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Best of John Robison

Gaming Guru

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Ask The Slot Expert

8 November 2001

In playing approximately twice a month for the last 6 years, I have averaged about 9 royals on draw poker and double joker and 8 five-of-a-kind joker wild jackpots during this time. These visits are to A.C. for one or two days. How am I doing as far as the number of jackpots received in that time period? They were all $1000. I have nothing to compare this to as far as an average goes, if there is such a thing.

Thanks for any response and input you can give me.

I really can't tell whether you're ahead of the average or behind it without knowing how many hands you have played. I know people who play only a few hours a day and people who play almost 24 hours a day. In addition, I know people who play very slowly and people who play very quickly. So, knowing how many visits you have made doesn't indicate how many hands you have played.

Plus, I have to know the strategy you are using because that determines the average number of hands between royals.

And when you say you "averaged about 9 royals...and 8 five-of-a-kinds," is that an average per year, per month, per visit, or what?

My advice to you is play the highest-paying paytables at the casino you like, play those machines with the best strategy you can learn, and use as many benefits of the slot club as you can. Doing these things may not make you hit more jackpots, but they will make your money last longer.

Best of luck in and out of the casinos,
John

Dear John,

After reading about the individual commenting about the short pay 9/6 Jacks or Better (pays only 1 coin for 2 pair), I felt obligated to write and share a similar bad experience I had in Detroit at the MGM Grand.

My wife and I sat down at a quarter Jacks or Better machine (9/6) and started playing. I was mystified when I pushed the full bet button and it registered 20 coins bet and played. I had never seen a quarter machine do that before. Since I did not want to play that heavy ($5.00 a pull), I used the single bet button and pressed it to play 5 quarters, the normal amount for full pay at a quarter machine.

Wouldn't you know, a bit later 4RF showed and I drew the final card to get a Royal. My wife and I were estatic. This was the first time we had ever gotten a royal (we have been playing about 5 years). Of course the lights went off, etc. To my amazement, though, the payoff was only 1250 coins. Of course, I was expecting 4000 coins. I was completely baffled. When the attendant came over and paid me off, I was told that while the machine was a quarter machine, the full pay for the royal was only for 20 quarters. In essence, the machine was a dollar machine.

I was aggravated at what I felt was a ruse, disguising a dollar machine in "quarter clothing." Here was my first royal and I felt I got cheated! Just passing along some advice to fellow VP players to be fully cognizant of what the machine pays for what.

David

Dear David,

Thanks for sharing your experience with the "dollar machine in quarter clothing."

We can all take these stories as reminders not to take anything for granted on a video poker machine, especially now that there are multi-denomination machines in many casinos.

Check that the denomination is the denomination you want (this applies to single-denomination machines too; I once sat down at a half-dollar machine thinking it was a quarter machine and didn't realize it until I got half the credits I had expected to get!); check that max coin is what you think it should be; and check that all lines on the paytable are what you are looking for.

It's a lot of work to do before we begin playing, but it's the only way to ensure we're playing the machine we want to play.

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:

The Slot Expert's Guide to Playing Slots by John Robison
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
The Video Poker 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