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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

19 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.


A caller to this week's show complained about his losing streak at blackjack and was convinced that the dealers were cheating him. He asked whether dealers in modern casinos cheat.

Today's corporate-run casinos do not cheat their players. They have the odds in their favor and they have an unlimited bankroll compared to a player's bankroll. Why would they risk losing their gaming license by not dealing according to the rules?

The answer to this caller's question, however, is that some dealers do cheat. But they try to cheat the house, not the players at their tables. Dealers have been caught stealing chips from their banks. They've been caught overpaying confederates at their tables. And they've been caught steering good cards to confederates by dealing seconds, that is, dealing the second card from the deck, not the top card.

Everything in the casino is the way it is for a specific reason. The backs of the cards carry the designs they do to make it easy to detect when a dealer deals seconds. Here are two tips for detecting when a dealer is dealing seconds:

Look at the back of a card. The design will include a large logo or writing, usually the name of the casino. Watch the back of the deck as the dealer deals. The logo or writing should be a blur. If the logo or writing is solid and appears to stand still, the dealer is not dealing the top card. This method is how the "eye" detects a dealer who is not dealing properly.

Frank added that another way to detect a dealer who is dealing seconds is to listen to the cards as they're dealt. If you hear a snapping sound, the dealer is not dealing the top card.


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