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21 May 2013
By Frank Scoblete
Frank - I enjoy and appreciate you disseminating your gambling knowledge and expertise. I've got two questions regarding slot machines.
1. I understand that the house edge will change depending upon the denomination of the machine with a nickel machine generally having a higher house edge than a dollar machine. But many machines have multiple denominations, i.e. nickel, dime, quarter, etc. Since you're only playing on one machine, does the house edge change if you decide to play a different denomination on that machine?
2. Lots of machines these days have a major and minor jackpot where they're guaranteed to hit by say $5,000 or $200. If the machine is truly random, how does it know it's getting close to a guaranteed jackpot and must hit by a certain amount? It seems additional programming would be required to do this and, if a machine could be programmed this way, how can we be confident that a machine is truly random at all?
Thanks for your input.
Great questions! If you are changing the denomination of the game you are playing you are actually changing the game you are playing. A five cent machine is not the same as a 25-cent machine even if the two machines are the same game. In short, same game with different payout is different game.
The RNG can handle the programming you are talking about. The machines that have this feature --- machines I am really not all that familiar with --- probably do not state that they will unequivocally hit jackpots at the money levels indicated but are more likely to. In addition, slot pros would just wait around for the spins to come near to the said amounts so they could hog the machines.
For your letter I am sending you a copy of my book “The Virgin Kiss.”
All the best in and out of the casinos!
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