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Is the respin on a double spin machine random?

4 October 2008

Hi John,

Love your articles!

I recently found a new 5x pay "Double Spin" slot in Vegas (it might not be new to the industry, just to me!). The premise of the slot is that if after a spin you can improve your payout by having a different outcome on the third (physical) reel, it automatically respins that reel for you.

My question is — is that "double spin" random as well, or just theater under a pre-determined outcome from the first spin? If it is random, this would seem to be an exceptionally good machine to play because you're effectively getting two random chances for the price of one. My feeling though, is that the machine's RNG just says I'm going to win X credits. And having to do a respin on the third wheel is just one of the combinations to get there. Am I on the right track?

Thanks!

Tim

Dear Tim,

Thanks for the kind words about my columns.

I know the Double Spin machine well, at least the Double Diamond version of it.

You were on the right track, but then you veered off. The double spin is indeed another random spin of the third reel. The RNG cannot be used to choose a winning amount — at least not for a base, reel-spinning game. It can only be used to choose where the reels will stop.

I like Double Spin machines because I think they're a lot of fun. But I wouldn't say they are "exceptionally good" to play. The double spin feature is just a gimmick that has been fully taken into account by the machines' programmers. Your hit frequency or long-term payback aren't necessarily any higher than if you played a 5 Times Pay machine without the double spin feature.

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