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Best of John Robison

Gaming Guru

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The Slot Expert's Letter to Santa

24 December 2001

Dear Santa,

I've been a good slot player this year. I've played only one machine at a time when requested. I've cleaned up after myself when I was finished playing a machine. I've pointed out to other players when their slot club cards didn't register. I've watched machines for other players when they've had to leave for a moment and I've never left a machine I've reserved for more than 5-10 minutes. I've tipped the slot personnel a little extra when they've given me extra good service. I've even tried to not get upset when people near me were winning and I was losing.

As you can see, Santa, I've been really good this year, and this is what I would like. Feel free to give me as many of these things as you can.

I would like my favorites casinos to keep their machines clean and in good working order. No more muck on the screens and buttons. All the screens will be bright and in focus. All the lights in the buttons will work and none of the buttons will be sticky or inoperative. The bill acceptors will stop being so finicky about the bills I put into them and the slot club card readers will read my card successfully the first time, every time.

Santa, I'd like each machine to have a comfortable seat in front of it, preferably one I can move back and forth. Fixed seats just don't cut it for me because I need to sit a little farther back from the machines than the 5-foot, 90-pound grandmas who take the bus down to Atlantic City. And I'd like more slant-top machines, because I find them more comfortable to play. Oh, and Santa, no more annoying glare on the screens or drafts from the ventilation.

I'd like each hopper fill or hand pay to take no more than 15 minutes. Hey, Santa, while we're at it, can you give ticket printers to my favorite casinos to install on their machines? Ideally, when I want to cash out, the machine will ask me whether I want a ticket or coins. That way, I can get tickets and players who want coins can get them too.

I'd like each casino to design a main path through the casino floor and indicate it in the carpeting. This way I can leave the beaten path and go off to explore all the nooks and crannies the slot floor designers have created and still find my way back to the main drag to get to the rooms, the rest rooms, and the restaurants.

I'd like the slot aisles to be wide and the machines to be properly spaced so I don't have to squeeze my way through the aisles or feel squeezed in while I'm playing.

You know I don't smoke, Santa, so I'd like my favorite casinos to have non-smoking sections with good selections of machines.

Now, Santa, let's turn to a very important area. This has not been a good year for me at the machines. In fact, I think I'm long overdue for another royal flush. I'd like it if you could throw one or two my way in the coming year. If that's asking too much, then I'd settle for a handful of mid-level jackpots.

Finally, if it's not too much trouble and you can arrange it, I'd like to hit the Megabucks.

Thank you very much and Merry Christmas,
John

P.S. The milk and cookies will be in the usual place.

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