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Multi-Pay Machines

16 January 2022

QUESTION: When playing slots and you switch from 1-cent denomination to a $1 denomination, does it change the random number generator or does each coin denomination have its own random number generator?

ANSWER: That can differ from machine to machine and manufacturer to manufacturer, but games with very different payback percentages can be programmed using the same random number generator.

All the RNG does is to generate random numbers. How those numbers are mapped makes the difference. A number that is mapped to a low-paying Q symbol on a 1-cent version of a game could be mapped to a bonus symbol (or any other) on a 5-cent version of the same game.

The mapping determines how frequently symbols come up. You could get bonus combinations on 1 percent of spins at one denomination and twice as often at a higher denomination, all with the same random number generator.

The RNG doesn't know how the numbers are being used, it just keeps generating numbers. It's the way they're mapped that likely makes the difference. The same random numbers can lead to higher payback percentages if they're mapped so higher-paying symbols occur a greater percentage of the time.


QUESTION: In Deuces Wild video poker, we all know four deuces is the second-highest paying hand, with a natural royal flush being the highest. When you get four deuces you also have a five of a kind, and a straight flush, and sometimes a wild royal. Why don’t you get paid for all those hands?

ANSWER: Nearly all video poker games pay only on the highest ranked hand contained in your five cards. If you're playing Jacks or Better and have 6-6-6-A-A, you're paid for a full house, but not for the three of a kind and high pair also contained. In Double Double Bonus Poker, if you have A-A-A-A-2, you're paid on the four Aces with the low-card kicker, but not for three Aces or a pair of Aces.

That's been part of the rules ever since video poker was brand new in the 1970s, and it applies to Deuces Wild just as it applies to other games.

A notable exception was Multi-Pay Poker from WMS Gaming, now part of the Scientific Games family. It had a run of popularity in the late 1990s and early 2000s, and WMS tried to bring it back at the beginning of the 2010s. The Multi-Pay revival included more game variations, but casinos mostly installed it with reduced pay tables so the returns didn't match the 99.8 percent of the original.

Multi-Pay paid on all winners within a hand. A Deuces Wild version, which was included in the revival package but not in the original game, would have done just what you suggested and paid on four 2s, five of a kind, straight flush and perhaps wild royal in the same hand.

It was a fun game. Right at the beginning of the original rollout, I played at the Tropicana in Las Vegas to show my Dad and brother what it could do, and I drew a royal flush. I was paid on the royal, straight flush, flush and straight. Fun!

Less than an hour later, there was a shift change and a supervisor came to ask why I had been paid such an odd amount on a non-progressive royal. The game was so new she didn't know how it worked. After I explained, she sat down to play until she was satisfied the multiple payoffs were normal.

Multi-Pay is rare today, and the games we play pay only on the highest-ranked combination.
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.

John Grochowski Websites:

www.casinoanswerman.com

Books by John Grochowski:

> More Books By John Grochowski

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.

John Grochowski Websites:

www.casinoanswerman.com

Books by John Grochowski:

> More Books By John Grochowski