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Best of John Robison

Gaming Guru

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How long should I stay on a machine?

12 October 2011

Hi John,

Enjoy reading your column, smiling at some (made the same errors when I first started) and got me thinking on some of the others.

I have your book The Slot Expert's Guide to Playing Slots and was wondering about the section in High Hit / Low Hit Frequency for the Konami machines where the bonus game can be 8 to 450 free games. I once got 450 free games and got a low payout ($150) and other times with less free games I would get higher payout ($100 to $300).

My question is, how long should I stay on the same machine?

Thank you,
Victor

Dear Victor,

Thanks for the kind words about my column.

The results of each spin are determined at random, so I'm not surprised that you sometimes win more on fewer bonus games.

Also because the results of each spin are determined at random, there is no good (well, mathematically justified) answer to how long you should stay on a machine. Your odds are the same on every spin, so there's no reason to stop playing just because a machine has been generous or stingy. Past results do not say anything about future results.

Here's what I do: If a machine is hot, I stay on it for as long as possible. If a machine is cold, I play it for as long as I'm still having fun playing it. If I get frustrated with the machine's stinginess or hit my loss limit, that means the fun is gone and it's time to look for greener pastures.

In short, stay on a machine as long as you're still having fun playing it.

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