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Best of John Robison

Gaming Guru

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Slot jackpot payout procedures

7 January 2008

Hi John,

I read your letters regularly, but I've never seen this question before.

I hit a $4,000 jackpot a few nights ago at an Indian Casino. As the two attendants got written information from the machine, one of them told the other one to draw the exact winning combination shown on the screen on a piece of paper. She told him to make sure the seven was identified by the correct color and made it sound very important to do so. Why did they do this?

Also, a word of warning to over-excited winners — I forgot to get my $200 worth of credits out of the machine and therefore made some other player wildly happy. I'm still kicking myself for my stupidity.

Thank you for such an entertaining column.

DJ

Dear DJ,

Thanks for the kind words about my column.

Casino procedures usually require that attendants verify the winning combination and amount for a hand pay. I remember one time that it took three attendants to figure out why a machine was paying a certain amount in Atlantic City. It was a machine with different wild, multiplying symbols and it took us about 10 minutes to figure out what the base combination was that being multiplied. I'm not surprised that the attendants were concerned about the combination.

As for the piece of paper, if it was just an ordinary scrap of paper or a blank piece of paper, writing the combination on the paper is strange. On the other hand, the paper might have been some sort of paperwork or a log that the attendants have to fill in for a hand pay.

Stop kicking yourself about leaving the credits behind. Every slot player ends up doing that once. I recommend that players look around the area to ensure that they haven't left anything behind before they get up to leave a slot. Part of my ritual is to check that the coin tray is empty — I don't have to do that much today — that I have my slot card and that there aren't any credits left on the machine. Then, in a belt-and-suspenders move, I take another look around after I've gotten up and am about to walk away just to double-check. And I sometimes even turn around and take another quick look after I've walked a few feet away to triple-check.

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