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Best of John Robison

Gaming Guru

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Ask The Slot Expert

3 April 2003

Hi!

Thanks for answering my question about the Triple Trouble video poker a few weeks ago. I did play them some last time I went but tried to focus on the better machines. Hard to give up those devils!

I printed off a strategy chart for Double Double Bonus Poker off the web and it doesn't mention saving an outside 4 to a straight that has low cards. If that's all you're dealt are you supposed to toss it? Are plays like this and throwing out a full house if you have 3 aces the reason the percentage goes down and some experts don't recommend it? I like this game because I follow the money management suggestion in Frank Scoblete's Victory at Video Poker about putting your money through just once and never playing credits so playing a good bonus on quads game helps me win enough to stay ahead. What do you think of using the strategy for Double Bonus on Double Double? Would that increase the payback but still give me the chance for the higher quad payoff?

Thanks!
Teri

Dear Teri,

You should hold an outside straight consisting of four low cards in Double Double Bonus.

The reason most experts don't recommend the game is because of its 98.98% payback. In Las Vegas and many other places, there are higher-paying games available.

To get the maximum payback from a paytable, you have to use the strategy specifically designed for it. Using the strategy designed for another paytable usually results in a decrease in long-term payback.

You can check the appropriateness of using the Double Bonus strategy on Double Double Bonus by looking at the hand rankings. If the hand rankings are the same, you don't give up anything in long-term payback. A more likely outcome is that the rankings are very similar, but not the same. You'll give up a little in long-term payback, but probably not too much. Finally, if there are major differences between the two rankings, you'll probably give up quite a bit in long-term payback and the strategy should not be used.

I haven't compared the two strategies, but my guess is that they're probably very similar and that you'll give up very little in long-term payback using the Double Bonus strategy on the Double Double Bonus machine.

Another thing to keep in mind, too, is that it takes many, many hands for a small percentage change in strategy to have a greater effect on your results than randomness. Even though you may give up a bit in long-term payback by playing the wrong strategy, you may not play enough hands for that change to have a greater effect on your results than the luck of the draw.

Best of luck in and out of the casinos,
John

How are the slots at the Soaring Eagle Casino? I enjoy going there but luck is just not with me. Do you think The Motor City or Greektown in Detroit is better than Soaring Eagle?

Thanks,
Shari

Dear Shari,

Sorry. I've only been to Detroit once and that was because I had to catch a connecting flight.

There aren't any figures for Michigan in the slot payback charts at the back of Strictly Slots, so I don't know how the slots compare. Try asking your casino regulators if they have any slot payback information available. I suspect that they don't, though, because otherwise Strictly Slots would publish it.

Another thing you can do is check the video poker at each casino. A casino with high-paying video poker tends to also have high-paying slots.

Best of luck in and out of the casinos,
John

I would like to know where you can find other slot games like Money to Burn, Wheel of Fortune, and Texas Tea for the PC.

As far as I know, none of the slots from WMS Gaming are available for the PC now. The IGT games you mentioned aren't available either.

Keep your eye on Huntington Press's Great Stuff for Gamblers site ( www.greatstuff4gamblers.com) to see if the games become available.

Best of luck in and out of the casinos,
John


Send your slot and video poker questions to John Robison, Slot Expert, at slotexpert@comcast.net.

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