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Best of John Robison

Gaming Guru

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Ask The Slot Expert

22 May 2003

Dear Mr. Robison,

Is there any slot machine where you play for gold or silver tokens instead of normal coinage?

Thank you,
John Handy

Dear John,

Anchor Gaming used to make machines called Silver Strike that paid silver collector's coins for certain combinations. I'm not sure if they still make them now that they've been acquired by IGT.

I've also seen some specialty slot machines on which the jackpot was gold or silver coins produced especially for the machines, but I haven't seen any machines like these recently.

Best of luck in and out of the casinos,
John

My casino is changing the nine/six machines to nine/five, and the eight/five machines to eight/six.

My question is which machine is the better machine?

Thank you,
Doug

Dear Doug,

Assuming that we're talking about Jacks or Better machines here, with mathematically perfect play the 9/6 game pays back 99.54%, the 9/5 game 98.45%, the 8/6 game 98.39%, and the 8/5 game 97.30%.

Best of luck in and out of the casinos,
John

Hello John and thank you for this forum.

My question is: I live in Northern California and we have Native American casinos in our state. I have not seen or noticed any signs like they have in Nevada to declare any kind of payback percentage. Do you know if they are exempt from this? And if they are, is there any way to tell whether one Indian casino pays back more than another?

Thank you for your reply.

Sincerely,
Kent

Dear Kent,

I don't know what the regulations are in California. It's possible that the casinos are prohibited from posting payback percentages, but I don't think that's the case because I think I've seen paybacks posted in San Diego casinos.

In any event, Nevada's casinos post payback percentages in order to compete with the casinos next door. California's casinos don't have the same competitive pressures because there are fewer casinos and they're farther apart.

Nevertheless I think there is a way to make a fairly reliable guess as to which casinos have high-paying slots. Take a look at each casino's video poker offerings. Casinos with high-paying video poker tend to have high-paying slots too.

Best of luck in and out of the casinos,
John

Dear John,

In considering video poker payouts, how much would a high payout be? In my ignorance I thought they were all paying the same amounts.

Thank you for your reply.

Sincerely,
Kent

Dear Kent,

You can tell the payback of a video poker machine by looking at its paytable. My book The Slot Expert's Guide to Playing Slots has a few charts that show the paybacks for common video poker paytables. You can also find the paybacks for popular paytables in any video poker book.

I'd consider any paytable that pays back 99% or above to be a high-paying paytable.

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