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Ask the Slot Expert: Do Casinos Mark Their Money with a Scent?

6 February 2013

By John Robison, Slot Expert™

I believe I have a big, serious question that maybe you can help me figure out....

My question about the casino is when you win and you cash out your ticket and change it for cash, does the casino money have a certain mark or scent that when you use it again to play their machine it stays at the casino? What I am trying to say is, is it different from the money you bring from home to play?

Ladies and gentlemen, we he have our first entry for strangest question of the year.

The casinos do not mark the money in any way. The bill acceptors in the slot machines do not have scent detectors.

The money you get from the casino may have picked up a scent from someone who handled it previously or from a scent that is pumped into the casino's air, but the casino has not deliberately put a scent or other mark on the money. The money they give you is the same as the money you brought with you.

Jackpots for all,

How does the RNG work during a bonus round?

Is my outcome set in stone at the beginning of the bonus round for all spins, or does it keep running new picks on the RNG each time the reels spin during bonus spins?

I ask only because on some occasions I hit the what I call SPEED UP button to ring up the credits rather than wait for it to just ring them all up, which sometimes takes quite a while. Yes, I am impatient as to what the next spin will yield!

So is my complete bonus determined when the bonus symbols first appear, or change over the course of the bonus round?

I know that by speeding up the credit meter during regular play then the RNG is at a different stop since it chooses hundreds per minute, but was really curious about the bonus spins.

Thank you,

Dear Jo,

When a bonus round consists of spins, the result of each spin is determined at the beginning of the spin. The machine does not determine the results of all spins at the beginning of the bonus round.

Short-circuiting the awarding of the bonus causes the next spin to start at a different time, so you will get a different result on the next spin. It won't necessarily be better or worse than if you hadn't short-circuited the awarding of the credits, just different.

Jackpots for all,


I have noticed that my casino annual loss report is about twice what I actually lost, measured by how much money I left with subtracted from how much I entered with. I get the feeling that they are neglecting some, if not all, my routine wins. Any thoughts on that?


Dear Leo,

There shouldn't be much, if any, difference between what you think you won (or lost) at a casino and what its slot club system reports. Make sure that your card is always inserted and registered correctly and periodically check your card is still accepted while you play. I've seen some systems "forget" who is playing and request that the card be reinserted.

Also, take a look at your recordkeeping to ensure that you're not making a mistake.

If your card is always registered and your records are accurate, you'll have to ask the casino to see if it can explain the discrepancy.

Jackpots for all,

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