When Video Poker Machines Hesitate – What Does It Mean?

Royal Flush – almost!

We have all been there – those of us who play Video Poker and Slots.  You’re playing along, things are going well, and then it happens……the machine pause for a moment!  What does it mean?  Was I winning too much?  Did someone in the “Office Upstairs” turn on that switch that changes winning into losing?  Conspiracy thoughts abound.

Well, you know what it means?  NOTHING!  At least it isn’t a reaction to ant success you’ve had previously.

Just Catching up to itself

Yes, we think it might have stopped our winning momentum, or the rhythmic luck we had our mojo in, but nope – it doesn’t have a clue how much you were winning or how your mojo was – it’s a machine and it doesn’t have the consciousness or emotion to care!

A 1980 IGT Video Poker machine.

So, what DOES IT MEAN? Well, when Video Poker Machines Hesitate – especially certain generations of Video Poker machine manufactured by IGT – they do so often to do it’s accounting.  In other words, the counting of hands played, coin in & coin out, for example, are kept in short term memory.  On the IGT VP machines, for example, every 100 hands, it is downloaded into long-term memory, much like your computer does at times.  The more games and denominations on a single terminal, the longer it may take – a single game with a single denomination would be barely noticed.

You will find fewer and fewer machines with that hesitation these days, due to better software upgrades. But when Video Poker Machines Hesitate admittedly, it’s is frustrating.

Of course we, as human beings, may notice it happen when we are winning, and shortly after we start losing.  “They must have known I was winning!!!!” you might yell.  But, seriously, nothing could be farther from the truth.

Related Post – The History of Video Poker

Related NETG Post – Video Poker Bars – 6 Considerations for a Great Experience

That’s all for now.

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Charitable Gaming in New Hampshire and Vermont

Charitable Gaming in New England varies by state. Here is a brief report on Charitable Gaming in New Hampshire and Vermont. Charity gambling is a “form of incentivized giving.” The intentions are honorable. Simply said, it’s a chance for a charity group to oversee gambling activities, rather than a municipality or private casino. Many states offer usual casino games with the proceeds used to further its charity’s financial duties.

New Hampshire

Rockingham Poker Room, New Hampshire

Texas Hold ’em at Rockingham Poker Room, New Hampshire

Charitable gaming in New Hampshire includes poker, bingo, Lucky 7, raffles, games of chance and card rooms. The only form of legal electronic bingo gaming is handheld electronic bingo cards. Bingo, originally “beano,” has been legal in New Hampshire since 1949. In addition, New Hampshire approved games of chance in 1977. According to Casino City,   “In 2014, the governor signed a bill into law that created more oversight for the charitable gaming industry, which was estimated to produce $75 million in bets annually. The law requires the Attorney General’s office to conduct background checks on operators and limits fees operators can charge charities. At least 35% of charitable gaming profits must go to charities, under the law. In July 2018, lawmakers increased the maximum bet allowed at charitable casinos from $4 to $10.”

Vermont

The Green Mountain state brings thoughts of maple syrup, dairy cows and Ben & Jerry’s – not gambling.  Charitable Gaming in New Hampshire and Vermont ignores gambling around them. While surrounded by states and Canada that offer commercial and tribal gambling, Vermont has stayed away. The Vermont lottery is the main form of betting inside state lines. Charitable gambling is the only legal poker game in the state. Unfortunately, strict conditions exist for poker. To be considered legal, charities must receive the entire proceeds of the game.

According to RealMoney.com, Vermont allows Charitable gambling under strict conditions. “If the entire proceeds of a game are going to a charity, it is probably legal. Vermont has a special exception or charity bingo games that allow the handing out of small prizes. Raffles are also explicitly allowed. Furthermore, Vermont explicitly allows Vegas Nights and Poker Nights.  The minimum age for all participants is 18, and the host of the event can’t be earning any profit in the role as host.”

So there you have it. We hear about Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island constantly – Maine?, not so much. Gambling is alive and well – even in those New England states considered “non-gaming.”
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New England Casino Gambling History – Updated

The New England Casino Gambling History has been much like  a horse race. To begin with, it was a slow trot for New England to socially approve of  gambling. Soon, it changed to a full sprint. In fact, there is no finish line in sight. With the word “saturation” thrown around annually, casino expansion continues. The future looks to include sports betting, casinos in Bridgeport, CT., East Windsor, CT., and southeastern Massachusetts.

With the future uncertain, let’s look back to see how we got here. In any event, let’s look back at New England Gambling History.

My interest in gambling began with playing card games such as cribbage and Michigan Rummy. With visits to Hartford Jai-Alai and Plainfield Greyhound Racetrack during my twenties, my interest grew. In fact, visits to the Sands in Atlantic City, Foxwoods Bingo Hall and future CT casinos made me even more curious.

"Roll the Bones" by Dr. David Schwartz

“Roll the Bones” by Dr. David Schwartz

One of my favorite books is “Roll the Bones” by Dr. David Schwartz. In his book, Dr. Dave explains that “….the human predilection for a wager shaped human history from the Ice Age to the Information Age. People spend nearly one trillion dollars worldwide on gambling a year–wouldn’t you like to learn a little about how we got there?”  The fact is, I did!.

To read our NETG review of his book, click here.

The New England Influence

New England played a big part in the assertion of gambling in America. According to the California State Library, English settlers differed from their Puritanical neighbors in New England in many ways. Settlers influenced the early colonies to continue traditional styles of living in a new world.  Gambling was considered a “harmless diversion, a popular and accepted activity.” Lotteries were used to bail out the Early Colonies. Financial backers of the colonies began to see gambling as the solution to diminishing finances needed for the war effort. All 13 original colonies established lotteries, usually more than one, to raise revenue. Lotteries continue to be a main source of revenue for all six New England states.

Once Upon a time….

The Pequot War of 1637 set the stage for the separation of Pequot & Mohegan Tribes. Over 350 years after, both tribes started the New England Casino expansion we see today.

The Pequot War of 1637 set the stage for the separation of Pequot and Mohegan tribes.

The Pequot and Mohegan Tribes were once one tribe. Due to the Pequot War, both tribes ended up with differences with other tribes. On the whole, different tribal and colonial alliances caused a split that continues to this day.  Over 250 years later, a bingo hall in 1985 began the history of gaming in New England.

I should mention that gambling found a homes in New England with greyhound & horse tracks, parimutuel parlors, and Jai alai frontons in Milford & Hartford CT, and Newport, RI. However, in the past ten years, the horse-racing industry has seen a major decrease in raceway operations. In addition,Jai-Alai has moved out of those states, and parimutuel parlors continue to diminish in visitors. Conversely, with the future of sports betting, parimutuel parlors may rise in popularity again.

In essence, here is  NETG’s look back at the journey of legalized gambling in New England below.

New England Casino Gambling History Timeline

Foxwoods Started it all with Bingo. This picture is the expanded Bingo Hall before Casino Expansion

Foxwoods Started it all with Bingo.


1992

The first New England Casino opens with Foxwoods opening its doors in Mashantucket, CT

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The Rainmaker at Foxwoods

Rhode Island approves VLT gaming machines (classII) at Lincoln Greyhound Park & Newport Jai Alai Originally built for greyhound racing, Twin River Casino is now a full casino.


1996

The Mohegan Tribe opens the second NE casino in Uncasville, CT

A Dollar Coin from Mohegan Sun Opening

A Dollar Coin from Mohegan Sun Opening


2005

Hollywood Slots Hotel & Raceway opens in Bangor, Maine

Hollywood Casino, Bangor Maine

Hollywood Casino, Bangor Maine


2007

Lincoln Greyhound Park turns into Twin River Casino with class III gaming. Similarly, Newport Grand soon follows, redesigning without Jai-Alai

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2008

MGM joins Foxwoods with additional hotel / casino

MGM Tower at Foxwoods - Right side.

MGM Tower at Foxwoods – Right side.


The Expansion begins

2011

MA legislature approves Expanded Gaming Act allows construction of 3 Resort casinos & one “slot’s only casino”


2012

Oxford Casino opens in Oxford, Maine

Oxford Casino, Maine

Oxford Casino, Maine


2013

MGM pulls out of it’s Foxwoods partnership

MGM Ends Agreement with Foxwoods

MGM Ends Agreement with Foxwoods


2015

Plainridge Park Casino Opens at Plainridge Raceway as the first Massachusetts casino (slots-only)

Plainridge Park Casino

Plainridge Park Casino in Massachusetts


2018

     A Big Year for New England Casinos and Hotels 

Oxford Casino, Oxford ME, adds Hotel, expanded casino and Ox Pu

Oxford Hotel & Casino

MGM Springfield Resort Casino opens

MGM Springfield

Newport Grand Slots Casino closes

Newport Grand Slots, Newport, RI

Tiverton Casino & Hotel opens

Tiverton Casino/ Hotel.

Twin River Casino adds Hotel

Twin River Hotel Lobby

Mohegan Sun opens Earth Expo Center

Mohegan Expo Center

Rhode Island approves and opens the first Sports Betting in New England

Opening day of Phase I Sports Book at Twin River Casino


2019

Encore Boston Harbor to open in the fall

Encore Boston Harbor rendition, courtesy of Encore Boston Harbor pressroom


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