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Ask the Slot Expert: The Cash Out-Fake-Out

30 December 2020

Have you ever been fooled by the Cash Out-Fake Out?

There's someone's playing a machine and, for whatever reason, you really wish they weren't. Maybe you want to play that machine. Maybe they have a behavior that annoys you.

I can't think of anything a slot player has done that annoyed me, but there are some things video poker players have done that I have found irksome.

Hitting Bet Max instead of Deal, for instance. Dee-dee-dee-dee-dee. Dee-dee-dee-dee-dee. Dee-dee-dee-dee-dee.

Hitting Bet Max is not as bad as hitting Bet One repeatedly. Bet Max at least has a consistent cadence. You're at the mercy of the player's sense of rhythm with Bet One. And you never know when the phrase will stop.

Dee-dee pause dee-dee-dee. Dee pause dee-dee pause dee-dee. Dee pause dee. Dee-dee. Dee-dee-dee.

So, you're hoping that someone will stop playing a machine. They cash out. You think that you'll finally be able to get on that machine or that they're going to take their annoying behaviors to vex someone else.

Happiness is imminent -- But no. They don't take the ticket and leave the machine. They take the ticket and feed it right back into the machine. Sometimes they even pull our their cards and put them right back in again.

The fakers aren't leaving. They might even still be playing their machines after you leave.

That's the Original Recipe version of the Cash Out-Fake Out. There's an Extra Crispy version that requires a confederate.

In the Extra Crispy version, after one person cashes out, they redeem the ticket for cash, and then return to feed the cash back into the machine. The other person holds their machine while they're uselessly converting to the ticket to cash.

I've learned who are the Cash Out-Fakers among the regulars at the casinos I visit, so I'm no longer surprised when they stay at their machines after cashing out. I know they're not done until that cash out, pull their cards, and get up.

In case you're concerned about how I deal with the annoying video poker behaviors I described earlier, the dee-dee-dee from the Bet Maxers and the Bet Oners disappears into the background noise in the casino for me after I utter an initial "Ugh". (How accommodating of me!)


Here are the latest figures from https://www.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#cases.

Totals Weekly Increases
US NV US NV
Date Cases  Deaths Cases Deaths Cases Deaths Cases Deaths
 12/29   19,232,843   334,029   218,377   2,973   1,258,540   15,460   12,493   186 
 12/22   17,974,303   318,569   205,884   2,787   1,656,411   18,537   16,472   239 
 12/15   16,317,892   300,032   189,412   2,548   1,494,763   17,247   18,825   229 
 12/08   14,823,129   282,785   170,587   2,319   1,375,502   15,483   18,418   175 
 12/01   13,447,627   267,302   152,169   2,144   1,114,175   10,286   15,942   121 
 11/24   12,333,452   257,016   136,227   2,023   1,197,199   10,784   14,130   106 
 11/17   11,136,253   246,232   122,097   1,917   1,099,790   8,501   11,115   65 
 11/10   10,036,463   237,731   110,982   1,852   767,645   6,838   8,868   68 
 11/03   9,268,818   230,893   102,114   1,784   588,207   5,809   5,936   35 
 10/27   8,680,611   225,084   96,178   1,749   492,026   5,585   5,238   (10) 
 10/20   8,188,585   219,499   90,940   1,759   401,037   5,053   4,501   48 
 10/13   7,787,548   214,446   86,439   1,711   351,270   4,886   3,910   48 
 10/06   7,436,278   209,560   82,529   1,663   306,965   4,962   3,232   36 
 09/29   7,129,313   204,598   79,297   1,627   303,616   5,136   3,058   54 
 09/22   6,825,697   199,462   76,239   1,573   288,070   5,370   2,196   82 
 09/15   6,537,627   194,092   72,043   1,491   250,265   5,404   1,825   65 
 09/08   6,287,362   188,688   72,218   1,426   282,919   5,638   2,734   92 
 09/01   6,004,443   183,050   69,484   1,334   251,790   5,291   3,237   104 
 08/25   5,752,653   177,759   66,247   1,230   330,411   7,889   4,076   125 
 08/18   5,422,242   169,870   62,171   1,105   358,071   7,463   4,973   114 
 08/11   5,064,171   162,407   57,198   991   365,353   7,203   5,776   117 
 08/04   4,698,818   155,204   51,422   874   418,683   7,532   7,367   109 
 07/28   4,280,135   147,672   44,055   764   460,996   7,042   7,130   91 
 07/21   3,819,139  140,630  36,195  674  463,682  5,395  8,181  57 
 07/14   3,355,457   135,235   28,744   617   422,861   5,102   5,607   57 
 07/07   2,932,596   130,133   23,137   560   351,367   3,394   5,006   24 
 06/30   2,581,229   126,739   18,131   536   278,941   6,406   4,367   26 
 06/23   2,302,288   120,333   13,764   510 

Two big headlines as I write these comments. First, the first known case of the UK variant of the coronavirus was detected in Colorado.

Well, duh! Did you really think that the variant wouldn't get here? Viruses don't need passports.

I italicized "known" because the United States lags far behind other countries in the percentage of tests we genetically sequence: Australia (58.6%), New Zealand (48.6%), Britain (7.4%), Japan (4.6%), United States (0.3%). (U.S. ranks 43rd worldwide in sequencing to check for coronavirus variants like the one found in the U.K.) Most infectious disease experts said that the variant was already here when it was first discovered in the U.K. Our pathetic level of genomic sequencing just meant that it took us a long time to find what was already here.

The other headline is that we are far behind the goal to administer 20 million vaccinations by the end of the month. According to the vaccinations page on the CDC's Covid data tracker website, 11,445,175 doses have been distributed and only 2,127,143 doses have been administered. We won't even have shipped 20 million doses by the end of the year, let alone put them into arms.

States are responsible for administering the vaccine. The talking heads I've seen on TV have said that part of the problem is a lack of guidance from the Trump Administration.

"The logistics of the rollout have been largely left up to states to navigate." (Frustration over vaccine rollout builds, as new variant reported in U.S. for first time)

Take a look at this Operation Warp Speed graphic entitled Vaccine Distribution Process. There are no details after UPS and FedEx get the vaccines. Maybe there's another document that shows how vaccines go through UPS's and FedEx's networks and finally arrive at the actual locations where the vaccine is administered. Maybe there are documents that give best practices for running vaccination centers. The last mile is always the hardest part.

"They’ve clued us into their planning on how they plan to distribute the actual vaccine to the various states. But there is no detailed plan that we've seen, anyway, as to how you get the vaccine out of a container, into an injection syringe, into somebody's arm." (Joe Biden speech, December 4, 2020.)

Twenty million was an aggressive and optimistic goal, granted, but why did we get only one-tenth of the way there?

A few months ago I developed a system that determined when drug samples should be shipped to doctors based on the day(s) the doctors said they preferred to receive shipments. It was crucial to schedule the shipments to arrive on the proper day because the samples had to be kept cold -- not Pfizer vaccine cold, just Omaha Steaks cold. The samples were shipped next-day delivery.

The programmers were having difficulty programming the process. The process they were developing would start with a doctor's delivery days and try to find the first shipping date that would deliver on an allowed day.

I turned that around. Instead of starting with the delivery days and looking for a shipping day, I started with a shipping day and looked for requests that would accept deliveries on the next day. If today is Wednesday, the first available shipping day is Thursday. My process looked for outstanding requests that had Friday as a delivery day. Very simple and straightforward.

Looking at the weekly increases in the data above, we can see the surge in the number of new cases two to three weeks after Thanksgiving. The Christmas surge is not far off.

While cases are surging and vaccinations are far below the goal, Trump is golfing (How many times has President Donald Trump played golf while in office?) and Pence is skiing (Mike Pence slammed for ‘breaking his Covid team’s travel rules’ on ski trip ‘as millions lose unemployment benefits).

There may not be much Trump and Pence can personally do at this time. They're not going to load containers on jets.

In a similar situation, though, Condoleezza Rice eventually regretted going to see Spamalot while Hurricane Katrina was devastating New Orleans and then shopping for shoes at Ferragamo the day after (Condoleezza Rice Shops for Shoes).

It's a fiddling while Rome burns kind of thing.

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