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Best of John Robison

Gaming Guru

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Where should I play slots in Las Vegas?

8 October 2007

I am going to Las Vegas for the first time in November and I want to play the slots. I watched a Play To Win video that told me to pick a casino with the best payout percentage as recorded by that state's gaming commission.

I cannot seem to find this information anywhere. What is Nevada's minimum percentage return rate? Is there a way to find out or do you know which casino has the loosest slots?

Any advice for a newbie?

Thanks.

To the best of my recollection, Nevada's minimum long-term payback for slots is 78%. The number is irrelevant because no casino has machines that stingy.

Strictly Slots and Casino Player both publish payback percentages, but Nevada does not release the numbers by casino, only by area, so there's no way that I know of to learn a particular casino's percentages.

As a general rule, though, casinos that cater to locals tend to have better-paying games than casinos that cater to tourists. And casinos downtown have better paybacks than strip casinos. Another general rule is that casinos with high-paying video poker machines also tend to have high-paying slots. I list the high-paying video poker paytables in my book The Slot Expert's Guide to Playing Slots. If the casinos has many machines with some or all of these paytables, there's a very good chance that their slot machines will also have good long-term paybacks.

Some more advice: Sign up for the slot club wherever you chose to play and use your card when you play. If you're not on a package deal, you may be best off by playing where you're staying. You might be able to earn enough slot club points to get free meals or a discount on your room or even a free room.

Best of luck in and out of the casinos,
John


When the Double-Your-Bet option is on the video poker machine, would the "double" hand you are dealt be the same hand dealt on the next deal if you did not double your bet?

Thank you,
Francine

Dear Francine,

Possibly, but not necessarily. The RNG is constantly running, so there is a chance that you would have gotten the same cards. But it is not the case that the cards have already been chosen and they will either be used in your double-up or your next hand.

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