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Ask the Slot Expert: You Cannot Call Yourself a Slot Expert

19 November 2014

By John Robison, Slot Expert™

Hi John!

First of all I think it is interesting that you select which letters you decide to show on your web page. This tell me you are hiding something, and I know you are! And I know nobody should ever trust what you write or say!

Second, my e-mail to you will probably stay an e-mail and will not reach your web page, because what I have to say is not what you expect, and it can for sure hurt your status as a "slot expert", which you are not! You are making money off of the Casino Industry, and you will protect that income at all times! Sadly, you will fail in the near future.

I am a programmer and has been for about 25 years. I have a high IQ well over normal, and the strongest part of my IQ are logical thinking. That is all you need to know for now!

Now, regarding your answer to Jeff:

You wrote:

"I think your statements about the RNG are, well, crap."

Now that was not very nice, and you may think whatever you like, but the point is you are wrong, and I know you know it too. But it will get worse now, much worse for you!!

Then you wrote to Jeff:

"Show me a piece of paper on which you've tracked the results of, say, 1000 spins."

Well isn't that funny, because I happen to have just that, several statistics from different slots, at different times, on different dates, showing the RNG has almost nothing to do with what you win. It has a little bit to do with the game elements selected, but what you win is a hundred percent controlled by the Game Logics in a slot. These are exactly tracked spins using the start+stop spin technique during about one hour. In that time I have graded around 700 clicks. This was done to different slots, on different dates and times.

The gradings, if you must know, are:

- No win
- Less than bet win
- Money back win (equal to the bet)
- Small win
- Good win
- Big win
- Super big win
- Scatter/free spins
- Jackpot

I graded each spin with one of the above. During one hour only the results killed myths that you, and others who call them selves "slot experts" are spreading around the internet and in other places.

The RNG is a slave to a Timetable used in slots, or on the server, meaning the numbers generated by the RNG cannot create a winning combination if that combination doesn't exist for that spin. Sure, it is required that every game element must be available for random selection at the initiation of each spin, but it doesn't say how many copies of each game element there is, or how many copies there can be for every, well, let's call it virtual reel.

Now this doesn't matter if it is on the floor, in a server based Casino or online. The Gaming Control boards are very strict with there controlling methods, and regarding the RNG it is a control that really is used to control the RNG of any game, online or server based, or stand-alone (which is stupid, it is not a space shuttle component being tested). These "super tests" is what gives them away. A RNG's job in a slot is not important to control, because the RNG is not the controlling unit or piece of software.

Because these tests will result in a crappy certificate that the Casinos can display to the gamblers, most of the gamblers will think it all is random, but we both know it isn't.

So I ask you, how can a hundred percent correct tested RNG create such even, or almost exact numbers as my statistics show, no matter what time or day I collected the data?

Is every RNG faulty?
Are the certificates false?
Should a gambler not trust the Gaming Control Boards?
Are you going to call me a liar?

ALL BUSINESS regarding the RNG is just a smoke curtain in use to hide the true, real functions of a slot (the Game Logics) and to insure Casinos the gamblers cannot have "unjustified complaints" as one big Gaming Control Board puts it. This statement alone is really stupid to put on a web page for a Gaming Control Board.

Now, how about YOU show ME and JEFF some proof of the RNG's work.

Please track, let us say 700 spins, on different times and days of any slot you like, and display those to Jeff and me. Also, please do explain why the numbers are very much alike, no matter when you tracked your spins.

Don't bother trying to fool me with made up statistics, because I already know, and have the proof of what I am writing to you.

Come on, you cannot call your self a slot expert, and you know it!

I have contacted several so called slot experts, and when the REAL questions get asked, they either do not reply, get really mad, or try to answer without answering what I have asked for.

Hell, even the Gaming Control Boards stay quiet. That is kind of funny I think.

Depending on your answer to this letter, the next letter will be even more interesting, I assure you!

You have a nice day now!

Kind regards,
Michael

Michael,

Two advantages of having my own column are that I control the conversation, as you pointed out, and I always get the last word. But let me ask you, if I didn't select the letters I answer, who would? And what do you think I'm hiding?

You'll notice that I have chosen to answer your letter and I have printed your letter with absolutely no editing.

Saying that what someone wrote to me is crap doesn't sound like me. But putting a Newhartesque pause right before the payoff at the end of the sentence does. Rather than grep the files with my past columns, I Googled the sentence and found that I did write it -- in a column published on September 11, 2006.

Perhaps you didn't read the letter I was answering. The writer said, "Concerning the RNG; I think that's crap!" I even titled the column "The RNG is Crap!" The writer then goes on to say that he's seen "the same combination of symbols pop up over and over," that the same series of symbols repeat and that the RNG does not make the results random. I wouldn't have called his statements crap if he hadn't said the same to me first about my statments.

I do have pieces of paper on which I've tracked the results of spins. I tracked results at the San Diego casinos in 2000 for a column in Strictly Slots. I noticed a quirk in the Double Diamond payback programs available at the time -- hit frequency and long-term payback were correlated. I played 3000 spins on a Double Diamond machine at each of the three casinos near San Diego and tracked the number of hits I got to get an indication of which casino had the highest-paying slots.

I also tracked results on a Double Spin Double Diamond machine at the Desert Inn. On this machine, the third reel would spin again if the symbols on the first two reels formed the start of a winning combination but the third reel did not complete it.

Before I started tracking the spins, I had become convinced that the third reel always spun back to the same symbol more often that it should have. I asked the slot director and he told me that the result on the re-spin is also randomly determined by polling the RNG.

After tracking a dozen or so re-spins to convince me that the the result of the re-spin was indeed random. I was a victim of confirmation bias, remembering all the times that the re-spin went back to the same symbol and forgetting the times that it didn't.

You claim that the statistics you gathered about slots show that "the RNG has almost nothing to do with what you win" but you didn't provide any examples. You said that "the results killed the myths that...slot experts are spreading aroung the internet... but again you provided no examples. Please share with us your results and the myths they kill.

I'm not familiar with some of the terms you used. What is the "start+stop spin technique"? I tried Googling the phrase and got no hits related to slot machines. I tried searching for "start stop technique", but all those hits dealt with premature ejaculation and I doubt that technique had anything to do with how you played the slot machines. And what's a "click"?

How is the RNG a slave to a timetable? I need more details on this statement.

Gaming regulations do state that every outcome must be possible on every spin or, as you put it, "every game element must be available for random selection at the initiation of each spin." If you could see the layouts of the virtual reels, you could see how many times each symbol appears on each reel.

Please give some examples of "super tests" and how they "give away" the gaming boards.

You said that the "RNG's job in a slot is not important to control, because the RNG is not the controlling unit or piece of software." What does the RNG in a slot do and what is the controlling unit or piece of software?

Please share the URL of the gaming control board whose website mentions "unjustified complaints".

You mentioned that you contacted several slot experts and that you ran into problems when the REAL questions were asked. This reminds me of an experience Frank Scoblete and I had with another gaming writer, who has written three books. He shared with us some exchanges he had had with other writers. He also had the same complaint -- that some correspondents stopped the conversation once the real questions were being asked. His real questions doubted the randomness of events and the validity of hundreds of years of probability and statistics. We all refused to go down the rabbit hole with him. I checked and found that his website is no longer online (I've been writing this column for over 15 years) and his books are only available used from third-party sellers on Amazon (my book is still stocked).

I'd like to see your next letter. I suggest that you pick one or two claims and provide some evidence to support them. That approach is better than an omnibus letter that doesn't do justice to its many claims. Perhaps you should start with an explanation of the "Game Logics" in a slot machine.


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