A Monte Carlo analysis of hypothetical multi-line slot machine play

Abstract

Behavioural research into slot machine gambling tends to focus on characteristics of the gambler or on qualitative aspects of the slot machine such as audiovisual displays and bonus features. In this paper we take a different approach by using Monte Carlo simulation to relate hypothetical slot machine gambling behaviour to the statistical characteristics of the slot machines themselves. The measures we use – expected monetary win, volatility of payouts, and the probability that any single play returns a winning result – have the advantage that they are mathematically precise and can be linked to psychological risk and return criteria that people may look to as they decide both whether to gamble or not and how to play.

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