Crafty Casino Tricks to Make You Spend More (Part 1)

Whichever way you look at it, casinos are businesses like any other. This is something you have to acknowledge and accept from the earliest possible stage, in order to ensure an enjoyable and responsible gambling experience.

The assumption that casinos exist for the benefit of players is commonplace among newcomers. To such an extent that some genuinely feel they deserve to win and get extremely angry when they don’t.

When you visit a casino, you’re paying for a service as you would anywhere else. In this instance, you’re paying for the enjoyment and entertainment of the games on offer. You’re not paying for service that results in most people walking out the door with prizes in their pocket.

If this was the case, the entire casino business model would be unsustainable.

The earlier in your casino experience you acknowledge and accept all of this, the better. Far from a tale of doom and gloom, understanding what casinos are all about holds the key to an enjoyable experience.

As does getting to grips with the crafty tricks and sneaky ploys casinos employ to separate you from your cash.

A Fascinating Lesson in Human Psychology

Next time you visit a casino, take the time to stroll around the place and appreciate just how clever the whole thing is. Not a single thing within the average casino is there by chance – it’s all meticulously orchestrated with a purpose in mind.

Leading casino brands have worked closely with behavioural neuroscientists over the course of several generations, in order to come up with a remarkably effective framework for encouraging players to spend money.

It’s a strategy that’s evolving and changing all the time, incorporating these and other admirable and impressive ploys among others:

1. Partial Wins

First up, the only thing that comes close to replicating the excitement of a win is a partial win. You’re playing a slot machine, you wager a total of £10, and you win a prize of £8.50. The lights flash, the sirens wail and the adrenalin flows.  All of a sudden, you find yourself overwhelmingly excited over the fact that you’ve won a prize, even though you’ve technically lost £1.50. 

Casinos are absolutely brilliant when it comes to making you feel as if you’ve won when you actually lost. They put on the kind of theatrics that make you feel like a winner, subsequently encouraging you to try again for the same outcome. 

2. Near Wins

It’s a similar story with near wins, which in some instances can be even more exciting and compelling than partial wins. Truth is, there’s technically no such thing as a ‘near win’ where slots are concerned.  You either win or you don’t – it really is a binary issue. Nevertheless, slots are quite genius in their deception, engineered to make you think you came within a hair’s breadth of pocketing something spectacular.

In reality, you were never going to win the prize you thought you were going to win. You may have only needed ‘just one more bell’ in the right position, but it was never going to happen. You’re simply given the suggestion you came close to winning, so they you’ll have another shot at it with a smile on your face and a song in your heart. Something to bear in mind, when formulating your own strategy for playing online and offline slots. 

3. Comp Points and Loyalty Schemes 

To be fair, it’s not only casinos that use these tricks to encourage people to spend more. They’re pretty much a standard feature with the vast majority of retailers and service providers these days. It’s just that with a casino, you often find yourself so swept away by the experience of the whole thing that you’re compelled to spend more. 

With casino comp points, you could collect something like 1 point for every £10 you spend. Each time you collect 100 points – having spent £1,000 – you can use these 100 points for something like a free meal, or a handful of free drinks at the bar. But when you factor the house edge into this £1,000 spend, you’ve actually already filled their pockets with way more than the cost of the resulting prize.  Still, if you’re going to be playing anyway, you might as well get something back for your efforts. 

4. Curved Hallways in Casinos

Fascinating to say the least, though supposedly effective in practice. Studies into human psychology have found that hallways with junctions at 90° angles make people revisit and reconsider their decisions. There’s something about a T junction or 90° angle that apparently makes you think. As casinos don’t want you to do too much thinking, they’re often designed with no such junctions whatsoever.

Again, take a short walk around the casino next time you visit and note just how many gracefully curved corridors there are. Rather than giving you time to decide where you want to go, they’re architecturally engineered to gently lead you in the direction they want you to go.

5. They Make You Feel Rich

Likewise, take a good look in every direction next time you’re sitting at the blackjack table. High ceilings, ostentatious ornaments, lavish décor, liberal use of gold and other metallics, completely OTT furniture – when and where else would you encounter surroundings like this on an everyday basis?

The short answer is, of course, nowhere. This is because casinos want to make you feel as if you are sitting in some kind of historical palace or dwelling of distinction. They want you to feel rich and as if you’re part of some kind of exclusive players’ club. And in doing so, feel as if you can comfortably afford to spend more money during your visit. At the average casino, the whole experience really is only 50% to do with the games themselves and 50% to do with the surroundings.

Stay tuned for the second half of our two-part post into crafty casino tricks to make you spend your money, coming soon…

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