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Best of John Robison

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Are winning combinations on lines not played counted in statistics?

14 April 2008

Hi John,

I enjoy reading your answers to subscribers questions.

I have a question I hope you can answer. I know there are stats kept on all slot machines and I've seen that info displayed on the monitor screens when the tech guys are working on them.

What I wonder is, on multi-line machines when winning combinations appear on lines not played, does the machine keep track of those misses and count them toward the percentage payouts even though they have not been not actually been paid out?

On a 9-line dollar machine, I play only 5 lines and of course occasionally miss wins on lines 6 through 9. I know the machines have to payout a certain payout percentage, so I have been wondering whether the misses are taken into consideration as actual payouts by that machine, or do they only count the actual payouts?

Thanks so much for your time answering this for me.

Jofay

Dear Jofay,

Thanks for the kind words about my columns.

Winning combinations that land on paylines not played are not counted in any statistics because there is no money bet on those lines. The statistics include only actual money bet and actual money paid out.

Most video slots are straight multipliers. Each line has the same long-term payback.

Suppose you had a machine with a long-term payback of 95%. If you played a million or so spins with only one line played, you'd see that the machine returned about 95% of the money you bet on it. If you played a million or so spins with two lines played, you'd also see that the machine returned about 95% of the money you bet on it.

The machine does not have to include those "hits that got away" in order to achieve its long-term payback percentage.

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