Progressive Slot Machines – Stand-alone

I hope I’m using the term “wongable” correctly. It means there’s a point in gambling, usually referring to blackjack card counting, where it is a good idea to play a game with a higher EV according to certain rules or progressions in the game.

With slot machines, no matter what someone tells you, slot machines “hit-ability” cannot not be determined due to the Random Number Generator. But, in blackjack, deep penetration of the shoe causes the EV to rise in favor of the player, especially card counters.

With slots, we play without the sure knowledge of its pay out percentage.  It would be great if we could, especially with progressive slots.

A progressive jackpot game is one in which the size of the top jackpot grows with every spin of the reels. Before choosing a progressive slot machine, players need to be aware of the fact that playing such a machine is not the same as playing other slots. A certain portion of every bet is accumulated to form the progressive jackpot. In standalone progressives, the jackpot point is reset at a certain amount once the jackpot is hit.

There are 3 kinds of progressive slots:

IGT’s Hot Shot is an example of a “Local” Progressive

  • Standalone progressives – A standalone progressive jackpot only grows when you play that individual machine.
  • Local area progressives – A local area progressive is networked with a group of other slot machines within the same casino. Play on any of those machines causes the jackpot for all those games to grow. If the jackpot is hit on any of those machines, the jackpot on all the machines resets to its starting point.
  • Wide area progressives – Wide area progressives are the games that are networked across multiple casinos. These are the games where the jackpots get high enough to compete with lottery games. The biggest example of a wide area progressive is Megabucks. The jackpot for this game starts at $10 million and grows until it’s hit. The jackpot has grown to over $30 million on at least 2 different occasions.

STANDALONE PROGRESSIVE SLOTS

A standalone progressive slot machine has a jackpot ticker on the game, but only bets placed on that specific machine feed the jackpot. This was, at one time, the only kind of progressive slot machine game available, but most progressives feature multiple machines that are linked together. Still, so many standalone machines were manufactured that these games are still easily found in casinos throughout the world.

Quick Hit Slot Machine

The very popular “Quick Hit” Slot Machines can be standalone or hitched together in a group as a local progressive.

These days, standalone progressives can be found produced by all of the major slot machine makers. With any progressive slot, it’s important to understand that a percentage of all the money played into the machine is considered in the payoff. This means that the actual payback percentage will be less on the other winning symbols and in some case the payback percentage on the Progressive machines will be less than other machines in the casino.  The higher the progressive amount (as in wide area progressives), the lower the payout percentage.

For this reason, while standalone slots won’t usually pay that “life-changing” jackpot, they can also keep you in the game longer than larger progressive slots. As already explained above, a certain portion of every bet is accumulated to form the progressive jackpot.

SUGGESTION #1 – KNOW THY MACHINE

So many people, when playing progressive slots, don’t want to be aware of that machine.  There are many differences in progressives.  For example, some (most Wide area progressives) machines need to have the maximum bet played to qualify for winning the progressive jackpot. In standalone progressives, the jackpots are possible at any wager, but there are exceptions.  You must read the machine’s info to know if you are wasting your money. It’s like playing video poker on 4 coins instead of 5.  By doing so, you take away the chance of the inflated Royal Flush payout and diminish the % by 2%.   A player is permitted to make any other bet than the maximum one, but on slots that only payout the progressive with MAX BET, this will bring them only a small part of the progressive jackpot.

SUGGESTION #2 – ABOUT THAT “MUST HIT BY” JACKPOT

The popular IGT “must hit by” feature on “Pirate Ship”

These machines reset at certain amount every time it’s hit.  It then begins to slowly build to a set point, chosen by a second RNG (thanks to John Grochowski for that info).  It may go all the way to the “must hit by” point or hit anywhere in between.  On these machines, max bet is not needed, but a larger bet will make the amount grow quicker.

But how much quicker?  Here’s my suggestion – If it’s close, to the “must hit by” amount,  jump on it.  But when I say close, I mean VERY close.  Here’s an illustration of how slowly the jackpot on these machines grow.

ONCE UPON A TIME….

Ainsworth Rumble Rumble Progressive Slot Machine

Ainsworth Rumble Rumble Progressive Slot Machine

One summer, my wife and I stayed and played at Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas.  There was an Ainsworth “Rumble, Rumble” standalone progressive penny machine – lowest bet was 50 cents, highest $2.50.  It had to hit by $500 and when I sat down, it was at $491!  So I played, and I played – for two days it seemed I was the only one playing.  It reached $495, $497, still didn’t hit.  We figured out that every $5 in caused to Jackpot to move 1 PENNY!!!!  That’s right, ONE CENT!!!!  It hit after $498.  I had lots of good play at $1 & $2 a pull – I still lost money, but not much for two days of play.

Moral of the story – don’t expect it to hit, and if you are in it for the jackpot, make sure you have a large bankroll and you are already close to the Jackpot.  These Jackpots don’t grow quickly, but can hit on any wager.

As you walk around the casinos, see if you can spy these standalone progressive slots and compare the jackpots.  It not only is smart when playing these type of progressive machines, but it may dictate how smart of a wager you will bet.

That’s all for now.

Binbin

 

The Casino – A Zoo Full of Slot Vultures

A Casino or Wildlife Preserve?

Ever look at the casino as a wild life preserve?  It can seem to be very similar. There are many different kinds of wild life in the casino preserve like:

  • The Blackjack Hoot Owl (Tells you the best way to play, whether you want to hear it or not)
  • The Slot Crow (Always complains loudly about the tightness of machines and how they never win)
  • The Strategy Dodo (doesn’t know how, doesn’t care to know how, and wants you to stop everything to lead them through whatever game it is they’re playing)

In the slot machine exhibit,there are many different species of slot players.  Some are quiet and keep to themselves.  Others expect everyone around them to be social, sharing their legendary wins, their misinformed superstitions, and giving their unasked for advice.

But one is genus in the slot exhibit is considered the most annoying and rude of all of them – the SLOT VULTURE, or the Scientific name “Aegypius Monachus Unum Armate Apparatus.” (Latin for ‘One Arm Machine Vulture’)

senior-playing-slots

The elderly can be easy prey for the “Slot Vulture”

Anyone can see them, they are easy to detect, especially if your are in the slot machine pits. It only takes a  few minutes for the most aware casino visitor to notice them – circling around certain machines.

They seem to cunning and sly, but it’s easy to know what there intention is – THEY WANT YOUR MACHINE!

Maybe it’s their favorite, or maybe the limit progressive is getting close to the “must pay by” jackpot. Either way, I like to outwit the slot vultures around me. I try teasing them, like:

  1. making them think I was leaving, but, oops, just stretching.
  2. checking my wallet or email – EVERY TIME MY CREDITS WERE LOW.
  3. acting like I was calling someone to ask them to bring more money

Yes, the slot Human Slot Vulture is a conniving, rude and annoying animal, yet quite naive since we are quite aware of them and understand their animal-like intentions. Their normal habitat can be found in the slot machine area of any casino.

The following comparison is inspired by “Wild Birds Expert” Melissa Mayntz article “20 Fun Facts and Trivia About Vultures” found in Birding/Wild Birds Expert at About.com.  Notice the resemblances of the two species.

Territorial - "I am playing all these Machines!"

Territorial – “I am playing all these Machines!”

Fact 1. Vultures are relatively social roost in large flocks. Human vultures however are content to hunt alone or in very small groups, since they are very territorial once they sit down

Fact 2. Vultures prefer fresh meat but are able to consume carcasses that may have rotted so much as to be dangerous for other animals.  Human Vultures prefer fresh meat as well – we all know that the last human slot player made their new prey available and ready to eat, I mean Slot Machine and “DUE to hit.”

images (3)Fact 3. Vultures have excellent senses of sight and smell to help them locate food, as do the human variety.  Human vultures have keen eyesight to view slot players leaving seats even before the previous slot player has actually “vacated” the seat. This makes them much fun to play with by faking them out repeatedly.

downloadFact 4. Vultures have bare heads, often bare necks and relatively weak legs and feet. This similarity could explain the fact that less slot players are millennials and most slot players are “boomers” and older.

Fact 5. It is a myth that vultures actually circle dying animals waiting to feed. These birds are powerful fliers and will soar on thermals while they look for food, but when they locate a carcass, they will approach it quickly to begin feeding before other predators find it.  However, the human species tends to hover, and watch, even before the carcass, or player’s session, is dead – often feigning interest in their play to get in position to pounce on the next empty seat.

Now for the weirdest of all, and probably the most shocking:

Fact 6. Vultures urinate on their legs and feet to help cool off on hot days.  Did you know that most Las Vegas casinos have employees clean the seats in the early morning for this same reason!

Luckily, the human species won’t hurt you.  They usually just move on to their next possible conquest.

Share your annoying slot machine experience with NETimeGambling. Send us your story at 

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Have a great session, but be careful – it’s like a zoo in there!

Binbin

(Please enjoy one of my most read rants “Stupid Human Tricks” here.  Sometimes I can’t help myself.  But as Tim Dressen in his book “Outsiders Guide to Las Vegas”) reminded me, “It’s my Blog, so I can post my opinion if I want to!” )

 

 

Buffalo Slot Machine Mania

Slot Machines – If you walk into any land-based casino, you’re likely to see several machines, and in some of the bigger venues you’ll find hundreds or thousands of them. But among all those one arm bandits, there have always favorites. Those that  have been popular include Double Diamond, Red White & Blue, Blazing 7’s, Wheel of Fortune, Megabucks, and Cleopatra.

There is a new most popular slot machine, and you can hear it across the casino floor, wild buffalo herds have become an iconic symbol in casinos around the world thanks to Aristocrat Technologies’ wildly successful Buffalo-themed slot machines.

“Buf-fa-looooooo”

“It’s insane how popular it is,” said Paul Riley, a London-based blogger for Gamingslots. “It seems to be everywhere now. At one time, you might see one here or there; now, it’s like casinos have their own Buffalo areas.”

Consider all the variations after the original – Buffalo Deluxe, Buffalo Grand, Buffalo Stampede, Buffalo Gold and the inclusion of these games on the Wonder 4, & Wonder Tower multiple game entries. Enter any casino and you’ll find them. Buffalo has been named the top-performing game for four consecutive years in the annual Goldman Sachs Slot Survey. But, why has it taken the top slot spot?

Ric Anderson of the Las Vegas Sun hints that it is a perfect balance between high and low volatility, saying, “Players say Buffalo strikes an almost perfect balance between the two. The game appeals to a broad range of players, from those who seek fat payoffs to those who are content simply to receive lots of spins. Buffalo’s formula tends to keep players at the game for lengthy periods, thanks to a bonus design that provides free spins.”

The game-play features that contribute to Buffalo’s popularity include:

• A bonus within a bonus. Receive three coins on the first three reels of the game and bonus spins are unlocked. Get more coins on those free spins and more free spins are awarded.

“One of the things players say they really love is the bonus retrigger,” said Matt Wilson, director of marketing and sales at Aristocrat. “They like the ability to accumulate more free games along the way.”

• Reel power. On many slot machines, symbols had to line up for players to win. Not so on Buffalo. As long as the correct symbols appear anywhere on consecutive reels, starting from the farthest left, there’s a payoff.

• Multipliers that multiply each other. When a 2x symbol appears as part of a winning spin, the win doubles. When a 3x symbol comes up, it triples. But when two or more 2x or 3x symbols pop up, they multiply each other to crank up the win by a multiple of six. It’s possible to receive three 3x symbols to multiply the win 27 times.

Paul Riley explains, “The wins are done in a way that they generally come in the bonus feature of the game,” Riley said. “When you hit the bonus feature, there’s almost like a punch-the-fist-in-the-air moment because there’s a good chance you’ll have a big win…….the game’s graphics and audio — such as a loud stampeding noise when buffaloes appear on the reels, and wild animal sounds like the eagle sound, are on par with the classic ringing noise of a slot machine.”

“Buf-fa-looooooo”

So, are we going to see soon from Aristocrat?

“We are thrilled to bring RELM XL to our customers,” said Jon Hanlin, Aristocrat’s vice-president of commercial strategy-gaming operations. “We introduced the new cabinet at Global Gaming Expo 2017, and the response was universally positive, both in terms of the cabinet design and in the games we are launching on RELM XL.”

The cabinet stands nine and one-half feet tall. It features an attractive mechanical wheel “topper” and unique 43-inch J-curved monitor with full touchscreen capabilities, classic reel symbols, stereo sound, and LED edge lighting. The cabinet also houses a physical bell that rings in celebration of a big win.

That’s where its Buffalo franchise comes in. Aristocrat’s first release of the new cabinet and technology includes Buffalo Thundering 7’s and Buffalo Inferno. Buffalo Thundering 7’s features traditional 7’s, bars, multipliers, large symbols including the Buffalo, and a wheel that gives players a spectacular big-screen stepper (three reel) experience.

Buffalo Inferno, designed for the higher denomination stepper player, features a mechanical wheel that delivers dollar values and a multi-level progressive.

“Buf-fa-looooooo”

The next slot in the Slot Machine Hall of Fame.

Binbin