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Best of John Robison

Gaming Guru

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How do they get machines to hit jackpots on commercials?

5 May 2008

Have you ever watched a casino commercial where the jackpot for a slot comes up, 7-7-7? How do they fix that machine to do it? Just the fact that they can fix a machine to do it is a little bit disturbing. That means that they can control a machine, maybe any machine, to win or possibly to lose.

Thanks,
Mike

Gee, Mike, that's quite a leap to make from something you saw on a commercial. Have you ever seen the fine print on some car commercials? Something like "Performed by professional driver on a closed course." That's a tip-off that what you're seeing does not represent real-life conditions.

There's no fine print on the casino commercials, but that does not mean that what you're seeing represents real life. Slot manufacturers have special demo software they use to show off the features of the machine to potential customers. The software has hidden menus that can be used to force certain events, like a bonus round or a jackpot, on the next spin. The machine in the commercial probably had the demo software in it, and that's how they were able to get a jackpot to land on the payline.

Considering the software that's in the slot machines you find on a casino's slot floor, the casinos cannot manipulate the machines using that software. Casinos cannot control a machine and make it win or lose.

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