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Ask the Slot Expert (Higher Denomination Video Poker Machines)

15 October 1999

Do video poker machines of higher denominations ($1/$5) hit more often than 25 cent machines? Are they like slots in that way?

Thanks,
Eileen

Dear Eileen,

Video poker machines of higher denominations are not more likely to hit than video poker machines of lower denominations.

A 9/6 Jacks or Better machine pays back 99.5% with perfect strategy, regardless of whether it's a 5-cent or a 5-dollar machine. The odds of your hitting the royal flush, or any paying hand, are the same regardless of the denomination. Your hit frequency is determined by the paytable on the machine and the strategy you use.

A 9/6 Jacks game is the same on all denominations and a Double Diamond game is not the same because of the different ways video poker and slot machines operate. A video poker machine chooses cards at random from a 52-card deck and the make-up of the deck is the same on all denominations.

A slot machine, on the other hand, chooses three symbols at random, one from each reel, and the make-up of the reels in the program running the machine can differ from denomination to denomination, and even from machine to machine in the same denomination. And you can't tell the make-up of the reels inside the program by looking at the physical reels in the machine. (Click here to read more about how slot machines operate.)

Video poker does share one aspect with slots: You will tend to find the higher-paying machines at the higher denominations. The reason is the same as for slots. The casino makes the same amount of money by taking a smaller bite out of someone wagering big bucks as they do by taking a bigger bite out of someone wagering small bucks.

But when you find a high-paying video poker paytable on a low denomination video poker machine, you can rest assured that it's the exact same game as when it's on a high denomination machine.

John Robison


Send your slot and video poker questions to John Robison, Slot Expert, at slotexpert@home.com.


For more information about slots and video poker, we recommend:

Break the One-Armed Bandits! by Frank Scoblete
Victory at Video Poker and Video Craps, Keno and Blackjack! by Frank Scoblete
Slot Conquest Audio Cassette Tape (60 minutes) with Frank Scoblete
Winning Strategies at Slots & Video Poker! Video tape hosted by Academy Award Winner James Coburn, Written by Frank Scoblete
The Slot Machine Answer Book by John Grochowski
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