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Ask the Slot Expert: May I Claim My Wife's Free Slot Play?13 March 2013
By John Robison, Slot Expert™
Your signature block says you're in Canada, so let me caution you from the start that my answers apply to slot machines in the United States and may or may not apply to those in Canada.
It's true that slots can be hot or cold for a period of time because of the randomness of the outcomes. It's also true that (in the U.S.) it would be illegal for a machine to alter its behavior in any way based on past performance. The odds of hitting any winning combination must be the same on every spin, regardless of how well or poorly a machine has been treating its players.
Fortunately, the machine does not have to take any action and still pay back an amount very close to its long-term payback percentage. I don't know how long "an extended period of time" is, but even a few days is nothing in the total performance of a machine that is available 24/7 for a few years. Those hot and cold streaks end up having as much affect as a drop of food coloring in a swimming pool.
To answer your last question, there is no need to request an audit to verify that the machines in a casino meet the minimum payback requirements. The casino can install only the payback options approved by the local gaming commission. The gaming commission ensures that each machine's long-term payback meets or exceeds the minimum, and both the commission and the casino monitor the machines to ensure they are operating properly and paying back the proper amount.
Jackpots for all,
Harrah's has something called Associated Accounts, which let you link two Total Rewards accounts together. If you had Associated Accounts, you would each have separate accounts and separate cards, but you'd be able to access all the rewards from either card. Only certain properties support Associated Accounts.
I don't know Harrah's policy on spouses and players cards in the absence of Associated Accounts. Some casinos don't mind if spouses share one account; others want spouses to have separate accounts. From what I've read online, most Harrah's properties don't care if a spouse plays on the other's card.
How likely is it for you to get caught? Not very. The slot club software will know what games you played and with that the casino could review the surveillance footage to see who actually played the games. But putting in her card won't cause anyone to do a gender check on the person using the card.
My opinion is that you should be able to play the free play -- even if your wife's play earned most or all of it -- because you two are playing from the same bankroll. If you want some peace of mind, though, you can call the casino and ask what its policy is.
Jackpots for all,
Send your slot and video poker questions to John Robison, Slot Expert™, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Because of the volume of mail I receive, I regret that I can't reply to every question.