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Best of John G. Brokopp

Gaming Guru

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Nuggets of Useful Information for Gamblers

6 October 2010

Concise information about the games people play in casinos is always helpful, so here goes:

* You probably know the feeling. You walk away from a slot machine after losing some money, then glance over your shoulder and watch the very next person who sits down hit a jackpot. That money should have been yours, you think. Well, as the line from the old song goes, it ain't necessarily so. Even when a slot machine isn't being played, it is still processing combinations until one is revealed when somebody makes a bet. Everyone's chances of hitting a jackpot are always the same during any given window of playing time. In the time it took you to get up and somebody else to sit down, thousands of combinations were presented. Jackpots are always possible but they are never waiting to happen.

* When you play slot machines, do you watch with anticipation as the reels stop one by one until a decision is reached? One jackpot symbol, two jackpot symbols, then nothing, with that third symbol that'll trigger a big hit hanging enticingly above the pay-line. Is the machine teasing you? Not really. The reels on traditional spinning reel and video slots do not spin independently of one another. The outcome of the symbols on the pay line or the grid of symbols on a video slot is predetermined the instant you initiate a play. The drama of watching the reels is an illusion that is created to simulate a game-playing experience; and to make slot play more fun and entertaining.

* Have you ever thought of blackjack in terms of football, that is, both an offensive and a defensive game? It's true. You're on offense when you double down on 11 against a dealer's 6. For the player it's first and goal in an attempt to capitalize on a favorable situation. However, you go on defense when you split 8s against a dealer's 10. How so? A pair of 8s gives you 16, a treacherous hand. Splitting those 8s means you're gambling to turn one bad hand into two good ones in hopes of sacking the dealer at the price of doubling your bet. Sometimes it pays off, other times it doesn't. But it's always the correct play.

* Slot machine play is fertile ground for misinformation. For example, have you ever noticed that periodic two-second delay when the machine won't allow you to make a bet? I've heard people say the machine is somehow re-cycling into a winning or losing mode or perhaps it's a tip that a jackpot is on the way. That's all a myth. The delay isn't a signal. It takes place when the machine's internal electronic meters are being updated. The meters have no connection with the random number generator and therefore have no significance for the player or anything at all to do with winning or losing. A slot's programmed percentage payback is always constant.

CASINO NEWS: Blue Chip Casino, Hotel & Spa in Michigan City, Indiana has a clever promotion on Tuesdays during the month of October titled "Name of the Week". The casino will randomly select a first name each promotion day and display it on property. Guests with that name are invited to visit the B Connected player's club center to receive complimentary Blue Chip merchandise.

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