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Best of John Robison

Gaming Guru

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Multipliers, Meters, Money

5 February 2004

How do I know if a machine is a straight multiplier or a bonus multiplier or other type of machine?

Ron

Dear Ron,

A straight multiplier is a machine like a 2-coin Double Diamond. It pays 800 for the jackpot when you play one coin, and exactly twice that (a straight multiple) or $1600 when you play two coins.

A bonus multiplier pays a bonus on one or more combinations when you play full coin. On a 3-coin Double Diamond, for example, the jackpot pays $2500 (a bonus of $100 over the straight multiple of $2400) when you play three coins.

Best of luck in and out of the casinos,
John


On most IGT Megabucks machines, I can see the counter reels (inside the machine) that indicate the number of Coins In, Coins Out, etc.

Does knowing this information reveal much about that particular machine's payout ratio?

Seems simple enough. If 400,000 coins have been put in the machine, and I can see that 800,000 coins have been paid out. Isn't this a good machine to play?

Cheers,
d.c.

Dear d.c.,

Unfortunately, you can't tell whether a machine is good to play from those meters. One problem is that handpays may or may not be included in the readings.

Let's look at your example. There's no slot machine that pays back 200%--especially not a Megabucks machine--so we know at least one of the "odometers" has rolled over. But we have no way of knowing how many times they've rolled over.

We'd be able to estimate the payback of the machine if we knew exactly how much money was put into it and exactly how much it paid out. We can't get those numbers from the outside of a machine, though.

Best of luck in and out of the casinos,
John


Hi, John,

I like your newsletter and read it often. I visit the Indian casinos in Southern California. I win sometimes and lose most of the time. My question is about these so called methods. They guarantee you'll win every time. They sell them on the internet. Any advice on them?

Thanks,
John

Dear John,

Yes, I have some advice on slot-playing systems: Don't waste your money.

I've purchased a few of these systems over the years. The only one that had any value consisted of reprints of Frank Scoblete's articles, but with any phrases that identified him as the author blacked out. It looked like an FBI file released through the Freedom of Information Act.

There is no way legally to win every time you play the slots.

Best of luck in and out of the casinos,
John


Dear John,

I just read your helpful column for the first time and happened across the letter regarding ownership of money found at a casino, along with your reply.

Nearly all, if not all, states have adopted laws which would apply to this situation. They are commonly known as "abandoned property" laws and cover property inadvertently abandoned through loss or negligence. Businesses having taken possession of abandoned property are required to make an annual filing in most jurisdictions and, in most states, virtually all cash or property deemed "abandoned" must be turned over to--guess who?--the state.

So, the woman who wrote to you might take issue with the casino's informing her she could claim the money if the owner didn't come forward, causing her to make an unnecessary trip back to the casino. But, she has no beef with their not giving her the money. If the casino kept the money, as she indicated she was told, the casino is undoubtedly in violation of state law.

Gotta go. I'm off to the local casino to abandon some of my cash to the Blazing 7's machine.

RS

Dear RS,

Thanks for providing some information about the "abandoned money" situation.

Best of luck on the Blazing 7s machines,
John


Do you know anything about state lottery regulated slot machines and if so are they controlled by the state as far as how well and how often they will hit good payouts?

I think the best answer to your question is: No, states do not regulate how often machines hit good payouts. (How much is a good payout?)

Regulations will specify minimum and maximum long-term paybacks for machines. The only regulation I've heard of concerning the frequency of payouts is one that some jurisdictions have for the minimum allowable probability for hitting a winning combination.

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.

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