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# How the Hot Roll Works

27 November 2016

QUESTION: I played Hot Roll video poker for the first time. It was a nickel game, but I did pretty well. I had a full house with a 12x multiplier, and a four of a kind with a 5x.

When I got home, I looked up what you had written about Hot Roll and you said the average roll was a 7x multiplier. Can you explain how that works?

ANSWER: Hot Roll includes random rolls of animated two dice to multiply winnings on video poker hands. The dice rolls come up an average of once per six hands, but the dice can come up on consecutive hands or not at all for long streaks. I have had both happen. In one session, I had dice rolls on two hands in a row three times and had a longest cold streak of 18 hands with no dice.

The dice are rolled randomly, with the same odds as if you were rolling a physical pair of dice.
That means there are 36 possible rolls. There’s one way to roll 2, with 1s on both dice. There are two ways to roll 3 – 1 on the first die and 2 on the second, and 2 on the first die and 1 on the second. And so on.

The full list of possibilities are one 2, two 3s, three 4s, four 5s, five 6s, six 7s, five 8s, four 9s, three 10s, two 11s and one 12.

We can add up all the possibilities, weighted for the number of times each occurs – one times 2, two times 3 and so on. That gives a total of 252. Divide that by 36 combinations, and the average roll is 7.

There’s a good deal of volatility in that. You’ll be disappointed when the multiplier is only 2x or 3x and thrilled with the big numbers are coupled with a winning hand. But when all rolls are balanced out, the average multiplier is 7 times your win,

QUESTION: I got a statement from a player rewards club that said in the last year I made more than a million dollars worth of bets on slots. Who knew?

Seriously, I’m no millionaire. I’m barely a thousandaire. How could I make a million dollars worth of bets?

ANSWER: You don’t have to put a million dollars into slots to make a million dollar worth of wagers. Your bet total includes wagers made with money recycled from wins on the slots.

To make up an easy example. If you start with \$100 and play it all through once and find you now have \$90, play that and find you have \$80 and so on, playing down \$70, \$60, \$50, \$40, \$30 and \$10 before finally losing that last 10 bucks, you haven’t wagered \$100. You’ve wagered \$530.

Total wagers are not the same as cash invested, but you do have to put a substantial amount into the games to make \$1 million in wagers. If you’re getting a 90 percent return on video slots, then \$1 million in wagers would leave an average of \$100,000 in losses. If you’re playing \$5 slots with a 96-percent return, the average losses are \$40,000. You don’t need to have a million to bet a million, but it does take tens of thousands.

If video poker is your game and you play well at high-paying machines, the investment needed is much lower. On 9-6 Jacks or Better, with a 99.5-percent return with expert play, \$1 million in wagers would bring an average loss of \$5,000.
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John Grochowski

John Grochowski is the best-selling author of The Craps Answer Book, The Slot Machine Answer Book and The Video Poker Answer Book. His weekly column is syndicated to newspapers and Web sites, and he contributes to many of the major magazines and newspapers in the gaming field, including Midwest Gaming and Travel, Slot Manager, Casino Journal, Strictly Slots and Casino Player.

Listen to John Grochowski's "Casino Answer Man" tips Tuesday through Friday at 5:18 p.m. on WLS-AM (890) in Chicago. Look for John Grochowski on Facebook and Twitter @GrochowskiJ.