Daily News Poker News Online Gaming News Investor News Vegas News Featured Articles
Strategies & Tips Books & Movies
Gaming Life Gaming Tips Comps & Promos
HOME > > Ask the Slot Expert: A tale of two bankrolls

Ask the Slot Expert: A tale of two bankrolls

3 April 2024

By John Robison

Two slot players are sitting side by side at identical Double Diamond machines. They each put $100 into their machines and bet the max on each spin.

After an hour or so of play and playing the same number of spins, they get up to go get something to eat at the food court, the buffet having been closed four years ago. On the way to the food court, they compare their results. They each lost $100.

Let's compare their stats from the casino's point of view. They each played the same number of spins, so their coin-in is the same. Their machines are identical in every way, so the casino's theoretical wins from the players are the same. The casino's actual wins are the same too, $100.

Most (all?) slot club systems would rank these two players as equally desirable. But are they?

Let's take a closer look at what happened while they played.

Player A hit a few nice payouts early on and kept hitting frequently through the hour. He never had to put more money into his machine. He ran out of credits just when it was time to go eat.

Player B was not so fortunate. His luck started off bad and just got worse. He had to put $400 more into his machine until Lady Luck finally smiled on him and he hit a few good payouts. He cashed out $400.

Let's put on our deerstalker hats and think like Sherlock Holmes. What can we deduce about these two players?

We know that Player A had at least $100 in his bankroll. We also know that Player B had at least $500 in his bankroll. We can deduce that Player B might be worth more to us in the long run because he seems to have deeper pockets.

The past two weeks we've been discussing Acres Manufacturing's Video Poker Analyzer, software that tells casinos how well you play video poker. Let's look at another product from Acres, Player Budget, this week.

Player Budget is A Modern Method to Identify Profitable Players. Simply put, the product captures the largest loss a player experiences during a playing session. Acres contends that this new metric, Player Budget, is a better indicator of how profitable a player is than theoretical/actual win.

How would a casino use Player Budget in determining the offers sent to players?

Under the current system, both Player A and Player B have the same stats, so they qualify for the same offers.

If a casino had the Player Budget software, it would know that Player B had at least $500 in his wallet. He seems to have a bigger gambling bankroll than Player A, so maybe he should get better offers. Let's try to get the guy with more money to come back to give us another shot at his bankroll.

Now, I happen to know both players and I know that Player B brought $500 to the casino and Player A actually brought $1000. Player A was just lucky and didn't have to feed his machine again.

That snarky hypothetical aside, over time (with more data points, that is) luck will be less of a factor and the Player Budget software will be more accurate in estimating a player's gambling budget.

According to the product page, casinos can develop "marketing offers driven by profit potential, not historic theoretical value." [Yes, that should be historical, not historic, as in: The historic Tropicana on the Las Vegas Strip closed today. I have a collection of T-shirts with colorful birds on them that I bought at The Tropicana on my historical visits to Las Vegas before moving here.]

If you would like to see more non-smoking areas on slot floors in Las Vegas, please sign my petition on change.org.

I didn't know that the Nevada State Legislature meets for only a few months every other year and I had missed the deadline to propose new legislation when I started the petition. We'll be electing a new legislature this year, so let's keep gathering signatures.

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