One-Armed Bandits: The Science of Slot Machines


Slot Machines at the Deauville Casino. Patrick Durand/Sygma via Getty Images
Slot Machines at the Deauville Casino. Patrick Durand/Sygma via Getty Images

You may call it a slot machine, a fruit machine or a one-armed bandit, but the reality is the same: an algorithmically precise machine designed to drain the human gambler of all his or her earnings. Where did these insidious machines come from? How do they ensorcell us? In this classic episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe explore the science and psychology of slot machine gambling behavior.

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Topics in this Podcast: gambling, technology, psychology