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Best of John Robison

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Progressive video poker changes

24 November 2007

I am sure you have been asked this many times, but I have been wondering about the paybacks of straight poker machines as compared to those connected to a progressive pot. Say, for instance, on a DBL-DBL Bonus Poker machine game, will it give out fewer 4 of a kinds and full houses just to pay into the progressive pot?

Our local casino just linked my favorite machines to a progressive and I have noticed that I cannot win like I used to.

Larry

Dear Larry,

Actually, I think you're the first person to ask this question.

Changing one or more jackpots on a video poker machine from a fixed amount to a progressive should have no effect on the probabilities of achieving the paying hands. Video poker machines operate in the same way you do when you are sitting at your kitchen table dealing cards. Every card still in play is equally likely to be selected. Thus, there is no way to make the machine deal fewer quads or full houses.

The only change the casino can make is altering the payouts on the hands. Maybe that's what happened. The casino lowered the payout on one or more hands to fund the progressive. Now you tend to get a little less play out of your bankroll — unless you hit the progressive — and that's why you're not hitting as many four-of-a-kinds and full houses.

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 reply to every question.

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