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Gaming Guru

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Should I play the machines on a cruise ship?

5 February 2007


Cash Crop, along with a few other real slots, was released by Masque under the title Slots featuring WMS Gaming. It plays like the real game. We got it at CompUSA.


Dear Peg,

Thanks for the heads up on the Masque release. They seemed to have cornered the market on releasing home versions of casino games.

Players looking for a PC or Mac version of their favorite slot should check Masque Publishing at first.

Best of luck in and out of the casinos,

Hi, John,

Can you please tell if it's a waste of time playing the slots on a cruise ship?

I love Vegas, but this time my wife wants to go on a 7-day cruise. I play the slots in Vegas and have OK luck, but they say cruise ship slots just take your money and run. I was told playing the slots the first few days is OK, but the last days you have no chance of winning anything.

What's your advice about playing the slots on the ship?

Thank you, George

Dear George,

It's not true that the slots on a cruise ship just take your money and run. They take your money and sail!

No, seriously, I've heard that you can get a higher payback by throwing your money overboard and collecting what washes ashore.

OK, enough fun. Landlubber that I am, I don't have any firsthand experience with the slots on a cruise ship. Judging by the video poker offerings players have told me they have found on cruise ships, the slot paybacks are nothing to get excited about.

Competition does a lot to raise paybacks and, unless you can find a mackerel to book your bets, the games in the ship's casino are the only games in town.

Best of luck in and out of the casinos,

Hi, John,

I asked you once about the number of random numbers required on each play of the multiline slots; you answered, effectively, the number of reels on the machine. For example, I took that to mean that on the now-popular-at-the-Island-View-Casino in Gulfport Bonus Blazing Sevens slot (a buy-a-pay to use your terminology, 2 coins to get any 7 hits, 3 coins to get the bonus) that if I played 5 lines on this 5 physical reel (nicely designed mechanically, by the way) machine that only 5 numbers would be generated by the RNG for each play and all the combos on all the lines (up to 25, I think, although I usually just play 5 or 10) would be determined by these 5 numbers. Is that right?

Thanks for your info.


Dear HoMM,

Yes, that's mostly right. Just a little quibble on details.

The RNG continuously generates 100 or more numbers each second. The program needs only five numbers to determine the outcome, but the RNG will generate many more numbers during the spin.

Each number is used to determine the physical stop that will land on the payline for each reel. The program knows the symbols at the other stops, so it knows the symbols that landed on the other paylines.

Best of luck in and out of the casinos,

come on john,really the state in question polices the casino,so the more the casino wins the more the state wins. the Atlantic city casinos last year profit record year again i think over 5.2 billion they should start charging for the room and food and maybe let some one win for a change

There is a conflict of interest in having the state police the casinos. And conspiracies can never be proven in the negative; you can only prove that they exist. But how many people would continue to go to a casino if they found out their games were rigged?


Send your slot and video poker questions to John Robison, Slot Expert, at Because of the volume of mail I receive, I regret that I can't reply to every question.