A thin opening or groove in something, such as a piece of wood or metal. Also, the name of a machine that spins mechanical reels to display symbols and determine wins and losses.

Modern slot machines rely on microprocessors to assign different probabilities to each symbol on each reel, and to allow the player to play multiple lines simultaneously. These features allow manufacturers to increase the house edge, but casinos are concerned that players will detect these increases and choose to gamble elsewhere.

This study investigated the effects of varying the intensity of in-game rewards on a gambler’s enjoyment of playing slots. Two measures of reward reactivity were used, both based on the player’s self-reports of their in-game experiences. Our results show that the intensity of rewards, as measured by these simple self-reports, is a strong predictor of how much a gambler enjoys playing a slot machine. These findings suggest that it may be possible to measure the enjoyment of gambling without cumbersome electrodes or other psychophysiological gizmos, using simple measures elicited from a gambler’s natural play.

Gambling is often perceived as a harmless form of entertainment, but a significant proportion of gamblers experience serious problem gambling. One of the most troubling forms of gambling is the video slot machine, which is characterized by its high-fidelity, attention-capturing musical soundtracks and animated visual displays. The rapid occurrence of winnings in a video slot can cause people to engage in gambling behavior even when they otherwise would not (Blaszczynski, Sharpe, Walker, Shannon, & Coughlan, 2005). Moreover, it is believed that the instantaneous feedback provided by video slots makes them especially alluring for some gamblers.