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Best of John Robison

Gaming Guru

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Denomination and Video Poker Paybacks

23 May 2005

Hi, John,

Could you advise if there is a difference in the payout or return on $0.25 video poker machines vs. the $0.05 machines? I realize that the $0.05 slot machines pay out less than the $0.25 or $1.00 machines, but I'm not sure about video poker.

Thanks for your help.

Ken

Dear Ken,

All you have to do is look at the paytables.

Unlike slots, you can tell the payback of a video poker machine by its paytable. If a nickel machine has the same paytable as a quarter machine, they both have the same long-term paybacks.

That said, quarter video poker machines do tend to have better paytables than nickel video poker machines.

Best of luck in and out of the casinos,
John


Hello,

I was wondering, does the randon number generator come up with the same payline (on multiple video payline slot machines) if I was playing one nickel each line or the maxium amount?

There have been times I hit a great pay line playing one nickel per line and think if I was only playing a larger number of coins per line I would have gotten a larger amount. But then I wondered would the exact line come up? Or could each amount of coins have a different randon number generator and operating at different percentages on the same machine? There seems to be machines at individual casinos that always have a larger percentage of pay lines at lower amounts than larger.

Thanks,
Bonnie

Dear Bonnie,

There's only one RNG in a slot machine and is not affected by the number of coins you play. It's possible that you would have gotten the same result had you played more coins per lines, but only if you hit had started the game at the exact same instant.

Best of luck in and out of the casinos,
John


If the odds of hitting a jackpot on a slot machine are a million to one, and I play it a 1,000 times, have I reduced my odds to a 1,000 to one?

Thank you.

Stan

This is the kind of statement that has to be stated carefully. I'll turn it around a little and try to say it correctly -- and if I screw up, I know someone will correct me. If the probability of hitting a jackpot on a slot machine is 1/1,000,000 and you play 1,000 spins on the machine, the probability that you will have hit one or more jackpots in the 1,000 spins is 1/1,000.

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 send a reply to every question. Also be advised that it may take several months for your question to appear in my column.

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