9 Reasons Slots Are Better than Blackjack

By Randy Ray
Published on April 15, 2017
Slot Machines Feature

When you read books and articles about gambling you often run across information about playing games with a low house edge or trying to play with an advantage.

These sources of information always recommend playing blackjack over slots.

While it’s true that if you play blackjack in a game with good rules and use the best strategy that the house edge is lower than playing slot machines, that doesn’t mean that slots are all bad.

You can find plenty of reasons to play slots instead of blackjack.

Here’s a list of 9 reasons slots are better than blackjack.

I’m not going to try to tell you that you can make more money playing slots or have a lower edge, because these things aren’t true. But just because these things aren’t true; it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t play slots.

1. No Strategy

When you play blackjack you need to make decisions. Every hand you’re dealt requires you to decide if you want to stand or hit and sometimes you need to think about doubling down, surrendering, or splitting.

If you use a strategy card or have memorized the best strategy you need to make sure you’re making the best play.

These things are all important if you want to reduce the house edge as much as possible.

But when you play slots you don’t need to think about anything if you don’t want to.

You can visit with the players on the machines close to you, let your mind wander and day dream, read a book, or do just about anything you want or nothing at all.

Once you decide how many lines you want to bet on and how much per line you can simply hit the spin button every once in a while to see how you do. Some machines don’t even have these options so you just put money in and spin.

When you play slots online many of the machines let you set them for a number of spins so you don’t even have to click the spin button very often.

You can spin the reels as fast as you want or as slow as you want. If you want to hit it as fast as possible you might be able to play 500 hands per hour or just take 50 spins per hour.

When you play slots you don’t have to worry about strategy or much of anything else.

This makes playing slots a more relaxing experience than play blackjack. This alone makes it a better option for many gamblers.

2. Bigger Top Prizes

When you play blackjack the most you can usually win on one hand is one and a half times your original bet. This happens when you get a blackjack and get paid 3 to 2.

If you double down or split and win both hands you win two times your original bet, but you also have to double your bet.

But when you play slots you can win thousands or more on a single spin. Progressive slot machines sometimes have jackpots over a million and many machines have top prizes of 10,000 or more.

The top prizes aren’t hit often, but the possibility is at least there. When you play blackjack it’s just not possible.

If you play a blackjack game that offers a side bet with a big potential pay out it comes with a catch. Here’s a secret that the casinos don’t want you to know.

Almost every side bet offered on a table game actually has a much larger house edge than the base game. This often pushes the edge higher than slot machines.

So even if you have the opportunity to place a side bet at the blackjack table with a higher potential prize, you’re usually better off taking a shot at the slots chasing a big pay day.

3. More Open Seats

How many times have you went to the blackjack table and found it full or almost full?

This happens all the time in busy casinos so you either have to squeeze into a tight spot or wait for a seat. But when you play slots it’s rare that machines aren’t available.

If you only play a certain slots game they might all be taken, but it’s rare when you can’t find many slot machines with open seats.

4. Fewer Neighbors

Unless the casino is packed during a busy night you can usually find a slot machine without anyone sitting beside it. The blackjack tables rarely offer the same luxury.

And even if you find a blackjack table open with no one else playing the odds are that someone will join the table soon.

If you’re playing slots and someone sits beside you the option is always available to move to a different machine. But many casinos have some slots stuffed in out of the way places so if you want to play in isolation you can usually find a machine that lets you do so.

5. No Illusions of Beating the House

Many blackjack players have the illusion that they can beat the house. Just the other day I ran into someone I hadn’t seen in years and he told me he never loses at blackjack.

While a few people are able to beat blackjack by counting cards, there aren’t many people who do it consistently. But if you play smart with good rules you can play with a low house edge.

When you play slots you shouldn’t have the illusion that you can beat the house.

The way slot machines are designed they take your money a little at a time. The have a programmed payback percentage that forces the machine to keep a certain amount of every dollar that gets wagered on the machine.

In the short term you can win, but the more you play the closer your actual results will come to the expected results.

A slot machine with a 95% payback percentage keeps five cents of every dollar wagered on it on average. Any single spin can award a prize or keep your entire wager, but over time the machine will average a 5% profit on every dollar wagered.

If $100,000 is bet on the machine it’s going to have a profit of almost exactly $5,000. Over the course of the $100,000 worth of spins it pays out some wins and keeps all of the bets on others.

As the machine takes more bets the percent it keeps gets closer and closer to the expected amount. Once the machine takes millions of dollars in wagers the profit should be the correct percentage.

This means that even if you get lucky and win playing slots from time to time that you’re going to lose the expected percentage if you play long enough.

But this is also true for all casino games, including blackjack.

6. Variety

Blackjack is pretty much the same no matter where you play. The rules might vary slightly from one game to the next but overall the games are the same.

But slots players have their choice of hundreds of different games. You can play the latest video slots, old fashioned three reel machines, progressive jackpot games, and many other machines with unique features.

Slot machines are also available using just about any theme you can think of. If you like game shows you can find machines based on many popular ones. Video games have slots based on them, and popular super heroes and movies also get slot machines.

The variety for slots players is almost unlimited. And if you get tired of the ones available at your local casino you can play at a different casino or play online. You can find literally thousands of different slots games in online casinos.

7. Simple Rules

Once you learn how to play blackjack the rules are fairly simple. But different games do have different rules sometimes.

But when you play slots the rules are the same no matter where you play. You put your money in, choose the pay lines and amount per line, and either hit the spin button or pull the handle.

The slot machines found in every casino around the world and in online casinos all operate using the same rules.

8. You Can Play as Slow as You Want

Blackjack plays at a pace set by the dealer and other players. You can play as fast as the dealer can deal and the rest of the players play. You can slow down a little, but for the most art you have to play at the rate the table is playing.

Slot machines give you complete control. You can play as fast or as slow as you want. This is true whether you play in a land based casino or online.

This is one of the best ways to make your bankroll stretch further playing slots than playing blackjack.

If you take your time and only take a few spins per minute you can play longer than spinning the reels as fast as possible.

If you take 500 spins per hour, which is possible on many machines, at $1 per spin and the machine has a 95% payback you bet $500 an hour and your expected loss per hour is $25.

But if you only take 100 spins per hour on the same machine with the same bet you only bet $100 per hour and your expected loss is only $5.

This means that on average you can play five times as long on the same bankroll.

If you get bored easily and find yourself taking too many spins consider doing something else you enjoy at the same time you’re playing the slot machine.

Many players enjoy visiting with other players. You can read or listen to music on headphones while playing. Anything you can do to be entertained while reducing the spins you take can help your bankroll last longer.

9. Lower Minimum Bets

When you play live blackjack the minimum bet per hand is usually $5 or more. And in some casinos if you want to play with better rules you’re forced to bet $10 or $20 as a minimum per hand.

But when you play slots you can find machines that offer spins as low as a nickel in most casinos. You can find slots for a quarter a spin everywhere.

It’s even possible in some places to find a penny slot machine that lets you play a single line. These are rare, but finding machines with a nickel or dime minimum bet is fairly easy.

You can even play many slots online for free. Of course you can’t win anything on these machines, but you also don’t need to worry about running out of money.

The lower minimum bets go a long way toward extending your bankroll and playing time. And when you combine lower minimum bets with slower play you can play for much longer playing slots than blackjack.

Even a slow blackjack game plays 50 hands per hour. If you play 50 hands per hour at the blackjack table with a $10 bet and a house edge of 1% you bet $500 and hour and your expected loss is $5. If you bet $20 per hand your expected loss per hour is $10.

But if you play a slot machine with a 5% edge at 100 spins per hour at a quarter a spin you only bet $25 per hour and your expected loss is just $1.25.

At a nickel a spin your expected loss is just 25 cents.

I realize that playing at a nickel a spin reduces the chances at a big win, but if your expected loss is only a quarter an hour you can play all day with a small bankroll.

Even if you want to spin as fast as possible and take 500 spins an hour at a nickel a spin you only bet $25 per hour with an expected loss of $1.25 an hour on a 95% payback machine.

At 500 spins per hour at a quarter a spin you risk $125 an hour with an expected loss of only $6.25. And it’s common to find machines that offer big prizes for a quarter a spin.


Blackjack has some advantages over slots, but it’s not a one way street. These 9 reasons slots are better than blackjack show you why playing slots can be a better choice.

It’s up to you to decide which you want to play, but the slots have advantages over blackjack in many areas. The most important one may be the ability to control your play in ways that protect your bankroll and let you play for longer on the same amount of money.

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See All Comments
Steven Scott | 30 May 2017
Pretty much my experience has been if I bet 500 an hour on a slot machine. I will lose 500 an hour
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