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Best of John Robison

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Are there multiple RNGs in a multi-denomination machine?

12 June 2006

My husband and I go to the Belterra often. They only have two quarter Elvis machines but they were very good, not only to my husband and myself, but to others.

One night a man sitting there was very lucky. A number of times Elvis wasn't over the song yet and he would get another Elvis bonus. The next morning I couldn't wait to see if I could get on it, but there was a clipboard in the seat of one and a plastic bag of something that looked liked silver chips in the tray. The other Elvis machine had a jacket over the seat. I didn't notice the bag of chips at first and made the comment to my husband someone must be saving them. He said that it was a couple of guys getting ready to work on them.

The next time I went back there were no one playing them, which was unusual. I went through twenty dollars without even a cherry. I moved on but played other machines around them. I noticed that people would sit down maybe get one low bonus but nothing to keep them there very long. My question is, do you know what could have been done to the machines and what was in the plastic bag?

Thanks. I really enjoy your column.

Faye

Dear Faye,

I really don't know what was done to the machine. I don't know what the silver chips were that you saw. It's unlikely that they were replacement computer chips. Those would most likely be in red anti-static bags and they would not be left unguarded.

You imply that they changed the programming of the machine so it would not hit the bonus as often and for lower amounts. It's possible that the technicians did do that, but you have far too few observations to support that conclusion.

Best of luck in and out of the casinos,
John


John,

Our question is, how many random generators are in a multi-denominational game when the game has the same pay schedule for each denomination on a video-poker machine? Am I correct in assuming that each denomination game has its own random generator?

Thank you.

Joy & Stan

Dear Joy & Stan,

There's no need for a multi-denomination machine to have more than one RNG function. All the RNG does is generate a number. The denomination of the game has nothing to do with the process.

Best of luck in and out of the casinos,
John


I have a theory about slot paybacks. Please tell me if it is correct.

In any given casino or gambling area, can a similar type machine with the same payout percentage have two totally different types of pay schedule?

For example, two side-by-side Double Diamond machines. One pays lots of small pays — 5, 10, 20, even 50. The second has very few small pays but several big pays or jackpots. The overall payback is the same, but the play time is much less, unless you happen to hit big.

It seems newer machines are set like the second type, decreasing your overall play time.

Your response would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Yes and no. It's absolutely possible that two machines with the same long-term payback percentage can have radically different hit frequencies. The machine with the higher hit frequency will hit more small pays, and the machine with the lower hit frequency will hit more big pays.

But it's not likely you'd find that situation with two machines of the same game. The game designers determine what personality the game will have (frequent hitter or not-so-frequent hitter). As a result, they design the virtual reel layouts to give roughly the same hit frequency but with different long-term paybacks.

Many machines' popularity is based on their hit frequencies. Blazing 7s and Double Diamond are machines with relatively low hit frequencies that favor they mid-level jackpots. On the other hand, games like Wild & Loose and Wild Cherry have high hit frequencies. I think players would be upset if they found a version of their favorite game with the "wrong" hit frequency — at least I would!

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 send a reply to every question. Also be advised that it may take several months for your question to appear in my column.

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