The Gambling World of Slots According to Grochowski


Over the last two years, you have heard me mention John Grochowski when I was looking for an answer about things in the casino industry.  I was checking some of John’s previous points and found some of the gambling facts, or myths that that many gamblers believe concerning slots.

Sometimes, I have to bite my tongue socially when hearing the ignorance surrounding gambling.  Reading John’s weekly posts sometimes makes me wonder if, with all the resources & knowledge available, people just want to wallow in ignorance to be the victim of the gambling industry. So, yes, this is a rant – unprovoked, but needed.  Here’s the key – after the IOU ( = Ignorant Overheard Utterance) that I have experienced before as well as Mr. G, John’s will then set us straight with truth.

Here goes:

senior-playing-slotsI.O.U #1 – Slot Strategy – “If I had five losing spins in a row pulling the handle, I’d switch to pushing the button. If I was losing on the buttons, I’d go back to the handle.” JG’s Response – Once slots went electronic and the buttons were installed, pulling the handle just tripped the same relay as pushing the button. Handles were there as window dressing, a comfort factor for those used to them.

I.O.U #2 – Slot machine bonus rounds – “The amounts you pick are predetermined no matter what you choose – not random?” Or do they actually put random amounts under each bonus choice and rely on your picking to be random enough?” JG’s Response – The end result of your bonus event is not determined in advance. Your choices really do make a difference.

I.O.U #3 – “Video slots pay off less than reel-spinners. They’re just computers, and programmers can do anything with computers.” JG’s Response – Reel-spinning games are just computers in disguise, too. Regardless of whether you’re playing a reel slot or a video slot, the real game is being played out on the random number generator within.

Twin River RugI.O.U #4 – “I guess the casino won their quota.I or anyone else isn’t winning [The casino] must have won enough to meet their goals, and now they can let there be a few winners for show.” JG’s Response – Casinos don’t have to control individual results to know what to expect from a game. It’s enough to control the odds of the game, and the odds are set so that the payout is less than the true odds of winning your bet. That’s how the house makes money on table games, it’s how it makes money on video poker, and it’s how it makes money on slot machines.


1566251079John Grochowski is the best-selling author of The Craps Answer Book, The Slot Machine Answer Book and The Video Poker Answer Book. His weekly column is syndicated to newspapers and Web sites, and he contributes to many of the major magazines and newspapers in the gaming field, including Midwest Gaming and Travel, Slot Manager, Casino Journal, Strictly Slots and Casino Player.

Listen to John Grochowski’s “Casino Answer Man” tips Tuesday through Friday at 5:18 p.m. on WLS-AM (890) in Chicago, with podcasts at Look for John Grochowski on Facebook ( and Twitter (@GrochowskiJ).



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That’s all for now.  If you have a question, forward it to me, or better yet straight to John.  He’s one of the friendliest “Answer Men” on the planet.

That’s all for now