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Best of John G. Brokopp

Gaming Guru

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New Slots Send Up Caution Flag

2 August 1999

On one of our trips to Las Vegas, my wife, Georgette, and I came across a variety of slot machine we had never before seen. We found them at the Rio Suite Hotel & Casino and The Orleans Hotel & Casino. The machines were SO new, in fact, the Rio had not yet had a chance to install their "Play Rio" player card tracking boxes in them.

The machines were developed and are manufactured by the slot industry giant, IGT (International Game Technology), makers of the most popular reel slots in the world, including Red, White, & Blue Sevens, Double Diamond, Triple Diamond, and Five-Times Pay. What is IGT's new entry into this intensely competitive market? Vision Series.

In answer to increasing competition from manufacturers of video screen slot technology and game-within-a-game formats, IGT has introduced the Vision Series, a variety of slot machine that integrates traditional spinning reel games with state of the art LCD (Liquid Crystal Display).

If and when the games are introduced to your gaming market, there are psychological pit falls and money management snares associated with the games of which you should be aware. Before we get into them, let's first examine some of the Vision Series games:

Red, White & Blue Racing 7s: There are three sevens, a red 7, a white 7, and a blue 7, lined up on individual tracks on the LCD screen. They advance when one or more corresponding sevens are lined up on any of the machine's three reels. When one or more of the sevens reaches the finish line, the player earns bonus credits, a checkered flag is waved on the LCD, and "winner" music is played.

Double Diamond Mine: When a Double Diamond symbol appears on the payline of any of the three reels, diamonds drop down one of the corresponding three mine shafts in proportion to the number of coins played. When one or more of the shafts is full, the diamonds drop into an ore car, and a 10-credit bonus is awarded for each full shaft.

Wild Cherry Pie: When a cherry stops on (or within one position of) the payline, cherries are added to one of nine individual sections of the cherry pie. With six cherries to a section, the object is fill all nine sections to win the bonus. A full pie activates a pie-eating animation and the bonus is awarded.

While the games sound like fun, the inherent danger is that players will "chase" the bonus jackpots, which is probably why the casino operators will be placing the machines on their floors in the first place. But that doesn't mean that we as players must step in line and fall prey to them.

As a player gets closer to hitting the bonus, the temptation is to remain at the machine and play more than you originally intended. After all, if you get up and leave, somebody else is going to come along and attempt to capitalize on all the ground work you did. For example, if you are just three cherries short of filling up the pie in the Wild Cherry Pie game, it's tough to quit playing. But staying in that chair and chasing the bonus can prove financially harmful.

Why place yourself between a rock and a hard place when you play the slots when there are so many other game formats available? Chasing jackpots is one of the biggest mistakes you can make when playing the slots, and IGT's new Vision Series just makes it easier for players to fall into the trap.

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