Book review: Slots, praying to the God of Chance. David V Forrest.

The first ever Slotmad book review, quite possibly the last.

It’s not that there aren’t a lot of books out there about slots, it’s just that they tend to be overly-academic (i.e dull) or about the dangers of gambling (slots ruined my life…). Addiction by design: Machine Gambling in Las Vegas falls into both of these camps yet remains an enjoyable read if a bit wordy and judgemental (shock horror capitalist corporation creates money-maker that tries to maximise uptake).

Praying to the God of Chance Slots, praying to the God of Chance book is such a breath of fresh air that I’ve purchased 6 copies so far for friends interested in slots.

What Forrest does differently is he looks at the slots playing process in the same way that I think about it, as something much more than the pursuit of profit or an attempt to kill time, but as an almost religious experience.

I’ve always been ridiculed by poker players, table game players and non-gamblers (some of them pretty high up in the casino industry even) for my passion for slots.

They fail to see that we’re not playing slots purely for the win, a win is always nice but it’s not the only reason to play.

The sports bettor has two angles. To make money with an intellectual bet or to enhance his involvement with his own team’s fortunes with a heart-ruling-the-head bet.

Poker is, as Forrest points out, a zero sum game. You can only win by taking money from other players and you can never win more than is on the table (minus house rake). It’s a pretty nasty pursuit all told.

Slots players are different, we’re a caring, contemplative lot and while we play for many reasons there are many comparisons with worshippers going to church in the way we like to play and the environments we like to play in. It’s a solitary pursuit in most cases and one that can become meditative after a while.

Forrest explores this angle in depth and throws out some great insights.

After a few chapters you’ll maybe feel that he is labouring the point a little too much but read on, there are a lot of gems about slot mechanics and historical facts that may surprise or even delight you.

You’ll probably find out a lot about yourself and why you play too.

Great book all round and one every slots player should get hold of.

You’ll find it on Amazon and there’s a Kindle edition too.

If you know of any good books on slots please let me know in the comments and I’ll try to get hold of a copy to read and review.