The Science of Gambling Machine Noises

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Slot Machine GuideLike the sound of coffee pouring in the morning, slot machines and other electronic gambling

games have an iconic noise. Each machine makes a different set of noises, like a fingerprint. The

sound resonates with the game, makes it stand out, and encourages players to seek it out. These

sounds may seem superficial, but a lot of thought and research goes into creating the

individualized sounds for a gambling game. Let’s take a look.

The first ingredient is cheer. Like a chocolate factory out of a movie, sound engineers search for

a sound that exemplifies the experience a gambler feels when they win. This cheery sound plays

every time the player wins, and it makes the experience amazing. Players hear this sound over

and over, and subconsciously yearn to hear it again.

Next, this winning sound is broken down and changed into several different noises. These sounds

still remind the user of the desired sound, but don’t carry nearly as much weight. They sound

nice, but aren’t satisfying. These sorts of sounds are played whenever the player inserts money,

presses a button, turns the dial, or lets the reels spin. This way, the user feels a sense of

encouragement and continues to feel hopeful even during a losing streak.

The most delicate step of gambling machine sound design is choosing the failure noise. The

sound must feel negative and enhance the impact of a failed bet. It also must encourage trying

again. These sounds vary greatly and vastly change the flavor of the game. The fail sound may

be very quiet and unremarkable, making it easy to tune out so the player keeps betting and

betting. The sound may also be jarring or sad, carrying a lot of impact and egging on the user.

When a gambler picks out a gambling game, the sound effects may have a lot to do with the

choice. One user may like the background song and side sound effects, which put them in a good

mood. Another user may especially like the winning noise and want to hear it every time they

win. Others may select a gambling game for the noise it makes for losing. The right sound will

encourage anyone to keep coming back, whether it is positive and encouraging or negative and


The significance does not end with gambling, however. Knowing what they know, some

gamblers have used these rewarding noises for themselves. By recording these favorite noises

and playing it later, users can reward themselves for anything from eating a salad to getting up

on time. These noises don’t have to be there just for marketing. Rule of thumb: When something

works, use it.

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