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
 

Harrah's Provides Valuable Info for Slot Players

27 October 1999

Slot machines, more than any other casino game, are shrouded in mystery, misinformation, and superstition as far as their public perception is concerned. They are by far the biggest revenue generators for any casino, yet a very small percentage of the people who play them know how the slot machines work or exactly what they're up against.

Every slot machine in place in every casino is, in fact, guaranteed to make a profit for its owner. Even with that in mind, however, by far the greatest percentage of money each machine takes in is returned to players. Remember, however, that percentage pay back is calculated over an extended period, not the frame of time you choose to sit down and play a particular machine.

Each slot machine varies in the amount of money it returns to players. The percentage pay back on machines in casinos in Illinois and Indiana varies roughly from the low- to mid-80s to the mid- to high-90s. Aside from the machines some Chicago-area casinos have specifically labeled and advertised as "98%" or even "99%" payers, the pay back percentages of the vast majority of machines is a mystery.

With all of this in mind, this columnist would like to commend the new Harrah's East Chicago Casino (formerly Showboat Mardi Gras Casino) for setting a precedent in the Chicago-area riverboat casino gambling market by providing its slot players with some valuable information they can really use, not just some vague promotional or advertising mumbo-jumbo.

What Harrah's East Chicago Casino is doing on a daily basis is publishing what they call its "Top 40 List" and making it available as handouts to players on the vessel. The sheet lists the slot machines that paid out the most money the previous day. The figures represent both machine-paid, and hand-paid monies.

Each "Top 40 List" is dated, and details in spreadsheet format the denomination of the machine, the game format, the serial number of the machine, the machine's location, and the total amount of money it paid out the previous day.

For example, the sheet's summary for Apri1 6, 1999, distributed the next day, informed players that among $1.00 machines, Red, White, & Blue Sevens machine number 21/04/04 on the second floor paid out the most money, a total of $26,911. Among 50-cent machines, Multi-Poker machine number 31/08/05 on the third floor was tops with $9,530 in pay outs. Among 25-cent machines, Reel 'Em In machine number 31/08/05 on the third floor was the leader with $16,159.

"The public response to our 'Top 40 List' has been very favorable," said Joe Domenico, senior vice president and general manager for Harrah's East Chicago Casino. "The concept has been used at other Harrah's properties around the world, but this is a first in the Chicago-area. The sheets are available at locations on every deck of the vessel."

It's important to remember that just because a machine was "hot" the previous day doesn't necessarily mean it will be so the next day. What IS important about the information is that if you collect the sheets over an extended period of time, you just may be able to pinpoint machines that have a higher pay back percentage, thus avoiding playing the machines that have a lower pay back percentage.

The computer chips that govern the play of each slot machine, including its individual pay back percentage, are seldom changed. In fact, the casino can only change the chips with the consent and supervision of the state's gaming commission. The machine's location on the floor may change, but if you know the serial number you'll always be able to find it.

Nothing is guaranteed with any casino game you play. But the more information you are able to collect about the games, including slot machines, the more informed player you'll be. Hats off to Harrah's East Chicago Casino for taking a big step in the right direction.


For more information about slots and video poker, we recommend:

Break the One-Armed Bandits! by Frank Scoblete
Victory at Video Poker and Video Craps, Keno and Blackjack! by Frank Scoblete
Slot Conquest Audio Cassette Tape (60 minutes) with Frank Scoblete
Winning Strategies at Slots & Video Poker! Video tape hosted by Academy Award Winner James Coburn, Written by Frank Scoblete
The Slot Machine Answer Book by John Grochowski
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