Slots is sometimes looked at as a casino game where players either win or lose, with nothing in between. However, the modern slots world now features what’s become known as “losses disguised as wins” (LDWs). Also known as partial wins, this term has come to signify something that’s making bankroll management harder than ever before. So in an effort to make sure that your slots bankroll isn’t affected by LDWs, let’s discuss what exactly they are.
Definition of Losses Disguised as Wins
While there’s no Merriam Webster’s definition for LDWs, they are essentially a slots win where you get back less than what you originally wagered. For example, you bet a nickel across 20 paylines, which is $1 total, then you win back 30 cents.
Any player realizes that they’ve taken a net loss here. However, LDWs are reinforced by lights, sounds and/or graphics that make people feel like winners. Sound crazy? Then check out the next section on a slots study that shows just how effective these partial wins are.
University of Waterloo Study
The University of Waterloo in Ontario watched 40 slots beginners play games. They then measured the players’ skin conductance response amplitudes and heart-rate changes after wins, LDWs and losses. The difference between LDWs and losses are that the former has the sights and sounds while the “losses” don’t have sounds or graphics.
What Waterloo researchers found is that players got excited for both wins and LDWs, but they didn’t get “aroused” following losses without sights and sounds.
Overall Takeaway here
Because players are actually losing on LDWs, they should theoretically not be excited about getting back less money than they wagered. However, increased arousal with LDWs might be one reason why certain players have problems with bankroll management.
So a good way to overcome this is to ignore the sounds and graphics following an LDW, and instead think about the net win or loss. By focusing on the money aspect, you’re less likely to be fooled into thinking you’re winning when in fact you are not.