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Best of John Robison

Gaming Guru

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Betty Boop, Bonus Round Choices Matter

18 September 2003

I'm writing you in response to the letter you posted from Sharon regarding the Texas Treasure.

Although I personnally have never been on the ship, I have relatives who have. They said the gambling could have been fun if everyone on the ship wasn't seasick!

So beware and be prepared.

Lacy

Dear Lacy,

Anyone susceptible to seasickness should check the weather forecast before sailing to make sure the seas will be calm.

Or do what I do -- stay on dry land!

Best of luck in and out of the casinos,
John


How much advantage does the slot machine have over the player in Las Vegas? Is 60% skill and 40% luck a huge difference or majority?

The house edges on slots varies between types of casinos. Strip casinos typically have lower slot paybacks than casinos that cater to the locals. Dollar machines, for example, pay back about 95% on the Strip to around 97% at the locals casinos.

I do not know what you mean by your second questions. Slots are 100% luck.

Best of luck in and out of the casinos,
John


Hi John,

My question pertains to the progressive slots in Vegas. There is always a lot of talk about MegaBucks, Wheel of Fortune, Dollar/Quarter/Nickle Mania, etc., etc., but I never here anything about the "Betty Boop" machines. I found a bank of Betty Boops over against the wall in Main Street Station and on every visit they were almost always deserted. I found the machines to play fairly well (a reasonable pay table and often providing long play for a set investment) and the progressive jackpot to be on a par with other progressive systems, but it seems like no one else cares for them. And I never hear of anyone hitting the progressive even though someone must on occasion. What's up with that?

I can't buy the location explanation (over against the wall) as they really don't seem to be any more poorly/inconviently placed than other, more popular machines. Really enjoy your postings.

Thanks,
Joe

Dear Joe,

People do hit the Betty Boop progressive. You can see a list of winners at the Bally Gaming web site (www.ballygaming.com).

Bally's philosophy with their Thrillions wide-area-progressive is to offer a progressive that hits frequently, albeit at lower amounts than some other wide-area progressives.

Casinos frequently put wide-area progressives in the worst locations for two reasons. One, they have to share the revenue from these machines with the manufacturer, so they usually save the prime locations for the games from which they keep all the winnings.

Second, people make a point of playing wide-area progressives--especially when the progressive gets high--and they'll search for the machines in the casino.

Las Vegas has many progressives and I think Betty Boop is overshadowed by IGT's Megajackpot games there. Megabucks and its ilk didn't play as well in other jurisdictions. I think Betty Boop is more popular outside Nevada.

Best of luck in and out of the casinos,
John


Dear John,

I play slots like Winning Ticket and a variety of other slots which have bonus games that offer opportunities to select the type of bonus game to play and then

slelect three scratch-off spots to see what you win.

My question is is there really any luck in the selection or has the computer program already established what you will win so no matter what you select you will get the same pay off.

Another thought is the computer program has established the maximum you can win and if you select less then you get less then the program establlished when you got into the bonus round.

Thanks,
GT

Dear GT,

There is luck involved in your selection. The computer programming running the slot machine uses the RNG to determine the values that will be assigned to each selection. The value you get depends on which selection you choose.

The program has not already determined that you will get a certain amount no matter which selection you choose.

Best of luck in and out of the casinos,
John


Send your slot and video poker questions to John Robison, Slot Expert, at slotexpert@comcast.net.

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