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Best of John Robison

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Tipping, Video Poker Paybacks, Craps Odds at Online Casinos

19 February 2004

Hi,

I'm a regular video poker player in Blackhawk, Colorado, and have a question regarding some of the games they offer that I seldom see information on. There's "Double Bonus", Double-Double Bonus", and "Triple Bonus" that all seem to have low full house and flush returns but have a variety of big jackpots that good old "Jacks or Better" doesn't offer.

Do you have any information regarding payback levels on these machines, assuming max coins played? Also, how do you evaluate the payback on the relatively new "Double Down Stud" poker machines?

Thanks for your many insights,
Steve

Dear Steve,

The reason you see little information about most of these machines is because they have relatively low paybacks compared with other video poker paytables.

For example, 10/7 Double Bonus (pays 10 for full house and 7 for flush) pays back 100.17%, but the more common 9/7 Double Bonus pays back 99.1%. That payback is pretty good, but the best paytable I know of for Triple Bonus pays back 98.5%.

I suggest you get a copy Frugal Video Poker (www.frugalgambler.biz). This program will calculate the long-term payback for almost any video poker paytable, plus it will generate a strategy to use while playing the machine. It has many commonly available paytables pre-programmed into it, and it will let you enter almost any variation you come across.

If Double Down Stud is the machine I think it is, it has actually been around for many years. In fact, it was the first machine for which I calculated the long-term payback and for which I generated a strategy. It's long-term payback is about 97.5%.

Best of luck in and out of the casinos,
John


I'm trying to find a site that would tell me what various online casinos offer in terms of their odds multiples. 3X appears to be common, but I would obviously like to find those who offer greater, and would like to find the site that would offer this info in their reviews/synopses of the various casinos. I could call each one's 800# as I've done with a few, but that's too laborious a process.

Also, do any of the online craps games offer the option of leaving your odds working on come bets during the come-out roll?

Thanks,
Stuart

Dear Stuart,

Sorry, I don't know of any site that posts craps odds at online casinos and I didn't find one in my brief search on the Internet. I also don't know the answer to your second question.

I'll print your questions and maybe another reader will be able to supply some answers.

Best of luck in and out of the casinos,
John


John,

Relative to Mark's question about seeing so many $25 machines being locked up: Your answer was totally correct that these machines lock up frequently. A person asking that type of question might be helped by explaining to him that locking up for a $1200 W-2 on the $25 machine would be equivalent to locking up a quarter machine for a $12 jackpot. (Please check my math.) This might help make a believer of him.

Dick

Dear Dick,

Okay, let's check your math. A $1200 jackpot on a $25 machine is either a 48-to-1 or a 24-to-1 payout, depending on whether one bet $25 or $50 on the spin. On the quarter machine, a 48-to-1 payout is $12 when you bet one quarter (Your math is correct!) and $24 when you bet two. The corresponding numbers for a 24-to-1 payout are, of course, $6 and $12.

Thanks for providing another perspective on the question.

Best of luck in and out of the casinos,
John


Dear John,

I just saw for the first time your article in Casino City News and read the letter about tipping on slot wins. Along those lines I would like to relate this story to you.

My wife and I were in Atlantic City for the first time in July of last year. We live in Fla. and love going to Miss. to do most of our playing. Anyway, my wife was playing the $0.25 slots at the Taj while I was playing poker. She was just going down a row dropping three coins and playing once when on a 5 Times machine she hit two 5 Times and a red 7 paying 15,000 quarters. The machine locked up and she had to wait for an attendant to come. After about fifteen minutes and no response, a cleaning lady came by and said that she would go get someone to help. The slot guy who did come was not friendly or anything, just asked if she had her SS card and would be back with her money. He didn't even tell her what she had won. When she did get paid ($3750) my wife tracked down the cleaning lady and gave her a $50 tip for helping.

Anyway thought I would pass that along to you and can assure you I will be reading more of your pieces now that I found a source for your information.

Thanks,
Hank

Dear Hank,

Thanks for sharing your story.

Best of luck in and out of the casinos,
John


Dear John,

I own a VLT location in West Virginia. I know that the payout percentages are supposed to be between 80% and 95%. Let's say a machine has paid out 92-93% over a year and pays out $4,000 on a $2 bet. What would be the likelihood of that machine having another big winner? How long should it take for it to have another large payout?

Thank you, KC

Dear KC,

If your VLTs operate like Vegas-style (Class III) gaming devices, what has happened in the past has no bearing on what will happen in the future. The game's par sheet, which tells how many times each symbol appears on each virtual reel, will tell you the probability of hitting each winning combination on the machine.

John


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

Tipping, Video Poker Paybacks, Craps Odds at Online Casinos is republished from Online.CasinoCity.com.
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