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Do ticket-based slots pay less than coin-based slots?

17 October 2005

In Oklahoma the slots spit out tickets instead of money. I have been hesitant to buy any slot books because I doubt the slots are the same. Have you been here and tried these? Seems like they're all set to make the player lose.

And if you play the 5-coin machines, you win back 2 coins frequently — but it keeps 3. So your money dwindles away. You just don't notice it as quickly.

Also if you put in a $5 bill, it's eaten up right away with no wins. However a $20 will give you a few wins before it's gone.

Can the machine be set to eat small bills but let the larger bill players play a while?

Avagail

Dear Avagail,

I've never been to Oklahoma, so I don't have any firsthand experience with the casinos there.

According to an article in the September 26, 2005 Las Vegas Sun, casinos in Oklahoma can have either Class II or Class III slots or both. The technical information in most slot books applies to Class III games only, but the money management principles apply to both.

With the exception of positive-expectation video poker machines, ALL slot machines are set to make the player lose in the long run. The five-coin machines you described have high hit frequencies. That means that you're going to win something on most of your spins, but frequently you win less than what you bet.

Finally, machines can't be set to eat small bills and give players who play larger bills a more play. The machine doesn't care if you put in a $5 bill and play it off four times or put in one $20 bill. I think if you kept track of the number of hits you got from 20 $5 bills and from five $20 bills you'd find the numbers very close.

Best of luck in and out of the casinos,
John


Hi,

Can a slot machine hit big right after it has just hit?

Absolutely. Back-to-back big hits are not likely to happen, but it can.

The probability of hitting any combination is the same on every spin. The result of the last spin — or the last 1000 spins — has no effect on result of the next spin.

Best of luck in and out of the casinos,
John


The casino I frequent has recently changed over half their slots to tickets rather than coins. The other half of the building still has coins.

Do you find that when they are changed over to tickets they pay less?

Terri

Dear Terri,

No, I haven't found that casinos lower payback percentages when they switch over to tickets.

Tickets systems save the casinos money, so if anything they should be increasing their paybacks!

Best of luck in and out of the casinos,
John


Hi,

There are BINGO slots in Shorter, AL. Do you know anything about them? Some folks say you should change the BINGO card at the top of the machine regularly. Others say it has no effect. Do you know anything about these BINGO Slots?

Thanks for a reply.

BJ

Dear BJ,

The slots you are referring to are known as Class II games. They may look and play like Vegas-style slots, but they're really bingo drawings under the hood.

Changing the bingo card should have no long-term effect on your results. The chances of hitting a winning combination are the same on each card.

Best of luck in and out of the casinos,
John


My spouse and I have enjoyed a slot machine (nickel type) styled after the game "Battleship" on an island in the Caribbean. We would like to play this same machine in the US. Where, say in Las Vegas or someplace near Georgia, would we find such a slot machine?

We really enjoy it and seriously would like to enjoy it more than on our once-a-year jaunt to the Caribbean.

Thank you very much for any assistance,
Dene

Dear Dene,

The Battleship slot machines are from Mikohn Gaming (Progressive Gaming). There are two versions, Battleship All Aboard and Battleship Winning Encounter. One requires skill in the main bonus round (it's a stripped-down game of Battleship) and the other doesn't. I think All Aboard is the one that requires skill, but I honestly don't remember.

I frequently get asked where various machines can be found. Unless it's a wide-area progressive that is owned by the manufacturer, it's impossible for me to answer. The locations of these games are on the manufacturers' websites.

The locations of games that casinos own aren't usually on the manufacturer's website. I won't impose upon my contacts at the manufacturers to ask which casinos have a certain game, and I'm not sure they would answer. And even if they did say casino A has a particular game, that doesn't mean the game is actually on the slot floor then.

Your best bet to find particular games is to ask on bulletin boards. Nothing beats the Las Vegas Adviser's bulletin boards for Las Vegas info. You might be able to find gaming bulletin boards for Georgia-area casinos — and if not, you can always start one!

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