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Best of John Robison

Gaming Guru

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Ask The Slot Expert

12 October 2000

Dear John,

My wife and I are going to Vegas for a slot tournament at Caesars. She's apprehensive as this is her first one. Any tips would be appreciated.

Thank you,
Mike

Dear Mike:

There's no reason to be apprehensive. I've never participated in a tournament at Caesars Palace, but I have at other casinos and the procedure is pretty much the same at all of them.

First, you have to register for the tournament. I know you've already registered (that is, reserved a comped entry or paid your entry fee); this registration is letting the tournament folks know you actually showed up. They'll give you your registration materials, which usually include the rules of the tournament, the prize structure, a name badge, and a gift. You might also get other things, such as coupons for meals or drinks.

You usually pick your playing times when you register. Your playing times may be assigned randomly or the organizers may assign you to specific times by hand. In either case, you can always ask for different times if you don't like the ones you get initially.

When it's time to actually play in your session, make sure you get to where the tournament is being held on time. They usually want you there about 15-20 minutes before the time you're scheduled to start playing. You'll usually pick your machine for the session at this time, but sometimes you choose the machines when you get assigned your session times.

It doesn't matter which machine you get. They're all the same. And they're all using the same special tournament program that pays back 1000% or more. If we could find that payback program on the slot floor, we could all quit our day jobs.

Hit the Spin button as quickly as you can when you play. The difference between places is frequently just a few points. Getting in one more spin than your opponent may mean you get enough points to finish a place or two higher.

Take advantage of any rest periods the machine offers. When you hit the jackpot on a tournament machine--and that usually happens quite a few times in a session--the machine may take anywhere from 30 seconds to a minute to rack up the credits. Use that opportunity to rest from your button pushing.

Some people like to tap the Spin button with one hand. Others like to pound on it with their fists. Others alternate hands. You might want to sit at a slot before the tournament and practice different methods for hitting the Spin button rapidly. Don't put any money in the machine. Just try different ways of hitting the button. You might want to do this early in the morning so you have fewer people wondering why you're playing a machine and not putting any money into it.

Slot tournaments are a lot of fun and they can also be very profitable.

Best of luck in the tournament and let me know how you did!
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
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