Ask the Wizard #101
The first player should spin again if his first spin is 65 cents or less.
If any of the following conditions are true the second player should spin again.
- His score is less than the first player’s score.
- His score is 50 cents or less.
- His score is 65 cents or less and he has tied the first player.
I’ve seen this game. As I understand gaming regulations it is permissible to have the lower prizes more likely than the higher prizes. The best you can do is to estimate the average win of a four of a kind and then run that through an appropriate program to get at the optimal return. To get a strategy you can use Video Poker Strategy Master or Frugal Video Poker by entering any pay table.
You accessed my strategy quite well. I intended to bet the minimum through most of the hour to avoid the house edge grinding me down. The producer was not happy with such a boring strategy so I tried to act more excited than I normally would be. The reason I picked a single number as opposed to an even money bet is that I wanted volatility. I knew if I ended close to my starting point of $10,000 I would probably lose. So I wanted a bigger shot at getting ahead. I stuck with 23 the entire time, although towards the end I added 5 as well. I’m Glad you liked the show.
To answer your question I asked a well connected gaming consultant and he said Nevada regulations state that one stop on a reel can not be weighted more than six times more than either stop next to it. So if a jackpot symbol were weighted by 1 and both bordering blanks were weighted by 6 then there would be 12 near misses for every one time the reel stopped on the jackpot symbol. This would be the maximum allowed near miss effect. My own results detailed in my slot machine appendix 1 back up this theory well. The red double seven was the highest paying symbol and I saw the blanks above and below it about 5 to 6 times as often:
Double Strike Actual Results
|Symbol||Reel 1||Reel 2||Reel 3|
|Double red 7||52||51||55|
The same source said that New Jersey and Mississippi likely have adopted the Nevada regulations.
No, you never touch your chips once the bet has been made until the hand is over. The signal to surrender is to use your index finger and pretend to draw a line along the blackjack table, just behind your bet from left to right. I didn’t even know this until a friend from Europe did just that recently at the table. It is just as good to simply say "surrender."
Thanks! Yes, I said before that if I had a betting system that had just a 1% advantage I could turn $1000 into $1,000,000 by simply grinding out that edge. This would also be possible in video poker but it would take much longer because the 0.77% advantage game (full pay deuces wild) can only be found in the quarter level. Assuming you can play 1000 hands per hour (a speed few can attain) and played perfectly that would result in an average income of $9.63 per hour. To reach $1,000,000 would require working 11.86 years non-stop. $1000 would also be very undercapitalized to play quarter video poker, so the risk of ruin would be quite high. It would be faster to reach the $1,000,000 with the same edge in a table game because the player can bet more.