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Best of John Robison

Gaming Guru

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Bonus Slots, RNGs

10 August 2003

Dear John,

I have a question in regards to the multiline slot machines such as Yukon Gold, Cleopatra, Money Groove, and many others. It seems that when I play 9 lines x 2, 3, 5, or 10, the bonus game doesn't or rarely initiates. When suddenly I see my credits dwindle, I switch to 9 lines x 1 or even 5 lines X 1 and, what do you know, the symbols for the bonus game initiate.

Does this occur because the machine is programmed to initiate bonuses more often with the lower bet or is it just my awful bad luck? At least I'm playing or getting the bonus, but I would like to play the bonus when I play 27 or even 90 nickels!

Jerry

Dear Jerry,

I'm sorry to say that what you've experienced is just a run of bad luck. The number of coins you play has no affect on which symbols land on the payline. A machine that is programmed to hit the bonus rounds more frequently with lower bets would be illegal in every jurisdiction with which I'm familiar.

Best of luck in and out of the casinos,
John

* * * * * * * * * *

Hi,

I am from Vancouver, BC Canada. I play at the casinos all the time. I will only play slot machines. I have noticed a lot of the casinos out my way are getting rid of the 25-cent machines and replacing them with 5-cent machines. I hate playing these ones as they seem harder to win a jackpot on. I was just wondering when you play a 25-cent machine, you know how you can bet 1, 2, or 3 quarters a spin. The jackpot won't always pay on three sometimes it is only ready to pay on 1 or 2, is this true? I notice I get more quarters playing one or two instead of 3 all the time.

Thank you,
Laila

Dear Laila,

The odds of hitting the jackpot on a machine are the same on every spin regardless of the number of coins you play.

I think the reason you have more quarters playing only one or two per spin is because your money lasts longer and you get more spins than when you play three coins per spin. The only times I recommend playing full coin is when you're playing a progressive or a buy-a-pay, and sometimes when you're playing a multi-line machine.

Best of luck in and out of the casinos,
John

* * * * * * * * * *

Dear John,

Is there a list or info available about which slot machines generate a new number with each coin? The reason I am asking this is that many times someone wins a jackpot and says I should have put in more money, and I say if you did on certain machines you would not have had that jackpot, because the RNG would have generated a new number with the additional coin(s).

There should be somewhere public info or specs which tells when a certain machine picks the RNG, either when the button is pressed, when the first coin is put in or when the last coin is put in. Is there? This would enter into the machine of choice decision....Is this info a secret of the manufacturer or can/do the Gaming Commissions publish it??

Thanks,
Vantzy

Dear Vantzy,

Slot manufacturers release very little information about the specifics of how their RNGs operate because RNG cheats have been able to use that information in the past to cheat machines. There are, however, a few patents that cover RNGs and you can get copies of them from the U.S. Patent Office.

In any case, in every machine in a casino today, the RNG runs constantly and you most definitely would have had a different result had you taken the extra time to bet more coins.

Best of luck in and out of the casinos,
John

* * * * * * * * * *

I'm going to Cripple Creek, Colorado in the last part of June. Do you recommend a casino there and do they payoff well?

Susie

Dear Susie,

I've never been to Cripple Creek, so I can't give a recommendation based on personal experience.

Based on the video poker offerings reported on Skip Hughes' Video Poker Homepage (www.vphomepage.com), I'd guess that the Bronco Billy's and Midnight Rose probably have the best paybacks in the area.

Best of luck in and out of the casinos,
John


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