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Best of John Robison
Ask The Slot Expert1 February 2001
I'm happy to answer your questions--that's why I'm here!
I like Sizzling 7s too, especially the two-coin version.
You are absolutely right when you say that the 7s landing on or near the payline mean nothing about when the machine will hit a big payout. Your chances of hitting a big payout are the same on every spin.
Those "almost jackpots" are called "near misses" and they provide some of the fun of playing slots. I call them the slot player's version of the fisherman's tale of "the one that got away."
Near misses also encourage some people to keep playing. Slot regulators are now considering new regulations that limit near misses in slots. You may have noticed that the blank above or below a jackpot symbol lands on the payline more frequently than a blank above or below a single bar. The slot programmers can cause the blanks near the jackpot symbol to land on the payline more frequently than the other blanks on the reel. The new regulations would limit how much more frequently the blank near the jackpot can land on the payline compared with the other blanks.
Use the near misses to add excitement to your slot play, but remember that the odds for the jackpot on your next spin haven't changed.
In the short run, winning is just a matter of luck, though mathematicians will argue that there is no such thing as luck, just randomness and volatility.
It is annoying when you hear about someone hitting the jackpot on a machine right after you leave it. But consider this. How many machines have you left and how many times has the next player after you hit it big? You've left hundreds, if not thousands, of machines and on just a few occasions has the next player hit it big. It's a very rare event.
Another thing to remember is that the slot machine uses a Random Number Generator (RNG) to determine which symbols will land on the payline and the RNG in the slot machine is constantly running. You would have had to have hit the Spin button at the exact same instant that the jackpot winner did to have gotten the jackpot for yourself.
Best of luck in and out of the casinos!
Send your slot and video poker questions to John Robison, Slot Expert, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about slots and video poker, we recommend:The Slot Expert's Guide to Playing Slots by John Robison
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
This article is provided by the Frank Scoblete Network. Melissa A. Kaplan is the network's managing editor. If you would like to use this article on your website, please contact Casino City Press, the exclusive web syndication outlet for the Frank Scoblete Network. To contact Frank, please e-mail him at email@example.com.
Best of John Robison