CasinoCityTimes.com

Gurus
News
Newsletter
Author Home Author Archives Author Books Send to a Friend Search Articles Subscribe
Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Newsletter Signup
Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Recent Articles
Best of John G. Brokopp

Gaming Guru

author's picture
 

Casinos Play a Game of Give and Take

13 February 2001

When it comes to choosing playing slots or video poker, it really is no contest. Video poker wins hands down. Why?

  1. The chances of winning at slots are dependent on a computer program determined by the manufacturer. The chances of winning at video poker are based on the constant of mathematical probability.
  2. Differences in slot machine payback are secrets closely guarded by the casino. Differences in video poker payback are visible to everyone on the pay tables.
  3. Your best chances of winning at slots are based on pure luck. Your best chances of winning at video poker are based on optimum playing strategy.

The ability to shop around for the best game to play and the opportunity to employ skill make video poker the "electronic gaming device" of choice. The best video poker games are very close to 100% payback when optimum strategy is used.

It is quite possible, therefore, for video poker players to play longer and derive more player benefits from the casino via slot club participation than slot players.

With this in mind, check out the recent fax I received:

"....Recently at Empress Joliet I noticed that the points on 25-cent video poker seemed less than usual. I asked a hostess about this and she told me that previously every four dollars of play equaled one point. Now it requires eight dollars of play for one point. One would think that if they were going to reduce how you credit in the machines it would be nice if they notified us. Why should video poker play be worth less?"

Mary Phaelen, public relations manager for Empress Casino Joliet, confirmed the information the casino representative gave to you. Effective September 1, Empress doubled the amount of money it takes to earn a point while playing video poker from four dollars to eight dollars.

"We wanted to keep the pay tables on our video poker machines as high as they are now." Phaelen said. "The only way for us to do this was to decrease the points on video poker."

Casinos are in business to maintain a profit margin and to make money. When the pendulum swings too much in favor of the players, something has to be adjusted. Rather than "get even" with everyone by moving in less advantageous pay tables, Empress chose to make it harder for video poker players to derive comps and other benefits dollar for dollar as opposed to slot players.

It would be unrealistic to think a casino would advertise such a business decision, just as it would be unrealistic to think a restaurant would advertise an increase in prices. They just do it and leave it up to the consumer to discover for themselves.

Based on what we know, it's easy to see that it's possible for video poker players to get much more value for their gambling dollar than slot players. To even things out from their perspective, Empress decided to make it harder to earn player's club points at video poker. The alternative was to lower the pay tables on the games. Would you rather earn more slot points or have the opportunity to make more money?

John G. Brokopp

John G. Brokopp's gaming column appears in Chicago Sun Times (Chicago, Illinois), The Times (Northwest Indiana), The Quad City Times (Davenport, Iowa), The Courier News (Elgin, Illinois), The Gazette (Southwest Suburban Chicago) and Senior Wire (Denver, CO). He's also a regular contributor to The Colorado Gambler, Midwest Gaming & Travel, Casino Player and Strictly Slots. John possesses 28 years of experience as a professional handicapper, publicist, freelance writer, and casino gaming correspondent. He is also the author of two very popular books, The Insider’s Guide to Internet Gambling and Thrifty Gambling.

Books by John G. Brokopp:

> More Books By John G. Brokopp

John G. Brokopp
John G. Brokopp's gaming column appears in Chicago Sun Times (Chicago, Illinois), The Times (Northwest Indiana), The Quad City Times (Davenport, Iowa), The Courier News (Elgin, Illinois), The Gazette (Southwest Suburban Chicago) and Senior Wire (Denver, CO). He's also a regular contributor to The Colorado Gambler, Midwest Gaming & Travel, Casino Player and Strictly Slots. John possesses 28 years of experience as a professional handicapper, publicist, freelance writer, and casino gaming correspondent. He is also the author of two very popular books, The Insider’s Guide to Internet Gambling and Thrifty Gambling.

Books by John G. Brokopp:

> More Books By John G. Brokopp