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Best of John Robison

Gaming Guru

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Ask The Slot Expert (Slot Machine Randomness)

3 March 2000

Dear John,

Do slot machines have cycles?

O.D.

Dear O.D.,

Yes, slot machines do have cycles, but they are a result of randomness and not a deliberate act on the part of the program in the machine. There's nothing in the programming of the machine that determines that it is time for the machine to enter a pay cycle or a take cycle.

There's no way to determine when a pay cycle will start or when it will end. The result of each spin is determined completely at random by the Random Number Generator and the result of one spin has no effect on the result of any other spin.

Cycles, furthermore, exist only in the minds of slot players. The program in the machine doesn't know anything about cycles--it just chooses outcomes at random.

A slot machine acts much like a coin flip. You will have streaks of heads and streaks of tails, but there is nothing in the coin that causes it to have a streak. The coin doesn't know anything about the streak. The streak exists only in the minds of the people tracking the flips.

All the best in and out of the casinos!
John


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