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Best of John Robison

Gaming Guru

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Ask the Slot Expert: Are slot results affected by time of day?

14 August 2013

Like most players I have my favorite games. One game I play only seems to pay at approximately the same time every time I play it. I've played this game at various times and on various days without much luck, however it has a pattern of paying, including jackpots, when I play it around 10:30 at night. So far I've hit around six jackpots when I play it at this time. So, my question is, do slot machines have any kind of timing device that would account for this?

Thank you,
Gary

Dear Gary,

The slot machine knows what time it is so it can timestamp events in the log it must keep, but knowing the time has no effect on the results on the machine. The result of a spin has to be determined independently without any outside influence on a Class III slot machine. It is illegal for a slot machine to display anything but the result determined by the RNG, and it is illegal for the RNG to have any outside influences.

I have a theory about what might account for your luck at 10:30 and not at other times. I think we have a case of a self-fulfilling prophecy. Your theory is that you do better playing at 10:30, so you do most of your playing around that time. You don't have enough play at other times to have enough data to show that it doesn't matter when you play and you do equally well at 10:30 in the morning as at 10:30 at night.

I never argue with success. If you do better at 10:30 at night, continue playing at that time even though it doesn't matter when you play. Your odds are the same on every spin.

Jackpots for all,
John


The horseshoe in Cleveland, Ohio, gave a patron one million dollars on free play. My question is, does that person have to pay taxes like a person that wins one million dollars in cash?

No, I've never heard of anyone having to pay taxes on free play. The money they win from the free plays, yes, but not the value of the free play itself.

Jackpots for all,
John


Do Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun have Class III (the better) video poker games?

Yes, the tribes owning those casinos have compacts with the State of Connecticut and they have Class III slot and video poker machines.

Jackpots for all,
John


My wife plays Sex and the City slots at the Trop in AC. She sits at this machine for four (if not more) hours playing with the house comps she earns from her play. The Trop has raised her status as a player and offers her all kinds of comps from cash to gifts. I like to roam the casino floor looking for that magical lucky machine to make my fortune from (haven't found it yet) so my comps are very low, cash is low, room comps are on weekdays only and my offers from other casino are similar to my Trop comps. We rarely visit other casinos at AC or in NY (where we are from) yet all, if not most of these casinos are now sending her offers as if she were a high roller!!

My question: Why the sudden change of offers for my wife, from low to none, to high amounts and assorted gifts and comps from these casinos that we rarely play at? Does the Trop share their info with other casinos about their player's history or status? If not why the drastic change in comp offers for her and not me? We always go together to AC and elsewhere; we never go alone.

Thank you for your time and expert information on slots. I often quote you at the casinos but most people don't seem to care about how these machines work. They continue to bang on the screens, pray, perform all kinds of strange rituals in the hopes to influence the outcome. Sometimes watching them is more fun than roaming the casino floor!

Thank you,
Richard

Dear Richard,

Thanks for the kind words about my columns.

Casinos jealously guard their player lists, so it is unlikely that the Trop shared your player history with another casino. Why would it want to have another casino know how good a player you are and have it competing for your business? Even when a casino company owns multiple casinos in an area, it still doesn't have one casino try to poach players from another.

One of the great mysteries in life is how casinos determine how much in comps and gifts to offer a player, especially when the perks are not directly tied to play.

This is my best guess at what is happening. Your wife tends to play more at a casino than you do because you roam around. Casinos today are trying to increase their business. It's much cheaper to turn a past player into a current player. You have cards at these casinos, so you've already indicated a willingness to play there. The casinos are, shall we say, making offers you can't refuse (or at least ones they think you won't refuse) in order to get you back through their doors. Your wife is getting these offers and not you because she plays more than you do.

If you like the offer and the casino, take them up on it. If not, stick with the Trop. Just like with frequent flyer programs, credit card rewards and other loyalty programs, it's usually best to concentrate on one or two programs and not spread your patronage too thinly.

Jackpots for all,
John


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