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Best of John Robison

Gaming Guru

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Is the machine that hits a progressive jackpot pre-determined?

5 October 2011

I used to gamble at a certain casino where an employee told me that the casino didn't own the machines, but rather the manufacturer. I asked him about the progressive machines, and how to tell when they were going to hit. He told me the owner of the machines predetermine which machine at which casino will hit. Is this true?

Thanks,
Karen

Dear Karen,

Rather than purchasing machines outright and keeping all of the money the machines win, some casinos pay nothing for the machines and split the money won with the manufacturer. Some casinos may use this arrangement for sections of their slot floors. Others, as you found out, use it for their entire slot floor.

On Class III slot machines, the kind in Las Vegas, Atlantic City, Tunica, etc., each machine in a progressive link determines its results on its own. If a machine's RNG chooses the jackpot combination, it sends a message to the central monitoring system that it hit the jackpot. The central system then notifies all of the other devices in the link that the progressive has been won.

The manufacturer does not predetermine which machine will hit.

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