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Best of John Robison

Gaming Guru

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Ask The Slot Expert

10 December 1999

Greetings,

I used to live in St. Louis. They had full gambling and the casinos would advertise the payout schedules on their slots in the city papers.

Now I live in Denver, Colorado, and here they have limited stakes--$5.00 max on table games and no craps tables, but a hell of a lot of slots and video. Only one casino, Fitzgerald's, tells their pay-off on dollar slots. The state law mandates a pay-off no lower than 80%. Do you know how much the hold back is? Or do you have any information through the grapevine about the % of pay-out? The only thing I know is that they keep building more casinos and don't have to employ any craps or roulette personnel. They are raking it in and playing us players like fools.

Maybe you can do a little article on Blackhawk and Central City, Colorado.

P.S. The gaming commish just fined two Cripple Creek casinos for improper record keeping. They could not show the commish what the pay-out was and could not explain why the balance slips in the machines were incomplete! The fine was for $125,000. Stay out of Cripple Creek, Colorado.

Thanks for your input,
Dewayne

Dear Dewayne,

According to the Colorado Division of Gaming, the slots in Colorado pay back about 94.5%. I found this number in Strictly Slots magazine, which publishes slot payback charts each month. The percentages range from 92% for nickel machines to over 96% for $5 machines.

On an overall basis, the average paybacks are higher in Colorado than in Atlantic City, Connecticut, Indiana, and parts of Las Vegas. I don't have any firsthand experience with Colorado's casinos, but, based on these numbers, they're giving you a pretty good game.

It's not that unusual for a casino to be fined for poor record keeping. The states are sticklers for accuracy when there are taxes involved. I think the incident you related is just an example of poor training and poor procedures, and not a deliberate attempt to circumvent the law.

Best of luck in the casinos!
John Robison
Slot Expert


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