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Ask the Slot Expert: Is Inserting Currency Luckier than Inserting Tickets in a Slot Machine?

3 July 2013

By John Robison, Slot Expert™

I live in the Palm Springs, California area and play at one of the six Indian casinos that are located here.

If I just won several hundred dollars on a video game slot machine, would I have less of a chance to win again at the next machine I decide to play on if I use my redemption ticket versus putting cash into the game machine?

I often wonder if the chip software is designed to recognize the value of someone's ticket and somehow re-program the random selection process in such a way as to affect the outcome. Your thoughts.

The program running a slot machine does not care about the source of the money you insert into the bill acceptor in the machine. There is programming in the bill acceptor, the slot machine or both to verify the integrity of the currency you insert into the acceptor and inform the slot machine of the value of the currency inserted. There is also programming to verify the integrity of a ticket inserted into the acceptor, verify that it has not already been presented for redemption and inform the slot machine of the value of the ticket.

After the credits are added to the credit meter, the source of the funds is lost. All the slot machine program cares about is that you still have credits left on the meter. A dollar credit that came from your inserting a ticket has just as much chance to win as a dollar credit that came from your inserting a dollar bill.

Let's take your hypothesis to a ridiculous extreme. Say you put in a $5 ticket and played until that was gone. Then you put in a $100 bill. Should the machine then revert to a "fresh money" program? What happens if that $100 bill came from a ticket you redeemed at a kiosk? It's not really "fresh money" then, is it?

Let's say you put in a ticket for $25 and immediately put in a $100 bill? Which programming model should be used now?

The reality is simple: A credit is a credit is a credit. Every credit bet has an equal chance of generating a winning spin regardless of the original source of the credit.

Jackpots for all,

Are the slot machines at Mohegan Sun Class I or Class II machines?

Let's start with a brief history lesson. Acording to Wikipedia, Congress passed the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act in 1988 to "provide a legislative basis for the operation/regulation of Indian gaming, protect gaming as a means of generating revenue for the tribes, encourage economic development of these tribes, and protect the enterprises from negative influences (such as organized crime)."

The Act established three types of gaming. Class I games are traditional Indian games and social games for minimal prizes. The tribes themselves have exclusive control over these games.

Class II games include bingo, pull-tabs and non-banked card games (i.e., games that are played against other players and not against the house). Tribes are responsible for regulating Class II games with oversight by the National Indian Gaming Commission.

Class III gaming is everything else, now referred to as casino-styly gaming. This includes house-banked games like craps, roulette and blackjack, and slot and video poker machines that determine their own results using a random number generator.

There are a number of conditions that have to be met for a tribe to offer Class III gaming. Perhaps the most important is negotiating a compact with the State, which determines the State's share of gaming revenue.

The Mohegan tribe negotiated a compact with the state of Connecticut, so it offers Class III machines in addition to table games.

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