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Best of John Robison

Gaming Guru

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Flush Attack

3 June 2004

John,

Don't know if you remember me, you must get millions of emails, but I'm a long time fan from NH. We've discussed Connecticut Casinos and retiring early in the past. I just wanted to drop you a line to let you know that I'm still following you on RGT.

We 'Hit the Road' last year and have been in Florida all winter. We've checked out the Indian Casinos down here and the Casino Cruises out of Ft. Myers Beach. The Indian casinos are terrible. The Leisure Lady was a good cruise and we're on the Big 'M' tonight. We also stopped in AC on the way down and we both did very well. We liked Borgata and hope to stop on the way back. AC is not RV friendly. It's against the law to stay in your own RV overnight in a casino parking lot. You AND the casino both get fined. I wouldn't mind if there was a nice RV park in the area. We've been to all of them and they are all less than we would like. We travel with a cat so we can't just park in 'overflow' and stay in a hotel room. Oh well...

I've been real cold on VP lately. Even when I play a 9/6 game I just can't seem to get a good run. I know my play is very good because I drill on ZAMZOW's software and I stick to games that I know the strategy for. Usually Draw Poker.

To that end I took up blackjack about a year ago and after reading Frank and a few others I started playing. So far I've done well. Sometimes when I win I will take some of the winnings and play VP if I can find a good game. Since I enjoy playing VP I don't mind if I lose a little. Someday I'll break through. The boats here have a few $5 tables so it's a good place to play for fun. On the last cruise we had 7 players at my table and I was the only one who walked away winning. I even saw somebody split 10s for the first time. It was on the 3rd hand of the shoe against a dealer's 7 so I didn't figure him for a counter. He won both hands so now he KNOWS that was the right play of course... Oh well, part of the fun is watching other players.

One thing that I would like to see would be a list of slang for Slot Machines. Are there other terms like Locking Up? If there aren't, just make up a few. We'll never know the difference...

Keep up the good work,
Bill

Dear Bill,

Of course I remember you.

I don't get millions of e-mails, but the number I receive has gone up considerably since Casino City started hosting my column and the others in the Frank Scoblete Network. I used to be able to answer letters within a week or so--and I used to reply via e-mail in addition to posting the answer in my column. Now, I'm over two months behind in answering questions. And I decided that I had to skip sending a reply via e-mail so I would have more time to answer questions.

And you wouldn't believe the amount of SPAM I get, even though Comcast's SPAM filter (from Brightmail) catches 90% of it! It's critical that e-mail messages sent to me have "slot/video poker question" or something similar in the subject so I can tell the message isn't SPAM.

Sorry you had problems in Atlantic City. I suspect part of the problem is that space is at a premium there, so large vehicles aren't very welcome. Still, the casinos say they need more overnight visitors, so one would think the casinos would do something to help RV owners.

I can relate to being in a cold spell. I've been in a long cold spell. I can't remember the last time I left a casino with more money than I went in with.

I too took up blackjack a few years ago. Our stories are almost identical. I also learned to play by reading Frank's book. The only difference is that when I did sit down to play blackjack for the first time, Frank was at my side to offer encouragement and an occasional pointer.

One advantage of blackjack, and other table games, is that every casino offers pretty much the same game. Some casinos may have tons of full-pay video poker and others may offer nothing higher than 98% payback machines, but they all have blackjack, craps, and roulette games that have close to--if not exactly--the same odds.

As for list of slot slang, I don't know if there are really any universally or regionally understood terms. I've read many terms in slot books that I've never heard a slot player use.

I would never make anything up, but if readers would like to send in their own slot slang, I'll compile the entries and publish them in a future column.

Best of luck in and out of the casinos,
John


You the Man! Immensely enjoy your columns.

Need some info, please. 10/7 DB is my favorite VP. On recent trip to Sin City, found "Flush Attack", which seems to be 10/8. Did I read it correctly? If so, is it better than aforementioned? Do you know of any site on www wherein I can practice said game?

Thanks in advance for advice, and please keep up the good work.

Jeff in Tampa

Dear Jeff,

Thanks for the kind words about my column.

I think you did not read the paytable correctly. I did a search for Flush Attack paytables on the Internet and I didn't find like you described.

In any case, you have to take the entire paytable into account, not just the payoffs on full house and flush. If we just looked at those two amounts, we'd think 9/6 Double Bonus was a good game to play.

I found four different paytables for Flush Attack on Jazbo's video poker site (www.jazbo.com). He says the best-paying version is "slightly positive." The description for Dan Paymar's cue card on the RGE21 site, however, says the paytables pays back 101.85% and I'd say that's more than slightly positive.

The answer to your question of whether Flush Attack is better than 10/7 Double Bonus is that it depends on the which Flush Attack paytable you found.

I don't know of any site on which you can play Flush Attack, but if anyone does, I'll publish the site in a future column.

Best of luck in and out of the casinos,
John


Hi,

Would you please discuss the class II "slot machines" that are found at the Indian casinos and bingo halls in Oklahoma? How do they work? What determines the payout and does it do any good to touch and change the little bingo card that is usually in the upper left corner of the display? Thanks for all your information.

Pam

Dear Pam,

A Class II gaming device is a bingo drawing that looks like a slot machine. Native American casinos need state compacts to offer Vegas-style Class III gaming devices. As I understand it, they can offer Class II devices, however, if the state allows other charitable organizations to offer bingo.

Unlike Class III gaming devices that contain RNGs, Class II devices are prohibited from determining their own results. A separate system is used to run the bingo drawing and the numbers drawn are sent down to each machine. The payout is determined by the pattern filled in on the bingo card displayed on the machine.

Now, I keep using the term bingo drawing, but it's not the "B-4, O-72"-type bingo game with which we're all familiar. The Class II devices I've seen displayed a card that had (if I remember correctly and I may not because I saw them about a year ago) a grid of numbers with 3 rows and 4 columns. Numbers from 1 to about 20 were randomly distributed in the grid.

Players pressed their Spin buttons to join in on the "drawing" and then the system controller drew a set of numbers at random from 1 to 20. I don't know how many were chosen. The numbers drawn were reported to each machine participating in the drawing. Each machine then compared the pattern covered with the payout patterns. If there was a match, the machine would then spin its reels to the proper combination and award the player the appropriate number of credits.

If there wasn't a match with any of the payout patterns, the machine was free to display any non-winning combination. Interestingly enough, this "secondary decision" of choosing a particular non-winning combination after it has been determined that the spin will be a loser is illegal in a Class III gaming device.

Does anything happen when you touch the bingo card? If not, you can touch it for luck if you wish. And if something does happen, you can touch it if you want because it won't make a difference. The results will still be chosen at random.

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 two or more 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