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Best of John Robison

Gaming Guru

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Ask The Slot Expert

2 June 2000

Dear John,

Is there a difference in video slot and electro-mechanical slot payouts? I was told that there are two types of payouts--one is actual, the other is dynamic percentage. If you are playing a dynamic percentage game, it calculates hands won and hands played. This is the type of machine that is set at 98% and the end cash payout is approximately 68%. These are usually multi-lines or a video poker.

Thanks

The dynamic percentage model you described is illegal in all US jurisdictions. No machine is allowed to alter the probabilities of hitting winning combinations based on what it has paid out in the past. Every outcome on every machine, video or mechanical, is chosen at random without regard for what was chosen in the past. In addition, I think a machine that pays back only 68% is also illegal everywhere.

If a machine is set to pay back 98%, the actual amount of money it returns to its players will be very close to 98%. Because each outcome is chosen at random, it may take a million or more spins before the actual percentage gets within about one percentage point of the payback the machine is set for. But as the machine gets played more and more, the amount returned to the players gets closer and closer to the payback for which the machine is set.

It's possible that the situations you described may be true for foreign machines and possibly in Native American casinos, but not in Nevada, New Jersey, Mississippi, Colorado, Illinois, Detroit, or any of the other state-regulated jurisdictions.

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
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