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
 

Predicting Keno Outcomes

17 July 2004

Hi, John,

I love to play the slots, especially the nickle machines Winning Bid and Double Diamonds.

Why I'm writing to you is that I don't understand when you say that you play the Mikohn machines. I don't know what that means. Would you please let me know? Am going to Trump Marina Sunday and Monday.

Thanks so much for reading my e-mail. Any other tips you can give me I would appreciate.

Sincerely,
Beverly

Dear Beverly,

The first few games from slot manufacturer Mikohn (Battleship, Yahtzee!, Ripley's Believe It or Not, Clue) required some skill during the bonus rounds. Players could increase their bonus amounts by cleverly shooting at the enemy ships or by answering trivia question. I really like these games, particularly Ripley's, because I have a high U.I.Q. (Useless Information Quotient) and I like the idea of slot that requires some skill.

Best of luck in and out of the casinos,
John


I have been playing a trio of 5-line video slots called SWEETHEARTS II at an Indian casino in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. They have a bonus round triggered by getting two hearts in the first two lines. (A very fun game, by the way.)

Typically two of these machine will be paying and one will be in major take mode; other times the one will be paying and the other two will pay almost nothing.

When you get on the hot machine, it will be getting you to the bonus round very often (not unusual to hit back to back max payout bonuses).

Trying to figure out these machines has led me to question the whole casino. Can you find out if they are using Class II or Class III programs at Potawatami? Is it possible for them to have set up a pay out fomula?

It seems to me that I will play for a period and win from $1,000 - $10,000 then total shut down until they have taken the wins plus 20 - 25%. Having played and tracked the above-mentioned machines over 15,000 pulls, I arrived at an average hit ratio for the bonus round of 1 in every 56 spins, max bonus 1 in every 6 bonus rounds.

However, after one of the above-mentioned wins, bonus rounds fall to 1 in 258 and 0% max pay bonus rounds, until the loss of 120 - 125% of profit. Then the cycle starts over again.

I know this sounds paranoid and you will tell me is just the RNG's way of telling me I can't beat the house, but the law of large numbers do not lie. (I know it is a small sample but still should be within 5% margin of error.)

I have tried switching to different games after a win to overcome but as long as I have my players card in, the results are the same. Once after three sessions of nothing but mixed bars and cherry type payouts, I complained to my player rep and said I am ceasing to have fun and probably will not be back. Strangely, I hit the RW & B progressive for $5,900 20 minutes later.

Your thoughts?

The Potawatomi's have Class III games. You can read their compact with the State of Wisconsin at www.doa.state.wi.us. It's a real page turner.

It's not unusual to see some games hot and some games not. It's also not unusual for a machine to take back the money it has paid to you. After all, these are negative expectation games.

I think everything you've described are just natural consequences of randomness. Page 19 of the compact has a section that describes the tests for randomness that each machine must pass.

Best of luck in and out of the casinos,
John


Greetings,

I know I've asked you this before and I received a response from you, but I've misplaced it. Will you please email me directly the response again? My question was about keno combinations that tend to come up more often. Sort of predicting the outcomes. You emailed me the name of a person who is involved with this sort of thing. I could not for the life of me remember the name. Please email me this info again.

Thanks,
Al

Dear Al,

You have me confused with someone else. Here is the reply I sent to you:

On a properly functioning video keno machine, no combination of numbers is any more likely to be drawn than any other combination of numbers. There are no combinations that are known to come up more often.

Anyone who is doing any research on predicting keno outcomes is wasting his time.

John


Dear John,

There seems to be an inordinate amount of information on Las Vegas (websites, links, coupons, best casino to play slots/vp, etc.) but very little on Atlantic City overall. I subscribe to gambling magazines and researched web sites that cover a lot of topics and casino properties. I've searched the web (trying to get AC links or chat rooms) to no avail.

Am I looking in all the wrong places?

Karen

Dear Karen,

No, you're not looking in all the wrong places.

Las Vegas gets visitors from all over the world. With so many casinos, things are constantly changing. New casinos open every year, thought not every year on the strip. New promotions start all the time. Some casinos take out high-paying video poker machines; others put them in. There's always something new in Las Vegas.

In Atlantic City, on the other hand, not that much changes. The Borgata is the first new casino in something like 15 years? Renovations and expansions just don't generate the excitement that a new casino generates.

In addition, Atlantic City is still a locals market. Very few visitors come from outside a 200-mile radius. There's not as much demand for Atlantic City info and there's not much as to report.

Best of luck in and out of the casinos,
John


Hi, John,

Read your work all the time and enjoy it very much. Thanks.

First I'll give you my play history, I'm a 67-year-old male. I never bet on anything in my life until five years ago. My youngest son gave me and my wife a trip to and from Las Vegas with four nights at the Paris Las Vegas. It was okay, but I would not have paid for the trip.

A few months later I had an inspection in Marshal, Texas. My wife and I decided to go over to Bossier City Isle of Capri because the lady next door said it was great. We did. We won a few hundred. They sent us great comps--free suite, free meals at Faradays, free cash. (We know they would not be free in long run.) We have been going back about every two months since. (It's a 6-hour drive from our home.) Now my son said he was a dummy for getting me hooked, that I'm spending his inheritance. (Not really, I take two grand and when it's gone we quit.) We have won about half of what we have spent over the years. And the other half I feel pays for the comps we receive.

Now for my question. I have noticed that there are several banks of progressive slots that only seem to pay when they reach a certain amount. After they reach this amount they usually pay within a hour or so. Is it possible that the RNG is set to pay only after a set amount is reached? It is always a different machine, and always after it is above a certain amount in the jackpot.

Long e-mail; just print what fits in your columns.

Thanks,
Charles

Dear Charles,

Thanks for the kind words about my column. I'm glad your youngest son gave you a trip to AND FROM Las Vegas. I'd have been a bit concerned if he had gotten you a one-way ticket.

If you usually leave about $2000 behind when you visit the casino, you're a very desirable player. I'm not surprised they're putting you up in a suite.

I suppose it's true that you are spending your children's inheritance, but it is your money and as long as you're not gambling away money you need for daily necessities, it's your business. Ironically, no one would say anything if you took a few $2000 cruises throughout the year.

This is a situation that hits close to home. My cousin has gotten herself into a financial crisis because her longtime boyfriend has gambled away most of her money. My mother bailed her out a few years ago by paying what she owed for income tax and by paying to get her cars fixed.

Now, my cousin needs money again. My mother asked if her boyfriend was still gambling. My cousin's replay was, "Not really."

What that means, we found out, is that they take $20 each week or every other week and spend it playing slots. It's the only thing they do for entertainment besides watching cable TV.

I'm frequently pointing out to my mother and other relatives that there's a double standard for gambling and other recreational activities. None of them would be saying anything if my cousin and her boyfriend spent $20 or more each week going to the movies for entertainment, but spending it at the casinos is a waste of her money. Never mind the fact that they get some of that back in cash back and comps, plus there's always the possibility that they'll win some money.

Thanks for letting me get that off my chest.

Moving on to your question, if the machines acted the way you described the machines would be illegal. Your chances of hitting the jackpot or any other winning combination are the same on every spin. I think if you watched these machines long enough and tracked when the progressives were hit, you'd find that they do hit below your "trigger point."

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