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Best of John Robison

Gaming Guru

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Should I stay at a slot machine?

24 March 2008

Greetings, John!

I am a hopper. I go from machine to machine, oftentimes never sitting. My companions usually stay at one machine and seem to do better than I do.

Does a machine "know" that you've put more money into it, so it will hit more often? Or is it totally the random numbers spinning?

Thanks very much.

Terri

Dear Terri,

Your second question contains the truth. The results of a spin are determined solely by numbers from the Random Number Generator (RNG), which doesn't care — or even know — how long you've been at a machine or how much money you've lost to it.

Let's take a look at your first question. You ask if a machine knows how much money you've put into it and hits more often to reward you. On the other hand, many players have the belief that a machine is due after one has had a long cold streak playing it and lost a lot of money to it.

If the situation described in your first question were true, how would the situation described in the "due machine" myth arise?

Mathematically speaking, it really doesn't matter whether you camp out at one machine or bounce from machine to machine, but machine hopping has two advantages. First, your money will tend to last longer because you have nothing at risk while you're searching out your next machine. And second, you get a lot more exercise than if you had stayed at one 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