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Best of John Robison

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One Coin vs. Max Coin Play, Quads in Video Poker

22 February 2002

I have played slots over the years and have a question. Is it possible that the chips inside of the machine are reset for different payoffs when one versus two coins are bet? That is, is it more likely that you will win if you play max coins?

Marshall

Dear Marshall,

It is illegal in every jurisdiction with which I'm familiar for the number of coins you play to have an effect on how often symbols land on the payline.

In spite of that, it is possible for a machine to have different paybacks when played with one coin versus two and it is possible that it is more likely that you will win (hit something) when you play max coins.

First, different paybacks. Consider a machine that pays 800 coins for the jackpot when one coin is played, and 2000 when two coins are played. The long-term payback will be slightly higher when you play two coins.

Second, hit frequency. Consider a multi-line machine. You're twice as likely to hit something when you play two coins than when you play one. Another example is a buy-a-pay. The more symbols you have activated, the more likely you are to get a hit on a spin.

Note that in all of these examples, we never changed the odds of hitting the winning combinations. The only thing that changed was how much they were worth.

Best of luck in and out of the casinos,
John

Why does a four of a kind occur more often in 9/6 Jacks than in the Bonus, Double Bonus, etc., video poker games since they are all dealt from the same 52 card deck?

Thank you.

Great question.

The only reason the frequency of hitting hands changes is because players use a different strategy based on the paytable. If you used a 9/6 Jacks strategy on a 10/7 Double Bonus machine, the frequency with which you hit hands would be the same as if you were playing a 9/6 Jacks machine.

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.


For more information about slots and video poker, we recommend:

The Slot Expert's Guide to Playing Slots by John Robison
Break the One-Armed Bandits! by Frank Scoblete
Victory at Video Poker and Video Craps, Keno and Blackjack! by Frank Scoblete
Slot Conquest Audio Cassette Tape (60 minutes) with Frank Scoblete
Winning Strategies at Slots & Video Poker! Video tape hosted by Academy Award Winner James Coburn, Written by Frank Scoblete
The Slot Machine Answer Book by John Grochowski
The Video Poker Answer Book by John Grochowski
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