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Gaming Guru

 

Just Ask Scobe and AP

2 September 2002

Dear Scobe and AP:

Have you seen any of this new software for PCs that lets you play upwards of 20 or more of the casino slot machines on your home computer? I paid $20 for a program that allows me to play Hay Wire, Five Times Pay, Hot Peppers, Ten Times Pay, Double Cherry, Double Diamond, Double Double Diamond, and Triple Diamond just like all of the slot machines I would see at Tunica.

The slot machines I play on my PC aren't any easier to win on than the real things but playing the different machines on the PC helps me understand the features offered by each particular machine so I feel I'm a more educated player when I go back to Tunica to play the real machines.

The software also allows me to compare a two-coin machine or a three-coin machine with one pay line to a five-coin machine with five pay lines. To gain this experience in the casino could be costly but it costs me nothing to "practice" on my PC at home.

JW

Dear JW:

Many casino players are learning the enjoyment of having casino software for their PCs. Not only can you find software for slots and video poker, but most table games such as blackjack, craps, roulette also have software that can be bought.

You are absolutely correct in stating that you can get a feel for a machine by playing a PC version of it. Essentially, what you learn is the pattern of how the machine pays back. Some machines will have higher hit frequencies and some will have lower hit frequencies. The only thing the software can't help you with is what the actual return percentage on the machines will be in the casino, although some software might allow you to "program" certain returns on your PC games. If that is true of the software you have, we suggest you get a hold of the payback statistics for Tunica, program them in and see how you fare.

Of course, even that is not a completely accurate picture as two of the same machines in the same casino could be returning radically different paybacks. Slot manufacturers usually offer their machines with tight to loose programming. You can get machines programmed to return, say, 83 percent; others 90 percent; still others 95-98 percent. Often a casino will buy a mix of programming and carefully place the machines on the floor to increase return--the casino return, that is.

Still, it's relatively cheap education playing on your PC, since it's just the cost of the software, and in games such as blackjack and video poker, playing on a PC can teach you the very best strategies to employ in the casino.

Alene Paone
Alene Paone is the publisher of Paone Press which specializes in gaming books, videos and audio cassettes. For a free brochure call: 1-800-944-0406.
Alene Paone
Alene Paone is the publisher of Paone Press which specializes in gaming books, videos and audio cassettes. For a free brochure call: 1-800-944-0406.