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Best of John Robison

Gaming Guru

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Ask the Slot Expert

20 July 2003

Can the Jeopardy slot machine be purchased on a CD?

Charlie

Dear Charlie,

No. As far as I know, none of the IGT machines that are based on licensed themes are available on CD.

Best of luck in and out of the casinos,
John


John,

Are there any states other than Nevada that have gaming laws set up for a person to play video poker so that the outcome can be affected by a person's skill?

I know Illinois has fair games but I went to Chicago in February and it's not for me! I was wondering about the gaming resorts in WV. I called Wheeling Downs and couldn't get a straight answer out of them, LOL. Then when I asked to speak with someone in casino operations I would get put on hold and transferred into "space."

Hope you can help me.

Best Regards,
Bruce

Dear Bruce,

My understanding is that every video poker machine that IGT and Bally manufacture is fair. In addition, many jurisdictions follow Nevada's regulation that the machines deal from a fair deck. I think you're safe playing in any state-regulated casino.

Best of luck in and out of the casinos,
John


I am tring to come up with the formula used in the 8-liner video games (Cherry Masters) that is used to set the payout percentage.

The games have 9 reels with 8 paylines and you can bet from 1 to 5 on a payline.

Attached are the payouts and play screen.

Thank you for your help,
Frank

Dear Frank,

Unfortunately, the paytable doesn't give you enough information to calculate the payback percentage. You need the reel strip listings, which tell you how many times each symbol appears on each reel. Once you know that, you can find the probabilities of hitting the different winning combinations and, combined with the paytable, you can calculate the payback percentage.

Best of luck in and out of the casinos,
John


In playing progressive slots (Jeopardy, Wheel, etc.), can you tell me which type machines are most likely to provide one with the most spins?

I know that the Double Diamonds, for example, will provide more frequency than the 10X, but I am intrested in the frequency of the spins. Is the likelihood of getting to spin the same on all machines or better on others? I won't even ask about which one is most likely to pay the big $$.

Thanks,
Clinton

Dear Clinton,

The probability of getting to the bonus round is different on different machines. On each machine, though, the designers have to strike a balance between the probability of getting to the bonus round and the amount the bonus round is worth. Some machines will have relatively frequent bonus rounds that award relatively modest amounts, and others will have less frequent rounds with bigger potential wins. You'll be able to figure out which way the designers went on a machine after playing it for an hour or so.

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