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Best of John Robison

Gaming Guru

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Ask The Slot Expert

5 June 2003

John:

I will be coming to Vegas on June 1st for four nights. I will be staying at Treasure Island.

Where would you suggest is the best casino to play the slots, or maybe the 5 best places to play? I have had better luck in North Las Vegas and the Excalibur than any other places on my previous 7 or 8 trips.

Which casinos have the best slot clubs? Which casinos have the best video poker?

Thanks,
Raymmond

Dear Raymond,

It's difficult to say which casino is best in which to play the slots or in which to stay without knowing more about what you're looking for.

For example, Treasure Island has a great location, reasonable rates, and is kept immaculately clean. But if you're looking for a casino with the latest games, you're out of luck because TI tends to lag the market in placing new machines on its slot floor. Another problem you might have with TI is that there aren't any full-pay video poker machines below the dollar level.

Here are some general recommendations:

The best rooms are on the strip at Treasure Island, Mirage, Bellagio, and Caesars Palace. The best casinos in which to play the slots would be casinos that target the local Las Vegas population. These casinos tend to have higher paybacks on their slots and very good video poker.

You should probably check out the Palms. Their slots had high paybacks according to a slot survey conducted by The Wizard of Odds, plus they have a very good poker selection.

As for the best slot clubs, I can't say which ones are best for you without knowing whether you want cashback, comps, or both. In any event, the slot club is the last thing to consider. First find casinos that you like that have the games you want to play. Then, all other things being equal, consider the slot club to determine where you will play.

Best of luck in and out of the casinos,
John

John,

I have noticed that very often a reel type slot machine will "cycle". In essence it pauses from the usual speed of play and it appears that you can sometimes hear a click. If you are playing credits, it won't accept the credit until this cycling has ended.

I have noticed that after the cycling has happened what appears to be a hitting streak might end or a dry spell will begin to hit. If you play the same machine long enough one can go through several cycles.

I have played a fair number of games for extended periods of times over several years at a variety of casinos. I don't think it's my imagination.

What are your experiences or thoughts about mine? I am going to Vegas next week, your answers may be helpful!

Thank you for your time. I enjoy your newsletter and look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,
Paul T

Dear Paul,

The pause you sometimes experience on a slot or video poker machine occurs when the machine is writing some accounting data to its non-volatile memory or, perhaps, sending data to the slot accounting system. It's purely a housekeeping function; it has no effect on the results of subsequent spins.

Machines do have hot and cold cycles, but the cycles are the result of choosing the outcome of a spin at random. There's nothing in the programming of the machine that tells it to go into a hot or cold cycle.

Best of luck in and out of the casinos,
John

I live in the Kansas City area and was wondering if any of our four casinos has a better payout than the others on their slots. I seem to win more at one than at the others.

Thanks,
Carol

Dear Carol,

I checked the payback charts in the back of Strictly Slots and it looks like the Argosy pays a little bit more than the other casinos.

In any case, the paybacks are all very close together and I would stick with the one at which you're winning.

Best of luck in and out of the casinos,
John

Why do slots very often pay a little, get you to play longer, and then when you leave another player often will hit a bigger amount?

The result of each spin on a slot machine is chosen at random without any regard for what has happened in the past. If someone happens to win more from a machine than you did, they just happened to have better luck.

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