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Unlike other casino games, slots do not require the player to wait long for feedback on their actions – the results of spins are immediately apparent. In addition, players are exposed to high-fidelity attention-grabbing music and amusing visuals during play. This combination creates an immersive experience that is highly appealing to many gamblers (Griffiths & Parke, 2005).
The enticement of slot machines may be partly due to the fact that they offer players a large number of possible combinations. In electromechanical machines, the number of symbols was limited by the physical reels and the odds that each symbol would appear on a payline. When manufacturers incorporated microprocessors into their machines, however, they could program each reel to weight particular symbols more or less than others. This allowed them to increase the frequency of winning symbols while maintaining jackpot sizes that were comparable to those of older machines.
Another key factor in the allure of slot machines is their low initial cost compared to other casino games. This low entry price enables casinos to hide increases in slot prices through higher minimum bets and higher denominations of coins. Psychologists have found that the allure of slots is particularly strong for people who are new to gambling, as well as for people with a history of psychological problems such as alcoholism or depression.