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Best of John Robison

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Follow-up on PAR sheet questions

12 April 2010

John,

Thanks for all your help on my questions in the past. I have no question this time but thought you might be interested in what I discovered.

First the PAR sheet example I had given you to explain in my last question was totally different than the one I was able to view. And during the time I was able to view it, the slot attendant made sure he still had a corner of the pages as if I might grab it and run out of the casino. I was able to view it for a minute or two, but there was so much information that I was only able to get bits and pieces into memory.

The prize I was truly interested in turns out to be about a 1 in 18,000 chance of hitting. Based on my original estimates, theoretically I should have gotten that combination twice. No such luck for me as I have yet to hit it.

I did confirm my estimates of the machine being set at 95%; according to the PAR sheet it is set to pay 96%. The one very odd thing I found is that the second highest prize, 3 triple blue sevens, is more than twice as hard as the top prize, 3 triple red sevens. It turns out they are 1,100,000:1 and 520,000:1, respectively. I had suspected this before based on times I have seen other players hit the top prize but had never seen the 3 triple blues.

I also want to add that I read another archived article in your forums and gave some thoughts into playing this particular machine. Being that it's a $10.00 machine it, really shows the benefit of playing one coin in the long run. Assuming that I played the machine the 1.1 million spins to get every possible combination and the machine hit all the prizes based on the PAR sheets probabilities, playing max credits (2) would cost me an additional $428,000.00. I think I'll stick with one on all machines unless it's a progressive that I just couldn't bear to miss out on.

Thanks again for all the help.

Kris

Dear Kris,

Each manufacturer's PAR sheet has the same basic information, but each manufacturer's PAR sheets has a little different layout. I'm not surprised that the PAR sheet you were shown was not like the one you found online.

One would think that the likelihoods of hitting the winning combinations on a machine would vary inversely with their values, but you sometimes find jackpots that are more likely than lower-paying combinations.

When the chances for hitting a combination are 1 in 18,000, it's not unusual to go 18,000, 36,000, even 54,000 spins without hitting it. On the average (in the long run), though, the combination will hit once per 18,000 spins.

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