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Best of John Robison

Gaming Guru

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A strange video poker machine

3 August 2011

How do you tell the difference between Class II and Class III video poker machines? The machines I play are all TITO-type machines.

Thanks in advance. I find your sharing of gambling info very informative.

Jan


I have been going to Vegas twice a year for 28 years. I have also read your informative columns and learned from your advice. But recently I was playing a video poker machine (double double bonus) at a "Racino" and the gentleman playing next to me told me to throw away a winning hand. I thought he was crazy until he was dealt four aces with the kicker and he said he was throwing away the kicker because he would get another one. Sure enough, he threw away a deuce and drew a 4.

After that, I tested his theory. If I had kings and threes, I tossed the kings and kept the three, and without fail, each time I drew at least as good of a hand. The one time I didn't, the "matching card" gave me the difference.

I have never played on a machine like this. In other words, it does not matter what you hold. The machine will give you a pre-determined payout when it is complete. Is this type of machine even allowed in Nevada? This racino is in New York State.

Thanks for your help.

Jim

Dear Jim and Jan,

Thanks for the kind words about my columns.

The machines in New York's racinos are technically video lottery terminals, which are Class II machines. As Jim discovered, they don't operate in the same way as the video poker machines you find in Las Vegas. The difference in operation is one way to tell a Class II machine from a Class III machine.

Conceptually, the machines work like a scratch-off lottery ticket. When you start a game, the machine "scratches off" the ticket to find the outcome of the spin. Actually, it gets what the result will be from a central computer system.

Next follows some charade to reveal the outcome to the player. I call it a "charade" because the outcome has already been determined. Jim's description shows that the machine goes to great lengths to correct mistakes made by the player.

In Nevada, an EGD (electronic gaming device) that represents a physical object is supposed to follow the same rules and have the same physics as the physical object. This rule means that video poker machines must deal from fair decks. Unless the rules have changed, I don't think a Class II video poker machine would be allowed in Nevada.

Best of luck in and out of the casinos,
John


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.

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