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Best of John Robison

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Ask the Slot Expert: Can a casino collect a marker from a gambler's estate?

29 July 2015

If someone owes the casino, say, $100,000 or better, then refuses to pay, the casino would normally sue to get the money back. However, if in the middle of these proceedings the person makes an unexpected departure from this world, can the casino sue the estate or do the casinos have some sort of insurance for this problem?

Laws differ from state to state, so I'll just deal with Nevada. In Nevada, markers are no different from checks written against a bank account. This is the same situation as a check that the decedent wrote from the account. The estate is responsible for paying any checks that the decedent wrote against a checking account.


My buddy and I were very drunk at an Indian casino around my town and we both have separate versions of the night's events. So, using mathematics, would you be able to give me any information on what really happened that night?

I started with $350 and played one machine for 3.5 hours, betting $4.50 per spin at a moderate rate. I don't understand much about how the casino cards read the win/loss for the day, but I was informed I was down $72 according to my player's card.

I felt like I had some major wins (that, in my opinion, my buddy took and lost on blackjack). Would it be possible to have won a lot of money and the player's club card says I lost $72? The card was in the machine the whole time I was playing.

Something similar happened to me last week. I was playing a Super Times Pay video poker machine at the Suncoast in Las Vegas. I was trying to get four aces on at least one of the 10 hands I was playing. After a long stretch of frustrating ace pairs and triplets that never led to quad aces, the machine dealt me four aces. That's the good news. The bad news is, the hand paid $1,200 -- I also won a tax form. My picture may still be on the winners' page.

I moved up to quarters and down to five hands and, at some point, hit a royal flush. I thought there was no way I could lose back that $1,000, but the extra quarter per hand is a drain on your bankroll when you don't hit a four-of-a-kind, which pays extra over the normal paytable with that extra bet. I ran when I saw that about half of that was gone.

It's definitely possible to hit some nice-paying hands or combinations and play most or all of those winnings back.

Let's say your buddy did play away some of your wins. How did he get the money out of the machine? Did you cash out, redeem the ticket, and split the cash?

I think the most likely explanation is you played away most of your winnings. It's really easy to do -- drunk or sober.


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