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Best of John Robison

Gaming Guru

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Ask The Slot Expert

11 February 2000

Dear John,

Is it possible to have a machine with 100% hit frequency that doesn't pay back 100%?

Thanks,
R.S.

Dear R.S.,

It is definitely possible to have a machine that hits something on every spin and pays back less than 100%.

Consider a multi-line slot machine. If the machine has, say, nine lines, there's a very good chance that you'll get some sort of hit on every spin, and the vast majority of those hits will be for less than the amount of money you wagered on the spin. From your wallet's viewpoint, there's no difference between losing three coins on a spin on a single payline machine and betting nine coins and winning back six coins on a nine-line machine. The net is the same--a loss of three coins.

Action Gaming and IGT showed a new multi-hand video poker machine at the last World Gaming Congress. You play 50 hands at a time on this machine. It is very unlikely that you won't get a hit on at least one of the 50 hands, yet, unless the paytable is one of the few 100%+ payback paytables and you play nearly perfectly, the machine will eventually take all of your money--even though you're getting a 100% hit frequency.

All the best 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