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Best of John Robison

Gaming Guru

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Ask The Slot Expert

24 May 2001

Dear John,

What are the best slot machines to play? The classic machines (Double Diamond, RWB) or the new ones?

Sincerely,
Anna

Dear Anna,

There really is no best machine to play because it depends on what your goals as a slot player are. If you want to win a life-changing jackpot, then you have to play the mega-jackpot progressives and be prepared to be disappointed about never reaching your goal.

If you want to see how creative the slot designers can be, then you'll want to play the new video slots.

If your goal is like mine, to get the most play from your bankroll, then you want to look for high hit frequency machines. These are machines that usually do not have any wild, multiplying symbols and pay one or two coins for the lowest-paying combination. If you can find a high hit frequency machine that is also certified to pay back more than 97%, then you have an excellent chance of getting a lot of play for your money.

Best of luck in and out of the casinos!
John




Dear John,

On some nickel machines you can play as many as 90 nickels, which comes to $4.50. Nickel machines have an average of 90% payback while dollar machines have an average of 94% payback, so what would be the best play on nickel machines returning only 90% or should I stay away from nickel machines and play only dollars?

Thank you,
Al

Dear Al,

You bring up an excellent point regarding the Aussie-style slots and paybacks. There are some nickel players wagering more per spin than many dollar players and they deserve a dollar-like payback. The slot manufacturers are trying to get this message out to the slot managers, but I'm not sure whether the managers are getting the message.

Here's a tip for playing the multi-coin/multi-line machines: Most of them are straight multipliers, that is, all of the amounts you can win when you bet two coins per line are double those when you bet one coin per line, three coins are triple, and so on until you bet the maximum number of coins per line. You gain no mathematical advantage betting more than one coin per line, so bet only one coin per line.

Watch out for machines with progressives. You have to bet max coin on them to be eligible to win the progressive, so you will want to play max coin on them if you want to play them.

I like to play the Aussie-style machines sometimes because they're so much fun to play. I usually play one coin on all lines on a nickel machine and four lines on a quarter machine. Most of my play, however, is on the higher denomination machines that I know usually have higher paybacks.

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:

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
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