We’re big advocates for casino fun, but we also think it’s important not to get trapped without knowing what you’re getting into. The secrets of casinos aren’t always out there for the public to see, so we think it’s important to give you some insight into how casinos try to stack the odds in their favor.
1 – House edge is very important
Not all casino games are created equal. A surprising number of people believe that all games are rigged, but that’s not true. If you do your research on which games will best suit your style, it will lead you to finding the right strategies to make the most of your time at the casino and improve your chances of winning.
Simple tip: usually, the easier the game, the harder it is to win. The harder the game, the better your odds are.
2 – You can also pick the right machines
Not all electronic gaming machines are created equal. Within slot machines, you can actually identify which games may have better odds than others. If you look for simpler machines with more basic designs and rules, they will have better payout odds. However, the jackpots for the flashier games will be higher. Look for slots games with higher denominations for bigger payouts.
3 – No clocks or windows
The next time you find yourself at a brick and mortar casino, take a look around you. Walk around and really take in your surroundings.
Then ask yourself: do you see any clocks? What about windows?
- When time stands still
Of course, there are always exceptions, but many casinos are reluctant to give players constant reminders about how much time has passed since arriving at the casino. They don’t want to provide any visual cues that will interrupt your play or detract from your enjoyment… or decrease the amount of time and money you spend on drinks, food, and casino games.
4 – The lighting is intended to create the same effect as the lights in your living room
In some areas of a land-based casino, the lighting has been adjusted in brightness and warmth to make you feel at home – literally. You’ll notice that there are those dim areas lit up sporadically by neon lights, but there are also sections where warm lights have the effect of reminding you of your living room.
- Feel at home design
These lights are designed to make sure that you get as comfortable as possible right where you are. The more at home you feel, the better – that means you’ll be more comfortable staying there and more likely to prolong your stay.
As an online casino, Planet 7 absolutely understands the appeal of being able to gamble in the most comfortable and convenient environment possible, but the important thing is that we aren’t trying to lull you into a false sense of security. We’re not trying to be something we’re not. We want you to feel comfortable, but it’s important to us that you have fun and feel secure in the knowledge that we’re not going to trick you into it.
5 – Casinos are often designed to be difficult to navigate
- Labyrinth design
You’re not alone, and it’s probably not all that related to how many margaritas or gin and tonics you’ve had that night. The building and floor layouts can be meticulously crafted to be counter-intuitive for casino goers. You get comfortable where you are, and then you wander off to try something else, and when you finally do want to leave, it’s been intentionally made difficult to do so.
It’s like a being in a maze, except it has flashing lights, enticing sound effects, fancy cocktails, and luxurious carpeting. Plus, restrooms, drinks, and food are often situated so that you can stay in the casino and get whatever you need access to. In short, they don’t want you to leave, and they do their best to make sure you don’t want to either.
6 – Either that, or they’re set up to give the impression of a welcoming, explorative space
Maybe this alluring, maze-like design is something you’re aware of. You might say to yourself, “Huh, now that I think about it, I can see that.” And these designs are effective – wander around for long enough, and something new will catch your eye. But, here’s one of the more shocking casino secrets when it comes to their interior design approach.
- Playground design
As we mentioned, land-based casinos can be designed to make it hard to leave in the sense that you may actually get lost, but there’s another approach that targets and creates a specific psychological state: it’s called playground design. It’s an entirely different style that uses a more expansive space to create an indulgent and luxurious atmosphere. This type of layout does feature windows – high ceilings and sunlight create a room that is meant to invite rather than ensnare its visitors. It goes back to the same ideas behind living room lighting –players are more inclined to stay where it’s warm and soothing.
- Online casinos
Online casinos strive to offer an easy and convenient layout for navigation. Planet 7 is as straightforward as you could want on any device you prefer. We try to set everything up instinctively, the same way you’d choose to design it yourself. You won’t find any hidden designs here at Planet 7 Casino – just an exciting variety of games that will be more than enough to guarantee a good time. No tricks here!
7 – Free drinks and food are offered to keep you there
Casinos want their customers happy, and they all do what they can to ensure this. You’re probably already aware that food and drink perks are to improve your general level of satisfaction as a possible return customer. However, they’re not just to enhance a good visit; they’re meant to extend your stay.
A land-based casino does its best to offer you everything you could possibly want. It sets up a reward system, essentially. You don’t necessarily get a set chart from the casino for freebies, which means you’re always anticipating something. You’re enjoying the game, but part of you is also waiting for that external reward. And once it’s there, you might as well play a bit longer.
Recently, a few casinos have started experimenting with this in an effort to create a more accurate system to reward the players who are truly “earning” these free drinks. It also takes the pressure off of bartenders and wait staff to determine which players receive what benefits.
Factors like a player’s length of play time and bet size can be tracked and used to determine whether they should receive complimentary beverages.
Caesars has a “Red Light, Green Light” comps validation system that gives out free drinks to those who place max bets at a consistent rate on video poker machines, and MGM is now testing out a voucher system. One free drink is served when a player first deposits money. After that, the machines print out free drink vouchers according to the length of play time. These measures are intended to make it easier to give out comps fairly, and it sets up players to work towards these rewards.
8 – Plus, comps have the added benefit of making you more generous
You might want more insight into casino comps secrets, perhaps so that you can make the most out of them. Just remember that they aren’t always beneficial. So you may be more satisfied with your experience, and you’re getting rewarded with a lot of free stuff. But those adult beverages are helping the casino out, too.
- The rewards trap
Alcohol will loosen you up and make you feel like spending more. With your inhibitions released, you’re more willing to take chances with bold bets and big tips.
9 – Lights and sound effects are designed to make you think you’re going to win
The next time you walk through the electronic gaming section of a casino, pay attention to all those signals going off. The flashing lights and sounds generate excitement that’s associated with reward, even when you’re not even playing.
Every time your phone lights up with a notification or when you get an answer right playing a game, it’s a positive outcome that makes you happy and gets you looking for more. The lights and sounds are saying: “Everyone’s a winner! You’re going to be next!” to draw you towards the nearest machine and play a few rounds or more.
When you play slots or video poker at Planet 7, you know exactly where to find them. You don’t need to worry about being pulled in – your experience is fully under your control.
10 – In fact, sometimes these effects create false wins
Every first-time casino visitor notices that the flashing lights and sound effects go off pretty frequently – that’s just how it is. But, have you ever heard of an LDW? It stands for “loss disguised as a win,” and it means that these machines actually produce audio and visual effects that sound the same as what you’ll hear when you’ve won.
- Winning while losing
For example, you could place a bet of $1 and receive a “win” of 25 cents. If you’re doing the math, you’ll easily see that it results in a net loss, but most players aren’t thinking about that. The machine would be telling you that you won, and you would just go with the flow. Surrounded by all those machines and fellow slots enthusiasts, it’s no wonder that you’d keep playing!
11 – They take advantage of even more sensory details
We’re going to bet that among all of the secrets of casinos, this might be the craziest one out there.
Providing food and drinks to keep people playing, these are not so difficult to spot as far as casino comps secrets go. Our sense of taste is important: we like food, we like drinks, and we especially like getting those things for free – it’s easy to see how that all works. But, what about appeals to our sense of smell?
- What’s in the air?
This sounds like some crazy conspiracy theory: “Oh, you know these casinos, they just want to take your money from you so they’re trying to make you let your guard down by using smell-emitting machines.” But it might not be as far from the truth as it sounds: it turns out that our sense of smell is strongly tied to memories. It’s called olfactory-evoked recall, and it can trigger some pretty strong emotional reactions.
A recent study shows that a pleasant scent released into the slot machines area of a casino can have a drastic effect on how people gambled. The experiment took place over the course of a weekend, and the amount of money gambled in the slot machines surrounding the odor was greater than the amount gambled during the previous and following weekends by approximately 45%; on Saturday alone, the amount of the increase was an astonishing 53.42%.
The theory is that the release of a pleasant smell that evokes nostalgia might cause people to slow down while taking a stroll around the slot machine area, which would in turn make them more likely to be drawn in and start gambling.
There’s also a general sense of well-being that can accompany positive feelings when a memory comes up, smell or not – just think about how you felt when you found a heartfelt birthday card from your best friend when you turned 14 or when you looked back on photos of a family vacation. Thinking about it now, you can probably also recall a sense of warmth and happiness that makes you more likely to indulge in something that seems more pleasant or appealing in that state of mind.
12 – Chips make it easier to spend
Are you a big fan of the look and feel of casino poker chips? Their design differences from casino to casino, the same satisfying clink, the way it feels to slide a stack of them deftly across the rich green velvet into the betting area. Have you ever thought about why they exist? You can probably make an educated guess – they make betting simpler. Players don’t need to worry about breaking big bills; dealers don’t have to deal with the headache of looking for change while trying to actually run the game. Using chips also addresses the issue of counterfeiting – each token is crafted carefully with unique designs and a combination of security features that make successful counterfeiting very difficult.
That’s all well and good, but have you ever thought about how it actively benefits the casino – not just in terms of preventing these issues from occurring? Think about it: you’ve already read about how casinos put a lot of work into making you at home – they’ve created a beautiful world. When you picture your favorite establishment on the Las Vegas Strip in your mind, can you think of any other place that achieves the same atmosphere?
- Attention to detail
Each casino has its signature style, and casinos know that stiff competition exists. That’s why they put in a lot of effort to create a brand that will draw customers into their world – and that’s exactly the effect a casino is trying to achieve. It’s a world of its own, and these chips, with their unique features, are the currency for this place, another detail that distinguishes it from its surroundings.
We’ve already mentioned plenty of examples of ways that casinos try to put you at ease, and chips are no different. When you exchange your cash for chips, you have a currency that doesn’t look or feel like real money. It’s like the effect when you travel to a new country that has exaggeratedly bright currency, like Monopoly money – except it’s more extreme with chips because they don’t even remotely resemble the currency of any real country. This can make it dangerously easy to keep on spending.
13 – The same goes for the TITO system
Remember when electronic game payouts came in the form of coins that poured out of the machine? Those days are over.
Today, most casinos use TITO technology (ticket-in, ticket-out) or a card system – you insert it into a machine, and when you’re done, it returns it to you. The amount is either printed on the ticket or stored on the card. Like chips, tickets and cards have a distinctly different feel from cash, which makes users more likely to take them to another machine and play again instead of cashing out when they’re ahead.
14 – You’re being watched
If you ever win big at a land-based casino, it’s safe to say that you were being observed to see if it was a natural reaction of surprise and ensure that you didn’t meddle with anything. This is for the safety of all players, but at an online casino, those concerns aren’t there. Your privacy is always protected. Read what’s the difference between online vs land-based casinos.
Security staff also look out for players who are sitting suspiciously close together, a sign that they might be working together. Plus, those cameras can actually zoom in on your cards, in case they think something is going on. That’s some pretty close surveillance.
15 – You’re also being studied
Not only are they watching you – they’re learning from you as well. Perhaps the most important out of all of the casino secrets is this: you are a guinea pig in an ongoing experiment.
Casinos need to constantly seek improvement to keep up with competition, and they have everything they need. A casino can track different players: how much they spend, how long they play certain games, which perks they respond to, what gets them hooked, why they leave… the list goes on. They’re actually using technology to study your habits and see what keeps you there playing longer and spending more. They’re gathering data to shape a dynamic experience that will continue to draw in new players and keep them there.
In spite of all this, casinos are pretty amazing places, unlike anything else you’ll find out there. They put in a lot of work into creating a magical, irresistible space, and we have to acknowledge that. But, we want you to enjoy your time at a casino with knowledge of how it all works. And when you feel that you need a break, Planet 7 Casino is happy to provide you with the same benefits you’ll get at a brick and mortar casino, without any of the disadvantages.