Tuesday, January 16, 2007

What The Bleep Is A 100% Payback Slot Machine?

Because you are going to win as often as you loose, in the long run, machines that claim 100% payback can and will make you experience a loss as often as those 98% machines. We humans live too short a life to experience the "long run" odds very often. Randomly select balls from a jar full of 50 black and 50 white balls. A casual sampling of 3 balls (with replacement) will yield three white balls (signifying a big win) or three black balls (signifying a big loss) in a fairly random way. You can and will still lose as often as you win, again: "in the long run". Because we naturally quit (unless we are compulsive gamblers) when we lose, we walk away after a losing session. Because you've had a few drinks and maybe you aren't playing optimal strategy on the video poker hands. Or maybe you think the machine is paying 100%, but there is only one machine in the bank of eight machines paying 100% payback, and you are probably not playing that one at this point in time! Those sneaky casinos always have a gimmick!

But what about those machines I've seen at the locals joints that claim a greater than 100% payback? Would the casinos be charitable enough to place a machine that pays out more than it takes in on the casino floor?

In his straightforward Video Poker Optimum Play the retired computer expert and part-time poker-dealer instructor Dan Paymar starkly outlines the matter. "Suppose you're playing 600 hands per hour on a five-coin $1 Deuces Wild at 100.75% average payback," he says of one of the machines known to pay back more than they take in. "At five dollars per play, you're wagering $3,000 per hour. Over the long term, you can expect to gain an average of .75% of your wagers, or $22.50 per hour ..." In other words, if you are willing to risk $24,000 a day, "over the long term" you might make a little more than $150 a day. You might. Or you might not!

Better bet: find a night job that pays $22.50 an hour!

I welcome your comments on this topic.

Why "What the bleep"? Watch for my next instalment, where I talk about how to use the latest knowledge about quantum physics, reality shifting, and universal mass consciousness to make the video poker machine spit out royal flushes at will! :)


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