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Best of John Robison

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More on Two Pair in Deuces Wild

11 July 2005

I suspect that several other people have already told you this regarding your recent question about holding two pair in Deuces Wild VP, but here goes anyway....

The correct answer should have been, "It depends." If you are playing full-pay DW where quads pay 5 coins for 1 and a full house pays 3 for 1, then it is correct to hold only one pair -- I always seem to pick the wrong pair. But in the versions of Deuces Wild that are the only kinds generally available outside Nevada (with one full-pay exception in Gulfport, MS), then it is correct to hold both pair. This is on a paytable where both quads and full houses pay 4 for 1, and flushes pay 3 for 1, often known as "Ugly Ducks," "Not So Ugly Ducks" or "Illinois Deuces." It is the single most important strategy change between the two main versions of Deuces Wild.

Robert

* * * *

This is in reply to the item about holding two pair in Deuces Wild:

Actually, both are right--it depends on the pay schedule for Deuces wild. According to my version of WinPoker, in Deuces full pay schedule (over 100%) holding only one pair is correct, but in NSU Deuces two pair is the more correct play.

Gregory

Dear Robert and Gregory,

You're absolutely right. I should have said told the writer that a definite answer was not possible because he did not specify the paytable. I just assumed he was playing Full-Pay Deuces.

Best of luck in and out of the casinos,
John


Another timer question: regarding tracking 30 minutes or one hour of slot play for comp or promotion purposes (with your club card inserted). What part of your play time is being tracked? The actual five to six seconds right after the spin/bet button is pushed (including reel spin time) until the spin outcome or an average of all play until you remove you club card?

Also, could there be a subroutine in the slots/vp programs with a timer (random times selected) that will release one or more top jackpot symbols during the life of a machine?

Dan

Dear Dan,

First off, I think it's ridiculous when slot clubs say talk about requiring a certain amount of playing time for a comp. The main thing they care about is coin in, not the amount of time you play. When I've asked slot club personnel about comp requirements and they've answered with time requirements, I've sometimes then asked if a person playing as fast as he can and someone playing one spin a minute would get the same comps if they played the same length of time.

I really shouldn't have been so hard on these folks because they're just trying to answer the question using a metric that slot players understand. Few slot players have any idea of the amount of action they give (and may not understand the concept of action), so they may be confused or taken aback if the club said that $5,000 in action is required to earn a $15 buffet. Slot players do know how long they play, so the club tries to frame the response using time.

The problem is that the answer the clubs give is incomplete. It doesn't specify how quickly one must play or how much one must bet per spin.

A few years ago, a casino in Atlantic City gave a complete answer in its advertising. They advertised some benefit and said it required something like three hours of play, with an asterisk after that statement. The fine print said that the time figure was based on playing a 3-coin quarter machine at full coin at six spins per minute. One could then do the match and figure out the amount of action requirement.

Ironic, isn't it? Instead of a nice simple answer like $810, they gave a much more complicated answer just to make it "easier" for slot players.

As for your second question, any subroutine such as you described would be illegal in all jurisdictions in the U.S. with which I'm familiar. The odds must be the same on every spin.

Best of luck in and out of the casinos,
John


Hi, John,

Tell me how you win on nickle, penniy, quarter, dollar or 50-cent slots.

Thank you,
Colorado

Dear Colorado,

You win on any slot when one of the combinations shown in the paytable lands on one of the paylines you've activated on the machine.

Next question.

Best of luck in and out of the casinos,
John


Okay, so there's not supposed to be any difference in payouts according to how many coins are played. Please examine the attached memo from the Nevada Gaming Control Board.

Comments?

Sincerely,
James

Note: A memo describing how to calculate theoretical hold percentages when the payback on a machine varies with the number of coins played.

Dear James,

No one ever said that the payback on each coin had to be the same. Consider a 3-coin Double Diamond machine. The jackpot pays 800 coins when you play one coin and 2500 coins (or about 833 coins per coin played) when you play three coins. Clearly, the paybacks cannot be the same when you play one coin and one you play three coins.

Furthermore, in The Slot Expert's Guide to Playing Slots, I describe buy-a-pay machines I've analyzed on which some coins have paybacks of more than 100%.

On the contrary, what I and others have said is that the probability that any particular combination lands on the payline is not affected by the number of coins played. The probability that three Double Diamond symbols land on the payline is the same regardless of whether you play one, two or three coins.

Best of luck in and out of the casinos,
John


A few months ago, someone asked a question about the battery in a CDS slot machine. Here's some information from a senior designer at CDS that was passed on to me:

The battery should hold for at least 3 years of off-time, and as it gets low you'll see something like "BATT LOW" on the slot display. They're pretty easy to replace – on the main VIG-II board that's plugged into the backplane, there's a silver quarter-sized disk in a socket that is a 3V Lithium battery (Panasonic CR2354). You can find them online – places like batteryspecialists.com have them for about $6.

By the way, when the battery does go (or when you replace it), it will go into a RAM failure system error, but that's pretty easy to clear by going into the operator menu with the door open – select "INITIALIZE" and follow the instructions. You will lose all game histories and soft meters, since that's all stored in battery backed-up RAM.

Thanks for the information,
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 several 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