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Best of John Robison

Gaming Guru

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What determines which slot machine will hit a progressive?

27 July 2009

Hi John,

Love your articles.

My question is: On a bank of progressive slots, what determines which machine will hit for the jackpot? Is it total spins on that particular machine, total spins for the entire bank, or amount of money played on the machine that finally hits?

Thanks,
Tony

Dear Tony,

On Class III slot machines, the kind you see in Las Vegas, Atlantic City, Tunica, and many other places, nothing determines the machine that will hit the progressive jackpot. Each machine has its own independent random number generator (RNG) and determines the results of its spins independently of what's happening on the other machines.

Each machine polls its RNG to determine the result of a spin. If the result happens to be the combination that pays the progressive jackpot, the machine sends a message to the progressive controller informing the controller that it just hit the progressive. (Each progressive has a controller, which calculates the current value of the progressive and manages communication between the machines on the progressive and any displays the progressive has.) The controller then resets the progressive jackpot amount to the reset amount and sends a message to all the machines and display devices for the progressive informing them of the new progressive amount.

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