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Best of John Robison

Gaming Guru

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When is a penny machine not a penny machine?

19 November 2007

John,

Regarding the integrity of the Indian casinos, one thing that eats up the bankroll is the high rate per play, even on nickel machines. Based on my visits at the Hard Rock Seminole Casino and the Coconut Grove Casino in South Florida, I've observed that you can only play popular games for a minimum of 15 or 20 credits, where at other casinos you can play the same machines for as few as one to 15 credits. I agree with most of your readers that there is something shady about the Class II machines but respect your knowledge that they are legitimate. I have been to about 10 Indian casinos and have never seen a picture of big winners, which tells a cynical me that's because there aren't any!

Spent 12 hours at the Meadows Race Track near Washington PA, south of Pittsburgh the other day and made $90 last that long playing penny and nickel slot and poker machines. Played through about 820 points when they kicked the points up to 5x so I made it to 1,000 to qualify for a free T-shirt on my first day of play. I was never up but the losses were gradual and it was enjoyable. The moral of that story is, a penny machine isn't a penny machine if you play 25 coins per line.

Ray

Dear Ray,

All players need to heed your last statement. A penny machine isn't really a penny machine when you're betting dollars per spin.

We'll have an article on this site by John Brokopp at the end of the month about a lady who won over $700,000 on the penny Super Spin Wheel of Fortune wide-area progressive at the Four Winds in Michigan. Even though this is a penny machine, the lady said she was down about $700 after 45 minutes of play. That's because she was betting 400 pennies ($4) per spin. I and most other players don't bet more than $3 per spin when we play dollar slot machines.

I'm afraid that as lower denominations (and denominations that don't map to coinage, like half-cents) take over more and more of the slot floor, you're going to find more and more machines that have a minimum bet of more than one unit.

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