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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

4 September 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.


When Frank and I were at Treasure Island in Las Vegas a few weeks ago, the only video poker machine I played there was an 8/5 Bonus Poker machine. That was the highest-paying machine in the denomination I wanted to play.

An 8/5 Bonus Poker machine isn't the highest-paying video poker machine available, but at 99.2% long-term payback, it's one of the better ones. Many times, a casino will not have 9/6 Jacks, but it will have 8/5 Bonus.

The paytable on an 8/5 Bonus machine is: 4000 for the royal; 250 for a straight flush; 400 for 4 aces; 200 for 4 2s, 3s, or 4s; 125 for 4 5-K, 40 for a full house; 25 for a flush; 20 for a straight; 15 for 3-of-a-kind; 10 for two pair; 5 for jacks or better. The extra payouts you get on quad aces, 2s, 3s, and 4s justify the word bonus in the name Bonus Poker.

And those bonuses give rise to a question: When you have a full house that contains three aces, is the payout on quad aces high enough to give up the pat full house for a chance at the big bonus?

The full house is worth 40. If you hold only the three aces, there are 968 ways to end with three aces, 67 ways to draw back to another full house, and 46 ways to draw the fourth ace. The expected value of holding the three aces is 32.9. The better play is to hold the full house.

This week's tip: Hold all pat full houses when playing 8/5 Bonus Poker.


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