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Best of John Robison
Ask The Slot Expert30 June 2000
Your friend is correct. All the cards are dealt completely at random. Any other programming would be illegal in all U.S. jurisdictions.
If the machines did not always deal randomly from a 52-card deck, we would not be able to derive the proper strategies to use while playing a particular machine. Pros would not be able to make their livings playing video poker. Video poker would be no different from slots.
Here's an extreme example: Let's assume that a video poker machine's program could force a particular hand and now is the time to force a royal. A player is dealt a 4-card royal and a 7. Seven is the player's lucky number so he holds only the 7. How is the program going to force a royal now?
The actual payback on a machine (that is, the total amount of money players have won on it compared with the total amount of money players have played on it) is expected to deviate somewhat from the theoretical payback of the paytable. The manufacturers have a formula they use to figure out how much deviation is allowed for the number of hands played on the machine. As the number of hands increases, the allowed deviation decreases. If the payback on a machine is outside the allowed deviation, the casino will inspect it for malfunction or evidence of cheating. If machines could force certain hands to make a particular payback, there would be no need for these calculations.
You can rest assured that any machine from IGT, Silicon Gaming, Bally, VLC, Sigma, Williams, or any other major manufacturer deals randomly from the deck.
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: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