Slot Machines vs Table Games
If you have never visited a brick-and-mortar casino before, you might be both excited and a bit nervous. Walking into a physical casino for the first time is exhilarating, but it can be overwhelming for some. Diving into a sea of people, navigating the casino floor and finding a game you want to play can be challenging if you have never done them before in a “live” setting.
While that is the case at some casinos, it is not at Dover Downs Hotel & Casino. Our casino is welcoming, and our games are smartly laid out, making them all easy to find even if you have never visited our property before. Our staff is always available to answer your questions and help you find whatever you are looking for.
What to Play at a Casino
When it comes to new or newer gamblers, people often ask us what games they should play. The answer is simple: Try any game you want. Once you try enough casino games, it is likely that you will develop a preference for one or more of them, and you will spend most of your time playing those games.
While that answer really is simple, it does not end the ongoing debate between people who feel slots are better than table games and individuals who think the opposite is true. If you are following the slot machines vs. table games debate — or you are simply trying to decide which games you want to play — you have come to the right place to learn the pros and cons of both types of games.
Popular Casino Games
Whether it is the first or 500th time you have visited a casino, you will invariably see people playing a wide array of games. Although there are many options for you to choose from in a typical casino, some tend to be more popular than others. That does not mean the more popular games are better than others. It simply means more people choose to play them over others, at least on occasion.
With 61 percent of all casino visitors playing slots or video poker, these games combine to be the most popular casino game. Blackjack is the second most popular casino game, with 19 percent of casino visitors trying their hand at blackjack tables. Roulette, poker and craps round out the list of the top five games when all casino guests are considered.
If you are wrestling with the choice between slot machines and table games, it is easy to understand. As we just explained, both are incredibly popular, entertaining and fun. With having fun and enjoying some entertainment being the true goals of gambling, you are sure to walk away a winner no matter which type of game you decide to play.
While slot and table games have fun, popularity and entertainment in common, they are two entirely different kinds of games. Each one has its own distinct set of pros and cons. Being familiar with these advantages and disadvantages can help you decide which type of game you want to play.
The Pros of Slots
If you want to win, and win big, when you visit a casino, your best bet is to play slots. Slot games have the biggest jackpots out of all the non-tournament style casino games you can play.
While that may be enough to end the slot machines vs. table games debate for you, having the largest jackpots is far from the only advantage of playing slots. Here are some of the other pros that slot games have going for them:
- No Strategy: If you are trying to choose between blackjack vs. slots, you should take a few moments to observe people playing both games. When you do, you will see that many blackjack players use a strategy to increase their chances of beating the dealer’s hand, and some players will give others advice about improving their tactics. When you watch slot players, you will not see anyone sticking to a strategy to improve their odds of winning.
- Self-Determined Pace: When you play slots, you determine the speed at which you play. You can try to maximize the number of spins you initiate in an hour by playing quickly, or you can slow things down and feed the machine you are playing at a slower pace. While you set the pace of your play in slots, you are at the mercy of others when you play table games. Other players may slow the action down when they are making strategic decisions or trying to pick up tells from other players, which is common in poker.
- Low Minimum and High Maximum Bets: Whether you would like to bet small, big or somewhere in between, you can place bets of all sizes on slot machines as long as they are equal to or between the machine’s minimum and maximum limits. Some machines accept bets of as little as one penny per spin, while others have wagers as high as thousands of dollars per spin.
- Solo Play and Seats: When you play slots, it is you against the machine, and that is all. Even when you are playing on a progressive slot machine with a shared jackpot that can be won by gamblers playing on different slot machines, your only opponent is the machine in front of you. In addition, it is often easy to find a seat at a slot machine at just about any time, whereas seats at table games, particularly the more popular ones, may fill up fast. Seats for slots are sometimes available in isolated areas if you really want to be alone.
The Cons of Slot Machines
Just like slots have their advantages compared to table games, they also have a few downsides. Arguably, the biggest disadvantage to slot machines is the risk you run of burning through your money too quickly. If you play slots fast and lose, you may discover that you have gone through your bankroll faster than you anticipated. To prevent that from happening, simply slow your play.
Here are a few other downsides to playing slot games:
- Luck Dependent: When you play slots, your outcomes are completely dependent on luck. While some people like this because they do not have to use a strategy, it can be a deterrent to others. Although there is no strategy for slots because the outcome of each spin is determined by a random number generator, and every spin is independent of every other spin, we should note that there is a way you can increase the amount you will collect on a winning spin. That is to bet the maximum amount possible.
- Little to No Socialization: As we mentioned earlier, it is just you and the machine you choose to bet on when you play slots. You do not need to talk to other gamblers or interact with a dealer. Although many slots players like the solitary nature of their preferred game, it is not appealing to everyone.
- Too Many Options: While it is often said that “variety is the spice of life,” some people might be intimidated by all the slots games they have to choose from when they walk into a casino. There is no reason to feel that way, however. The variety of slot games in a typical casino should make you even more eager to take a seat and start playing.
The Advantages of Table Games
Similar to slots, table games have their advantages and drawbacks. One of the best things about table games is that players are often able to preserve their bankrolls for longer periods of time. Slower play and a lower house edge are two frequently cited reasons for this being the case. More payouts that are 1:1 or better per playing session is another reason why table game players are typically able to make their bankrolls last longer than fast-playing slot gamblers.
While a longer-lasting bankroll may sway the slot machines vs. table games debate in the favor of the latter in your mind, that is not the only pro to playing table games. Here are a few of the other advantages that are often associated with table games:
- Strategy Influences Outcomes: Depending on the table game you choose to play, you may be able to influence the outcome of a round of play by using a strategy. Blackjack and poker are two examples of table games where using strategy can greatly increase your chances of winning. If you search online or visit a local bookstore, you will see that many books are devoted to blackjack and poker strategies.
- Opportunities to Socialize: Unlike slots where solitary play is the norm, you will generally play with others when you take a seat at a table. Even if you are the only person at a blackjack table, you will still have a dealer to talk to. While you may choose to socialize at a poker table to gain information about your opponents, people who play table games in which their fortunes are entwined, such as craps and roulette, often find themselves socializing with others for the pure delight of doing so. You may even find yourself cheering for your table-mates!
- Take a Break, Save Your Seat: If you are new to gambling in a casino, you might not know you can step away from a table game, leave chips on the table, tell the dealer you will return and take a break for a short period without forfeiting your seat. A lot of casinos will let you step away for 10 to 20 minutes while the dealer reserves your seat and looks after your chip stack. This is not the case with slot machines. If you take a break from playing slots, anyone can use your machine without having to give it up when you are ready to resume gambling.
- Lower House Edge: Many table games have a considerably lower house edge than slots. The house edge in Baccarat is just about one percent, while the house advantage is even less in blackjack when you play with the appropriate strategy. In slots, the house edge can be as high as seven to 10 percent.
- Play With Friends: While table games enable you to socialize with strangers, you may want to play with your friends. It can sometimes be difficult to find neighboring slot machines that you and your friends want to play, but finding multiple seats at a single table game normally is not that challenging as long as a casino is not swamped with gamblers.
The Downsides of Table Games
The list of downsides that are affiliated with table games is quite similar to the list of cons associated with slot machines in the sense that they are both short. Here are the disadvantages you may hear people discuss when they are talking about table games:
- No Control Over the Rate of Play: Some table games progress at a rapid clip while others do not always do the same. Even if you like that table games are played at a slower pace than slots, it can still get frustrating when play at the table is not moving along as fast as you would like. When someone is deliberately trying to slow down the action, as they might do in a poker tournament to preserve their chip stack, it can be downright infuriating. While that is the case, every player has the right to play at their own speed within the dealer’s discretion in most cases.
- Higher Minimum Bets: Whereas you can sometimes bet as little as a quarter, nickel or penny on a spin of a slot machine’s wheels, you cannot do the same at a table game in a casino. Because casino games have higher minimum bets, some people find them off-putting.
- More Complex Rules: No matter where you play slots, the rules are the same. You will place a bet, push a button or pull a lever and wait to see if you win. There is a lot more involved when you play table games. In addition to learning strategy, you will have to be familiar with a game’s rules before you sit down at the felt. In poker, you will need to know when it is appropriate for you to act, for example, and you will need to know how to communicate your next move with your hands in blackjack.
Slot Machines or Table Games: Which Is Best for You?
Now that you are familiar with the pros and cons of both slot machines and table games, you can probably tell why we suggested that you play any game you want when you visit a casino. Deciding which type of game is best for you is a very personal decision that depends on a wide variety of factors, such as your tolerance for slow play, the size of the bets you are comfortable making and how long you plan to gamble during a given session, among others.
The great thing about choosing between table games and slot machines is that you cannot make a wrong choice. If you try slots and realize you might like a table game like craps better, you can simply walk away from the slot machine and head over to a craps table. Similarly, if you are playing a table game and crave faster action, you can leave the table and hit the slot machines.
When you decide to play slots or table games or vice versa, you are not making a lasting commitment to one type of casino game. Just like you can move from one slot machine to another one, and you can leave one table game to play a different one, you can switch between slots and table games any time you want to do so.
Remember — the true goals of gambling in a casino should be for you to have fun and enjoy some entertainment. If a particular game allows you to have a better experience, you should consider playing it more often than you play other games.
While you may develop a preference for a certain casino game, you can usually enhance your overall enjoyment at a casino by breaking up your playing sessions with some other games every once in a while.
Play Slot Machines, Table Games or Both at Dover Downs Hotel & Casino
Whether you want to play table games, slot machines or both, we encourage you to do so at Dover Downs Hotel & Casino. Our casino is home to 2,300 slot machines, an 18-table poker room and a wide array of other table games. Our inviting casino is open 24 hours per day, seven days per week, so you will always be able to find a game with plenty of action.
When you take a break from the casino, you can indulge in the many amenities we offer without leaving our expansive campus. From entertainment venues to an assortment of restaurants, boutique shops, a spa and more, our property has everything you need to pamper yourself within a short walking distance.
If you would like to stay longer than just during the day, you can experience our AAA 4-Diamond accommodations and rest in comfort and style.
When you arrive at our location, you will instantly feel right at home regardless of whether you are a new or veteran gambler. Our staff thrives on trying to exceed our guests’ expectations, and they will do the same for you as they cater to your every need during your stay. Our goal is to always do more for our visitors, and we would love the opportunity to do even more for you. Even our other patrons are among the friendliest you will find in a casino setting.
If you are ready to try your hand at casino games at a location where the other players are as friendly as the staff, Dover Downs Hotel & Casino should be your destination. Whether you are planning to stay for a few hours, a few days, a week or more, we invite you to make plans to visit Dover Downs Hotel & Casino now.
Contact Dover Downs Hotel & Casino
If you want to make reservations at our hotel — and we hope you do — you can do so online. If you would rather talk to one of our helpful representatives when you make your reservation or if you have questions about our property or amenities, do not hesitate to contact Dover Downs Hotel & Casino. We look forward to having you as our guest soon.