Casinos are thrilling places to visit. There’s nothing quite like walking into a packed gaming hall and seeing the bright lights of the slot machines and excited bustle of the roulette table. However,men and women tend to enjoy different aspects of a casino visit, and each casino game appeals to men and women in slightly different ways. Indeed, some games are now more popular among ladies than they are among men. Let’s look at the casino games that women love the most, and examine just what makes them so popular with the fairer sex.
The female share of the poker market has been steadily increasing in recent years. There are a few reasons for this, the first of which is the increasing popularity of social poker apps on Facebook. Thanks to these apps, anybody can play poker for fun without having to venture into dingy poker rooms, and this has opened the game up to new market segments, including women. Secondly, the growth in real money online poker rooms has allowed female players to hone their talents in a live environment without anybody looking down on them. Thirdly, women have learnt that they are rather good at the game of poker. High-profile female poker stars such as Victoria Coren-Mitchell and Celina Lin have made big strides in the professional tour circuit in recent years, and their success has encouraged more and more women to take up the game. Lastly, the fact women have more emotional intelligence than men do, allows them to quickly master the vitally important poker skills of bluffing and remaining calm under pressure. Perhaps in a few years’ time, we will see the professional poker tours dominated by ladies.
The popular movie trope of a roulette table surrounded by beautiful woman might be a cliché, but walk into any land-based casino and you will see it has a nugget of truth. Part of the reason is that male players like to have a lucky lady by their side to help ensure a win, but that doesn’t explain the groups of ladies who gather round to try their luck themselves. In fact, roulette is attracting more and more women, in both land-based casinos and in the online world. Why this is happening isn’t clear yet. Maybe it has something to do with the beautiful aesthetics of the roulette table, which just looks so downright cool. The red and black pockets of the spinning wheel and the green baize where the chips are placed are certainly beautiful. Or maybe it is due to the thrill of the ball spinning round and round, and in that moment, the world is full of possibilities. Whatever the reason, it seems that ladies will continue to be ever-present at the roulette table.
Modern slot games are far removed from the simple fruit machines of your grandparents’ generation. These days slots tend to have themes from mythology, music or TV, and in the online space, many slots have so-called progressive jackpots allowing players the chance to win big. These innovations have helped slots become the biggest draw in the online casino market, and statistics show that women are the most likely to play them. A 2012 study by Oregon State University found that the average slot player was a female homeowner in her fifties. The study also examined what it was that made slots such a hit, and they found some interesting differences between men and women. While men tend to see slots as a way to make money, and were attracted to the progressive jackpots, women preferred the social experience, excitement and fun. With so many themed slots available online these days, for example Vegas-style Williams Interactive games, there is something for everyone, whatever their tastes. Shows with big female audiences such as Wheel of Fortune and Beverley Hills 90210 have their own online slots, and these naturally attract women players.
If there is any one casino game that is associated with women, then it must be bingo, and the statistics do seem to confirm that the game is dominated by female players. If you walk into any bingo hall you will see the players are 90% female, but what is interesting is that the same dynamic holds true online. The social aspect of Bingo appeals to many women, and bingo is the most social of online casino games. The chat function on a bingo game is very active, and not with the kind of testosterone-fueled jibes you might see on a male-dominated poker conversation.In a bingo chatroom, you will see players wishing each other luck, and even congratulating each other on a full house. You don’t get that too often during a round of Texas Hold’em! Again, we can see that the social aspects of the game are more highly valued than the prospect of financial gain. With more and more younger ladies taking up online bingo, it looks like the game’s central place in British life is assured for many more generations.
Casinos may have started out as male-dominated environments, but these days both land-based and online establishments attract more and more women. It’s interesting though, to see what women look for in the casino experience. While men tend to focus much more on the winning aspect, women appreciate casino games for the entertainment and social value they bring. We hope game designers recognize this need for fun and social interaction and seek to build these elements into future games.