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Can Casinos Set Slot Machines to Pay Only Small Amounts?15 November 2008
By John Robison
Thanks for the kind words about my column.
All jurisdictions require that a combination displayed on the paytable must be possible on every spin.
The only way a casino can make a machine pay off only small wins is to have only small wins on the paytable. If there are any winning combinations that pay a large amount, the machine will hit them eventually.
Some jurisdictions are considering regulations to put a limit on how unlikely it can be to hit a winning combination. (At one slot seminar I attended, a regulator made a slight exaggeration when he said that the jackpot on one machine presented to them was so unlikely that the machine could have been played non-stop since the Last Supper and it still would not have hit its jackpot.) The limit usually mentioned is 1 out of 50,000,00, which is roughly your odds for hitting the jackpot on a Megabucks machine.
If a combination is on the paytable, it has to be possible -- but it doesn't have to be likely.
Best of luck in and out of the casinos,
Send your slot and video poker questions to John Robison, Slot Expert, at email@example.com. Because of the volume of mail I receive, I regret that I can't reply to every question.
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