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Best of John Robison

Gaming Guru

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Can the slot-playing public get par sheets?

11 June 2007

John,

Is there a way that the general public can access par sheets for the various slot machines being offered in casinos, or are these available to industry insiders only?

Gerry

Dear Gerry,

You'd have better luck getting the formula for Coke.

No, that's wrong. I have no idea how to brew my own batch of Coca-Cola, but I have seen par sheets published in trade magazines and in casino management textbooks and slot machine manuals. And I have published example par sheets myself.

Even if you had access to the par sheets, you would not necessarily know the payback of a particular machine. Most games have more than one payback program available (for example, Double Diamond has about two dozen). There no easy way for you to know which payback program is in a machine by playing the machine.

Best of luck in and out of the casinos,
John


I live in a small town in Iowa. I was just wondering if you could help me out.

I've been trying to find a casino that offers the game Yukon Gold anymore. My brother and I used to play it all the time and now we feel that the machine does not exist.

Can you find out where there is a casino that has this machine or where we could find one?

Thanks so much.

Abbee

Dear Abbee,

Machines come and go. The "shelf life" of a game, especially a video slot machine, has decreased significantly over the past five or so years with slot manufacturers developing hundreds of new games each year now and new technologies (e.g., ticket systems, downloadable games) requiring new slot platforms. In addition, when a manufacturer releases a new slot platform with better graphics and sound than its previous platform the older games look primitive compared with the new games.

Yukon Gold is an old game. I wrote a review of it on this site five years ago. I enjoyed playing it.

Unfortunately, Yukon Gold no longer appears on the current game list on the WMS Gaming site. You might still find it on some casino floor somewhere, but I'm afraid you and I will have to be content with our fond memories of the game.

Best of luck in and out of the casinos,
John


Can the coinless system on slots using tickets affect the taxes owed? If I hit a coin machine and probably a ticket one as well in an amount of $1,200 or more the casino reports the win to the IRS and some states where applicable. If I run tickets from machine to machine and cash in a ticket of $1,200 at the cage, which could be from hours of playing and not a jackpot at all, then would the casino report this amount since I have an accumulation over the normal jackpot limit?

Thanks,
Al

Dear Al,

The page on the IRS website says that the casino has to report wins of $1,200 or more on a single wager. Accumulating more than $1200 in winnings or even just cashing in over $1,200 is not a reportable event.

Unbelievably, I have heard of casinos filling out a W-2G whenever a player cashed in $1,200 or more. These incidents occurred in areas in which gaming was relatively new at the time and I suspect they just misinterpreted the rules. I haven't heard of it happening recently.

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