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What do slots do during their pauses?

5 October 2009

Dear Mr. Robison,

I would like to know what is happening to a slot machine when it does what we players call changing. When playing a machine that readily accepts the bet then on the next bet you may have to press the bet button two to three times before it is accepted. It seems when the machine is playing pretty good it after that it stops & conversely if it has not played well it will begin to do so.

Sincerely,
Mary

Dear Mary,

The only thing the slot machine is doing during that pause is storing the values of various counters (e.g., coin in, coin out) in nonvolatile memory (that is, memory that does not lose what is stored in it when the power is turned off). It takes a few seconds for those memory chips to store values.

The slot isn't changing, going from hot to cold or vice versa. If there were really were such a process in the slot, it could do it in a fraction of a second. It wouldn't take multiple seconds.

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