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# The Slot Expert's Guide to Winning at Slots: Low Hit Frequency Machines

6 March 2000

The hit frequency of a machine tells you how likely it is to get a payout of any size on any spin. The higher the hit frequency, the more likely the payout. Slot players should be aware of how a low hit frequency affects how a machine plays. In this series of tips, I tell you how to identify low hit frequency machines, what to expect from them, and how to play them.

Note: You can hear me give my slot and video poker tips live on The Good Times Show, hosted by Rudi Schiffer with Frank Scoblete, which is broadcast live from Memphis on WHBQ over the air on 560AM and over the Internet on Yahoo! Broadcast on Saturday morning from 8-10 CT.

## This Week's Tip

### Multiplying Symbols Lower Hit Frequency

 General Rule: The higher the multiplying symbol, the lower the hit frequency.

Machines with multiplying symbols tend to have lower hit frequencies than machines without them and the higher the multiple, the lower the hit frequency.

Machines with multiplying symbols have what I call "hidden paytable entries." The winning combinations with the multiplying symbol aren't listed on the paytable, but the payout program has to account for them. An example of a hidden paytable entry is the Double Diamond symbol and two 7s on a Double Diamond machine. This combination does not appear on the paytable, but it is a winning combination and the payout program has to account for it.

Consider a Double Diamond machine. Each doubled hit can be replaced with two non-multiplied hits and the payback will be the same. Similarly, each quadrupled hit can be replaced with four non-multiplied hits and the payback will be the same.

Now consider a Ten Times Pay machine. Each hit multiplied by 10 can be replaced with 10 non-multiplied hits and the payback will be the same and each hit multiplied by 100 can be replaced with 100 non-multiplied hits and the payback will be the same.

There are some machines with multiplying symbols that have good hit frequencies but, more often than not, machines that have multiplying symbols have lower hit frequencies than machines that don't have multiplying symbols and the higher the multiple, the lower the hit frequency.

## Past Week's Tip

### Identifying Low Hit Frequency Machines From The Paytable

 General Rule: The higher the lowest reward on the paytable, the lower the hit frequency.

Looking at the paytable is one way to identify low hit frequency machines. Although we can't calculate the exact hit frequency of a machine by inspecting its paytable, we can make a guess about what the hit frequency is relative to other machines' hit frequencies.

To estimate the relative hit frequency of a machine from its paytable, check the value of the lowest reward on the paytable. As a general rule, the higher the lowest reward on the paytable, the lower the hit frequency of the machine.

A machine whose lowest pay is a push or two coins can afford to pay you more often than a machine whose lowest pay is 10 coins.

IGT's Lucky Sevens is an example of low hit frequency Machine on which the lowest reward is very high. The lowest reward on this machine is 10 coins. I once went 72 spins in a row without a hit on a Lucky Sevens machine at The Desert Inn in Las Vegas.

High lowest rewards always indicate low hit frequency machines. Unfortunately, the reverse is not true. That is, paytables with low lowest rewards are not necessarily high hit frequency machines. In the next few tips, I'll show how you can recognize when these machines have low hit frequencies.

Send your slot and video poker questions to John Robison, Slot Expert, at slotexpert@home.com.

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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