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Ask the Slot Expert: More on Game Logics

17 December 2014

By John Robison, Slot Expert™

Just wanted to say thanks for “fighting the good fight” against the slot machine conspiracy theorists out there. I’ve been doing it myself for over 20 years. I love reading your stuff.

Warren Davidson
Director of Slots
Coushatta Casino Resort

Thanks for the support, Warren.

He's referring to my column on 11/19/14 on this site, You Cannot Call Yourself a Slot Expert, which included a letter from Michael questioning the accuracy of my statements about how slot machines work, and the follow-up columns to it.

Almost every person who writes to me espousing theories that contradict how I say slot machines work never respond to the questions and challenges I raise in my response. I'm happy to say that Michael sent a few follow-up emails. I received the letter below a few days before deadline and I'm going to start with this letter because it raises a possibility I hadn't considered. It's possible that Michael and I are both right.

As before, I present the letter without editing to ensure that I can't be accused of altering any of the statements.


Here is my answer to your website posting ”Reaction to You Cannot Call Yourself a Slot Expert"

You forgot to mention online and/or computer based roulette games. They are controlled in the same way, or close to the same way as the slots.

Yes, the rabbits run out, and I have already seen some evidence on this regarding what I have managed to do so far. For example, the online casinos I visit no longer show any RNG certificates, and no information on which company that has tested the RNG/software etc. I just found out, because when you, John, asked me to give you the source of the company/website (Gaming Control Board) that has the statement ”insures against unjustified player complaints” on their website, I directly visited several online casinos where they proudly displayed the certificates and the Gaming Control Board that supplied them with it, in order to get a hold of the source once again. Well, I was in for a surprise when it all was gone, but still, this is a victory for me, but this is not enough, so I will continue of course.

In Sweden, the Gaming Control Board ”The Lottery Inspection” answered me that there are a lot of other functions than the RNG that will decide what and when a gambler can win, such as a timetable or such. I already have proof of this. Another employee at a much larger Gaming Control Board answered me with the same information. Most of the other control boards did not answer me at all, for example SPIELO kept quiet.

The swedish company ”Swedish Games” that is the only company allowed to have casinos in Sweden will remove the VLT (Spielo) section of their open gambler forums. Why do you think they would do that? If you guess I am the cause of this, then you’re right.

About the book you are talking about; I AM the writer of the book I mention, and it is not out yet, but it will be soon. I also understand why you want to read it, and I believe every gambler in the world will scream of joy when they understand what the contents are. As I wrote in my previous letter to you; this book is about the ACTUAL TRUTH and NOT gaming advices or gaming systems, but to the right gambler, this information is of great interest and will for sure change the odds to the better for the gamblers. This is why THIS BOOK WILL SELL, and other ”slot experts” will not sell any, because I believe a lot of gamblers DO NOT believe you ”slot experts”, because you make that impression of being on the casinos side, and not on the gamblers side. THAT IS WHY you don’t sell many books.

I mean, with the RNG and the Game Logics, IT IS ALL SO SIMPLE that people doesn’t see the actual truth. It is the oldest magical trick in the book for gods sake! This is also why I mentioned to you that the strongest part of my IQ is Logical Thinking. IT IS important!!

The most simple and logical explanation is:

Any company/casino and their owners must be able to control the economical flow, no matter what business they run. This is a fact!

In the gambling-/slots world, the best way of keeping control is to control what can be won, and short time control and statistics is of course the best way of doing it. The more statistical information, the better.

The thing is that with this demand for total economical control a system of some sort must be used, and this is what the Gaming Control Boards call ”Game Logics”. This system can be read and understood if enough slot data/information is gathered and put together in statistcal charts etc.

Almost every gambler and ”slot expert” believes there can be no slot system because they only see the RNG and not the ”Game Logics”, but they are wrong!!

Where ever it is possible to collect data coming out (slots to my software), it is also possible to use it against that source of data (the slots). This is also a fact!

The ”law of large numbers” will also be used as an explanation to how they manage to win more than they lose, the casinos that is. The problem with this is that my statistical information from real live play on the slots DO SHOW that it has NOTHING to do with RANDOM OR the ”LAW OF LARGE NUMBERS”. It would be totally impossible to create such even numbers I’ve seen in my statistics.

Why is this so hard to understand? I mean, you have a nice masters degree, so these statements and examples would be real easy for you to understand.

And as I’ve explained in my previous letters to you, the RNG will not be able to create a winning outcome of for example a bonus game round if the needed game elements doesn’t exist on the so called ”virtual reels”.

THIS IS WHY they use TIME (among other variables) in slots to feed the ”virtual reels” with different game elements, and this is why I say that any gambler who understand the ”Game Logics” and forget about the RNG which is NOT important, can increase their odds to the much better, and with some logical common sense toghether with for example my statistical information, it will look so much better for the gamblers, and worse for the casinos.

The above will of course cause some problems for the casinos in the long run when enough gamblers finally begin to understand that the RNG is not doing the massive random generation that the gambling industry want the to belive it does.

THIS IS ALSO why I say that the different ”super”-tests of the RNG doesn’t matter at all. Any simple RNG will work just fine, without these ”super” tests, becuase the RNG is not that important for the outcome and what can be won, but the ”Game Logics” are, and because of this TIME IS WHAT REALLY MATTERS! These ”super” tests are something being done to strengthen the gamblers belief that everything is just pure random, when it is not!!! It is a massive scam operation that must be exposed to every gambler out there!

What I often wonder is how the casinos dare to put the trust in the RNG as a ”smoke curtain” to cover-up the ”Game Logics”. I mean, when the RNG statements fall, the gamblers will attack. Most of the gamblers will get really mad because they will finally understand that the have lost way more than they would have knowing the actual truth, and when that happens the gambling industry will not stand a chance because there are a lot more gamblers than there are casinos, just like millions of ants can do harm to much larger animals. It can be expensive for the casinos, because saying the slots are random and that it is the same odds for every spin is A TOTAL SCAM and it is NOT TRUE!

THIS IS A ENOCOMICAL CRIME, because the gamblers are playing the slots on grounds that are untrue.

If every Gaming Control Board and Casino told the actual truth, ie the Game Logics will control what and when you win, there will still be people gambling but they will do it knowing what the real odds are, and why it doesn’t seem to be random at all.

It may be that you, John, don’t make money of the Casino Industry, well you make some, but most of the other ”slot experts” that has their own web page do.

But still, because of what you write I see you as a messenger too, with the wrong information!

Well, gamblers can find the ”tips and tricks” on the internet, but this is where it all goes wrong. Gamblers DO BELIEVE in the RNG, and THIS is the number one goto statement for almost every ”slot expert” out there. They are the messengers of the casino world, but they carry the wrong message and information.

It is interesting that you bring up the programmer story etc. But I think you missunderstood me. I AM a programmer, but I never mentioned another programmer and no murder either. Did you answer to my letter with another persons statements and questions?

Now it will get real interesting again, becuase when you start to bring up the randomness and PAR sheets, then you are far from the truth, sadly!! It is a lot of smoke in every slot!!!

First of all, if ANY person would try to cheat ANY RNG, IT WOULD NOT MATTER AT ALL, because they CAN NOT cheat the GAME LOGICS, BECAUSE THE RNG is NOT IMPORTANT in WHAT YOU WILL WIN!!!!

THEREFOR the super stupid tests are STUPID, and as I wrote earlier, THESE TESTS are used to insure gamblers that the RNG is in fact a hundred percent random.

BUT, let me ask you HOW IT IS POSSIBLE for a RNG to output almost exactly the same percentage for different wins in ALL MY COMPARED STATISTICS gathered at different times, at different dates, on different days, ON DIFFERENT SLOTS from DIFFERENT SLOT DEVELOPERS, from different CASINOS????

PLEASE DO PROVE THAT I AM WRONG, OR PROVE THAT YOUR THEORY IS RIGHT!

I would also like to see all those spins you tracked. It is easy, all you need to do is scan them and mail them to me. I would like this not because I am interested in the statistical data, but more because I don’t believe you.

ANY SLOT would bring in and pay out THE SAME AMOUNT OF MONEY WITHOUT THE RNG!!!!!!!

My god, how can I explain this to you....

As for my first letter; did you really think it was your idea to publish my letter to the public, or could it be that I had you believe it must be done to gain MY trust?

You think about that for a while....

Thank you for replying. I want to again caution against these long, omnibus letters. I've been through this before and what happens is the writer makes some claims, I dispute them and make some other claims, then the writer disputes my claims and makes others or repeats the original claims -- and we're in an endless loop, constantly accumulating claims and counterclaims, and we never reach a consensus or an agreement to disagree. Face to face, we could stick to one point before moving on to another.

Shorter is better. I know the temptation to present everything in each letter, but please try to present one claim per letter and provide your evidence for the claim. We should try to mimic a conversation with your letters and my responses. I will continue the conversation as long as it is productive and civil.

Now, we're going to have to agree on some ground rules. First is jurisdiction. My statements apply to Class III slot machines subject to regulations formulated by a state in the United States. I don't know with certainty how online casinos or computer-based games work because I don't know what regulations, if any, they must follow. For the same reason, it is irrelevant what regulations a foreign country has -- and some countries allow procedures that are illegal in the United States. So, what Sweden allows and how Spielo's games work has no bearing on the accuracy of my statements.

In your first reply to my response [not yet published on this site], you referenced a testing lab in Australia. In this letter, you referred to information you received from the Swedish gaming control board. You can't mix and match statements and regulations from different jurisdictions and arrive at a coherent answer for how slot machines operate.

At this point, I thought you and I might both be right. Maybe you live in a foreign country and your experiences are based on foreign slots operating under different regulations than U.S. games. So I sent you an email asking you if you live in the United States. I should not have been so brief and I should have explained that I only wanted to know to be able to frame my reply. If you live in a foreign country, you could very well be correct about how the slots in your country operate.

Here is your unedited reply:

You may ask me whatever you like, but you will not get an answer.

Why?

Because now you know enough of what I know, but you don't know it all, and I've got you really interested. That interest exist for a reason, a reason you already have the answer to.

Remember I told you about logical thinking? Most people laugh about it, but I am sure you don't!

Also, you don't answer my questions, so there is no need for me to answer yours!

What was that you wrote?

"Where there is smoke there is fire"

I never wrote, "Where there is smoke there is fire." That phrase was in a letter from a slot marketing director, who also made a number of false statements about a video poker programmer who was murdered in Las Vegas.

I know this is falling on deaf ears now, but my second ground rule is you must read the websites or documents I ask you to read. I will also read any websites or documents that you want me to read.

The first website I would like you to look at is in regard to your statement about RNG cheating. The first chapter in Kevin Mitnick's book The Art of Intrusion is Hacking the Casinos for a Million Bucks. The chapter describes how a group of RNG cheats were able to cheat certain video poker machines by simulating the RNG on their own computer and predicting when the output of the RNG was a royal flush. The chapter is available for free online at The Ethical Hacker.

If machines had the "Game Logics" that you describe, how were these cheats able to cheat the machines the way they did? Mitnick gives the most complete and technical account that I have ever seen of the programming they did. They only simulated the RNG; there's no mention of any additional programming to simulate "Game Logics".

The procedure you described (feeding the virtual reels with different game elements) is absolutely illegal in the United States. Every combination on the paytable must be possible on every spin and with the same probability.

The situation is different in the United Kingdom, however. A former co-worker had a friend who programmed slots for the UK. Those slots had additional programming to alter the likelihood of hitting certain combinations to keep the machines' actual paybacks in a narrow range. This procedure is illegal in the United States.

As you mentioned -- well, disputed, really -- casinos in the United States do depend on the volume of play Class III machines get (Law of Large Numbers) for the machines to home in on the their long-term paybacks and the casino to show a profit from the machines.

A number of years ago, I attended a seminar given by the man who developed the Blazing 7s slot machine with Bally. He wanted to develop a high-volatility machine that would frequently hit jackpots and mini-jackpots. Blazing 7s was a smashing success in Reno, with players (well, some players) and the casino both making money.

When the machines were installed in Las Vegas, however, the casino said that they were terrible and it was losing money on the machines. The casino was told that the machines are volatile and it takes more spins than less volatile machines to zero in on their long-term paybacks. Be patient.

Sure enough, the player hot streak ended and the machines eventually earned a lot of money for the casino -- and still earn a lot of money for casinos.

Now, if these machines had the "Game Logics" you describe, why didn't it kick in and keep the Las Vegas casino from losing money in the first few days they had the slots?

You mentioned you were a programmer. Perhaps you could share with us how the "Game Logics" works in pseudocode. Here is my pseudocode for a U.S. Class III slot machine:

  • Spin button hit
  • Poll RNG for reel 1 result
  • Poll RNG for reel 2 result
  • Poll RNG for reel 3 result
  • -- repeat polling for any additional reels
  • MOD first RNG value to get virtual stop for reel 1
  • Look in virtual reel table to get physical stop for reel 1
  • -- repeat above two steps for the remaining reels
  • Stop reel 1 at physical stop determined above
  • Stop reel 2 at physical stop determined above
  • Stop remaining reels at physical stops determined above

We could also end this bout with a draw if you say that all of your theories are based on observations playing online slots or PC-based slots or slots in Australia or Sweden or some other country.

I'm looking forward to seeing the pseudocode for "Game Logics".

John


Late Breaking Development: I Googled "game logics" and made an not-so-surprising discovery about our friend Michael. History really does repeat itself. Check next week's column for the information that will free us from this rabbit hole and end this exchange. I promise you that next week's column will be much shorter than the other columns about Michael's theories.


Send your slot and video poker questions to John Robison, Slot Expert™, at slotexpert@comcast.net. Because of the volume of mail I receive, I regret that I can't reply to every question.

Copyright © John Robison. Slot Expert and Ask the Slot Expert are trademarks of John Robison.

 

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John Robison
John Robison is an expert on slot machines and how to play them. John is a slot and video poker columnist and has written for many of gaming’s leading publications. He holds a master's degree in computer science from the prestigious Stevens Institute of Technology.

You may hear John give his slot and video poker tips live on The Good Times Show, hosted by Rudi Schiffer and Mike Schiffer, which is broadcast from Memphis on KXIQ 1180AM Friday afternoon from from 2PM to 5PM Central Time. John is on the show from 4:30 to 5. You can listen to archives of the show on the web anytime.

Books by John Robison:

The Slot Expert's Guide to Playing Slots