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Best of John Robison

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Are the amounts I win in bonus rounds predetermined?

22 June 2009

John,

Enjoy the column. It makes me a more knowledgeable slot player. If only it could make me luckier.

Your comment about VLTs choosing an outcome when a game is initiated reminded me of a question I've had for a while. I know the outcome of a spin is determined when you push the button or pull the handle, but what about bonus rounds? In particular, I'm thinking of bonuses where you have to pick, say, one symbol from three, or the ones where you keep picking symbols until you hit a stopper. Are these outcomes determined beforehand, or does it really matter which symbol or symbols you pick? Thanks and keep up the good work.

Phil

Dear Phil,

Thanks for the kind words about my columns.

On Las Vegas-style (Class III) slot machines, the outcomes of the bonus rounds are not predetermined. The symbols you pick determine your bonus.

On other types of machines, the entire outcome of the wager has been determined by a central server. So no matter what you pick, you will end up with that outcome even if the slot machine program needs to resort to a "magic fairy" or other deus ex machina to award you the amount.

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