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Best of John Robison

Gaming Guru

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What Do Players Clubs Know about You?

29 May 2005

I have a question about purchasing a slot machine. I'd like to but a Cleopatra slot machine for my home, but every time I do a search for it, I'm taken to an online casino. Do you know of any place(s) that sell slot machines like Cleopatra? If so, what are their web addresses?

Thanks,
CleoFreak

Dear CleoFreak,

The first thing you have to do is determine if your state allows private ownership of recently made slot machines. The Royal Bell site (www.royalbell.com) has a table that lists the rules in each state.

If machines appear to be legal in your state, go to the Gamblers General Store (www.gamblersgeneralstore.com) to see if they can help locate a machine for you.

Note that I've been told that even the machine appears to be legal in your state, it will be impossible for you to purchase one.

Best of luck in and out of the casinos,
John


Hi,

Great newsletter.

Two questions:

(1) How much detail can the casinos retrieve from the players card? Do they know exactly how much money I've spent, what machines I've played, what day/time I've played? How much money I've won?

(2) What is the usual casino policy if someone leaves money in a slot machine? Let's say there is no players card in the machine, no indication that anyone was sitting there, no one around - what happens if someone else starts playing it?

Thanks, Slot-Lover!

Dear Slot-Lover,

Very little information is stored on a players card. All the data is stored in a database management system in the casino's datacenter. Using the data in the slot club system, the casino can answer all of the questions you listed.

Each casino has its own policy concerning money found in a slot machine. That policy has to be in accord with the found property laws in the casino's state. In the scenario you described, nothing would happen to the person who started playing the found credits -- unless the rightful owner came back to claim them!

Best of luck in and out of the casinos,
John


Dear John,

I was watching a show about Vegas on the travel channel and they were explaining the payout percentage of Jacks or Better Video poker based on the pay table. They said that the machines with 6 and 9 are about 99.5% return and the best to play. I live in the Indian gaming area and the closest machines I've been able to find are 5 and 9.

Can you tell me what the percentage of them would be and also how to mathematically calculate the percentage based on the pay table?

Thanks,
Steve

Dear Steve,

Given a paytable that is identical to 9/6 Jacks except for paying only 5 for a flush, the long-term payback with mathematically perfect play is 98.4%.

To calculate the long-term payback for a video poker paytable, you have to find the combination of cards with the highest expected value for each 5-card hand you can be dealt. Given that there are 32 combinations to evaluate for each hand and there are over 2,500,000 pre-draw hands, you'll need a lot of paper and a really sharp pencil -- or a computer program to do the calculations for you. Both Bob Dancer Presents WinPoker and Jean Scott's Frugal Video Poker can do the calculations for you.

Best of luck in and out of the casinos,
John


This is an answer to the question in today's e-mail: Plinko can be played for free on Hard Rock's website. www.hardrockcasino.com. Just go to online, then there is a slot option and you can choose freeplay. They also have Monopoly and Press Your Luck! These are the best freeplay games I've seen online!

Someone wrote in looking for a place to play the Price Is Right. A website called SkyBetVegas.com has the Price Is Right, Press Your Luck, Monopoly, Wheel of Fortune and other games that can be played for fun. All you need is to register with a valid email address.

I received many e-mails about these sites. The original question asked about "downloading the game for fun" and I took that to mean that she wanted to be able to play it offline.


Hi!

I do not work and I am home all day. Is there anywhere on the net that I can play Double Diamond Multiline pennies? We go to Atlantic City once a month. I love that machine! I would even buy the game if I could find it. Can you let me know?

Thanks,
Sandy

Dear Sandy,

Try the sites listed in the message above. They are probably your best bet for finding your machine on the Internet.

Assuming you live in New York, New Jersey, or Pennsylvania, you cannot legally own a slot machine so new.

Best of luck in and out of the casinos,
John


I am going to Vegas in about a week. What slots are paying on the strip in which casinos?

Even if I knew which slots were hot on the strip right now, it would be useless information. Past performance on a slot machine does not indicate anything about future performance. The results are determined at random.

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 send a reply to every question. Also be advised that it may take several months for your question to appear in my column.

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