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Best of John Robison

Gaming Guru

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Are progressives tighter than other machines?

28 February 2009

Hello John,

I have been following your column for quite a while and found it very educational in the way slots operate. Please continue the good work in informing the slot public.

My question is many progressive slots in the OLG race tracks and casinos have a maximum payout of $49,999.99. If these machines sit at this figure for some time before being won, the casino will make all the money not added to the progression figure is that correct? Therefore these machines will probably be tighter than the others. There were some Betty Boop three-coin quarter machines that reached this figure often but enticed people to play it because it paid out a lot of minor jackpots of 4,000 quarters or less. Is this common in U.S. casinos?

Respectfully yours,
Douglas

Dear Douglas,

Thanks for the kind words about my column.

I searched for the regulations that the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation has to follow, but I couldn't find them. I don't know what happens to the progressive rake once the maximum is reached. It certainly isn't fair that the casino keeps it.

I have never seen anything like this in the United States. Most states' regulations view the progressive jackpot as the players' money, not the casino's, and it has to be awarded to some player at some time.

Progressives aren't necessarily any tighter then non-progressive machines. Wide-area progressives, however, are because the casinos get a cut and the link operator gets a cut, plus there's the cost of running the link.

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