CasinoCityTimes.com

Gurus
News
Newsletter
Author Home Author Archives Author Books Send to a Friend Search Articles Subscribe
Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Newsletter Signup
Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Recent Articles
Best of John Robison

Gaming Guru

author's picture
 

Ask The Slot Expert

28 September 2000

Dear John,

I bought Frank Scoblete's book Victory at Video Poker and got the WinPoker program. Thank you for the suggestions.

Do you have an archive of your tips that I can access? Or is there a book that answers frequently asked questions.

For example: The objective is to hit the royal. By playing more hands, you increase your chances. Therefore, one strategy is when holding two picture cards of different suits, hold both to have a better chance at a pair; thereby getting your money back to play another hand. My strategy is to use my best guess and hold one card to have a chance at the royal.

For example: Is it a fact that the random number generator is continually dealing hands even when the machine is not being played, i.e., it may have dealt a royal flush while no one was playing? Then it would be another 30,000 - 50,000 hands before another royal is dealt.

Thank you,
Ray

Dear Ray:

I am happy to report that RGT Online has an excellent Search function. You can find it in the array of buttons on the left side of your screen. In the article search box, enter a phrase that you want to search for, such as "slot machine", in the keyword box. Choose Games for the search section. If you want to restrict the search to recent articles, you can do that with the "articles no older than" box. Choose how many matches you want displayed per page (10, 20, or 50); the default is 10. Then I recommend checking the box to include summaries so you know what the article is about. Click on the Search button, and the servers at RGT will find all of the articles on the Games pages that contain your keyword.

John Grochowski's new book, The Video Poker Answer Book, answers the frequently asked video poker questions.

Hitting the royal is not my objective when I play video poker. Winning the most money in the long run, that is, playing at the highest payback possible, is my objective. And that means always holding the combination of cards with the highest expected value. Using your example and a 9/6 Jacks paytable, the expected value of an unsuited Queen-Jack is 2.53. The Queen alone is worth only 2.33 and the Jack alone only 2.31. The best play is to hold both high cards. You're much better off giving up on the royal and hoping for a high pair or better. By the way, your chances of hitting the royal when you hold one high card is 1 out of 178,365.

It is true that the Random Number Generator is continually dealing hands even while the machine is not being played. It is not necessarily true that if the hand dealt at this instant could lead to a royal flush, then it will be another 40,000 hands or so until another royal is possible. If that were the case, then the hands would not be dealt at random.

Let's say you have a very large bucket filled with 40,000 ping pong balls. One of the balls is red and all the others are white. You close your eyes and reach into the bucket and pick one of the ping pong balls at random. You note the color and put it back in the bucket. You repeat this process hundreds of thousands of times. If you break apart your color observations into blocks of 40,000, you'll find some blocks have no red ball picks, some have one, others have two or more. But if you divide the number of times you picked a red ball by the total number of picks--in other words, on the average--you'll have one red ball pick per 40,000.

A very important point about the RNG in a video poker machine is that it chooses CARDS at random, not RESULTS. The RNG doesn't care whether the hand is a pair or a royal. It just chooses ten cards to be used in your hand, five initial and five draw. Your chances of getting the royal are the same on every hand.

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
The Video Poker 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