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Best of John Robison

Gaming Guru

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Burning Your Own Slot EEPROMs

17 January 2005

I have several IGT S+ slots in my home and I am looking for software that will allow me to re-program the odds on my machines. I would like my home machines to pay out a little higher so they are more fun for my wife. Do you know how I can get the software I need? I have the tools to reprogram the EEPROM, I do not have the software.

Thanks,
Shawn

Dear Shawn,

I don't know of any software that will allow you to burn your own slot EPROMs. Your best bet is to buy a new reel EPROM. One source I found is www.artgraphics.com.

Best of luck in and out of the casinos,
John


I am confused? I have read that the RNG makes each and every hand of video poker a random shuffle of a 52-card deck or 53-card joker deck. Yet in the same publication it states that some machines are programmed to hit more royals than others. This makes no sense to me. Either it is totally random or there is some type of program. Your insight would be most appreciated.

Thank you,
Stan

Dear Stan,

I'm not surprised that you're confused. Video poker machines only deal cards at random, with each card still in play being equally likely to be dealt. They aren't programmed to hit winning hands like a slot machine is programmed to hit winning combinations.

Your chances of hitting any particular winning hand are really determined by the strategy you use. And your strategy is determined by the paytable on the machine.

What is true is that the different strategies for the different paytables will hit royals with slightly different frequencies. It's changing strategies that changes your chances of hitting a royal, not that one machine is programmed to hit them more frequently than another.

Best of luck in and out of the casinos,
John


Dear John:

In a slot video I recently watched, Frank Scoblete claims that you can learn the casino slot machine payback percentages for each casino (approximate) in Las Vegas. This would be accomplished by obtaining, learning how to read and interpret the video poker schedules. My question is, where do you get these video poker schedules for each casino in Las Vegas (and other places), and how do you interpret this information to your advantage? I would appreciate your help.

Thanks,
Robert

Dear Robert,

Frank is referring to the fact that casinos with high-paying video poker machines also tend to have high-paying slots. It's not a hard-and-fast rule; that's why I say that the casinos only "tend" to have high-paying slots.

The key then is to learn what the high-paying video poker paytables look like. My book, The Slot Expert's Guide to Playing Slots has a section about using the video poker offerings in different casinos to make an educated guess about which casino has the best-paying slots. That section has a number of different video poker paytables and their long-term paybacks.

Other good sources for video poker paytables and their paybacks are: Victory at Video Poker by Frank Scoblete and The Video Poker Answer Book by John Grochowski.

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. Because of the volume of mail I receive, I regret that I can't send a reply to every question. Also be advised that it may take two or more months for your question to appear in my column.

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