CasinoCityTimes.com

Gurus
News
Newsletter
Author Home Author Archives Author Books Search Articles Subscribe
Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Newsletter Signup
Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
John Robison Archives
More Strategy Experts

Gaming Guru

author's picture
 

Ask the Slot Expert: I'm a picky video poker player

15 August 2018

By John Robison, Slot Expert™

Question: WOW,...I hope I never sit next to you in a casino. You just telegraphed how picky you are.

You kept saying "their doing nothing wrong, so nothing can be done about it."

Bet a dime to a dozen donuts you would if you could. Your true colors came shinning through, and I don't think you realized it.

I do enjoy your read though.

Answer: I'm the guy you want to sit next to. I don't smoke, so you don't have to deal with smoke drifting from me over to you. And, of course, I never leave ashes behind on a machine. I sit directly behind the machine I'm playing and I don't swivel the seat so I encroach on your space. I don't put my feet up on the slot stand.

I prefer end machines and I'll only play a center machine if there are no other choices. I'll check other banks before taking a center machine. On those rare occasions when I have to play a center machine, I try to avoid swiveling the seat and hitting the players next to me by pulling the chair back to sit down and pushing it back when I stand up. And I apologize if I accidentally hit another player while sitting down or standing up.

If I see a player with an annoying habit, like the lady who pivots her hands at the wrists like a flipper so she loudly slaps the buttons, I'll go to another bank. If you sit down and start doing something I find annoying, I'll mind my own business and ignore it -- well, except for that time a lady drummed her fingernails on the metal button deck while she thought about which cards to hold and I gave her the stink eye, which caused her husband to whisper something to her and then she stopped drumming her fingernails. That incident notwithstanding, you might have sat next to me, done something on my pet peeves list, and didn't even know it.

Anyway, I'm glad you enjoy my columns.

"Hey! Wait! I've got a new complaint."

Not about video poker players, but about a casino's video poker machines. I was playing Triple Play 9/6 Jacks on an upright machine and I couldn't figure out why I couldn't get comfortable. I finally realized that I couldn't sit at a comfortable distance from the machine because it still had a coin tray.

How many years has it been since casinos switched from coins and tokens to tickets? The only other machines I've seen that still had coin trays were the few coin-based machines some casinos were holding onto for the Luddites who still preferred to get their hands dirty with coins.


Question: How do I get 88 Fortunes to play?

Answer: My flippant answer is: Put some money in and hit the Spin button.

But because your message is tagged indicating that it was sent from your iPad -- even my car tags the message when I send a text from it -- I suspect that your question is really about how to get 88 Fortunes to pay.

A quick digression: Gotta pay attention to auto-correct. A few days ago I sent a text message to Jean Scott asking her if she still planned on "lunching" at a recently renovated buffet. When I received her reply, I saw that my phone had corrected "lunching" to "launching".

If only there were some way to get 88 Fortunes, or any slot machine, to pay. The slot programmers go to great lengths to make the results as random as possible on a machine, a computer, that is anything but random when it is operating properly. They also go to great lengths to protect the result determination process to guard against sophisticated cheats who might try to hack into the software and influence the outcomes. The testing labs, furthermore, ensure that the results on a machine satisfy many of the tests for randomness and that the machine is not vulnerable to any of the known cheating methods.

I can't tell you how to make a machine hit on your next spin, but I do have a piece of advice. The professional video poker players know they need to have the bankroll to see them through cold spells -- and some of these spells can be long and chilly. But they know that this a short-term problem. The more they play, the less an effect the cold spell has on their lifetime average.

You need a bankroll on the video slots, too. The model used for the first few years of video slots was high hit frequency. It may not have been much, but you won something on the majority of spins. Players eventually complained that it was nearly impossible to win on these machines. The frequent, small wins may have been enough to keep them playing on a small bankroll, but the wins were rarely big enough that players could cash out more than they put in.

Many of today's video slots have much lower hit frequencies, similar to those of traditional reel-spinning machines. They don't hit as often, but they hit for larger amounts. These machines usually have stacked symbols (symbols repeated multiple times in adjacent spots on a reel). You frequently don't win much on the base game unless you line up a lot of the stacked symbols. You get most of your winnings from the bonus features on these machines. You need a bankroll to see you through the dry spells between bonus rounds.

It's a lot like playing Blazing 7s. You need a bankroll to see through the spins between hitting combinations of 7s.

So, if you want to make 88 Fortunes pay, balance your bankroll and bet level so you have the bankroll to fund at least 50 spins. There's no guarantee that you'll hit something big -- and certainly no guarantee that you'll leave a winner -- but you'll have given yourself enough spins to have a chance.


Send your slot and video poker questions to John Robison, Slot Expert™, at slotexpert@slotexpert.com. 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.

 

Ask the Slot Expert: Be careful with touch-sensitive displays in button decks on a slot machine

8 August 2018
Question: A warning about 88 Fortunes slot machines! This can actually apply to many slot machines. Recently I sat down to play an 88 Fortunes machine at Resorts Catskills. I inserted my player card and then inserted a $20 bill. As I let go of the bill, my pinky knuckle must have touched the surface a ... (read more)
 

Ask the Slot Expert: About those "guaranteed to hit by" progressives

1 August 2018
Question: Is there any way to tell if you’re playing a server-based machine? Answer: The term server-based gaming is like the lyrics to a Yes song — it can mean almost anything you want it to mean. Let's look at different things server-based gaming can mean and whether you can tell if you're playing that kind of server-based machine. ... (read more)
 

Ask the Slot Expert: Getting gonged on Fu Dao Le

25 July 2018
Question: One of my favorite slot machines is Fu Dao Le, for which I have several questions: When two of the green gongs appear (on reels 2-4), the next spin most often contains none. Sometimes one, and rarely two, but never three. After about 50,000 spins, I would expect to see at least one. ... (read more)

Next 10 Articles >

  • Featured Articles

Hit Frequency, Reno, Atlantic City, Double Up

Hi there, Has there ever been any research done into what number of times a slot machine will pay "anything" during one hundred spins on the average? I have counted many times and find the average slot machine will pay roughly 16 times out of 100 spins. That includes winning a lowly cherry return to a bigger win. ... (read more)
 

Slot Machine Pay Off

Dear John, In reference to the reader's question about slot machines where you play for gold or silver tokens: In Las Vegas, many of the casinos have 25-cent slots that pay off a $10 jackpot with a $10 silver souvenir token. ... (read more)
 

Declare Your Independence from the Slots

On this Independence Day as we celebrate 226 years of independence from the tyranny of the British, consider making your own Declaration of Independence from the tyranny of the slot machines. You don't have to stop playing machines altogether. Just switch to playing video ... (read more)
 

Guide to Winning at Slots: The Best Number of Coins to Play

Every casino guide to gaming recommends playing maximum coins on all slot machines. And almost everyone who's written a book about slots also recommends playing maximum coins when playing a slot machine. I analyzed over 1,000 slot machine programs and I discovered that ... (read more)
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
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