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Best of John Robison

Gaming Guru

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Does this casino promotion give me the edge?

8 November 2010

Hi John,

A casino I frequent in Atlantic City is offering a promotion on a particular day where I will receive a $500 cash bonus if I hit a slot jackpot of $1,200 or more. The terms stipulate $100 and $500 machines are ineligible, as are video poker, video roulette, video keno, progressives, and jackpots from a doubling down option.

My question is, does this promotion offer me a monetary edge over the casino at some point? If so, how much money would you recommend investing to go after it and what denomination and type of machine would offer me the greatest opportunity to hit $1,200 with the least number of spins or potential loss?

Thanks in advance!

Sincerely,
Eric

Dear Eric,

If casino management has done its job, they will not be giving you an edge. By eliminating high-denomination machines (on which $1,200 payouts can be quite frequent); video poker, keno and roulette (on which we can calculate the long-term paybacks); and doubling down (which is already a no-edge proposition), it looks like they've eliminated your opportunities to get the edge.

I recommend you play the highest-denomination reel-spinning slot that is eligible for this promotion. Because the bonus is $500, I would lose (or "invest") no more than $500 chasing the bonus.

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