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Casino Slot Machines vs. Online Slots | What's Better?

Electronic gaming used to be limited to arcades and expensive home consoles, but the rise of the Internet has brought gaming to a much wider audience. Now anyone can spend time waiting for their takeout order or standing in a bank line playing Candy Crush or multiplayer battle games. They can also play games that were once confined to casinos, like poker, Blackjack, or slots.
While the basic rules and objectives of online slots are identical to offline slots, that doesn’t mean the two versions are equal. So which is better, casino slot machines or online slot games? Below, we compare the different aspects of slot machine gaming to find our answer.

slot machine inside of casino


Smartphones and tablets are capable of amazing feats of technology these days, and online games feature incredible graphics and user-friendly interfaces. However, online gaming technology is still limited to a small, flat, two-dimensional screen.
Casino slot machines have also advanced far beyond their “one armed bandit” predecessors, and now feature cutting-edge graphics, stunning sound effects, and gameplay themes based on current pop culture trends and past favorites. But when it comes to a fully immersive experience, casino slots clearly have the upper hand—nothing compares to the sights and sounds of a real-life slot machine.

Winner: Casino slots


Online gaming is often a way to pass time that would otherwise be spent in boredom, but some people do like to relax after a busy day at work curled up with their tablet and a thrilling online slot game. With thousands of games to choose from and no waiting for a specific machine to be available, online slots would appear to have the advantage over casino slots.
However, brick-and-mortar casinos have flourished across the country in the last couple of decades, and slot machine fans no longer have to travel all the way to Las Vegas or Atlantic City for their in-person gambling thrills. Golden Acorn Casino, for example, is only an hour away from downtown San Diego and located right off the freeway, which is about as convenient as it gets.

Winner: Tie

Finding favorites

If you play any type of game long enough, you’re bound to develop favorites, and chances are good that your favorite online slot machine games will always be there the next time you log on.
Finding your favorite slot machines at casinos might be trickier, considering casinos have limited floor space and machines that fail to attract enough attention are often replaced. However, there’s usually something similar available—all you have to do is ask and the casino staff will be happy to direct you to your new favorite.

Winner: Online (unless your favorites are flexible)

Social quality

Playing online slot games from the comfort of your couch might be convenient, but it’s not the most social way to spend your time. Unlike other online gambling games such as poker and Blackjack, you don’t play slots with other players around the country—just yourself.
Casino slot games are the complete opposite. Not only are you surrounded by other slot machine fans trying their luck, but you’re also immersed in the exciting sights and sounds that boost the thrill factor of gambling. Plus, casinos are the perfect destination for a fun night out with friends or a mini-getaway with a significant other. Even if you don’t win the jackpot, having such a great time will ensure you walk away a winner.

Winner: Casino

That winning feeling

As mentioned earlier, online slot games work the same as casino slot machines, and while there’s no hard data to back it up, some people believe online slots have a better payout percentage simply because online casinos don’t have the same overhead as physical casinos.
Any advantage is likely negligible, but even if you win more online, the experience of winning alone on your couch is vastly different than on the casino floor. Winning a slot machine jackpot at a casino is an adrenaline-pumping dream come true—sirens blare, lights flash, and random strangers offer handshakes and high-fives. Jackpot winners are also often featured in casino websites, ads, billboards, and commercials, sweetening the win with a bit of local fame, which counts for much more than a few extra payout percentage points.

Winner: Casino

Overall winner: Casino slot machines

Your preference for online slot games versus casino slot machines depends, of course, on what you want out of your gaming experience. But aside from some slight convenience advantages, it’s clear that casinos are the way to go for the best slot games and the best gaming experience. If you’re looking to check out some slot machines near San Diego, be sure to visit Golden Acorn Casino. We’re conveniently located right off the I-8 and only an hour from downtown.


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