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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

9 October 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 I began college, at freshmen orientation the president said, "Look at the person to your left and the person to your right. Only one of you will graduate in four years."

Next time you're in a casino, look at the player to your left and the player to your right. Only one of you will leave the casino with more money than you came in with. I don't know the exact percentage of people who leave the casinos behind, but it's probably much greater than two out of three.

The advice that Frank and I give is designed to give you a good chance at coming out ahead or at least cutting your losses to a minimum. One of the key elements in devising our advice is the expected loss formula.

The expected loss formula is simply this: Your expected loss playing a game is the number of decisions per hour times the number of hours you play times your bet per decision times the house edge.

If you look at this formula from the other side of the fence, that is, from the casino's point of view, it's called the expected win formula and it's how casinos pay for lights and air conditioning and erupting volcanoes and pirate battles.

The result of the calculation is your "expected" loss. You won't necessarily lose exactly that amount. But the longer you play, the closer your actual loss will get to your expected loss.

Fortunately, there are things we can do to exercise some control over the variables in the expected loss formula and those things will be the subjects of tips in upcoming weeks.


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
The Video Poker 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