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Best of John Robison

Gaming Guru

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Did I miss out on a jackpot?

12 July 2010

A few years ago I thought I hit Megabucks but the machine didn't alarm or freeze up. One of the megabucks symbols may have been a centimeter off the payline. Is this possible, or did I just miss out on a jackpot?

You didn't miss out on a jackpot. If the machine had hit the Megabucks, it would have locked up and the jackpot displays on all of the other Megabucks machine would have displayed the reset jackpot amount.

What you see on the payline isn't the final word on the result of a spin. The result is really determined by the random number generator (RNG) and the RNG result is the final word. The symbols on the payline should match the RNG result. If the software running the machine senses that the reels did not stop in the right places, it will tilt the machine and a slot floorperson will have to reset it. This is one of those malfunctions that voids the play.

A slot reel is like two wheels attached to an axle with a strip of paper containing the reel symbols mounted between to the two reels. I've seen reels on which the reel strips have slipped a little to the symbol lands a little bit off the payline. This may be what happened to you.

In any case, whenever a machine displays a winning combination and the machine does not award you the win, stop and call over a slot floorperson. Even though the machine malfunctioned, I believe the players deserves some sort of award. Unlike table games players, slot players can't see the real result of a spin, only the reel result. If we have to trust what is on the payline, then the casino should have to honor it -- even if the payline does not match the RNG.

Best of luck in and out of the casinos,
John

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