Daily News Poker News Online Gaming News Investor News Vegas News Featured Articles
Strategies & Tips Books & Movies
Gaming Life Gaming Tips Comps & Promos
HOME > Gaming > Ask the Slot Expert: Balancing long-term payback and slot club rewards in NJ

Ask the Slot Expert: Balancing long-term payback and slot club rewards in NJ

22 January 2014

By John Robison, Slot Expert™

I read your recent column answering a reader's letter about the policy of not awarding players club points for play on some video poker machines at Mohegan Sun, and I thought it might be helpful for your readers to be aware of the following:

Mohegan Sun will track your video poker play if you use a players club card when you play. Though you will not earn spendable points on the better-paying machines, you will earn some offers and benefits.

Foxwoods Resort Casino, eight miles from Mohegan Sun, does award players club points for all video poker play. Foxwoods has 9/6 Jacks or Better (I'm not sure of the lowest denomination). I don't know if it has Double Double Bonus, which your reader wrote about, with the same pay tables as Mohegan Sun.

Thanks for the clarification. I'm glad to see that Mohegan Sun does recognize video poker play on its higher-paying machines, even if the machines don't earn some benefits.

On my recent visit to the Showboat Atlantic City in New Jersey, I was playing a $0.25 9/6 double/double bonus video poker machine that gave you 1 total reward point for every $50 though the machine. The other $0.25 double/double bonus video poker machines that have lesser pay tables (9/5 or 8/5) give you 1 total reward point for every $10 through the machine.

My question is, given this information, which machine would you play or is the best to play?

According to the Wizard of Odds site, these are the long-term paybacks for the Double Double Bonus paytables: 9/6 is 98.98 percent, 9/5 is 97.89 percent and 8/5 is 96.79 percent.

According to the Total Rewards page on Wikipedia, 100 reward credits equals $1 in comps, making each reward credit worth one penny. That makes your return at $50 per credit 0.02 percent (.01/50) and at $10 per credit 0.1 percent (.01/10).

Now, let's look at your options. You could play 9/6 DDB and get 98.98 percent from the game and 0.02 percent from Total Rewards for a total payback of 99 percent. You could 9/5 DDB and get 97.89 percent from the game and 0.1 percent from Total Rewards for a total of 97.99 percent. You could play 8/5 DDB, but why would you want to do that if 9/5 DDB awards Total Rewards credits at the same rate. I'd say the 9/6 DDB machine wins.

Let's calculate the returns a different way to check our work. Assume we play $100 through each machine. On the 9/6 DDB machine, we'd expect to get back $98.98 on the average and two reward credits worth two cents. Our total is $99, which is 99 percent of our action.

On the 9/5 DDB machine, we'd expect to have $97.89 from our $100 in action and 10 reward credits worth a dime. The total is $97.99 or 97.99 percent of our action.

Play the 9/6 game.

It's said that the very first slot spin in Washington State determines the full outcome.

Does that mean, John, that included are bonus and retriggers, credit earned for every single spin, as well as the total or final sum from that first spin?

Please continue your understandable, unhurried and, at times, cheerful replies.

I'm only cheerful at times? Let's hope this is one of those times.

The answers to your questions are probably yes and possibly no.

The Washington State Gambling Commission's website has changed since I visited it last October and this description is no longer on the site, but here is the way it described how Washington's slot machines work then.

The slots are like a scratch-off lottery ticket. When you start a spin, your machine gets its result from a central system that is, in effect, giving you the next ticket in a bundle of scratch-off tickets. In most systems, one ticket is used to give the result of the base spin and any bonus events. The page also said that the commission was looking at systems that get separate tickets for the base game and any bonus events.

So, your machine most likely knows the total value of your spin at the beginning of the spin, but there's a possibility that the slot may get a result from the central system for each event.

Send your slot and video poker questions to John Robison, Slot Expert™, at slotexpert@slotexpert.com. Because of the volume of mail I receive, I regret that I can't reply to every question.

Copyright © John Robison. Slot Expert and Ask the Slot Expert are trademarks of John Robison.

John Robison
John Robison is an expert on slot machines and how to play them. John is a slot and video poker columnist and has written for many of gaming's leading publications. Hear John on "The Good Times Radio Gaming Show," broadcast from Memphis on KXIQ 1180AM Friday afternoons. You can listen to archives of the show online anytime.

More about John Robison
More articles by John Robison

Books by John Robison:

The Slot Expert's Guide to Playing Slots
More books by John Robison
Sign up for Casino City's Newsletter and a Chance to Win an exciting Casino City Prize