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Best of John Robison

Gaming Guru

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When does Wheel of Fortune choose the outcome of a wheel spin?

16 March 2007

John:

Recently I was playing Wheel of Fortune in AC. The player next to me was being a pest — telling me how to play, complaining that I was taking too long between making my bets. Whenever I got a Wheel of Fortune, she would reach over and hit the spin button for me. One time I got the 1,000 on the spin. She felt I should give her some of it because she hit the button for me.

My question is, when does the RNG decide what the payoff is? When the Wheel of Fortune is hit or when you hit the button?

By the way, I gave her a tip: Don't play the prop bets on craps.

I think that lady had a lot of nerve. As if it's not bad enough that she couldn't keep her mouth shut, she also couldn't keep her hands to herself.

Slot machines today wait until the last moment to poll the RNG and determine the outcome of an event. On Wheel of Fortune, the outcome of a wheel spin would be determined after you press the button to spin the wheel.

You hit the 1,000 because she pressed the button at just the right instant that the spin outcome was 1,000. If you had hit the button, chances are you would have hit the button at a different instant in time and you would have gotten a different result.

You were very noble to give her a tip. I don't think you owed her anything. It was just pure luck that you hit the big number on the wheel. She didn't bring any knowledge or expertise to the situation. She didn't increase your chances of hitting the jackpot.

I hope that once she "proved" she knew the right way to play the machine, she turned her attention to another "uninformed" player.

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