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Best of John Robison

Gaming Guru

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Amounts won on bonus spins

17 January 2011

Thank you for your patience because no doubt you keep receiving similar or the same questions innumerable times.

Slots' paybacks are set by the manufacturers and as asked by the casinos, right?

Does it mean that bonus rounds pay only how much "extra" is left after a machine keeps based on the payback limit? Thus, when retriggered, further spins will pay less since the bulk of the extras have already been paid in earlier spins?

Also, some new games now give you only, for example, five or even three free spins. Is the thinking here you are then pushed to play more because if given, say, 15 free spins times three, you just might quit playing that night or day since chances are you'll be paid (never mind empties) more? Or do slot makers design systems so that with fewer free spins, the yields are bigger?

Hopefully, my questions are clear enough and do not set heads "spinning".

Thank you, John.

A slot manufacturer creates one or more long-term payback programs for each of its machines and a casino chooses which one of the paybacks it wants. It's more a matter of choosing from what's available than a casino asking for a specific payback percentage.

The amount that can be won on the bonus rounds is taken into account in creating the long-term payback program. Your chances for winning any given amount are the same each time you go to the bonus round. Past results have no effect on your current chances.

As for new games giving fewer free spins, slot designers always have to trade off the frequency of bonus rounds or the number of free spins with their possible values. The more valuable the bonus rounds or free spins, the less frequently the bonus round can hit and the fewer free spins can be awarded.

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