CasinoCityTimes.com

Gurus
News
Newsletter
Author Home Author Archives Author Books Send to a Friend Search Articles Subscribe
Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Newsletter Signup
Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Recent Articles
Best of John Robison

Gaming Guru

author's picture
 

Ask The Slot Expert

18 February 2000

Dear John,

Do casinos have shills play the slot machines and win jackpots and then give the money back to the casinos--all in an attempt to attract other people to play?

Thanks,
Hank

Dear Hank,

For this plan to work, the casinos would have to be able to rig the machine so the shill would hit more jackpots than other players. The only way they can do that is to change one of the chips on the logic board in the machine. No U.S. jurisdiction has approved a machine that can change the characteristics (payback, hit frequency, number of ways to hit jackpot) of its payback program dynamically. And the procedure to change a chip in a slot machine in some jurisdictions has as much pageantry as the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace. Casinos can't make it more likely for shills to hit jackpots, but can they have shills just play under the same conditions that you and I play under?

I asked Frank Scoblete about shilling in casinos. He said that some casinos employee shills at table games because some players don't like to play at empty tables. The shills are there so the real players won't be the only ones at the table. He also said that shills are frequently used at poker to keep the game going.

Frand said that shills are usually paid in one of two ways. First, the shill could get a salary from the casino and bet with his own money. In this case, the shill wins or loses real money--his money. The other way, the shill still gets a salary, but he bets with the casino's money. If he wins, he has to turn over his winnings to the casino.

Frank said there's nothing he knows of that would prevent a casino from paying someone to play their slot machines. (And it sounds like good work, if you can get it!) But he thought it would be immoral, if not illegal, for a shill to play a progressive slot machine. Much of the progressive jackpot comes from the money won from previous players, and this would be like stealing the money from those players, especially if the shill had to turn the jackpot over to the casino.

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