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Best of John Robison

Gaming Guru

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Loose Double Diamonds Feedback

8 April 2004

John,

Is this Double Diamond post from April 1, 2004 a Fool's Day goof? It seems to ignore your oft-stated theory that each spin is produced from an RNG and therefore an independent event. Given the amount of money played on a machine in a day, 1000 spins seems like an inadequate amount of plays to determine trends.

Also, I've heard some rumors about the racetracks in West Virginia, from different players at two parks. First, Tuesdays are a great night to play nickels at the tracks or at the bars (some taverns have up to five machines). Thursdays are a bad day for nickels, but a good day for dollars.

Another rumor I've heard from multiple sources is that Mountaineer Park has had to write out $1,000,000 checks for several months where a review of their machines by the state showed they did not pay out enough. I find it incredible that they would be permitted to commit this violation more than once.

Ray

Dear Ray,

My column about finding loose Double Diamond machines was not a prank. When I looked at the different payback programs available for 3-coin Double Diamond machines a few years ago, I saw that there was a positive correlation between hit frequency and long-term payback--the higher the hit frequency, the higher the long-term payback.

Each spin is a random, independent event. That's a fact, not a theory. One thousand spins are nowhere near enough spins to get an estimate of a machine's long-term payback, but they are enough to get a resonable estimate of its hit frequency, which is a yes/no event.

As for which day is better for different denominations, the odds should be the same on every day, so it doesn't matter what day you play. If you asked enough people which day is best to play the different denominations of machines, I wouldn't be surprised if you found every day of the week to be the best day to play every denomination.

I did a quick search for articles about fines levied against Mountaineer Park, but I didn't find any. In any case, the statutory minimum payback in West Virginia is 80%, and I find it incredibly unlikely that they had any machines with paybacks that low.

Best of luck in and out of the casinos,
John


In your "Find Loose Double Diamond Machines" article, you state "when I've earned enough points for 1,000 spins". I never knew you can cash in points for spins, if this is what you implied.

Yes, I did notice you wrote it on April Fool's Day.

Well, two sentences earlier I talked about using the number of slot club points earned to know when I had played 1,000 spins. That's much easier than counting 1,000 spins. If you like, you can restate the phrase as "when I've earned 1,000 spins' worth of points."

Best of luck in and out of the casinos,
John


John,

What is the payback percentage for slots on the reservations and what is the web site that gives you info payback for all casinos?

Steve

Dear Steve,

Payback percentages vary from one Native American casino to another. There is no single web site that I know of that has all the paybacks for all casinos. Casino Player and Strictly Slots magazines publish all the payback percentages for those states that release the information, so they're probably your best resources. In addition, many states make the information available on their web sites. A few minutes with a good search engine will help you find what's available.

Best of luck in and out of the casinos,
John


Dear John,

First of all I would like to say that you have a great column. It's very informative.

We are leaving for Las Vegas on Sunday and staying at the Monte Carlo. What is your opinion of their casino? We will be playing the 25 cent, and $1 slots, also the video poker machines of the same denominations. In your opinion where do you think we will have the best chance of winning anything at all? We will be hitting all the casinos on the strip and a few downtown. We will also be going to Henderson for one day to play over there. Any opinions?

I was at the Monte Carlo when it opened and stayed there a few days after it opened. There was still a punch list of all the things that had to be fixed in the room on the back of the door.

Monte Carlo has a smallish casino and it's not known for having decent slots or video poker.

My suggestion to you is to play in the casinos with high-paying video poker. On the strip, Barbary Coast, Caesars Palace, and Treasure Island have some high-paying machines. In Henderson, the Fiesta has many good machines and Sunset Station has some good ones too.

Best of luck in and out of the casinos,
John


Hello John,

I enjoy reading your articles. I have a question for you:

I read some gaming message board on the internet and was wonder what are they mean by 9/6 or better video poker machines?

If I have to guess, they must be talking about pay tables on Jacks or Better video poker machines. I assume they meant Jacks or Better pay 1, 2 pair shoud pay 2, 3 of a kind pay 3, etc.

I also notice some machines only pay 1 for 2 pair.

Please confirm my theory.

Thanks and keep up the good work.

You're right. The nickname "9/6 Jacks" refers to a particular Jacks or Better paytable.

The "9/6" refers to the payouts for full house and flush. Before there were so many different paytables on the casino floors, we could say to look for a machine with those two payouts to find a high-paying machine. Now that there are so many similar paytables, you really have to check the entire paytable to make sure that a machine is indeed a 9/6 Jacks machine.

The complete 9/6 Jacks paytable is as follows:

Royal Flush250/4000
Straight Flush50
4 of a Kind25
Full House9
Flush6
Straight4
3 of a Kind3
Two Pair2
Jacks or Better1

With mathematically perfect play, 9/6 Jacks pays back 99.5% in the long run. The strategies readily available for this paytable get incredibly close to that figure (within a few tenths of a percentage point).

Best of luck in and out of the casinos,
John


Hi, John,

I've played slot games in France that are manufactured in the U.S. but I've never seen them here. Animal Magic and Carnival are two.

Also I have a slot game on my computer from Masque and I love playing Island Wins and Cash Encounters. Are these real slots anywhere to play?

I really enjoy cruises but I don't see a lot of winners on cruises. Are any lines better for slots than others?

Thanks, Pat

Dear Pat,

Are you sure those machines were manufactured in the United States? I found a game called Animal Magic by searching on the Internet, and it is manufactured by Cromptons Leisure Machines LTD in the UK.

Island Wins and Cash Encounter are on the Slots from Bally Gaming CD from Masque Publishing. Both are real casino machines. You should be able to find Cash Encounters at your favorite casinos. I don't think Island Wins is as popular as Cash Encounters, so it may be harder to find.

Landlubber that I am, I have no first-hand knowledge of the gambling conditions on the cruise ships. I've always heard that their paybacks tend to be very low because they have captive audiences. Bob Dancer is giving some video poker seminars aboard Norwegian Cruise Line this year and he said they would have 9/6 Jacks and NSU Deuces Wild, so they may be your best bet.

Best of luck in and out of the casinos,
John


hi im sorry if i botherd u ok but i like o know somthing about casino roolette i go to casino but all the time i loose and i want from u to teach me how i can play to wen ok plz but tell me step by step plz ok im waiting ur email ok bye

ziad .

Okay. I'll try to give some step by step instructions.

  1. Learn as much as you can about the games you want to play. For roulette, I recommend Spin Roulette Gold by Frank Scoblete.
  2. Determine your bankroll for your trip. This is the maximum amount of money you might lose.
  3. Determine your maximum bet per hand. This is determined by your bankroll, the game you want to play, and the length of time you want to play. A rule of thumb you can use is 1/20-1/30 of your bankroll. (Put another way, your bankroll should be 20-30 times your bet.)
  4. Join the players club and show your card when you play.
  5. Quit playing whenever it stops being fun.

I can't guarantee that you'll win when you play, but you will have more fun. And if you have fun every time you visit a casino, you're a winner.

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 send a reply to every question. Also be advised that it may take two or more months for your question to appear in my column.

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