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Best of John Robison

Gaming Guru

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Yukon Gold, Video Poker Books, RNG

31 August 2003

On a game like Yukon Gold, when you get into the bonus round and you pick a square, does it really matter which square you pick or is it already predetermined what symbol you will get?

Thank you,
Rich

Dear Rich,

The machine arranges the symbols at the beginning of the bonus round. The square you pick does determine which symbol you get. The machine has not pre-determined the symbol you will get no matter which square you pick.

Best of luck in and out of the casinos,
John


I have noticed when I visit the place where I play, the machines go off to pay about the same time: 8:30, 10:30, and 1:30 at night. Can these machines be set? I have noticed this for 3 months or so.

Just wanted to know.

Machines in state-regulated casinos cannot be set to pay off at certain times. I suspect that if you watched the machines carefully for a few days you would find that they're just as likely to pay off at any time of day.

Best of luck in and out of the casinos,
John


Hi,

I read your recent q/a on Double Double Bonus Strategy and I haven't found a book with it either, but I did find strategies for Double Bonus, Double Double Bonus and other video poker games on www.thegamblersedge.com.

When you go into the site, it will have video poker tutorials on the left and that will take you to a screen with video poker info and one of them is strategies. It has several strategies for different kinds of VP, like Jacks or Better, Joker's Wild, etc. I hope the strategies are good ones because I've been using them.

Tess McKay

Dear Tess,

Thanks for the information. I'll pass it on in a future column.

John


What is the best Video Poker Book on the market for Las Vegas and where can I get it?

The video poker books on my short list are: Victory at Video Poker by Frank Scoblete and The Video Poker Answer Book by John Grochowski. They are available at bookstores and online.

If you want to study a video poker paytable in depth, Bob Dancer and Liam Dailey have a number of Winner's Guides available. They are available from Huntington Press at www.greatstuff4gamblers.com.

Best of luck in and out of the casinos,
John


John,

On video gaming machines that are 9 lines/10 coins per line, do you have a way that you play? For instance, do you max bet all the time or play fewer lines?

I'm talking generally of the nickel video machines that, of course, when you max bet is really like a $5 machine.

Do you have any "strategy" on these machines?

I usually play one coin per line on these machines. Unless the machine is a progressive, there's usually no advantage to playing more than one coin per line.

Sometimes, I'll follow a little system to make playing the machine more fun. I'll start off with one coin per line. If I'm able to get the credit meter up above a certain point, I'll bet two coins per line. If I fall below that point, I'll go back to one coin per line. For example, I'll bet one coin per line if my credit meter is $20 or less, two coins per line if it's $20 to $40, and three coins per line if it's $40 to $60.

Best of luck in and out of the casinos,
John


Dear John:

You are very confusing.

For instance, you say the RNG determines whether you win or lose, but then you say that all spins can win.

Now, if a slot machine only can pay out say 90%, that slot will not pay or come in time after time, it is set to only pay 90%.

Your answer to Jim in your June 26 newsletter (the chances of hitting a winning combination is the same on every spin ) is not true, no slot will win time after time.

Also, in the letter to Larry you said you didn't know if it was the program in the slot or the RNG that determine the "stopping profile." Well the stopping profile determine the payout.

So what is it now? Does the RNG or a program determine the payout? Please explain one way or the other.

If this letter is confusing to you, think of what your answers are to us.

Thank you.
Sukie

Dear Sukie,

I'm sorry that I confused you with some of my answers. Let me see if I can clear up some of the confusion.

Technically, the RNG does not determine whether you win or lose. It just determines what symbols will land on the payline. Whether or not this is a winning combination is determined by the paytable on the machine.

It is true that your chances of hitting a winning combination are the same on every spin before you hit the spin button, just as your chances of getting Heads is the same on every flip of a fair coin. That's not the same as saying that you will win on every spin or get Heads on every flip. It's just saying that the probability of winning is the same on every spin and the probability of Heads is the same on every flip.

When I used the term "stopping profile" in an answer, I was referring to the amount of time the reels spun before stopping. Sometimes, a machine stops it reels very quickly after you hit the spin button and sometimes a machine lets its reels spin for a while before stopping them. I don't know how a machine determines how long a spin will last, whether there's a set pattern that the computer program running the machine follows or whether it uses a number from the RNG to determine the profile of the spin. The "stopping profile" has nothing to do with the symbols that land on the payline; it only concerns how long the reels spin.

Note that the RNG just produces a stream of random numbers. The computer program in the slot is free to do many things with those numbers. One thing it does is use a number from the RNG to determine which symbols will land on the payline. It can also use a number from the RNG to determine how long a spin will last. The RNG doesn't do anything but produce numbers; the program then has to do something interesting with those numbers.

I hope I've been able to make things a bit clearer.

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.

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