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Ask the Slot Expert: Wheel of Fortune max bets1 February 2017
Answer: The column in question was published on this site on 09/14/16.
I believe that the program is not in the public domain, so I can't post it. As I'm sure you did too, I searched for it online and couldn't find any copies. It looks like no one else has posted it.
Every e-commerce site that shows up in a search for the tape says that the tape has been discontinued. I widened the search by just searching for the presenter, Jimmy "The Scot" Jordan, and hit paydirt. Some of his programs have been transferred to DVD.
Secrets of Winning in Vegas contains 752 minutes of instructional videos on two discs. According to the description on Amazon, the episodes included are: Beginner's BlackjackAdvanced BlackjackPokerVideo Poker & Video KenoBeginner's CrapsAdvanced CrapsBaccarat, RouletteTable GamesKenoSports BettingSlots & MoneywheelMoney Management & Betting SystemsBasics and Intros to Each GameQuick TipsHot Tips [sic]. I'll let you figure out where the additional spaces should be. $10.95 on Amazon.
Answer: I've never played at an online casino, not even when I lived in New Jersey and Atlantic City was two hours away. If I'm going to play a negative expectation game, like slots and most video poker and baccarat, I want to make sure I'm going to earn comps for my play to help defray the house edge. Even though an online casino may have a loyalty program, I've found that the cocktail waitresses rarely come by my home office.
I'd like to see online casinos legalized, regulated and taxed in the United States. Right now, though, the casinos must be offshore, and it is illegal for banks to process payments to and from the casinos.
I suggest that you use the information available at CasinoCity.com to find a reputable online casino that accepts players based in the United States. The information on Casino City and from the casino itself will tell you how it handles payments.
You might also consider making an overnight trip to your land-based casino instead of a day trip. That way you don't get stuck spending more time in the car than in the casino.
Answer: Nevada regulation 14.045 covers the minimum standards for inter-casino linked systems. Inter-casino linked system is regulatorese for Wide-Area Progressive (WAP). A dozen or so years ago, paragraph 3 dealt with games connected to a common payoff schedule. If any of the games were of different denominations, either the same total bet was required to win the jackpot or the odds of winning it had to be in proportion to the amount bet. I remember manufacturers saying that spins on the higher-denomination machines had a better chance of hitting the jackpot than spins on the lower denominations when multi-denomination progressive jackpots were introduced more than a decade ago. The regulation says that that fact must be conspicuously displayed on each machine. Although this regulation doesn't cover different bets at the same denomination, the spirit of the regulation is that players betting more should have a better chance of hitting the progressive.
Paragraph 3 in the current regulation says merely that the machines "shall display the rules of play and the payoff schedule." It looks like the paragraph was changed in the July 2010 amendment to the paragraph.
I have to admit that, with the exception of dropping a few dollars now and then into an Emerald Sevens Megabucks machine, I don't play wide-area progressives. I've seen all sorts of Wheel of Fortune variations on the slot floor, but I haven't paid attention to the bets and jackpots. I suspect that the two machines are part of different progressive networks.
The IGT Jackpots page for Nevada lists four different progressives for Wheel of Fortune. One is for quarters, one is for Special Edition, one is for $1 and the remaining one is for $5. I thought there might be two progressives for the dollar level, but it looks like that is not the case. The Special Edition progressive seems to be on penny machines only.
I looked at some of the Wheel of Fortune machines available on the IGT website. There are many machines with many different max bets, but the descriptions don't say which progressive they compete for.
I'll check out the Wheel of Fortune machines. If anyone can send me an example of of the machines to which you are referring and where they are, that will help. The rules may say that the five-coin machine has a better chance of hitting the progressive. It's also possible that both machines have the same chance. The rules will tell us which is the case.
In the meantime, let me answer your questions. The wide-area progressives machines are placed in casinos on a revenue-sharing basis. The win from the machines is split between the casino and the manufacturer. The odds on the machines are set by the manufacturer, not the casinos. The odds on a particular game are the same on every game in every casino. As a casino operator, would you let a manufacturer put a machine on your slot floor that didn't pay back as much as the machine in your competitor's casino?
The long-term paybacks on the wide-area progressives all tend to be in the low 80s. You will get about the same, if not exactly the same, long-term payback percent at $2 and at $5.
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.
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