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Best of John Robison

Gaming Guru

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Ask The Slot Expert

26 November 1999

Dear John,

I read your article in Midwest Gaming and Travel regarding luck versus skill at video poker. I am schooled enough in statistics to understand confidence intervals, so I enjoyed your article very much.

My question is how can a player be a "professional" video poker player when all they can expect to do is maybe make one or at most two percent including comps and incentives? I play deuces wild almost exclusively and enjoy it very much. I am probably not at expert play, but I have a lot of fun. Making a living at it seems impossible. Could you please explain how someone could be a pro video poker player?

Thanks
Dick

Dear Dick,

Thank you for the kind words about my article.

It's tough to be a video poker professional. I ran into one pro I know as I was walking into The Venetian and he was walking out. It was 7 AM. I was just beginning my day and he was ending his. He looked beat. I've had rough days at work, but I don't think I ever looked like that at the end.

The pros work all the angles. Double points days, triple points days. Hit two royals within 24 hours and get an extra bonus. Whatever the promotion, if it's something they can use, they'll be there. And they'll have figured out if they have to change their usual strategy to get maximum benefit from the promotion.

They also play a lot. Pros play hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars in action each year. A few percent of that action is real money. The pros I know don't make the six-figure incomes that some of the blackjack teams make, but they make a decent living.

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