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Ask the Slot Expert: Rip Van Slot Player?

23 November 2022

By John Robison, Slot Expert™

Question: After 10 years of visits to Red Rock, we may be just staying in Palm Springs-area casinos. On our last three visits to Red Rock, there were ZERO offers or promotions for non-local gamblers.

Answer: It's a shame you won't be coming back to Red Rock. Since Station Casinos dumped Palms, the company has renewed its attention on Red Rock. For a few years, Palms took over the premiere property spot in the Station Casinos portfolio and pushed Red Rock and Green Valley Ranch down a tier. Now that Palms is gone, Red Rock and GVR are the top properties again. The new Durango casino will join the group when it opens in about a year.

Red Rock just opened a beautiful new high-limit slot room to go with the high-limit tables room it opened a few months ago. It's also going to have a few new restaurants. Some of these amenities are where the buffet used to be, so it looks like the odds of hitting the PowerBall are higher than the odds of having a buffet meal at Red Rock again.

I'm surprised but not shocked that Red Rock isn't sending you any offers. It seems like the casinos in Las Vegas took the months they were closed for Covid to reevaluate all aspects of their marketing promotions -- gifts, comps, points, and who they're targeting. I know one formerly loyal, but low-level local player who didn't get any mailers after the casino she frequented reopened.

Based on the number of California plates I see in the Red Rock parking garage on the weekends, I'm surprised that you're not getting offers. But then again, Red Rock is much more affordable than a Strip casino so maybe Red Rock is a better deal even without any sweeteners. You can get Strip-like ambience without paying Strip prices.

I'm not shocked, though, because some casinos revamped their marketing philosophies. Perhaps Station decided it was a locals casino company and it was going to target local players only. Maybe that approach is appropriate for Boulder Station and Palace Station, but Red Rock seems to get a lot of non-local visitors. Another possibility is they raised the level of play needed for the marketing machine to kick in for non-locals.

I don't know what kind of offers you were getting before. I assume that they were pretty good. Five dollars in quarters may be enough to get people to ride a bus to Atlantic city for two hours, but it's going to take more than that to get people to drive or fly for hours to Las Vegas.

If it's any consolation, I used to get a monthly dining credit at Red Rock. I don't think I've been given one since it reopened.


A few weeks ago I wrote about being dissed by my favorite Quick Hit Blitz machine after not playing it for a few weeks. When I went back to play it last week, it and the other seven machines in its immediate vicinity were moved out of position, disabled, and roped off.

When I went back to the casino a few days ago, I was prepared to have to go on a treasure hunt to find where the machines had been moved to. And I was prepared to find out that they were gone for good.

I was pleased to see that all of the machines in that area were still there and back in action. And, no one was at my machine.

The machine treated me better this time. It was hot for a while and I thought I would have a profit when I had reached my point goal (gotta requalify for an upper level in the slot club before the end of the year).Well, it turned cold at the end and I finished with a small loss. But I got my points in. I won't say I'm happy, but I also won't say I'm sad.

There are two Chinese-themed machines across a narrow gap from the Quick Hit Blitz machines. I don't remember the name of these machines. They have three strings of fireworks. The fireworks on one string are red, on the second green, and on the third purple. When a firework lands on the screen, it lights a firework on the string of the same color. The bonus round is triggered when all fireworks on a string are lit.

There was a man playing the machine farthest from the one I was playing. He had a beer in front of him, even though it was only 10 in the morning.

The volume on these machines is set kind of high. I knew whenever he got a bonus round. And he got a lot of them. I wasn't getting what I considered to be my fair share of bonus rounds, but he was hitting them right and left.

After playing for a while, I realized that I hadn't heard a bonus round from across the gap in quite some time. I figured that he must have left.

I took a quick glance to my left. He was still there. He must just be having a run of bad luck.

When I didn't hear any bonus round sounds after a few more minutes, I took a longer look. His machine was in the middle of a bonus round. The machine has one of those bonus rounds in which you have to periodically press the Spin button.

He wasn't reaching for the Spin button. He wasn't moving at all. He was asleep.

At least I hoped he was asleep. I didn't have a mirror with me to put under his nose to see if he was still breathing.

Surely, he'll wake up any minute now.

Well, don't call me Shirley and he didn't. He was taking this opportunity to catch up on some Zs.

I was surprised that the machine didn't play out the bonus round for him. Many machines will do that in an interactive bonus round like a Pick'Em bonus if the player doesn't interact with the machine after a certain length of time. This machine, however, just patiently waited for the man to hit Spin.

Should I go over to him to make sure he's okay? Should I hit the service button and tell one of the slot floorpeople?

The cocktail waitress came to service this area of the slot floor, walking behind me towards Sleeping Beauty.

"Drinks. Cocktails. Dri- Hey! This guy's asleep. Sir. Sir. Wake up. You're in the middle of a bonus round."

He stirred. Phew. Still with us. He opened his eyes and then went right back to sleep seconds after the cocktail waitress left.

He eventually did wake up and finish out his bonus round. It was like he came out of hibernation or finished rebooting. Everything was back to normal.

The next time the cocktail waitress came by, he ordered a cup of coffee.


Here are the latest Covid data. There is a difference in the hospitalization data for US versus NV. The CDC reports total number of Covid hospital admissions. Nevada reports current hospitalizations, not total admissions.

All data comes from the CDC (https://www.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#cases_totalcases, https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#new-hospital-admissions), except for Nevada current hospitalizations (https://nvhealthresponse.nv.gov/).


Totals Weekly Changes
US NV US NV
Date Cases  Hosp. Adm.  Deaths  Cases  Curr. Hosp.  Deaths  Cases  Hosp. Adm.  Deaths  Cases  Curr. Hosp.  Deaths 
 11/22/22   98,174,364   5,534,207   1,073,115   859,537   254   11,600   284,712   24,272   2,168   2,064   (2)   20 
 11/15/22   97,889,652   5,509,935   1,070,947   857,473   256   11,580   284,889   22,561   2,280   2,771   92   10 
 11/08/22   97,604,763   5,487,374   1,068,667   854,702   164   11,570   274,976   24,829   2,316   1,741   23   15 
 11/01/22   97,329,787   5,462,545   1,066,351   852,961   141   11,555   266,430   23,562   1,199   1,661   15   11 
 10/25/22   97,063,357   5,438,983   1,065,152   851,300   126   11,544   260,881   22,914   5,111   1,096   (12)   8 
 10/18/22   96,802,476   5,416,069   1,060,041   850,204   138   11,536   267,788   22,644   2,537   1,005   6   6 
 10/11/22   96,534,688   5,393,425   1,057,504   849,199   132   11,530   285,222   23,034   3,061   1,322   14   21 
 10/04/22   96,249,466   5,370,391   1,054,443   847,877   118   11,509   330,300   24,415   3,054   702   3   15 
 09/27/22   95,919,166   5,345,976   1,051,389   847,175   115   11,494   366,858   26,055   2,857   1,042   (28)   48 
 09/20/22   95,552,308   5,319,921   1,048,532   846,133   143   11,446   400,929   29,165   2,973   1,839   0   19 
 09/13/22   95,151,379   5,290,756   1,045,559   844,294   143   11,427   506,189   34,540   2,978   1,758   (40)   16 
 09/06/22   94,645,190   5,256,216   1,042,581   842,536   183   11,411   534,380   30,772   3,526   1,762   (8)   20 
 08/31/22   94,110,810   5,225,444   1,039,055   840,774   191   11,391   600,148   35,692   3,297   2,434   (44)   32 
 08/23/22   93,510,662   5,189,752   1,035,758   838,340   235   11,359   655,186   38,778   3,198   2,550   (51)   20 
 08/16/22   92,855,476   5,150,974   1,032,560   835,790   286   11,339   719,100   40,762   3,375   3,561   (92)   77 
 08/09/22   92,136,376   5,110,212   1,029,185   832,229   378   11,262   937,985   42,621   3,822   5,729   (69)   41 
 08/01/22   91,198,391   5,067,591   1,025,363   826,500   447   11,221   828,560   43,943   2,695   28,360   (5)   16 
 07/26/22   90,369,831   5,023,648   1,022,668   798,140   452   11,205   905,096   45,024   3,072   5,468   (61)   41 
 07/19/22   89,464,735   4,978,624   1,019,596   792,672   513   11,164   890,226   42,620   3,035   7,077   (20)   37 
 07/12/22   88,574,509   4,936,004   1,016,561   785,595   533   11,127   912,596   44,750   2,575   8,611   78   67 
 07/05/22   87,661,913   4,891,254   1,013,986   776,984   455   11,060   683,630   30,500   2,476   8,713   53   34 
 06/28/22   86,978,283   4,860,754   1,011,510   768,271   402   11,026   809,381   33,856   2,580   6,189   (8)   36 
 06/21/22   86,168,902   4,826,898   1,008,930   762,082   410   10,990   648,857   30,459   2,040   8,081   95   41 
 06/14/22   85,520,045   4,796,439   1,006,890   754,001   315   10,949   757,093   29,971   2,630   9,809   42   40 
 06/07/22   84,762,952   4,766,468   1,004,260   744,192   273   10,909   813,916   30,146   2,190   6,818   55   26 
 05/31/22   83,949,036   4,736,322   1,002,070   737,374   218   10,883   670,041   24,555   2,285   5,738   16   41 
 05/24/22   83,278,995   4,711,767   999,785   731,636   202   10,842   756,047   25,027   2,317   5,324   37   28 
 05/17/22   82,522,948   4,686,740   997,488   726,312   165   10,814   680,888   21,183   2,097   3,693   35   26 
 05/10/22   81,842,060   4,665,557   995,371   722,619   130   10,788   534,465   17,934   3,932   2,802   32   11 
 05/03/22   81,307,595   4,647,623   991,439   719,817   98   10,777   432,666   14,755   2,448   2,213   (6)   49 
 04/26/22   80,874,929   4,632,868   988,991   717,604   104   10,728   348,507   12,597   2,446   1,447   (22)   46 
 04/19/22   80,526,422   4,620,271   986,545   716,157   126   10,682   266,330   10,525   3,308   1,232   (37)   497 
 04/12/22   80,260,092   4,609,746   983,237   714,925   163   10,185   228,465   10,343   3,627   1,228   23   53 
 04/05/22   80,031,627   4,599,403   979,610   713,697   140   10,132   203,709   10,312   4,105   1,059   (52)   76 
 03/29/22   79,827,918   4,589,091   975,505   712,638   192   10,056   206,914   9,572   4,083   1,187   5   40 
 03/22/22   79,621,004   4,579,519   971,422   711,451   187   10,016   200,627   8,502   8,178   742   (71)   83 
 03/15/22   79,418,377   4,571,017   963,244   710,709   258   9,933   253,069   17,393   5,492   24,844   (20)   113 
 03/08/22   79,165,308   4,553,624   957,752   685,865   278   9,820   310,308   24,471   9,870   2,099   (101)   116 
 03/01/22   78,855,000   4,529,153   947,882   683,766   379   9,704   465,845   33,261   14,988   6,421   (189)   196 
 02/22/22   78,389,155   4,495,892   932,894   677,345   568   9,508   551,462   46,726   12,797   4,023   (297)   173 
 02/15/22   77,837,693   4,449,166   920,097   673,322   865   9,335   1,005,691   67,963   17,059   5,280   (375)   149 
 02/08/22   76,782,002   4,381,203   903,038   668,042   1,240   9,186   1,769,556   92,750   18,185   11,144   (387)   235 
 02/01/22   75,012,446   4,288,453   884,853   656,898   1,627   8,951   3,193,570   121,420   17,885   26,555   (344)   191 
 01/25/22   71,818,876   4,167,033   866,968   630,343   1,971   8,760   5,102,999   143,329   16,393   57,574   99   133 
 01/18/22   66,715,937   4,023,704   850,575   572,769   1,872   8,627   4,983,654   147,105   13,301   25,927   (1,787)   99 
 01/11/22   61,732,283   3,876,599   837,274   546,842   3,659   8,528   5,421,565   139,572   12,168   32,486   2,594   100 
 01/05/22   56,310,718   3,737,027   825,106   514,344   1,065   8,428   3,501,427   104,272   8,867   20,966   276   61 
 12/28/21   52,809,291   3,362,755   816,239   493,378   789   8,367   1,693,987   63,185   11,127   7,977   89   56 
 12/21   51,115,304   3,569,570   805,112   485,401   700   8,311   1,063,296   55,734   9,102   5,639   9   110 
 12/14   50,052,008   3,513,836   796,010   479,762   691   8,201   853,262   57,885   8,946   5,008   17   91 
 12/07   49,198,746   3,455,951   787,064   474,754   674   8,110   821,215   66,191   8,575   5,011   23   125 
 11/30   48,377,531   3,389,760   778,489   469,743   651   7,985   563,746   28,426   6,309   3,343   (50)   55 
 11/23   47,813,785   3,361,334   772,180   466,400   701   7,930   667,924   41,145   10,754   4,784   (24)   86 
 11/16   47,145,861   3,320,189   761,426   461,616   725   7,844   604,748   63,164   7,862   4,577   22   85 
 11/09   46,541,113   3,257,025   753,564   457,039   703   7,759   516,764   33,219   8,290   5,539   34   103 
 11/02   46,024,349   3,223,806   745,274   451,500   669   7,656   555,915   38,028   9,226   4,327   45   109 
 10/26   45,468,434   3,185,778   736,048   447,173   624   7,547   488,829   42,265   9,842   4,753   (87)   96 
 10/19   44,979,605   3,143,513   726,206   442,420   711   7,451   578,396   11,963   4,381   136 
 10/12   44,401,209   714,243   438,039   7,315   795,586   14,067   15,710   149 
 10/05   43,605,623   700,176   422,329   7,166   554,194   10,642   3,852   121 
 09/28   43,051,429   689,534   418,477   7,045   817,218   14,463   6,160   165 
 09/21   42,234,211   675,071   412,317   6,880   971,637   14,691   7,466   152 
 09/14   41,262,574   660,380   404,851   6,728   1,176,763   12,919   10,256   145 
 09/07   40,085,811   647,461   394,595   6,583   975,725   10,076   5,237   104 
 08/31   39,110,086   637,385   389,358   6,479   1,113,414   9,385   7,592   173 
 08/24   37,996,672   628,000   381,649   6,306   1,045,491   7,507   8,117   116 
 08/17   36,951,181   620,493   373,649   6,190   959,978   4,715   7,065   150 
 08/10   35,991,203   615,778   366,584   6,040   819,524   3,987   7,652   122 
 08/03   35,171,679   611,791   358,932   5,918   622,832   2,279   7,489   81 
 07/27   34,548,847   609,012   351,443   5,837   652,251   2,394   8,347   79 

Send your slot and video poker questions to John Robison, Slot Expert™, at slotexpert@slotexpert.com. Because of the volume of mail I receive, I regret that I can't reply to every question.

Copyright © John Robison. Slot Expert and Ask the Slot Expert are trademarks of John Robison.

 

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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