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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

11 December 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 from Memphis on WMC 790AM Saturday morning from 10-12 CT.


You may not have known it, but the advent of multi-coin/multi-line slot machines and multi-hand video poker led manufacturers to put shortcircuit keys on their machines.

What's a shortcircuit key? It's any key that makes the machine take less time to do whatever it's doing. For example, when you buy-in on a nickel machine with $20, it's going to take the machine some time to rack up 400 credits. Some machines shortcircuit the counting of the credits on a buy-in and just rack them up in one fell swoop. Others count them out one by one. You can frequently shortcircuit the counting process by hitting any key on the machine while the machine is counting. The machine will abandon the count and just give you all the credits at once.

You can also frequently shortcircuit the spinning of the reels. Some machines have a stop button on the screen and you can press that to cut down on the "show" of the spinning reels. You can also usually press any key while the reels are spinning to stop them right away. Note that shortcircuiting the show doesn't affect your outcome. The reels will still stop at the locations chosen by the Random Number Generator. They'll just take less time to get there.

You can also shortcircuit the awarding of credits you've won by pressing a key. Instead of waiting for the machine to count off hundreds or thousands of credits, you can press any key to get them all at once.

On a multi-hand video poker machine, you can use the turbo button to speed up or slow down play. In turbo mode, the machine will display the cards and count the credits more quickly. Even if a machine doesn't have a turbo mode, you can frequently press any key to shortcircuit the awarding of credits.

The problem with using shortcircuit keys is that they make each wager you make take less time to complete. And since the house has the edge against you on almost every slot machine, you want to make each wager take a long time to complete.

This week's tip: To increase your playing time, don't use shortcircuit keys to cut short spins or payouts.


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