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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

5 February 2001

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.


Last time, we talked about when it was okay to play for a comp. It's okay to play for a comp when you can afford the loss you may incur going for it and you're not getting caught in the trap of playing much more than you would have otherwise just to get a free meal. You've probably seen the signs that say, "Know when to quit before you start." Stopping when you've played long enough or earned enough points to get the comp is just setting a stopping point, just as stopping when you've played an hour or won $20 or lost half your session stake are also examples of setting stopping points.

Let's say you need to play $500 to earn a free buffet. You could go to a roulette table and put $500 on red. You have a good chance of doubling your money. Unfortunately, you have a slightly better chance of losing the entire $500. Alternatively, you could go to the $100 slot machines and play five spins on one of those high-roller bandits. But you stand a good chance of losing your entire $500 there too. There aren't many gourmet meals worth $500 and I bet that buffet is not worth $500 to you.

You're much better off going to a quarter or dollar slot or video poker machine or betting $5 per hand at a table game in order to get a few hundred decisions in during your quest. By increasing the number of plays, you tend to get closer to winning or losing the amount that the math predicts. Instead of a "double-or-nothing with a free buffet" type of situation, you have less at risk per decision and you have more chances to hit a hot streak and you should lose less.

This week's tip: When playing for comps, spread your risk out over a number of decisions.


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:

The Slot Expert's Guide to Playing Slots by John Robison
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