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Best of John Robison

Gaming Guru

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Ask The Slot Expert

3 September 1999

A change person told me never to play with my slot club card in the machine. She said that using your card makes the machine tighter. Is this true?

I've heard this statement many times. The theory is that the casino tightens up the machine on you to pay for the slot club benefits you receive.

But look at it this way: You've gone out of your way to join the slot club. You've given your name and address to the casino so they know who you are and how to reach you. Doesn't it make more sense that the casino would want to loosen up the machine for you so you'll be more receptive to their incentives to get you to come back?

The truth is that using your slot club card has no effect whatsoever on how much you win or lose when playing a slot machine.

One person told me that he tried an experiment. He played 20 spins with his card in and 20 spins with his card out. He won more money when his card was not in the reader.

The problem with his experiment is that the sample was far too small. All sorts of weird things can happen in the short term when playing a slot machine, and 20 spins is definitely in the short term.

Most slot clubs pay about 1 percent or so in benefits. It takes over 100,000 spins on a slot machine for a 1 percent change in payback to have a greater effect on your results than normal randomness.

Now, there is a connection between the main circuitry in a slot machine and the slot club data collection board. The connection is purely for reporting purposes. The slot machine reports to the slot club board now much you bet on each spin and what the results of the spin were. The slot club board collects the data and sends it back to the main slot club computer. The slot club board does not tell the computer in the slot machine to do anything differently.

Use your slot club card every time you play. Otherwise, you'll just be cheating yourself out of comps you have earned.


Send your slot and video poker questions to me at slotexpert@home.com.
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