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Best of John Robison

Gaming Guru

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Can a casino play off a jackpot?

24 December 2007

Would it be legal for a casino to over and over reset the bonus? Like when someone wins 1,000 on the Wheel of Fortune and then the casino comes around and spins it around to be on 40 so it looks as if no one has hit the machine?

Thanks.

I haven't heard of casinos moving a bonus wheel, but I have heard of them playing off a jackpot when a player leaves a machine with the jackpot combination on the payline.

Because some players won't play a machine when a jackpot is displayed, and because changing what is displayed has no effect whatsoever on future spins, I don't have a problem with a casino's moving the wheel. The casino, however, may not be allowed to play off a jackpot according to the laws in its state. You have to consult your local gaming commission to find out for sure.

Best of luck in and out of the casinos,
John


My first question is this, if you have a bank of six slots, for example Jackpot Deluxe that when you go into the bonus round you can win the Grand, Major, minor or mini if you get three hits above. It seems like the grand starts at $2,500.00 and never seem to go above $4,500.00. Are the machines set to pay by $4,500.00 or at least one of the pod?

Also, I had heard that some mega resorts can control payback from the office or at least, this was being tested. Is this true?

Also, I have noticed especially at the Lill Lucy's that someone comes around and fiddles underneath after they have really been paying off.

Pamela

Dear Pamela:

Assuming we're talking about Class III games, the reason you rarely see progressives go above a certain amount has everything to do with the probability of hitting it and nothing to do with its being set to hit by a certain amount. Each spin has a certain probability of hitting the jackpot and the probability of not having hit the jackpot falls with each spin on a machine in the link. Put the other way, it gets more and more likely that someone has hit the jackpot with each spin and that's the reason you rarely see the jackpot above a certain amount.

Mega- (and not so mega-) resorts cannot control paybacks on machines, at least not in the way that I infer from the phrasing of your question. Some casinos (the number of casinos can be counted on two hands, if not even one) are testing downloadable games, in which the casino is able to push down a new game program to a machine without having to have a technician visit the machine and change chips in it. Even with this system, the long-term payback on a machine cannot be changed while a player is actively playing it.

Finally, I have no idea what that someone at Lill Lucy's is doing to the machine.

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 reply to every question.

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