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Best of John Robison

Gaming Guru

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Ask The Slot Expert

22 November 2001

Do you have some type of summary which explains the different kinds of video poker machines and which ones have the better odds?

Knowing which video poker paytables pay better than others is only half the battle. You also have to know the proper strategies to use while playing them in order to squeeze as much long-term payback as you can from the machines. Still, you will tend to win more money from a better-paying paytable even if you don't learn the proper strategy. My book The Slot Expert's Guide to Playing Slots has a number of charts that show different paytables and what their long-term paybacks are with perfect play, but it does not have any strategies in it.

To learn strategies, I recommend Frank Scoblete's Victory at Video Poker. I also recommend Bob Dancer's strategy cards and, if you have a PC, Bob Dancer Presents WinPoker is the best program to use to practice at home. Both are available from Huntington Press (www.greatstuff4gamblers.com). I also like Dan Paymar's strategy cards.

Best of luck in and out of the casinos,
John

On a 3 reel slot machine that only pays on the center line, are the odds of receiving a winning combination the same as seeing what would be a winning combination on the reels visible above/below the center line?

For example, during a recent session, three 7s lined up both above and below the center line but never on it.

Robert

Dear Robert,

No, the odds of hitting a winning combination on the payline is not the same as the odds of hitting it above or below the payline.

The symbols above and below the jackpot symbol are usually much more likely to land on the payline than the jackpot symbol itself. Therefore you're more likely to see the jackpot symbol land above or below the payline than on it.

This is the source of what I call a "near-the-payline near miss". Some jurisdictions consider this type of near miss to be misleading if it occurs too frequently and are looking into controlling how much more likely they will allow it to be for the jackpot to land above or below the payline than on it.

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