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Best of John Robison

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Class II Slots, Deuces Wild, Should I Play a Machine That Has Just Hit?

12 January 2004

Hi,

I would like to know where there is a web site where I can play Yukon Gold slot machine. I have other sites where I just play for fun and I would love to play Yukon Gold.

Thank you,
Sue

Dear Sue,

Sorry. I don't know of any website that has Yukon Gold. If anyone reading this column does, though, I'll pass on the name of the site in a future column.

Best of luck in and out of the casinos,
John


First I enjoy your news letter and am quite interested in your expert answers.

My first question is: You said that "type II" slots do not have an RNG. Does that mean that some type II slots have permanent payout cycles built into them and don't use RNGs?

The second question is: Don't the odds of hitting a jackpot vary with the amount of payout? For instance, does a machine that hits a $5,000 payoff once in 30,000 coins have odds of 1 in 30,000 and does a machine that hits $6,000 once in 30,000 coins have the same odds?

I am probably not saying it very well but I think the odds of a payout change with the amount of payout. So when someone says to play a certain type of machine because of the odds I feel that all machines are set to pay back a percentage of play and the bigger the jackpot the higher the odds.

Third and final question for now :-): What is the slot doing when it "pauses" during play? I think it may be generating a series of numbers that it sequentially goes down till it has exhausted the list then regenerates random numbers.

Thanks,
Dale

Dear Dale,

Thanks for the kind words about my column. To answer your questions:

1) Class II gaming devices still depend on an RNG to determine their results. The RNG is not contained within the device itself, as it is with a Class III device, but is in a separate system.

Class II devices essentially turn a bingo drawing into a slot machine. A separate computer uses an RNG to select the numbers for a particular drawing and sends those numbers down to the machines. Each machine then uses the numbers drawn to determine which symbols to display on the payline. The Class II devices do not have cycles built into them.

2) It's generally true that the higher the payoff, the less likely you are to hit. Generally, but not always. You could have a machine that pays $5,000 more frequently than another machine pays $4,000. And in 9/6 Jacks or Better, you'll get a full house more frequently than a flush, yet the full house pays more.

You figure out the odds of an event by looking at the number of ways that event can occur and the total number of events possible. In your example, the two events both occur once every 30,000 spins, so they have the same odds. The amount of the payoff isn't taken into account when calculating the odds.

3) Slot machines are required to maintain some housekeeping information even if they lose power. The machines are storing this information in special memory when the pause occurs. The pause has nothing to do with generating results or the RNG.

Best of luck in and out of the casinos,
John


Hey, John,

We enjoy Grand Casino Coushatta in Kinder, La., and have a few questions regarding Deuces Wild:

First, when you get two deuces in a wild royal, do you pitch the other three cards and save the two deuces for the second hand?

When you have three deuces making up a wild royal, do you keep the three deuces and toss the other two cards?

If you have one deuce that makes a straight, should you toss the other four cards and hope for more deuces on the second hand?

What's the secret in holding cards for the big royal flush?

Do you rate Deuces Wild play over Jacks or Better?

The answers could take up a full column of yours, which we enjoy.

Thanks,
Joe and Bobbi

Dear Joe and Bobbi,

Thanks for the kind words about my column.

There are many different Deuces Wild paytables, so I'll give the answers that I think are correct most of the time but you should double-check the strategy for your paytable on a strategy chart, in a video poker book, or using a program like Frugal Video Poker.

1) Hold the pat wild royal flush over just the two deuces.

2) Hold the pat wild royal flush over just the three deuces.

3) Hold the pat wild straight over just the one deuce.

4) The only secret in holding cards for the royal flush is getting dealt the cards in the first place!

5) It's tough to rate one game over the other. It's relatively easy to find a good Deuces Wild paytable in Las Vegas and it's nearly impossible just about everywhere else. Some people like the slightly higher volatility on Deuces Wild caused by the mini-jackpot for hitting four deuces, others prefer the lower volatility of Jacks or Better. To each his own.

Best of luck in and out of the casinos,
John


Dear John,

Do you know what the cashback is at the Borgata playing video poker?

I haven't been to the Borgata myself, but according Skip Hughes' video poker homepage (www.vphomepage.com), cashback at the Borgata is 0.25%.

Best of luck in and out of the casinos,
John


Hi, John,

Quite an informative site!! Was with you and the best "cream of the crop" advisors last weekend in Tunica. I am a slot player and have learned some, but not enough, as to how the programs in the machine work.

Once a small winning combination has been hit--for instance, a payout of $500 on the $5 machines--should you wait a while before playing the machine again? (I frequently hear people say, "Let someone else feed it some before you play it again.")

A certain machine once hit for $500 with one coin in and then a few minutes later someone played it with 2 coins in and hit the same combination for $1000. No one else played the machine in between the first player and the second player. I am familiar with the RNG not having any memory as to when it has paid out, etc., but doesn't the program have to take in a certain percentage before it will payout again? Should you not play a machine after you have seen it payout a jackpot?

Also, is it better to go to the casinos after a busy holiday weekend of play by others?

Thanks and I will be looking forward to and taking your advice.

Vicki

Dear Vicki,

Glad you could make it to the jamboree in Tunica and thanks for the kind words about this site.

You answered your questions with your anecdote. Because you saw a machine hit two good-size jackpots in close succession, clearly the machine does not have to take in a certain amount of money before it will pay out again.

As you said, the RNG has no memory. The chances for hitting any particular winning combination are exactly the same on each and every spin on a machine. It also makes no difference if you go to the casino before, during, or after a busy holiday weekend--your chances are the same no matter when you go.

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.

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