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30 November 2016
By John Robison, Slot Expert™
Answer: The only thing I can say for sure about a VLT versus a slot machine is that the VLT is operated by a state lottery, hence "video lottery terminal." Some VLTs operate the same way as slot machines — that is, they have internal random number generators and determine the results of their spins independently. Other VLTs are more like scratch-off tickets; they require a central server to send them their results.
You can tell what kind of machines a racino has by looking at their video poker machines. If there's some sort of fairy godmother or other deus ex machina that pops up to award you credits after a hand, then you don't have a Vegas-style machine and playing with a strategy is useless.
Answer: Okay, here goes RNG 101.
The RNG is just a mathematical function programmed into the software running the slot machine. It is constantly generating numbers, in Nevada at a minimum average rate of 100 per second.
You don't stop the RNG when you start a spin, but you do cause the program to poll the RNG. Polling the RNG means that the software retrieves the number most recently generated by the RNG. The software usually polls the RNG once for each reel on the machine.
The RNGs are designed so that there is no pattern in the outcomes. The result of each spin is completely independent of the results of any past spin. You have the same chances of hitting the jackpot on every spin — even the spin right after a jackpot spin.
Answer: This sounds like one of the Crazy Money games from Incredible Technologies.
There aren't any slot machines with skill-based bonus rounds on slot floors yet, so I would say that there's no value in trying to play with a strategy. The program most likely randomly assigns values to the bills and your picks do determine how much you will win — but the values are assigned randomly, so small bills might have big values.
Try an experiment. The program determines how many picks you have, so there's no need to rush. Take your time and try to pick the big-looking bills. If you see big bills with small values, you know that it's not worth trying to pick out the big bills. Just pick bills at random.
Send your slot and video poker questions to John Robison, Slot Expert™, at email@example.com. Because of the volume of mail I receive, I regret that I can't reply to every question.
23 November 2016Question: As always, enjoy your articles and expert insights, but I'm gonna complain here a bit. My son gets me a subscription to Casino Player magazine every Christmas. I am getting the issues a month late. I get October issue in November, for example, so any offers, shows, etc., are over by the time I get the magazine. ... (read more)
16 November 2016Question: I am a regular reader of your column and want to express my appreciation for you and its contents. I am a regular player of 88 Fortunes and here are three reasons why: September 2015 - Hit the Grand for $12,000+ playing $1.76 at the Eureka Casino in Mesquite Nevada. (They have two ... (read more)
9 November 2016Question: You wrote: Based on reports from 88 Fortunes players, it's possible to hit the Grand jackpot on less than a max-coin bet. Also, your choices during the pick-em bonus round are irrelevant because the program running the machine has already chosen which progressive you will win. If you’re tapping ... (read more)