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Best of John Robison

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RNGs and bingo cards on Class II slots

6 April 2011

The following letter is about Class II slot machines. Class II slots, unlike the Class III slots found in Las Vegas, Atlantic City, Tunica and elsewhere, do not determine the outcomes of their spins independently. They do not have random number generators (RNGs). A separate computer system performs what is essentially a bingo drawing and sends the results of that drawing down to the machines.

My questions:

I agree that a separate computer runs the RNG, but what I don't understand is the payline part. How is it possible if the RNG selects a particular set of numbers, but the machine also selects a totally random "Bingo" card on each spin, which one is determining the payout? I guess my real question is, does the RNG determine the "Bingo" card, or the Lookup Table and then that determines a winning or non-winning combination? Also... if the RNG determines the payout, then how is possible that during 1 bingo session, someone actually wins?

Your website is great!

Thanks so much for your help,
Larry

Dear Larry,

Thanks for the kinds words about the website.

The outcome of a spin on a Class II slot machine is determined by the pattern covered on the bingo card. There are a number of ways the different Class II systems go from a pattern on the bingo card to a winning combination on the machine. The key point is that the RNG does nothing more than choose the numbers in the bingo drawing. The pattern covered on the bingo card then comes into play to determine how much the player will win.

Class II systems are very complicated compared with the simplicity of a Class III slot machine because they have to mimic bingo drawings. And it's ironic that Class II machines have to include a process that is illegal on a Class III machine. If the player does not complete a winning pattern on a spin, the machine has to use a secondary decision to choose a random, non-winning pattern. Secondary decisions are illegal on Class III slot 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. 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