Slot Tutorials

Slot Vocabulary: Abandoned Card

Players card inserted into a machine
Written by Joshua

This is one of those ones that occasionally pops up on a slot machine, although it relates more to the players card system as opposed to the slot itself, and that’s a message such as “Abandoned Card” with a red light or blinking light on a players card, an indication that it’s not capturing data.

There’s a relatively simple explanation for what the message means, and why it happens.

Players forget their cards in slot machines all the time. You probably see them lying around machines frequently, and have found a card still in the machine from time to time. It’s certainly easy to do, and some players keep their cards on bungee cords or lanyards as a way to remember them.

Because casinos don’t want to give credit for play, however accidentally, to the wrong player, they will be usually configured to time out after a certain amount of inactivity. The amount of time will vary by casino and/or players card system, but there’s some window of time without any activity before the card will stop recording data. At that point the card is deemed an “Abandoned card,” or left behind.

Where this can become a problem for players is when they get into a long bonus, or stop playing for a couple of minutes to grab a drink or whatnot, and miss that their card is no longer recording their play. While the players card system will generally be somewhat blatant between a blinking/red light and a message on the screen, the way slots are designed, it can be easy to fail to look down and catch it in every case.

As such, when you get into a longer bonus, you should always check to see whether the card is still registered and active when the bonus is complete. Failing to do so could lead to some of your play not being recorded, costing you comps and reducing what your session looks to be at that casino visit.

About the author


My name is Joshua, and I’m a slot enthusiast who works in tech as a marketer by day, and dabbles in casinos periodically during off-times. Know Your Slots will reflect my interests in understanding the various ways you can play slots, travel, casino promotions and how you can get the most out of your casino visits.

Leave a Comment