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SLOTS FAQ's – Readers’ Comments 1

I have been discussing slot games with the 'duo of Arnie and Al'. They have provided some interesting questions and unique advice as you will find in the following e-mail exchange.

Arnie is up first:
Gayle: I was perusing your archives and found the question, "Are 5X slot machines programmed for peak times?" and your answer was "casinos can't 'flip a switch' to change slot payouts." I am not sure that is really true.  Let me tell you why.

Many years ago, I was heavily into Amiga Computers and as part of a large and very active users' group that met weekly, we kept up with all the latest news - both public and "insider", as to the company. Many of us were also stockholders. Then and now (even though the company is defunct), they were the only truly multi-tasking computers made.
When Commodore, the manufacturer, seemed to be in trouble (of going under) they luckily secured a contract with a slot company to supply the Amiga chips for their slot machines and we users all hoped it would keep them afloat until someone at Commodore could develop a decent marketing plan and make the Amiga a principal player in the computer industry. As luck would have it, I was in the Bally Casino in Reno the week when the mechs were changing out the majority of the slot machines (that was many years ago).

I discreetly inquired if the changout they were making included the Amiga chips in the slots.  The mechs were amazed that I even knew that those chips were being installed into slot machines (guess it was a secret).
The mechs said, "yes."  I retorted something like, "Gee, that means all the slots could be controlled from one central location w/o having to work on individual machines." I got a - You got it! wink, nod and a smile.
Let's go to the current time and date.  The wife and I have been traveling to the MS Gulf Coast casinos for at least 4 years now and we average 5 trips a year.  We play slots at every casino with little exception (we stopped going to the New Palace and the Beau Rivage is not really all that appealing) and we don't usually get to the Backbay (Imperial Place and Boomtown) unless we plan on eating at Boomtown).
So, I'll keep my observations to the other ones. Since we are usually there 2-3 days at a clip and rotate among the casinos, we get to observe what is happening.

Now I will play all the quarter slots in the casino we are in except I bypass most of the progressive slots games.
My wife is a bit more picky and she migrates between the quarters, half-dollar, and dollar slot machines.
There ARE many times of day when nothing is paying - in any denomination.
Then, viola', everything changes - usually after 4PM when folks getting off work start trickling in.
Sometimes they "loosen" after 11PM when many folks have gone home.
There is one casino I used to schedule to play between midnight and 3AM because the machines I liked to play paid better at that time than midday or evening.
The times of day between loose/tight do vary with the casino - don't want you to think that it isn't wise to play any of them between 9AM and 4PM.

One other observation is that of what I call the "The Bus People." Call it my imagination if you must but here is what we both have observed individually. The slots aren't paying worth a damn. Then a full busload (or more) arrives. After about 20-minutes of these folks getting in the door, the slots loosen.
Then anywhere from 1-2 hours before their departure (depending on how long they are staying) the slots tighten - A LOT!
Guess that sort of insures the winnings they made will trickle back to the casino along with everything in their wallets and purses, ("Gee, the slots were paying a few minutes ago, guess I'll keep trying" mentality).  If we are playing where bus people are, we make sure of the departure schedule and leave at least an hour before they are set to depart.

And if we happen to be pulling into the parking lot when we see a bus loading to go home, we don't even get out of our vehicle - we go elsewhere because we know it will be at least an hour before the slot machines start paying again. My imagination? My wife's as well? I don't think so. Arnie.

Arnie: Very interesting e-mail. I always fall back on the opinion that no credible casino is going to risk losing their gaming license by fooling with their slot payouts. MS casinos are highly regulated and the Gaming Commission would not look kindly on this method. I would also like to ask your permission to run this. It would certainly be of interest to our readers. Thanks. Gayle.

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