Saturday, December 26, 2009

Everything you ever wanted to know about a slot machine

I might wind up at the casino today for the first time...  so in order to bone up on the fine points of playing slots I found this:

The Las Vegas Sun recently had an obligatory interactive graphic on how slots machines work.  Check it out.   The winnings chart it comes up with for the simulated play looks a little like the revenues down there on the North Shore.  


Blogger Bram Reichbaum said...

I once met a guy who swore to goodness he had discovered a way to "beat" the slot machines. Even wrote an (unpublished) book about it.

Basically, he said that although a casino by law and business model must program its machines to meet a certain rock-steady minimum (and losing) payout percentage, they still tinker with the machines to encourage maximum usership. That is, during certain strategic times of day, certain machines in strategic locations can be programmed to pay out higher than average in order to draw more users onto the gaming floor, and also to encourage them to gamble a little longer. While other machines and other times of day are programmed to be losers, so that the average isn't inflated.

Basically, this guy prescribed visiting the casino just during peak breakfast and dinner hours, choosing machines in highly viewable locations on the aisle or only one machine from the aisle, and playing slowly ... one spin every minute or so, inserting small denominations, and waiting at least five minutes before inserting a new bankroll bill (this to "fool the machine" into thinking a new player had sat down). He said this wasn't a prescription for progressive jackpots but rather a slow an steady stream of high double-digit and triple-digit payouts.

I never tested his theory for long enough to prove or disprove it.

Saturday, December 26, 2009 5:58:00 PM  
Blogger C. Briem said...

In places like Las Vegas where there is literal competition among slots venues and street traffic to market to those types of things may be in play... I am not so sure they matter as much at places like the casino here which are the only game in town and that you have to make a deliberate effort to get to.

But it does make me think of some new angle to the impending table games thing. In college I did know folks who were literal card counters. As we are so proud to point out, lots of pretty smart college kids in town. I'm just saying.

I just am guessing any blackjack here will use shuffle machines. That or the people who might be counting will be on the other side. There are already pretty sophisticated devices that visually track card games by computers and then use algorithms to detect those implementing card counting techniques.

Sunday, December 27, 2009 8:38:00 AM  

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