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Best of John Robison

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Ask the Slot Expert: Do VLTs have RNGs?

20 June 2012

John,

I am a regular reader of Casino City Times and enjoy your slot expertise. Previously, you answered a perplexing question for me, and I thank you.

I live on Long Island, close to Aqueduct (Resort World) and somewhere a seed was planted that the VLT machines there and in Yonkers do NOT have RNGs in them. Can you please explain just what is going on in these racinos?

Slot machines, the kind (Class III) you find in Las Vegas, Atlantic City and Tunica, are really simple devices. The random number generator (RNG) in the programming running the machines is used to select a symbol on each reel to land on the payline. The machines may communicate with a central server, but only to report accounting and security information.

The video lottery terminals (VLTs) in New York's racinos, on the other hand, are much more complex. As you stated, they don't have their own RNGs. They have to put a slot machine face on what is actually a lotto drawing or scratch-off game -- the kind of gambling games they're authorized to run. When you press the Spin button on a VLT, the machine has to request the central computer to tell it what the result should be.

VLT slot machines are no better or worse than slot machines with their own RNGs. A 92 percent payback machine is a 92 percent payback machine. It doesn't matter how the results are determined.

A VLT video poker machine is a slot machine. Your skill at playing video poker is irrelevant. The central server has already determined what the result of your hand will be and it doesn't matter how you play the hand. VLT poker machines have some sort of bonus feature to award you the amount the central server has said you will win if your hand doesn't play out that way.

Jackpots for all,
John


Send your slot and video poker questions to John Robison, Slot Expert, at slotexpert@comcast.net. Because of the volume of mail I receive, I regret that I can't reply to every question.

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