CasinoCityTimes.com

Gurus
News
Newsletter
Author Home Author Archives Author Books Send to a Friend Search Articles Subscribe
Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Newsletter Signup
Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Related Links
Recent Articles
Best of John Robison

Gaming Guru

author's picture
 

Comparing lotteries and slot machines

18 July 2009

I really enjoyed your book The Slot Expert's Guide to Playing Slots. The money management helped a lot.

Now, for my question. Is there a way to compare the lottery with the slot payback percent, for example, the payback on dollar slots versus the odds of 1 in 350,000 of a lottery win?

Enjoy your writings as they help me try to understand the slots and why they do what they do.

Thanks for you time,
Steve

Dear Steve,

Thanks for the kind words about my book and columns.

We can compare the payback on a lottery with the payback on a slot. The payback formula is the same for both games. Take the probability of hitting a winning combination and multiply it by its value. Sum over all winning combinations and divide by the total number of combinations times the cost to play one time. That gives you the long-term payback. For a lotto drawing, the winning combination is matching a certain number of the numbers drawn.

Lotteries usually pay back far less than casino games do. In fact, I think every lottery game I've seen would be illegal in a casino because the money returned to the players is too low.

In fact, lotteries frequently are allowed to do things casinos cannot. For many years in my home state of New Jersey, casino advertising had to be understated and there were things casinos were not allowed to say in their ads. I tried to find some of the old regulations on the Internet, but I couldn't find them. In principle, I believe that one thing that was restricted was implying that a visit to the casino could be the answer to your financial problems. At the same time casino advertising could not emphasize all the wonderful things you could do with the money you could win at the casino, the New York lottery slogan was "Give your dreams a chance!" and the ads showed fictional lottery winners making their dreams come true using their winnings.

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