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Best of Jerry Stickman

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Fantastic Video Poker Find!

23 October 2012

Hi Stickman,

I've found the BEST 6/9 machines I've ever encountered, but I need your help in figuring out the return for them. They are IGT Money Maker machines located in the Finger Lakes racino (just outside Canandaigua, NY), a bank of 10 quarter machines on one side and 10 dollar machines on the other side.

They have a paytable similar to a standard 6/9 machine, with two exceptions:

1. An "angel" feature, which appears randomly after the draw and changes a losing hand to a winning one. Further complicating this, the revised (and now winning) hand can be be various hands. I've had losing hands turned into a flush, two pair and high pair.

2. The payout for a straight flush is 60 coins for 1 played (as opposed to 50 in all other 6/9 paytables I've seen).

Can you figure out the return for this? The randomness of the angel feature stumps me.

John S from New York


Hi John S,

Upon first glance it would appear that you have found a video poker game with a great pay table. Though you don’t specifically mention it, I am assuming the game you are talking about is a Jacks or Better game. If that is the case, and if this were to be a standard “Class III” game as in Atlantic City, Las Vegas, or Tunica, without the “angel” feature the return for this game would be 99.65 percent.

What tipped me off that this is not a class III game is your mention of that angel feature.

Most casinos in New York are Indian casinos that are not allowed to have class III games. What they are allowed to have are “bingo” or video lottery (VLT) games, commonly called class II games. These games work like bingo. When you press the draw button, the machine communicates with a central server that assigns a win amount.

That is what you will win regardless of what you save.

You could throw away a royal flush and if the server determined your win was a royal flush, another royal flush would miraculously appear. Where these machines run into a problem is where you save three or four (or even five) cards and it is impossible to make a hand that will win the amount the central server selected. The “angel” feature is a way to give you the amount selected while still letting you save the cards you want.

So I am sorry to burst your bubble, John, but in reality you can play this game any way you wish and you will still win the same amount – which will be much less than 99.65 percent – probably in the 85-90 percent range.

I understand that the Seneca Nation is now allowed to have class III games in New York. These games would work the way Las Vegas style games work and you would be able to determine the house edge by looking at the pay table. Be assured, none of these class III machines will pay 60 for 1 for a straight flush in Jacks or Better and be further assured there will be no angel feature.

May all your wins be swift and large and all your losses slow and tiny.

Jerry “Stickman”

Jerry “Stickman” is an expert in craps, blackjack and video poker and advantage slot machine play. You can contact Jerry “Stickman” at stickmanGTC@aol.com


Recent Articles
Best of Jerry Stickman
Jerry Stickman

Jerry "Stickman" is an expert in dice control at craps, blackjack, advantage slots and video poker. He is a regular contributor to top gaming magazines. The "Stickman" is also a certified instructor for Golden Touch Craps dice control classes and Golden Touch Blackjack's advantage classes. He also teaches a course in advantage-play slots and video poker. For more information visit www.goldentouchcraps.com or www.goldentouchblackjack.com or call 1-800-944-0406 for a free brochure. You can contact Jerry "Stickman" at stickmanGTC@aol.com.

Jerry Stickman Websites:

www.goldentouchcraps.com
www.goldentouchblackjack.com
Jerry Stickman
Jerry "Stickman" is an expert in dice control at craps, blackjack, advantage slots and video poker. He is a regular contributor to top gaming magazines. The "Stickman" is also a certified instructor for Golden Touch Craps dice control classes and Golden Touch Blackjack's advantage classes. He also teaches a course in advantage-play slots and video poker. For more information visit www.goldentouchcraps.com or www.goldentouchblackjack.com or call 1-800-944-0406 for a free brochure. You can contact Jerry "Stickman" at stickmanGTC@aol.com.

Jerry Stickman Websites:

www.goldentouchcraps.com
www.goldentouchblackjack.com