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Best of John Robison

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Are VLTs Class II slot machines?

13 June 2009

Like everyone else, I immensely enjoy your columns on slots (that's all I play) and the recent ones on classes of machines were of particular interest. Have played both classes all across the country, at both Indian and non-Indian casinos (there are Class II at private casinos in Alabama) and now understand the differences.

But have also played Video Lottery Terminals in New York State racinos, and wonder if they are Class II or III, you pointed out an exception of sorts for those managed by a state. I suspect they are Class II, but they don't have the bingo card displays that the others do.

Your response would be appreciated.

Chuck

Dear Chuck,

The key difference between Class II and Class III is where the results of a wager are determined. Class III machines determine their results on their own. Class II machines, on the other hand, depend on a central server to determine their results.

I have no first-hand experience with VLTs, but my understanding is that most of the VLT systems mimic scratch-off tickets. When a game is initiated on a VLT, the central system chooses a scratch-off ticket from those remaining, scratches off the coating and sends the results down to the VLT to be revealed to the player in some entertaining way. Of course, the central system doesn't really scratch off tickets; it merely chooses one of the outcomes remaining in the pool. And just like scratch-off tickets, once an outcome (ticket) is chosen (sold), it is removed from the pool of remaining outcomes (tickets). Once all of the outcomes have been selected, a new pool of outcomes is generated from which to select.

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