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Best of John Robison

Gaming Guru

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The Slot Expert's Guide to Winning at Slots and Video Poker

31 July 2000

You can hear me give my slot and video poker tips live on The Good Times Show, hosted by Rudi Schiffer with Frank Scoblete, which is broadcast live from Memphis on WHBQ over the air on 560AM and over the Internet on Yahoo! Broadcast on Saturday morning from 8-10 CT.


Many gambling experts denigrate money management because it doesn't change the math of the games at all. It's true that there is no mathematical basis for walking away from a game based on how much money you've won or lost. If the math says the game you're playing has a 1% edge against you, you will get closer and closer to having lost 1% of your total action the more you play, and it doesn't matter how you break up your play into sessions. Although there is no mathematical justification, there is an emotional justification. It feels great to leave a session a winner, knowing you beat the casino at its own game. And it's much easier to deal with a small loss than a complete wipeout.

One way to cut down on your chances of being wiped out in a session (mathematicians call this "risk of ruin") is to have an adequate bankroll. If you have an adequate bankroll, you'll be able to stay in the game through a cold streak and still be in it when a hot streak comes along. There are formulas that you can use to figure out exactly how large a bankroll you need for each game, but a good, general rule of thumb is 20 to 40 times your average bet for a session. For example, red chip bettors and dollar video poker players should have $100 to $200.

Based on my experiences, video poker and slot players should have 40 times their bet, if not even more. Many times, a dollar video poker machine will eat $100 buy-ins without giving much of anything back. The chances of winning or pushing on a table game is greater than on a slot or video poker machine, so table game players can be adequately bankrolled for most sessions with 20 times their average bet.


Send your slot and video poker questions to John Robison, Slot Expert, at slotexpert@home.com.


For more information about slots and video poker, we recommend:

Break the One-Armed Bandits! by Frank Scoblete
Victory at Video Poker and Video Craps, Keno and Blackjack! by Frank Scoblete
Slot Conquest Audio Cassette Tape (60 minutes) with Frank Scoblete
Winning Strategies at Slots & Video Poker! Video tape hosted by Academy Award Winner James Coburn, Written by Frank Scoblete
The Slot Machine Answer Book by John Grochowski
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