Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Best of John Robison
Ask the Slot Expert: Predicting a slot machine's performance23 December 2015
I don't think my statements were contradictory. Let me expand on my reply to show why.
Let's say we're playing video poker and the quads have been hitting and we have a 300-unit profit. We can't say that this machine has been hot in the past, so it will continue to be hot in the future. The only thing we can say is that the machine has been hot in the past.
On the other hand -- unlike the afterlife -- we know that streaks do exist. Randomness requires streaks. Randomness is the intagible force. If we're tossing a fair coin, we should see the ratio of heads to total tosses and the ratio of tails to total tosses to both be about 0.5. But the results won't be an orderly alternation between heads and tails. We'll see streaks of heads and streaks of tails, but we never know when the streaks will start or end. After four heads in a row, we don't know if the streak will continue or end on the next toss.
If we're playing a hot slot or video poker machine, we can't predict that the machine will continue to be hot in the future. But we certainly can continue playing it in the hopes that it will stay hot and cash out it if appears that the hot streak is over.
The difference is prediction versus wishful thinking.
John Patrick, an east coast gambling personality, recommends charting tables in his books. He recommends joining tables at which players are winning and running from tables at which players are losing.
Of course, just because a table was hot when you were charting it, that doesn't mean it will continue to be hot after you buy-in at it. I have to admit, though, that given the choice between joining a hot table and a cold table, I'd probably choose the hot table -- even though I know it won't necessarly stay hot.
Congratulations on your royal flush. I had a similar situation a week ago, although the stakes were mostly lower and there (unfortunately) was no royal flush involved.
I wanted to play my favorite dollar video poker machine, but a gentlemen was already playing it. I could have played the machine next to him, but he was smoking a smelly cigar so I was going to keep my distance. I settled into a Triple/Five/Ten-Play machine that offered the same paytable at quarters. I started with Triple Play. I had some luck with three hands, so I decided to go to Five Play -- not because I predicted that the machine would continue to be hot, but because I wanted to have more money in play if it should continue to be hot.
My good luck continued and I moved up to Ten Play. It seemed like I could do nothing wrong. It wasn't like I won every hand, but whenever my credit meter fell I hit a quad or many full houses and it went right back up again.
After my dinner break, I had the mirror opposite results. I really don't know how the afternoon's profit disappeared so quickly. I went from 10 hands to five to three as my credit meter fell. I quit with a small profit and a boatload of comp points.
I want to take issue with one of your examples in the list of items that hace no memory. A deck of cards does have a memory. Odds shift as cards are dealt. Of course, the deck loses its memory when it's reconstituted and shuffled -- assuming a fair shuffle.
The Oneida Nation, on whose lands the Turning Stone casino is situated, has a compact with the state of New York and has offered Class III games since 1993.
That's good news for video poker players. Study your strategies and bring your strategy cards with you to the casino. Strategy works on these video poker machines.
Send your slot and video poker questions to John Robison, Slot Expert™, at email@example.com. Because of the volume of mail I receive, I regret that I can't reply to every question.
Best of John Robison