This is a question asked by gamblers across the world. The answer is slot machines / online slots are more popular and faster and easier to produce than table games.
In land casinos, where space is limited and is at a premium, slots are given the lion’s share of the gaming floor because more players seek them than table games.
Casinos also generate bigger revenues the more slot machines they have. So their return on investment with slots is greater than with other games. Plus many slot machines can be housed in the same space that one table game takes up.
Slots games far exceed their table counterparts
Being 100% virtual, however, online casinos have no such space constraints as they’re hosted on web servers that can be expanded quickly and cost-effectively. Yet the same trend applies – slots exceed their table counterparts.
While new table games are released once in a while, they’re mostly newer versions of existing games. That’s why in online casinos especially you’ll find so many Blackjack, Roulette and Baccarat variants to choose from.
Another reason slots are so prevalent that casinos don’t like to talk about is slot games have some of the worst odds of any casino game for players.
As such casinos earn greater revenues from slots (because they have a house edge of 10% or more) than they do from table games with their lower house edge (and thus better player odds).
Blackjack has the lowest house edge of any casino game
Blackjack, for instance, has the lowest house edge of any casino game of just 1 percent. So does Craps, which has bets with odds close to 50/50 – like a coin flip. Roulette also has 50/50 bets (Reds / Blacks, Evens / Odds and Lows / Highs).
But every time you spin the reels of your favourite slot game or machine, you don’t have close to a 50/50 shot of landing a winning combination. But you can find your traditional casino games at many online casinos.
That’s why casinos prefer you to play slots because in the long term they earn bigger revenues from slot games compared to table games. And like any business, casinos are all about generating revenues and increasing profitability.
Specifics of why slots dominate in casinos
This is a broad overview of why slots dominate in casinos, but here are some specifics. Many land casinos split their earnings into three categories – VIP, General and Slots.
VIP refers to high rollers i.e. big-money players that are extended a line of casino credit. General or mass-market refers to gamblers that have the cash to play various games including table games and slots, and Slots refers specifically to slot machines.
It’s no accident that slots are only casino game with its own category. This is because of the sheer size of revenues generated by this game category. In fact, slots generate more revenue than all other casino games combined.
The take from slots can be split into the payout percentage and the hold percentage.
The former is the percentage of every coin or credit played in a slot machine or game paid out over time by the game as player winnings. The latter is the percentage of every coin or credit played in a slot machine or game retained by the casino.
Although the payout percentage vastly outweighs the hold percentage (the average payout percentage of online slots is between 96 and 98%), the high volume of slots played ensures that casino hold percentages add up to sizable revenues.
Slots are easy to produce and replicate
Another reason slots are much more prevalent in casinos than table games is because they’re much easier to produce and replicate, particularly online slots as they’re 100% virtual.
That said all slots essentially work the same way so the only thing that changes is their look and feel, i.e. their theme and artwork as well as their respective sound effects and background music (if applicable).
The number of reels and pay lines they have, their return to player (payout percentage) and their actual payouts are easy enough to tweak by game developers.
Whether you prefer physical slot machines to online slots or vice versa, it may surprise you that both run virtually the same and in some cases the exact same software.
Although slot machines are physical, their outcomes are also determined by the same cutting-edge RNG (random number generator) software used to develop online slots.
In other words, when it comes to casino table game development innovation is scarce while the opposite is true with slots. That’s why in the last decade slots have evolved from 2D themes to razor-sharp 3D graphical displays with HD animations.