CasinoCityTimes.com

Gurus
News
Newsletter
Author Home Author Archives Author Books Send to a Friend Search Articles Subscribe
Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Newsletter Signup
Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Recent Articles
Best of John Robison

Gaming Guru

author's picture
 

Ask the Slot Expert: Hot tips for a Vegas visitor

14 June 2017

Question: A few weeks ago you had an article about someone who had a friend who pushed the button on his slot machine and the friend got a jackpot and the casino paid the friend.

What happens when a stranger hits the button? A few years ago I was playing Wheel of Fortune at Ballys in AC. I got to spin for the Wheel of Fortune bonus. Before I could hit the button, the woman next to me hit the button. Who gets the money?

Answer: The column you referred to was about a dispute over who should be paid a jackpot -- the person who hit the button or the person who provided the bankroll. There's enough he said/she said in the players' statememts to not really be sure about what their situation was exactly. There is one incontrovertible fact, though: the player who hit the button, friend or stranger.

Even though the surveillance footage may show someone inserting bills into a machine, there can be all sorts of origin stories for where the money came from. Proving who presseed the button, on the other hand, is proven by surveillance footage or observation. For this reason, casino policy is to pay the player who pressed the button.

The casinos say, "We don't know what kind of partnership arrangement two or more players nay have. We can however prove who hit the button. We pay the player who hit the button. In this way, we are consistent. It's up to the players to enforce their arrangement."

Your question introduces a new aspect: Is hitting the button to start a bonus round the same as hitting the button to make a wager?

I say that it is not. The person who pressed the button to actually make the wager is the one who should be paid. In your scenario, you would get the money.

Consider this analogous situation. You've reached the coin-picking bonus round on 88 Fortunes. The person next to you helps you pick the coins. She reveals the third matching coin. Who should get the jackpot associated with the matched coins?

Slots with interactive bonus rounds add a new wrinkle to the who gets paid question. But the casino policy can still be consistent. Pay the player who makes the wager.


Question: I love your articles!

My husband and I are coming to Vegas the end of July for five days and are staying downtown for a few days and at the Luxor for a few days. We both like Double Double Bonus video poker and try to play on a 9/6 machine or better. But I am open to other slots. Any hot tips for machines downtown or at Luxor?

My husband had some video poker luck at the D earlier this year.

Answer: Thanks for the kind words about my columns.

The original fantasy experience that the designers of Luxor attempted to deliver was that of being Howard Carter, descending into Tut's tomb and discovering all of the treasures contained therein. When Luxor opened, you had to go down a flight of stairs to get into the casino from the main entrance. Circus Circus Enterprises, as it was known at the time, admitted at one of its shareholder meetings that putting an obstacle between people and the casino was not a good idea and it was going to renovate the property so one could walk straight into the casino.

I stayed at Luxor during these renovations. The check-in agent apologized for how the renovations were going to cause me to take a long walk to get to my elevators. I had to carry my luggage through the casino, take a right when I got to the corridor that surrounded the casino, and follow it around the perimeter of the building until I got to my elevator bank. An elevator bank that, incidentally, was about 150 feet behind the check-in desk and the path to which was not blocked by any of the construction.

I think it was on this stay that I took the Nile boat ride through the property. As I recall, the initial idea was that guests would take a boat to get to the elevators, but fortunately that idea was never attempted. The boat ride attraction was eliminated during one of the rounds of renovations.

Some casinos post a list of the last week's hot slots or put signs on them. This information is essentially useless. The odds are the same on every spin. As they say in every mutual fund prospectus, Past performance does not indicate future performance.

Any randomly determined event will have streaks. Tossing a fair coin will generate streaks of heads and tails, but the probabilities are still 50/50 on each toss. Slots may run hot and cold, but the probabilities don't change from spin to spin.

Players sometimes tell me that they've seen people win on this-or-that machine. Well, sure. Every machine is going to pay at some point. But just because you saw someone hit the Grand Jackpot on a Zorro machine doesn't necessarily make it a good machine to play.

The games that will usually give you the highest long-term paybacks are video poker games. You can drop a few bucks here and there into slots that catch your fancy, but your best long-term results will be on video poker. Hot tip number one is to play mostly video poker.

I'm not a fan of Double Double Bonus. It's too volatile for my disposition and it's usually not the best-paying option available in the casinos in which I play. Play the best-paying Double Double Bonus paytable offered when you play. A casino sometimes has high- and low-paying versions of the same paytable type. You can find the best-paying video poker games at any casino at vpfree2.com. Hot tip number two is to play the highest-paying paytables offered for the paytable type in your denomination.

I play mostly video poker. Sometimes a thousand or more hands per day. Sometimes I have good luck, sometimes bad. I know someone who will give up on video poker and go back to playing slots when she doesn't hit anything for a while.

Good luck or bad, I know that video poker is the best long-term option in the casinos in which we play. I keep urging her to play more video poker and to not give up on it just because she hits a cold streak.

Hot tip number three is to not give up on video poker just because you hit a cold streak. As a professional poker player once said, " No matter how skillful you are, you still have to get the cards."

And my final hot tip is that video poker is video poker. A 9/6 Double Double Bonus machine at the D is the same as one at the Nugget and at Luxor and at any other casino in Las Vegas.

These may not be the kind of hot tips you were expecting, but I think they're more useful than a recommendation to play such-and-such machines at casinos x, y and z.


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