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Instant hits vs. distant hits on the slots

Instant hits vs. distant hits on the slots

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John Grochowski

John Grochowski

Sometimes new features on slot machines capture players' imaginations from the get-go. Sometimes they take a while to grow on us.

A number of players have shared via email features they loved at first sight and those that took a while to accept.

ROGER: The wheels like in Wheel of Fortune were an instant hit with me. I remember the first one. It wasn't called Wheel of Fortune then, but it was the same principal. There was a wheel with credit segments.

There was a signal when the wheel was about to spin, and everyone stopped and watched. It was new, different and exciting.

I still find it exciting when the wheel spin comes. I make it a point to play some Wheel of Fortune every time I go to casinos.

KRIS: Those progressive jackpots where you don't know when they're coming and there are four jackpot levels — sometimes more. I had to get used to those

The first time I won a progressive on one of those, it was like $5.43 and I was thinking, "What's this?"

You don't need winning symbols. The machine just tells you you've won. That threw me for a loop. Part of the excitement of progressives was seeing each symbol fall into place.

I got used to it. Those $5 jackpots were just money to help me keep playing while I waited for bigger ones. And who really watches where each symbol lands on a video slot with all those reels and lines, anyway? It's all waiting for the game to tell you what you've won.

CONNIE: You know what I'm still not used to? Touch screens.

I know they've been around a long time, but I'm still more comfy with old-fashioned buttons. I'll touch the screen for bonuses because there's no choice, but for betting and spinning I reach for the buttons every time. And you know what? Those slots where the buttons are mini video screens? I skip them.

JAIME: Hold-and-respin is one I had to learn to love. The first time played a game that had it, it turned me off.

When the game wasn't being played, it would display coins dropping and holding until the full grid filled with coin symbols.

The reality was that filling the whole screen NEVER happened. The first time, I got six coins on the main screen to start the bonus, I only got about three more. That was disconcerting. Another time, I didn't get ANY after the first six. I felt like I was wasting my time and I moved on.

But a few months later, my girlfriend and I were taking games next to each other, and she chose a bank that was all these games. This time, I got a minor jackpot on one that was several hundred coins. I still didn't fill the whole screen, but my girlfriend did. She won a grand jackpot.

I've turned around completely. I love those games now, and I've won a couple of grand jackpots, too.

CARLY: I had the darnedest time getting used to ticket printers, Now I can't imagine playing without them.

There are still times I miss the noise and excitement of coins in trays. Casinos now seem too quiet to me, but I've come to like the tickets. I remember having a hopper jam, waiting 10 minutes for an attendant to come clear it, then having the hopper run out of coins and having to wait another 15 minutes for a fill. That's a long time doing nothing, and it doesn't happen with the tickets.

Look for John Grochowski on Facebook and Twitter (@GrochowskiJ).


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