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Best of John G. Brokopp

Gaming Guru

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Don't Be Manipulated by New Slot Technology

24 August 2005

The ticket-in/ticket-out coinless slot machine technology that has swept casinos across the nation serves two masters, the players as well as the casino owners.

For players, it is a tremendous convenience not having to handle coins and lug plastic buckets around, or having to go to the cashier to have the coins counted.

For casino owners, it eliminated expenses, but more importantly, it created an environment that enables people to bet more money during any given period of playing time. That's the real reason casinos were so anxious to convert.

In order to protect yourself, always redeem a voucher that is worth a substantial sum of money so that you'll have the cash in your pocket rather than in ticket form. It's much easier to perceive the value of money in greenbacks rather than a piece of computer paper.

Second, if you're having a good session try to make it a point to pocket your vouchers and play instead with the money you brought with you to the casino. It makes it a lot easier to preserve your profits.

While we're on the subject of avoiding technological traps in casinos, here's a question from Catherine of Rock Island, Illinois:

"I would really appreciate it if you would address this question in a future column. Many of the newer slots have a "stop spin" function. How does the use of this affect the outcome of the spin? Or does it affect the outcome at all?"

Good question, Catherine, but one that's easily answered. The "stop reels" function does not have anything to do with the outcome of the reel configuration that is predetermined for you when you initiate a play. All it does is speed up the process of learning what that outcome will be.

When you stop the reels on a multi-line video slot, all you are doing is eliminating the entertainment value and anticipation of watching the reels stop one by one. In essence, it simply takes away some of the fun of playing the game and turning it into instant gratification. The next plateau would be playing a slot, pushing a button and having the words "YOU WIN" or "YOU LOSE" appear on the screen.

Casinos are quite happy when a player uses the "stop reels" function, which is why the manufacturers install it in the first place. It allows the player to initiate a greater number of plays in a given period of time, thereby subjecting a greater percentage of the player's bankroll to the built-in house advantage.

My advice, for that very reason, is to never use the "stop reels" function on a video slot, just as I always advise video poker players to set their game to the slowest game speed on machines where that option is available. It's just one of the very few ways we can combat the inevitable "grind" that relieves us of our money quicker.

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