to take breaks so that they are more aware of their surroundings.

2. Casinos also discourage windows on the gaming floor in order to keep the players in a state of hyperfocus.

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Image: Benoit Dare

While casinos have windows closer to the entrance or exits, you are highly unlikely to see one as you move towards the belly of the monster. The tactic is as same as not having any clocks since the absence of windows and clocks keep the players unaware of the outside world. If a player who is spending a lot sees that the day has turned into night, he might automatically think that it is time for them to stop playing and head home. Casinos cannot take the chance of people walking away while they still have money in their wallets. So, they try to eliminate the chances of people leaving by simply reducing the amount of windows or by carefully planning the location of the windows to hide them from plain view.

3. They purposely give you near wins so you keep spinning for the jackpot. From the back office, a casino can change the slot machine in seconds to change the wheels of fortune instantly.

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Image: Carl Raw

In order to keep the player’s interest, casinos have to give out occasional small wins. This keeps the players hopeful, giving them the much needed confidence to spend more and aim for the jackpot. By giving them near wins, the machines tease players and appease them with small payouts; which is a form of a manipulation technique. While you may need three cherries to win the jackpot, perpetually spinning two cherries isn’t getting you any closer to the win, even though the casino has you convinced otherwise.

Also, casinos have the power to change the outcome of their machines with the push a few buttons. If they spot that a machine is giving too much or a player is winning with multiple slot machines, the security team can reprogram the thousands of slot machines on the casino floor, adjusting the denominations required to play, payback percentages, and even game themes. (source)

4. The bright lights and pleasing sounds are carefully designed to captivate players and boosts their moods; making them feel excited and hopeful that they could win.

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Image: Pexels

Casinos are a symphony of non-stop sound, lights and color. Sounds such as bells ringing, change clanging, slot wheels whirring, and digital beeping are up-beat noises that captivate players and boosts their moods. This gives them a sense of excitement that they are close to winning. Every single machine inside a casino is equipped with flashing lights and sounds that is carefully designed to draw players in and encourage them to keep making bets. In addition to sound effects and other noise, most casinos also play a soundtrack of music that is pleasing to the ear. Most casinos play repetitive music, mainly trance inducing music, to keep the players heartbeat high and stimulate endorphins to make them feel positive.

5. Free perks for loyal players and high rollers to make players (both low and high rollers) feel important.

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Image: Chris Liverani

High rollers, also known as “Casino Whales”, are casino players with deep pockets who are not afraid to make large bets. The high rollers don’t play at the penny slots or the low-limit tables and spend thousands of dollars every night. While everyone wants to win the jackpot, some players become high rollers just for the lavish treatment casinos provide. Casinos often treat them like royalty, giving them free food, drinks and exclusive rewards. While the flickering lights, sounds and atmosphere keeps them wanting more, the incredible benefits also play an important role in bringing high rollers back for more. For instance, a resort, located in Mashantucket, Connecticut, is best known for its High Rollers Luxury Lanes and Lounge, which includes 6 VIP bowling lanes featuring full food and beverage service.

6. Services are strategically located within a casino.

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Image: Carl Raw

If you’re hungry, need to use the bathroom or cash in your chips, then you have to go deeper into the casino. While you walk your way towards the required service, you would be tempted to play other casino games that are strategically placed to get the players attention. The intricate design does make it easy for one to find the bathroom or restaurant but they’re purposely located deep in the casino so that if your next step is to leave the establishment, you would be tempted to try a few more slot machines before you go. The same principle is used by gas stations and stores like Walmart, who place snacks, drinks and candy towards the exit, so you would be tempted to make one last purchase before you leave.

7. Players are always under surveillance during their entire stay.

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Image: Michael Aleo

If you’re in a casino, be assured that you’re being watched at all times. “Casinos are very well-covered with surveillance cameras,” says Derk Boss, a licensed Nevada private investigator and casino security surveillance expert. “Once someone arrives at our property, if we needed to put together their movements over their entire stay, we could easily do so. We would be able to track their movements on the property just about wherever they went — except for like the bathroom and into their hotel room.”

Casinos generally use surveillance to look out for those who prey on tourists and the cheaters. According to Derk, the cameras can actually zoom in on your cards, allowing the security team to make sure you are not cheating. So somewhere in the casino, in a locked, high-tech room, a security guard you’ll never see might be telling you to “hit”.

8. Big winners are definitely under surveillance until they leave.

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Image: Keenan Constance

If someone wins a big jackpot, or are on a major winning streak, security will be watching them. “When someone is winning a lot of money, they’re always going to get checked by us,” Derk says. “They’re not going to know it, of course. Say a guy wins $100,000 on a blackjack game. I just want to make sure that it’s legal, that he didn’t cheat, that he didn’t count cards or something like that.”

According to Derk, the security will do a player evaluation: They will review his/her play on video for signs of cheating or card counting. Then they’ll check out the player. “We have a database of bad guys that are out there and what kind of scams they pull, so we’re gonna check for that”.

Slot winners get the same scrutiny. “Say someone wins $500,000 on a slot machine jackpot,” says Derk. “We’re going to review it but we’re just going to make sure everything’s okay — that they didn’t open the machine or do something to it”. But don’t worry: Security isn’t out to harass winners. “As long as it’s legitimate, we’re okay and we move on,” Derk says. “We want people to win money or else they won’t play”.

9. They provide players with a sense of control.

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Image: Michal

It comes as no surprise that casinos make the players feel like they are in total control. Most games are designed to create an illusion of control to fool players into thinking that they have a higher chance of winning, which can result in them playing for longer. For instance, Blackjack and other card games let you decide what move you’ll make after the cards are dealt, while Keno lets you pick out the numbers. This makes one think that even if they lost the first time, they can win on the second, or third, or fourth, until they run out of money.

10. Most casinos have a labyrinth design so that people literally get lost once they enter the premises.

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Image: Wikimedia

Casinos are like giant mazes that are designed for people to literally get lost. The machines and tables are placed in such a way that it prevents one from leaving. For instance, if the exit is 100 feet away, then a normal person who wishes to leave would have to walk through a maze of slot machines, tables and people; taking them longer to reach their destination. Another trick casinos use is installing tall slot machines on the bottom floor. This blocks the view of exits and pushes them further inside the casino, where there’s more space. Those who indulge themselves with the free beverages would surely have a hard time leaving the maze, thus keeping them inside and forcing them to spend more.

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