Walk through the doors into any real world casino and you hit the slot machines. There’s a slight difference of opinion between the casino operators. Some believe the machines are the most popular form of gambling and make everyone walk into the floor area where the machines are sited before they get to the table games. Others have a floor plan called the premium strategy that pitches their operations at the non-slot players who spend more per head on the table games. The machines are still featured as you walk into the casino, but the view of the tables is more obvious. Interestingly, there seems to be very little difference in the spend-per-machine in both layouts. The people who favor slot machines will play them no matter where they are sited in the casino. It’s also a fact that, except for the contributions made by individual whales, casinos make more money from slot machines than from the table games, the balance shifting depending on whether the premium strategy is in operation. Online, there are sites that are exclusively based on slot machines. Other sites operate the full spread of casino games. This leaves the operators to compete on the bonuses (welcome and otherwise), comps and the quality of the service. In real world casinos, the operators can comp you on the machines but it’s technically difficult to enable free play. Online, all that changes.
Every site allows all users the opportunity to play some of their games for free. Why should anyone want to play for free and give up the chance of winning some real money? The answers are both simple and complicated. The spinning reels are essentially the same in both real world and online casinos with the games easy to understand and so quick to learn. Once the reels are set in motion, all you can do is wait for them to stop moving. This means no particular skill is required to play. As a bald description, this misses out two key factors. The spinning reels are quite hypnotic. You almost feel you can reach out and stop each reel in just the right position to score a big win. Secondly, it’s fun to play. This fun element is what sells free play. Yes, you lack the extra excitement by giving up the chance of winning. But it really is still fun to play. More importantly, with more and more new games coming online every month, it’s very useful to be able to study them without risking your money. Although the basic concepts are the same, the individual variations still have to be learned. In the real world, you can stand and watch others play, learning from their mistakes. Online, you are denied this opportunity. That makes free play a fair offer from the casino operators.
There is one final reason and this may be a little complicated depending on your view of luck. Many people who play slots believe in flows of good and bad luck. If your luck is out, it’s good to be able to keep on playing for free. No-one wants to keep feeding money into a machine when you know you are not going to win. Slots and Lady Luck do go together so mix and match free and paying play as you come into and fall out of her favor.