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Best of John Robison

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Video poker VLTs in New York

20 October 2008

Hello,

I have a question that I hope you can answer. In New York most casinos have video lottery terminals. It is basically a scratch-off ticket in disguise; the hands are predetermined. I have played a lot at Turning Stone casino. I have won some big jackpots. I feel I play the game better than most people.

Is the video poker in the casino, a video lottery terminal? Is it a fair game that is based on skill, or is it a waste of time to play it? I read an article that ALL video poker in New York state is predetermined and hands are not based on skill.

Thank you,
Mitch

Dear Mitch,

I don't have any experience with VLTs, but from what I understand you can tell if the machine is a VLT if there's some sort of magic fairy or other bonus device that awards you credits over and above what you win on the hand itself.

As you said, the machines operate like scratch-off tickets. It's not so much that your hands are predetermined; it's more that the amount you will win is predetermined. The machines need that bonus device to ensure you win the amount that has already been determined regardless of what happens on the hand.

You don't need any skill on a video poker VLT. No matter how skillful you are, the amount you will on the hand has already been determined.

Best of luck in and out of the casinos,
John


Send your slot and video poker questions to John Robison, Slot Expert, at slotexpert@comcast.net. Because of the volume of mail I receive, I regret that I can't reply to every question.

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