It must have been about six years ago when I was in one of
the Dakotas, I believe, where the video poker game in the bar I was visiting was
not allowed to drop coins. If you won ”” which was a rarity ”” the bartender
would cash out a slip of paper you received from
the machine, at your leisure.
It was irritating to me at the time. I was wondering if it
was all some sort of scam, which of course it wasn’t. It was simply the law up
there. But as with most things in life, what goes around comes around.
Last year I had my first professional experience with
coinless machines at the new Suncoast in the Summerlin area of Las Vegas. The
only problem was I never got to see what it was like receiving a ticket for my
winnings and the fun of cashing it in, because after losing $400 on dollars on a
dollar machine with very few winning hands, I hit a hand-pay, taxable jackpot on
my last credits after switching over to the $2 games.
After this unusual session, I do what I always do whenever
I attain my trip’s profit goal ”” I immediately get in the car and drive home
I’ve since seen coinless machines in a few casinos around
town, but Terrible’s hotel/casino on Paradise and Harmon seems to have been
the first to configure all of its video poker machines with the new ticket
system. After checking out this twenty-first century idea for about an hour, I
knew it was for me. Because my play strategy calls for a multitude of
cashing-out (whenever at least 40 credits are won) at any denomination, a
fistful of tickets is far better than several buckets of coins.
My hands stay clean, the noise is greatly reduced, and
it’s just a lot more fun. The only problem is that the machine’s developers
did a little extra thinking before they put this idea into production. Any of
the tickets can then be put right back into any other coin less machine for
play, and unless you have the discipline to get up and leave as you reach
certain pre-set win goals, you’ll experience the pain of losing to long-term
strategy. It’s exactly as the casino expects, and exactly the road most
players follow as they chase elusive jackpots or those tiny win percentages that
never ever surface.
I’ve asked around to see if and when other casinos were
going to go the coin-less route. Some have already implemented the system into
some of their games, some say it’s in the works this year or next, while
others favor keeping the coins clinging into the trays. I assume they mean the
noise attracts onlookers ”” which it doubtlessly does ”” and therefore
switching over may be detrimental to business.
Going coinless also requires a lot less work by the floor
people. As a player I look at it as not having to bother them as often, while
having a bit more privacy in what I’m trying to accomplish. They look at it as
a way to reduce the number of jobs ”” and they are probably right.
I expect the concept will catch on at a better than average
pace this year, as the machines become more and more popular with the regular
patrons at each casino. Can they make it any easier for us? Sure. I wonder how
long before there’s a slot to insert your debit or credit cards? But wait a
minute! Before they do that, you might want to change your video poker study
habits from mathematical fantasy to discipline. You’ll get more tickets that