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Ask the Wizard #68
Ray from Shelton, Connecticut
There is a common misconception that a continuous shuffler is equivalent mathematically to an infinite deck game. It is not. If the first card dealt is an ace, for example, the probability that second card is an ace is slightly less than 1/13, because one ace has already been removed from the shoe. As I have explained in great detail in my blackjack appendix 10 a continuous shuffler actually lowers the house edge marginally compared to a cut card game. However the dealer never stops to shuffle so you are being exposed to more hands per hour, so expect to lose more per hour. I doubt very much they allow early surrender at the Mohegan Sun, if they did the player would have an edge of 0.28%. Assuming you really meant late surrender the house edge is coincidentally 0.28%, according to Blackjack Edge software.
August from Oshkosh, USA
The probability that if you roll 10 dice and exactly 8 numbers are the same is 6*combin(10,8)*(1/6)8*(5/6)2 = 1/8957.952. The probability of matching at least 8 is 6*[combin(10,8)*(1/6)8*(5/6)2 + combin(10,9)*(1/6)9*(5/6) + (1/6)10] = 1/8569.469.
Sarah from Oshawa, Ontario, Canada
I don’t know whether the chances of winning were better or not. They worked the same way as they do now except each stop on each reel had an equal chance. The very early ones didn’t pay money but chewing gum, which explains the bar symbols (sticks of gum) and fruits (flavors) on some modern slot machines.
Bob from Falls Church, Virginia
No, I didn’t account for splitting the jackpot. That definitely does depress the value, the more people that play the more it reduces the expected return. I didn’t have enough information about number of players when I wrote that article to properly factor that in.
Michael from Erie, USA
The Crucial Casinos web site presents an analysis of this game, in which the writer claims the break even point is at $53,000. You can read all about it at www.crucialcasinos.com/progressive_slots/supajax.
Arthur from West Orange, New Jersey
The optimal ratio is to bet 100% on the ante and 0% on the Pairplus. Assuming full pay rules the element of risk is 2.01% on the Ante and 3.37% on Pairplus. Your goal should be to minimize the element or risk as much as possible. Be warned that every other player will bet on the Pairplus and will ridicule those who don’t go along. Once I bet $50 on the Ante only and got a straight flush, which would have paid $2000 on the Pairplus. The other players had a good laugh at my expense but I had no regrets.
Jef from Atlantic City, US
IGT was right when they said you should use the same strategy for Spin Poker as single line video poker. Mathematically speaking the odds are the same. However Spin Poker has greater volatility since 9 different lines share many of the same cards. The same is true of multi-play video poker, the strategy and return is the same for a single line game. I do get into the volatility of multi-play video poker in my video poker appendix 3.
Ray from Maple Glen, Pennsylvania
For those who don't know Power Poker is a Microgaming term for 4-play video poker. $1 video poker has much more volatility than 25 cents 4-play. With more volatility the probability of ruin is greater, but so is the probability of a big win.