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Ask the Slot Expert: Can a slot machine tell the difference between free play and cash?

9 May 2018
Question: I am constantly reading online that a slot machine cannot differentiate between free play and cash. Recently, the operations of my local casino switched ownership, and we no longer accrue points when using free play. This to me indicates that the machine is indeed distinguishing between cash ... (read more)
 

Ask the Slot Expert: The Max Bet button on a video poker machine

2 May 2018
Question: I would like to point out a suggestion concerning the use of the max bet button in video poker. For the majority of your article I totally agree. However, not all VP machines are the same. For example, in some jurisdictions, hitting MAX doesn't play 5 credits, it plays 20. At Mohegan Sun, for example, players have to be careful. ... (read more)
 

Ask the Slot Expert: Annoying video poker players

25 April 2018
Question: Seriously? You are annoyed by the noise the machines make? Get a set of headphones. That way you can be more certain no one will talk to you either. My wife lets all the credits ring up all the time. It takes more time, she plays less hands that way, and therefore is putting less money at ... (read more)
 

Ask the Slot Expert: What is a penalty card in video poker?

18 April 2018
Question: I have seen some video poker pocket guides that talk about a penalty card. Can you explain what they mean by a penalty card? Answer: Considering penalty cards in video poker strategy is the perfect example of the 80/20 rule. A simple strategy that does not take penalty cards into account ... (read more)
 

Ask the Slot Expert: How bet size can legally affect chances for a bonus on a slot machine

11 April 2018
Question: We've always wondered how it works when a machine says, "Higher Bet Improves Chances for Bonus." For example, Triple Quick Hits has three games going plus the moneybags on the side. Something must change in the programming in order to give you more chances at the bonus. I know machines only have one RNG, so we assume the "mapping" to the number of possible combinations must change. ... (read more)
 

Ask the Slot Expert: More reader comments about whether edge sorting is cheating

4 April 2018
A few more reader comments about the Phil Ivey edge sorting case. See my last two columns for details about the case. It seems to me that a big red flashing light should have been making the dealers' and the pit boss’s heads spin the minute someone asked for a specific brand of playing cards and then ... (read more)
 

Ask the Slot Expert: More reader comments about whether edge sorting is cheating

4 April 2018
A few more reader comments about the Phil Ivey edge sorting case. See my last two columns for details about the case. It seems to me that a big red flashing light should have been making the dealers' and the pit boss’s heads spin the minute someone asked for a specific brand of playing cards and then ... (read more)
 

Ask the Slot Expert: Readers weigh in on Ivey's edge sorting case

28 March 2018
Last week I posted an article about how Phil Ivey and his partner used a technique called edge sorting to win about $20 million playing baccarat and Punto Banco, a game similar to baccarat. Ivey lost both of the court cases related to his winnings, one filed in New Jersey and the other in the United Kingdom. ... (read more)
 

Ask the Slot Expert: Why do some casinos have both Class II and Class III slot machines?

21 March 2018
Question: Why is it that some casinos have both class II and class III slots? Four Winds in Michigan is an example. They seem to have both types of slots. Do they do this because one type of machine has lower payouts? Answer: One class of machines does not necessarily pay back more or less than the other class. ... (read more)

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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