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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

26 July 2002

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 from Memphis on WMC 790AM Saturday morning from 09:30-12:00 CT.


For the next few weeks, let's look at money management, what it is, what it isn't, and how it can improve your casino experiences. This week, let's concentrate on what money management is and what it isn't.

Money management is not altering the amount you bet based on what has happened in the past. Some books and system sellers recommend increasing or decreasing your bet based on whether you won or lost your last bet. There's nothing "wrong" with this advice. Varying your bet can add a little variety to your gaming experience and having to keep track of your previous result keeps you more involved in the game.

The only thing wrong with the advice to vary your bet is the claim that it will help you win more or lose less, especially if the claim is that varying your bet affects the house edge. The fact is that, in the long run, the house will win a certain percentage of the total amount of money you put at risk and, given a sufficient number of hands, it doesn't matter much how you break up your total action into individual bets.

Money management is also not quitting while you're ahead. Fred Renzey wrote an excellent article on this subject called "You Can't Win at Gaming Just by Quitting When You're Ahead" for this website. Again, there's nothing "wrong" with the advice to quit while you're ahead. It sure feels better to go to dinner or retire for the evening being a few bucks ahead instead of a few bucks behind.

The error comes in if the advisor claims that you will win more money by always quitting when you're ahead. The long run consists of every hand of blackjack or video poker you play, every pull you make on the slot machines, and every bet you make at a craps table. The long run doesn't care how you break those hands up into sessions. As soon as you sit down to play again, the long run picks up again right where it left off. And in the long run, the house will win a certain percentage of the total amount of money you put at risk and, given a sufficient number of hands, it doesn't matter much how you break up your total action into sessions.

In fact, the only way you can win by quitting while you're ahead is if you never play again!

Next time, we'll look at what money management is -- at least, what I call money management.

This week's tip: Money management cannot alter the house edge against you.


Send your slot and video poker questions to John Robison, Slot Expert, at slotexpert@comcast.net.


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