CasinoCityTimes.com

Gurus
News
Newsletter
Author Home Author Archives Author Books Send to a Friend Search Articles Subscribe
Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Newsletter Signup
Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Recent Articles
Best of John Robison

Gaming Guru

author's picture
 

Pick 'em Poker and RNGs in Iowa

29 January 2004

I played a Double Diamond $5 slot and playing 1 coin hit the jackpot paying 800. As the attendant was clearing the machine, I said that I should have played 2 coins to get the 1600. His response confused me as he said that if I had played 2 coins, I probably wouldn't have hit the jackpot in the first place.

What do you make of this statement?

I thought the RNG and the bet line were completely separate from one another. I would appreciate it if you could enlighten me on this remark!

I really enjoy your words of wisdom on slots. Learned a lot from you.

Thanks!
Phil

Dear Phil,

Thanks for the kind words about my column.

I think the slot attendant's comment was right on the money.

You would have started the game (pressed the Spin button, pressed the Bet Max button, pulled the handle) at a different instant had you played two coins as compared with when you played one coin. The RNG is generating hundreds, if not thousands, of outcomes each second. It had the jackpot outcome for only a fraction of a second. Starting the game at a different instant would have resulted in a different outcome.

Best of luck in and out of the casinos,
John


Are you familiar with the video poker game Pick 'em Poker? I have only seen the game on Bally Game Maker machines.

What are the best strategies to use to have the best chance of winning on this game/machine?

For example, should you always take a pair over a straight or flush? If two pair are offered on the deal should you always take the higher pair?

Where is the best place to purchase a reconditioned Game Maker machine. There are many Internet sites offering the machine with varying prices, warranties, etc.

Thanks for any info you can offer.

Richard

Dear Richard,

Pick 'em Poker is a game you will find only on Bally machines.

The best strategy to use is a mathematically derived one. I recommend the Frugal Video Poker strategy card (www.frugalgambler.biz).

As to whether it is better to take a pair over a straight or a flush, it depends. You would hold a high pair over everything but a 3-card royal flush with no ace. As for the low pair versus a straight or flush, you would hold the low pair unless you had a three-card royal, a flush with two or three high cards, an outside straight with three high cards, an outside straight flush, an inside straight flush, or a double inside straight flush with one or more high cards.

I've never purchased a reconditioned machine, so I don't have any firsthand experience. If I were to buy one, I would go to The Gambler's General Store in Las Vegas.

Best of luck in and out of the casinos,
John


OK John,

Here's a easy one for you.

What's your advice in the game of Black Jack video poker? Is it advisable to hold the Black Jack with any pair OR to trash the Black Jack, knowing there's another one still out there?

Love your column, John! Looking forward to your answer here.

Thanx,
Stu

Dear Stu,

Thanks for the kind words about my column. I'm sorry to disappoint you here.

I've never seen Black Jack Video Poker, so I don't know what the right answer is.

I suspect the better move is to discard the Black Jack, but that's just a guess and it's not based on any analysis whatsoever.

Perhaps another reader can supply the answer.

Best of luck in and out of the casinos,
John


Hello,

Thanks for all the good information, Mr. Robison. We enjoy all your e-mails.

I was just wondering what you think about Reel 'em In? I caught the whale once in Vegas.

I was wondering if the RNG determines payouts if you were to play 9 lines and 1 per line than 9 lines per 5 lines? It seems when I play more I lose more often and when I switch back to 1 line I win. Why is that? Does the RNG determine how many lines you play for a win? Its just kind of weird when I play more it doesn't seem to hit and when I play less it seems to.

Thanks again,>BR? Jeannie

Dear Jeannie,

The RNG is not affected by the number of lines you play.

I think the reason it seems like you lose more often when you play more lines is that a losing streak does more damage to your bankroll when you play more lines than when you play one line. Plus, you get more spins from your bankroll when you play one coin on one line, so you have more chances to hit something big.

Best of luck in and out of the casinos,
John


I thoroughly enjoy your expert advice - it's very informative.

My wife was lucky enough to hit a 10 Times machine while in Vegas. The combination was 10 Times, 10 Times, Triple Bars. She is wondering what the odds were of hitting that combination. It was a $5 machine. Would the odds be different on a quarter or dollar machine?

We live in Iowa and several slot techs have told me that since the state is involved, there are no random number generators in the slots (not counting the Indian casinos), only predetermined cycles. I find this hard to believe.

Dale

Dear Dale,

Thanks for the kind words about my column.

Congratulations on your wife's jackpot! I can't tell you the chances of hitting that jackpot without knowing the layout of the virtual reels in the machine. The odds might be different on a quarter machine. IGT offers a number of different payback programs for a Ten Times Pay machine.

I also find the slot techs' statements hard to believe. Here is a quote from Chapter 11 of Iowa's gaming statute: "Each slot machine must have a random number generator that will determine the occurrence of a specific card, number, or stop."

I think they may have misunderstood something they were told or saw. Manufacturers sometimes refer to the a machine's cycle, but they're only referring to the total number of outcomes on the virtual reels. The cycle has nothing to do with a predetermined order of results.

As for the Indian casinos, they may have Class II gaming devices. These devices do not have their own RNGs.

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