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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

13 November 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.


The expected loss formula tells how much you will lose, on the average, playing a game in a casino. 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.

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.

This series of tips deals with stretching your bankroll, that is, limiting your losses, by changing the variables in the formula.

This week, let's look at the second variable: the number of hours you play.

When you play a game in which the house has an edge, the more decisions you have, the more chances the casino has to take its bite out of your bankroll. Last week I suggested slowing down the pace of the game to cut down on the number of decisions. That's not always possible, so this week I suggest playing fewer hours.

When we looked at slowing down the pace of the game, we looked at ways to increase the time between decisions. Now let's look at ways to increase the time between sessions.

All players can take a little extra time when switching tables or machines. Instead of going right to your next session, you can take a quick walk around the casino. You can include non-gaming activities in your time at the casino. Instead of playing all the time from the moment you set foot in the casino to the time you leave, make plans for a leisurely lunch or mid-afternoon snack at one of the casino's restaurants. Or take the time to have a nice dinner. When the weather is nice, you might be able to walk around the casino's grounds. See a casino show. Relax in one of the casino's bars. See a movie, if the casino has a movie theater. Finally, some casinos have traveling exhibits that you can view.

You can still have a full day out at the casino without spending every minute playing.

This week's bankroll-stretching tip: Include non-gaming activities in your casino visits.


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