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Best of John Robison

Gaming Guru

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Why Do People Rub Machines?

5 September 2005

Hi, John,

No question this time, just a comment.

After going to play slots in casinos for some years and never having much luck, I was beginning to think no one ever really wins the highest win on a slot. While on vacation in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, I was in Fallsview Casino playing slots. I was up a bit on the money I was going to play with that day, sat down at a quarter slot and for some reason decided to play three quarters on a Double Diamond slot.

On the third spin up came three double diamond symbols that paid out $625 in Canadian money! I was so surprised that I just sat there looking at it and wondering if I was seeing right. Not until the attendant came over did I believe what I was seeing. Finally I was in right place at right time and won more than a small amount. By the way, my husband is still in shock - and in envy.

Just thought you and your readers might want to know slots do hit big and it is so much fun when they do! I also used your suggestion of not staying long on a slot that was not paying and often did three spins and moved on. This was one of those times I left after a few spins on one slot and moved onto another.

Read your column and learn a lot from it, so keep up the good work, John.

Bev

Dear Bev,

Congratulations on your jackpot!

Thanks for sharing your story with us,
John


John,

Can some slots be set to just collect the coins and not pay out any coins?

Not legally.

John


Because the RNG is cycling so fast, if I have my last quarter, shouldn't I chance it on a three quarter progressive? If I play only one quarter, and hit, the "little" progressive payoff is mine. Had I put in three quarters, by the time my last quarter dropped, the winning RNG combo is long gone.

In essence, it seems like I can't lose. If I hit with my last quarter, I win something that I would not have hit with the time delay of three quarters.

Please answer, as "you idiot" is one of the more polite comments on this by my gambling friends.

Thanks,
Stan

Dear Stan,

Okay, I won't say "you idiot" but I will give you a dope slap.

Consider this: You say that the winning combo is long gone by the time you drop in three quarters. It's also possible that the winning combo is the one that is selected because of the extra time it took you to play three quarters. You make a faulty assumption that you will always miss out because you play three coins.

Your question really has nothing to do with the RNG. It has to do with the best way to use your last quarter. I suggest that the best way to use your last quarter is to pay the toll on the way home.

Best of luck in and out of the casinos,
John


Why do people rub their hands across the top of the screen? Does that make any difference in the way the reels stop?

I see people doing it all the time. Just wondering if I am missing something?

The only thing you're missing are the germs people might be picking up off the screen.

Rubbing your hand across the screen has as much affect on a machine as doing a jackpot dance before you play.

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 send a reply to every question. Also be advised that it may take several months for your question to appear in my column.

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