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Best of John Robison

Gaming Guru

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Ask The Slot Expert

3 August 2000

Dear John,

I well understand the numbers behind the expectations of the various games one is offered at a casino. I often read how the experts deride the 5.26% advantage a casino has on Double Zero Roulette. Given this, why do slot machine reports, some in the same magazines for which many of your contributors work, show a 94% payback as a good thing? Is this not a 6% casino advantage? If one is not to play a table game with 5.26% disadvantage, then one should avoid almost every slot machine in existence. Perhaps, I am missing the point.

Barnacle Tom

Dear Tom:

On the contrary, Tom, you have the point exactly. Almost every bet on every table game has a lower house edge than the house edge on almost every slot machine. That's why I recommend people learn to play video poker and Frank recommends people learn to play blackjack, craps, and baccarat. If one's goal is to play at the lowest house edge possible, then one should avoid slot machines, because there is no way to know the exact house edge of a machine.

Keep in mind, too, that those slot reports are comparisons among slot machines in a jurisdiction. A 94% payback may indeed be good for, say, quarter machines in Atlantic City. It's not good compared with the house edge on the pass line in craps, but it may be good for a quarter slot machine in AC.

Best of luck in and out of the casinos!
John


Send your slot and video poker questions to John Robison, Slot Expert, at slotexpert@home.com.


For more information about slots and video poker, we recommend:

Break the One-Armed Bandits! by Frank Scoblete
Victory at Video Poker and Video Craps, Keno and Blackjack! by Frank Scoblete
Slot Conquest Audio Cassette Tape (60 minutes) with Frank Scoblete
Winning Strategies at Slots & Video Poker! Video tape hosted by Academy Award Winner James Coburn, Written by Frank Scoblete
The Slot Machine Answer Book by John Grochowski
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