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Best of John Robison

Gaming Guru

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Las Vegas free room promotion

9 July 2007

John,

Living in northeast Georgia, Harrahs Cherokee Casino in Cherokee, NC receives about 99% of my gaming money. As you are aware, there are Lock & Roll slots at this casino. These machines also can be stopped at any time in the first or second spin by touching the spin button or by touching the screen.

My question is this: If the result is determined by the RNG at time spin button is pushed, is there any difference in stopping the spin and just letting spin stop of own accord? Is the result still determined on Lock & Roll machines at the time spin button is pushed or does stopping the spin actually change the outcome of spin?

Hope this is not a confusing question and I hope you have some insight on these machines. This question has been in my head for a while but I can't seem to get a definitive answer anywhere.

Thanks much,
Ray

Dear Ray,

I don't know of any machine on which stopping the spin has any effect on the outcome. The only effect it has is to make the spin take less time to resolve.

I suggest you let the spin play out in its own sweet time. The longer the spins take, the fewer spins you'll get per hour and the longer your money will last.

Best of luck in and out of the casinos,
John


Hey, John,

I have been getting your emails for quite a while now and am very curious about something that happened to me last week in Vegas.

I went there on a promotion from Tahiti Vacation Resorts, aka Consolidated Resorts or something like that. They paid for me to stay at the Circus Circus for 4 nights, I was to get $400 in free play and 2 tickets to a show. All I had to do was go to the presentation of the resort and listen to a 2 hour seminar about the resort.

Well, I went. I didn't take the offer from the resort, so at the end of the seminar those not taking the offer were taken to the cashier to get the coupon for the $400 in free play.

First of all, the free play was at the Casino Royale, not even where we were staying, and second it said on the coupon that the coupon was good from 8am until 11pm. I was to present the coupon to the desk and then someone would take me to the machines and use a key to start the machine. Ok so I got to the Casino Royale the next morning around 7:45am. I was told that I couldn't start playing until 10am. I signed up for their players card and received another $50 in free play. So now I am holding $450 in free play and I have 2 hours before I can start.

I hung around and at 10am they took me to the machines. They were $1 machines, which I don't play, and I was told it was a minimum of $2 per spin. The only way you could win is if you hit the Jackpot. The machines were the double diamond machines. So I had to get all 3 double diamond symbols.

I spun those reels a minimum of 225 times, I know it was probably over 300 spins though due to my winning at different times with three bars and getting one double diamond with something. Anyway, out of 300 spins not once did even 2 symbols hit on the line at the same time. One would hit once in a while, but nothing big.

The deal was you keep spinning until you hit the jackpot or you run out of credits, so guess what? I ran out of credits. This I think was the biggest rip off. I sent an email to Tahiti Resorts and voiced my opinion about it to them. I know it is not going to do any good, but I just feel that if you do not take their offer for the resort, you get screwed. That is why they wait until the end of the seminar to give out the free play coupons.

The show was at the comedy club and you had to make reservations by 2pm the day before. We didn't know this and 2pm the day before we were leaving was when our appointment was for the Tahiti Resort. So we couldn't use that either.

I know this is a long email, but didn't know how to explain to you without going into detail.

Have you ever seen anything like this before?

Let me know your opinion on this. Or were we just fools to begin with accepting this offer?

Thanks,
Karol

Dear Karol,

I have heard of similar promotions before (e.g., Vegas World) and I have also heard the annoying commercials for Tahiti Resorts.

One of the commercials I heard talked a lot about Wynn Las Vegas before making the free room offer. One is supposed to infer that your free room will be at the Wynn, but I was pretty sure it wouldn't be. I don't know which commercial you responded to, but you certainly weren't at the Wynn or a comparable hotel.

The commercials also mention all the great performers currently playing in Las Vegas. Again, one is supposed to infer that the show tickets would be for Celine Dion or some other A-list performer, not some show at a comedy club.

I think the commercials are misleading because you are meant to believe you are going to get something other than what you are given, but they're not dishonest because you do get exactly what they say you will get: a free room and free show tickets.

When you go to one of these presentations, you never get the gift until after the spiel -- after all, the deal you made is to hear the spiel and get a gift -- so there's nothing wrong there.

As for the free play promotion, it's usual for the free play to be on special machines unless you've earned the free play through actually playing machines with your own money. And, as you discovered, the only way to walk away with something is to hit a jackpot.

I think you made out okay. For listening to a two-hour spiel, you received four nights at Circus Circus, which isn't the worst hotel in Las Vegas. Your timing was just unfortunate so you missed out on the show, which might actually have been very good. The free play wasn't what you expected, but it was free play.

Now that you know how some of these things are run, you'll know to ask more questions the next time.

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