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Best of John Robison

Gaming Guru

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Ask The Slot Expert

31 May 2001

Hello John,

We haven't chatted for a while, but I thought I'd tell you about a stupid play I made last Friday night. The reason I'm bothering you with this is that your writer, John Brokopp, covered the situation nicely in his article of 11/07/00 concerning a 50 Play VP machine and Deuces Wild.

I was at the new boat on the Ohio River called Beltera, playing quarter Triple Play, Deuces Wild, and it dealt me a wild royal on the bottom line with 3 deuces. Good for 375 coins if I just hold them. After about 10 minutes of thinking it over, I decided to go for the fourth deuce. I felt lucky at the time and didn't use my head. Ended up with a pay of 20 x3.

After reading John's article, I now know how bad the odds were against me.

Well, John, it's your time to call me dumbass. I deserve it, but lived and learned.

Thanks for letting me cry on your shoulder.

Gene

Dear Gene:

Don't beat yourself up too much. When you're not sure what the proper play is and you don't have a strategy card you can check, the best you can do is try to figure it out yourself--and that's tough to do in the casino! Consider this situation a lesson and the amount you didn't collect your tuition. Now you know how to play the hand.

Best of luck in and out of the casinos!
John

Dear John,

Are there any pros video poker in Atlantic City? If so, what game and denomination do they mostly play?

I don't know whether anyone in Atlantic City plays video poker professionally they way some do in Las Vegas--that is, having no income other than that from playing video poker and maybe even not having a permanent residence, but moving from casino to casino. There aren't enough positive expectation machines or hotel rooms or casinos in Atlantic City for that plan to work.

There are players, however, who take advantage of every slot club benefit and promotion they can and they do play at breakeven or with a slight advantage.

For example, Caesars pays about 0.15% in cashback on its 9/6 Jacks machines. Add in 0.30% in comps, and you're playing at close to breakeven (99.5% on the game plus 0.45% in benefits). Add in other benefits, such as free rooms and gifts, and you're above 100%.

Pros have only one rule: Play only when you have the advantage. It doesn't matter what the game or denomination is. If they have the advantage and the return is worth their while and they have the bankroll and the knowledge to play the game, they'll play.

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