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Answering a few great questions from readers

By Frank Scoblete


FROM DEBBIE AND DAVE: The following are three different questions that we hope might be answered in your publication. We are on our second year of subscription and have not seen these questions appear. We love your magazine and have now started receiving Casino Player as well.


We are conservative players and know to avoid the casino-linked jumbo progressives. Our question is regarding the progressives that are within a single slot machine:  Do the payouts from the progressive feature cause the over-all payback of the machine to be lower?  Are those types of additional progressive payouts (that is the Mini, Maxi, Major, Mega ) pre-determined?


Any progressive slot machine will tend to pay back a smaller percentage than non-progressive machines. Yes, even machines that are just singletons or the ones only banked in a given casino will not be returning as much as a regular stand-alone non-progressive.

I am not exactly sure what you mean by pre-determined but if you mean are they hits set in stone, the answer is no, they are based on the probability of hitting. You might have a one in 10,000 chance of hitting the progressive jackpot on average but it is not once every 10,000 hits; sometimes it could be once in a thousand and sometimes once in 15,000. In that sense it is random.

We are very impressed with the logic and fun in your publication and look forward to its arrival every month!

We have noticed that quite often banks of machines will be moved from one area of the casino to another. When one of our favorites ends up in a different location, it often seems as if the payback percentages must have been lowered. While once a popular set of machines with the locals, these machines now sit virtually unplayed after the move.  Is the relocation process a good time for the casino to request a microprocessor chip change?  Any thoughts?


A chip change in the machine might occur. It might not. Machines are moved around for various reasons. For example, it could also be that the slot manager wants a new machine to grab more income from the players but he hasn’t actually changed the payback on the old machine. The slot manager also might just be rearranging his floor hoping to draw in more money with all the machines. The idea there would be new (as in arrangement of the slot floor) is better.

Local players might just enjoy a given area of a casino in order to play their slots. The area might be more important than the actual machines they play. There can be a difference in overall play during the weeks and during the weekends. Maybe during the weekends the old machines actually do get more play.

I am somewhat leery in listening to individuals who only play weekly or monthly or less. The machines can’t be pegged so quickly.


We have received many thought-provoking tips from your great publications; sensible advice that has enhanced our time at the casinos. While in the casino, we often see random cash tickets of a few cents or more set upon machines or in the area around the machines that previous players have left behind, rather than bothering to cash out such small amounts.

Is it legal to pick those tickets up and use in a machine you choose to play?  What about finding credit balances or promotional credits left in a machine?


Quick response – no. If the ticket is just hanging around on top of a machine or lying on the floor, it is the same as if it were a chip on the floor. It belongs to the casino. It is considered the casino’s money.

Credits left in a machine are a hazy issue. The casinos think those credits belong to them, and they do, but casinos have rarely (or never) arrested anyone for playing them.

I do not want to give you advice to do something illegal so you have to go your own way in these matters.

By the way, your three questions were excellent.


The laws or regulations governing play and process tend to be somewhat different based on where you are playing. For example, some venues state clearly in their casino rules that slot machines can only pay back so-much as a maximum and/or so-much as a minimum.

Most states have some type of casino-control commission that has the rules and regulations of the machines (and the table games) and if you are interested you can ask for a copy or, even easier, go to their web sites to look up what you want to know. Consider doing so “an ounce of prevention.”


Visit Frank’s web site at Frank’s latest books are Confessions of a Wayward Catholic!; I Am a Dice Controller and I Am a Card Counter. All of Frank’s books are vailable from, Kindle, Barnes and Noble, e-books and at bookstores.



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