Are you an extrovert who simply loves to play? Or are you an introvert — cool and calculating?
A few years ago, my husband, Brad, and I were at one the large, brightly lit themed casino off the Las Vegas Strip. We were playing video poker within sight of the high-limit area, where we noticed a man, sharply dressed, playing all by himself at a $25 video poker machine.
He seemed very serious, like he was concentrating hard. I watched him out of the corner of my eye for a while, and he looked like he was having anything but a good time. Then I saw his machine light start blinking; he had hit a royal fl ush. This being a $25 machine, the royal was worth $100,000. He sat alone and silently at his machine, waiting to get paid, still looking so serious.
So I walked over and congratulated him on his jackpot. He didn’t seem the least bit thrilled; he didn’t even smile. I was more excited than he was, just seeing a $100,000 royal on the machine.
I had to ask him, “Aren’t you excited?”
And he answered, “Well, yeah, but I’ve dropped a hundred grand into these machines over the last few days.”
I later talked to a casino employee and she said that he was probably right: The royal had just gotten him even.
A few weeks later, we were in a tiny shabby casino in North Las Vegas, in a blue-collar neighborhood. Brad and I were there only because of a valuable coupon play. When we had entered the casino, we had passed a man, dressed in dirty working clothes, playing a penny slot machine. We had noticed him immediately because he had a woman hanging on both sides of him, and they all three were laughing and joking, smoking cigarettes and enjoying their free drinks. This trio was definitely having a good time.
Brad is always interested in offbeat characters, so he walked over to see what was going on. Though you could bet up to 120 pennies a hand on the slot machine, the man was playing only one penny at a time. Brad commented, “You sure look like you’re having fun.”
And the man replied, “We’re having a blast! You know, your money lasts such a long time on these machines!”
With which of the above gamblers do you more closely identify? Or do you fall somewhere in between? Are you an extrovert who simply loves to play, whether it’s penny slots, craps or the big six, always rooting loudly for your money and making fast friends with other players at every turn? Or are you an introvert — cool and calculating — playing blackjack, video poker or baccarat on your own terms for your own reasons?
I often thought, though vaguely, that personality types corresponded to the choice of games in a casino. But I never realized how specifically they could correspond until I read an article in Casino Player Magazine by Henry Tamburin, called “Choosing the Right Game for Your Personality.”
Tamburin came up with a very clever typology (a system for classifying behavior based on universal characteristics) that casino patrons could use to determine whether they’re playing the game that best suits their personality.
Tamburin identified 10 personality types, which he matched up with the best casino games for them. I was happy to see a category called “Frugal,” which Henry defined as “someone who hates to spend money and wants to get as much value as possible.”
And which gaming activities do you suppose best suit the frugal gambler? Brilliant deduction, Holmes: video poker and slot club promotions.
For “Extrovert,” Tamburin recommends craps, though I might add Let It Ride, where you’re all rooting for the dealer to turn up good cards, and the big six, which is so mindless that there’s nothing else to do but cheer for everyone’s number.
“Introvert” types, according to Tamburin, do better at slots, video poker, roulette and mini-baccarat, though I might add poker to that list.
He also lists “Risk Taker,” (keno, progressive slots, and crap prop bets), “Competitive” (poker and tournaments), “Flamboyant” (baccarat, blackjack, craps), “Intuitive” (Let It Ride, Three Card Poker, Caribbean Stud, and the new slot machines), “Thinking” (blackjack, video poker, poker and tournaments), “Insightful” (card counting, video poker and comps), and “Feeling” (slots and video poker).