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Best of John Robison

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Removing your slot club card

31 January 2011

Hi John,

I have a friend who exclusively plays the Cleopatra machine, 9 lines, 1-3 coins per line. He constantly stops the wheel by hitting his start button of choice twice. He states that it changes the machine's outcome. I told him that since the outcome is determined as soon a button is hit and the spinning wheels are fluff, he cannot change the outcome.

Am I not correct?

(By doing this he gets in around 15-20 spins per minute -- ouch!)

Thanks,
Mike

Dear Mike,

You are correct. Stopping the reels has no effect on the outcome. The outcome is determined by values from the random number generator. The only thing that stopping the spin does is cutting out the show -- that is, the spinning of the reels. And the result of cutting out the show -- which you point out -- is increasing the number of spins you can play per minute.

Best of luck in and out of the casinos,
John

John,

Same friend who stops the machine has another move I need verified (or shot down).

When he hits the 15-spin bonus, he yanks his player's card out of the machine. His reasoning is that he will get credit for the bet but since there is no card in the machine as it goes through the bonus round, the win will not show up as a win under his card. It almost makes sense to me -- but then I say -- nah, can't be!

Thank you again,
Mike

Dear Mike,

A double-header.

There is some validity to your friend's theory. When you pull out your card, the machine sends the values of various meters (e.g., coin-in, coin-out) to the players' club system so it can track how much you've wagered and how much you've won or lost. If he removes his card during the bonus spins, the amount won on the bonus spins after he pulled out his card will not be reflected in his players club totals. The goal is to make him look like a bigger loser than he really is.

I think this tactic is a lot of work for not much reward. Players' club rewards are based on action, not win/loss. Even though having a larger loss might enable one to get a slightly better comp, I don't think pulling your card is worth the risk of forgetting to put it back in again after the bonus round ends.

Furthermore, now that communicating with a player tracking system is more an integral part of the slot machine and not an add-on, this ploy may not even work today. The software may wait until the spin has been completed before acting on the removal of the card.

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