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
 

Shake, rattle and roll some questions from readers

24 January 2007

"I am attempting to perform some research into the current status of electronic slot machines in Illinois. I thought that the legislature had allowed these machines to be legal in bars and other public places, but cannot find any information on this." - Scott M.

Electronic gaming devices in Illinois are legal only within the confines of the state's nine licensed casino operations, but you may want to switch your research efforts to Indiana, where there is a movement afoot to draft legislation that would legalize the devices at bars, restaurants and fraternal organizations. The Indiana Licensed Beverage Association is making the push, which members of the organization say will stifle alleged rampant illegal machine placement and activity.

"Do you know where I can buy help cards for blackjack and video poker?" - Tony W.

For video poker strategy cards I suggest that you go to the Website of one of the top experts, Bob Dancer, at www.bobdancer.com. Click on the products link and you'll find strategy cards for every video poker game available for purchase. I also recommend Mike Shackelford's "Wizard of Odds" site (www.wizardofodds.com) for video poker as well as blackjack strategy. When you reach the home page click on "Game Info & Strategies" and then click on blackjack, which will take you to Mike's strategy charts.

"I don't think you realize just how bad Guaranteed Play video poker actually is. For 9/6 "Jacks or Better" you get 150 plays for $20. The problem is that any time you have a plus or break even score you are $20 worse off. You only gain when you are down more than 16 bets and the vast majority of this will be very small gains unless you have an incredibly bad run of cards or are a very poor player. I suspect that using this feature is at least four percent worse for the player, not four percent better." - Howard S.

I'm no mathematician, but my instincts tell me Guaranteed Play video poker is going to be a bonanza for the casinos as you suspect. International Game Technology is aggressively marketing the product. I believe it will be a hit with gambling novices and will be promoted as an enhancement to overnight packages for people who aren't necessarily casino goers. Experienced video poker players who are regulars are likely to avoid the game.

"Can you tell me what the return is on fifty-line penny machines? I've seen people put almost $300 in them and get no return, even when they go to the so-called 'bonus round'. Are these machines basically for the house?" - Gloria S.

Your observations reflect the nature of the penny slot machine beast. They are programmed to retain the highest profit percentage of any denomination on the casino floor. Here in the Chicago area the average gets as high as 15 percent hold (casino win) on penny games as opposed to around 3-4 percent for five-dollar machines, 4-5 percent for dollars, 6-7 percent for quarters and 10-12 percent for nickels. The reason it hits players so hard is because even though you bet in penny increments you can wind up wagering two, three, four even five dollars per spin. Also, there is another factor that comes into play: many of the low-denomination games have a high "hit" frequency (getting a winning combination) many of which, however, return amounts equal to or even less than your bet. The machines give you the illusion of winning because you are being paid, but in reality it's just grinding your bankroll down slowly but surely. Yes, you can win during any given window of playing time, but consistent play on them over an extended period of time is always a losing proposition.

CASINO NEWS: High Stakes Poker begins its third season on GSN (The Network for Games) with a 13-week run starting Monday (Jan. 15). The show airs locally at 8 pm (check your local cable listings for channel). HSP, the only cash poker competition on TV, features the top players in the world buying in with at least $100,000 and up to $1-million for No Limit Texas Hold'em. Jamie Gold, the 2006 World Series of Poker Champion, will be making his debut on the show.

The "Destiny Dollar Daze" promotion at Resorts East Chicago is ongoing through January 31. Resorts Destination Casino Club members can watch their Destiny Dollars balance grow by receiving 3-times points for recorded play on any table game and slot machines of less than one dollar denomination, and 6-times points for all recorded play on one dollar slots and higher. Destiny Dollars are redeemable at any Resorts International Destinations property across the country, including Atlantic City and Las Vegas.

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