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Best of John Robison

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Who sets the slots: The casino or the manufacturer?

29 November 2010

First I really enjoy all your articles. Here is a question that no one will answer.

When playing a slot machine in a casino that can give you 15 extra spins if you can get 3 bonus symbols, I believe that the casino is the one to set the stops on the machine. I have found that playing for 30 cents you can get all the bonus rounds you can handle. When I change the wager to play the max. $3 a spin it becomes impossible to get the 15 extra spins. The casino says that the mfg. sets the stops and payouts. That is a bunch of bull.

The other thing I noticed, on all the slots my wife and I play no matter what you bet you cannot get a bonus until you have missed 2 bonuses. The other thing we noticed was when we sat down at a slot machine and put our money in it some of the machines would reset all of the reels. If that happened you could forget about getting any kind of a bonus. When the reels did not reset it was possible to get a bonus. Another thing I noticed was when you got the bonus round the payouts were awful. Some were OK, some you didn't even get back what it cost you to play that round. I think it is the casino that controls all of the above.

Am I right or wrong?

Thank you for your help on this.

Morris

Dear Morris,

Thanks for the kind words about my columns.

Let's look at some of your statements.

I believe that the casino is the one to set the stops on the machine. This is not true. Slot manufacturers create a number of different virtual reel layouts for their machines. Casinos specify one of those layouts when they purchase or lease the machine. If the casinos wants to change the layout, they have to acquire the new layout from the manufacturer. The manufacturer sets the stops, not the casino.

The casino says that the mfg. sets the stops and pay outs. That is true. In addition to the virtual reel layout, the manufacturer also creates the paytable, which determines which combinations are winning combinations and how much they pay.

Finally, you said that the casino controls the payouts in the bonus rounds. Again, those payouts are determined by the payback program (paytable, virtual reel layout) acquired by the casino. The manufacturer sets the payouts available in the bonus rounds and the probabilities of achieving those payouts, not the casino.

And the casino can't control what amount you receive in any particular play of a bonus round. That is determined by the RNG or your choices during the round or both.

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