thefish2010
• Posts: 53
Joined: Dec 24, 2009
April 27th, 2014 at 6:02:08 AM permalink
Hi,

I'm a little curious if there would be a way to calculate the progressive amount where a slot machine turns +EV if you knew the exact theoretical hold of the machine, the pay table, and the meter rise (but not the precise odds of hitting the jackpot)? It occurred to me that Venetian and Palazzo base their slot credit awards on theoretical loss for the exact machine you are playing. Doesn't take much to turn that into the exact hold for any machine you're playing after just 1 spin, and not much more to calculate the meter rise.

Would there be a way to calculate the +EV point based on this data alone? Even if you have to try to figure out the odds of hitting a jackpot, it seems that Grazie players club does alot of the work for you because of this somewhat unique approach they have taken.
tringlomane
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April 27th, 2014 at 12:35:18 PM permalink
You still need the hit frequency I think. But if you could get that, then it becomes much easier to assure when it's +EV.
AxelWolf
• Posts: 22294
Joined: Oct 10, 2012
April 27th, 2014 at 12:56:08 PM permalink
Quote: thefish2010

Hi,

I'm a little curious if there would be a way to calculate the progressive amount where a slot machine turns +EV if you knew the exact theoretical hold of the machine, the pay table, and the meter rise (but not the precise odds of hitting the jackpot)? It occurred to me that Venetian and Palazzo base their comp points on theoretical loss for the exact machine you are playing. Doesn't take much to turn that into the exact hold for any machine you're playing after just 1 spin, and not much more to calculate the meter rise.

Would there be a way to calculate the +EV point based on this data alone? Even if you have to try to figure out the odds of hitting a jackpot, it seems that Grazie players club does alot of the work for you because they base your comp dollars on the theo of each machine.

I always wondered if the casinos theo on slots is accurate compared to the real hold or do the screw you a few %. Some places have high return slots rated better then they should be. (not many)
♪♪Now you swear and kick and beg us That you're not a gamblin' man Then you find you're back in Vegas With a handle in your hand♪♪ Your black cards can make you money So you hide them when you're able In the land of casinos and money You must put them on the table♪♪ You go back Jack do it again roulette wheels turinin' 'round and 'round♪♪ You go back Jack do it again♪♪
thefish2010
• Posts: 53
Joined: Dec 24, 2009
April 27th, 2014 at 3:17:06 PM permalink
Quote: AxelWolf

I always wondered if the casinos theo on slots is accurate compared to the real hold or do the screw you a few %. Some places have high return slots rated better then they should be. (not many)

Well in the case of Venetian/Palazzo they are actually saying that you get a specific percentage of theo back in slot credits. The percentage varies based on tier level - base level gets 6%, Gold gets 9%, and Platinum gets 12%. If they were fudging numbers on the slot credit awards (which are based on theo of each machine played), because of the way they have structured and advertised this program, they would get sued and Gaming Control would be all over them.

So based on that, after passing a few dollars through a machine, you could simply look at your rise in slot credits and easily extrapolate the theo for the machine you just played. That cuts out a huge amount of work for the +EV progressive calculation at these 2 specific properties. I know the Wizard used to work there and probably can't talk about anything related to V/P but it would be interesting if he could chime in on this. I'm just wondering if there are some shortcuts to getting the rest of the way to to the progressive calculation.
onenickelmiracle
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April 27th, 2014 at 3:46:51 PM permalink
Your biggest problem is playing where you play with tight machines to begin with. 83-86% is a lot harder to find advantage capable of overcoming the edge. I know people there who play a lot and that's about their yearly returns. Plus Wizard's survey showed about the same.
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ThatDonGuy
• Posts: 6406
Joined: Jun 22, 2011
April 27th, 2014 at 4:02:54 PM permalink
Quote: thefish2010

I'm a little curious if there would be a way to calculate the progressive amount where a slot machine turns +EV if you knew the exact theoretical hold of the machine, the pay table, and the meter rise (but not the precise odds of hitting the jackpot)? It occurred to me that Venetian and Palazzo base their slot credit awards on theoretical loss for the exact machine you are playing. Doesn't take much to turn that into the exact hold for any machine you're playing after just 1 spin, and not much more to calculate the meter rise.

Would there be a way to calculate the +EV point based on this data alone?

You can, if you know the "exact" theoretical hold of the machine after two different spins - and knowing the pay table is irrelevant.

Since the hold for non-jackpots is constant, you can determine how much of the hold is based on the jackpot by comparing the jackpot values and hold values for the two spins. It should then be simple to calculate what the jackpot has to be to get to +EV.

However, I am under the impression that, in most cases, the amount of hold that comes from the jackpot is so small that they may not even take it into account. Here's an example - Megabucks. The jackpot goes up by something like \$10 a minute. Assuming the reports that the probability of winning is 1/49,836,032 (the reciprocal of the largest perfect cube < 50 million) are true, waiting 24 hours increases the EV by 0.0289%.
tringlomane
• Posts: 6281
Joined: Aug 25, 2012
April 27th, 2014 at 4:17:57 PM permalink
Quote: ThatDonGuy

You can, if you know the "exact" theoretical hold of the machine after two different spins - and knowing the pay table is irrelevant.

Since the hold for non-jackpots is constant, you can determine how much of the hold is based on the jackpot by comparing the jackpot values and hold values for the two spins. It should then be simple to calculate what the jackpot has to be to get to +EV.

However, I am under the impression that, in most cases, the amount of hold that comes from the jackpot is so small that they may not even take it into account. Here's an example - Megabucks. The jackpot goes up by something like \$10 a minute. Assuming the reports that the probability of winning is 1/49,836,032 (the reciprocal of the largest perfect cube < 50 million) are true, waiting 24 hours increases the EV by 0.0289%.

I assumed the Venetian's theo remained constant for the slot (i.e. ignoring the progressive or averaging in the progressive). If I'm wrong, then yes, you're correct, that would give you enough info to determine the +EV-threshold. Check the same slot at two different progressive levels, OP, and see if the amount of coin-in to receive a point changes. If I had to wager though, it won't. I would assume the comps are based on the total average return of the game.
thefish2010
• Posts: 53
Joined: Dec 24, 2009
April 28th, 2014 at 2:46:22 AM permalink
Quote: tringlomane

I assumed the Venetian's theo remained constant for the slot (i.e. ignoring the progressive or averaging in the progressive). If I'm wrong, then yes, you're correct, that would give you enough info to determine the +EV-threshold. Check the same slot at two different progressive levels, OP, and see if the amount of coin-in to receive a point changes. If I had to wager though, it won't. I would assume the comps are based on the total average return of the game.

I will check, but I am almost certain you are correct. Otherwise, players would receive no slot credit awards when playing progressive games that had turned positive. So, assuming you are correct, my original question stands. Do I still absolutely need to try to figure out the odds of hitting the progressive given the theo/pay table/meter rise, or is there a shortcut for the + EV calculation?

I know from the Wizard's slot analysis articles that on video slots, calculating odds of hitting the progressive is fairly easy because they don't use mathematically weighted stops on the reels - they just have a long virtual reel that you can map out with a few hundred spins and all stops are equally likely to hit. I'm just wondering if this is the only way, because it eliminates doing it on non-video machines. I suppose you could also record the jackpot daily and try to get an average at which it hits. Knowing the meter rise, you could deduce the approximate odds of hitting the jackpot, then combine that with the theo the slot club gives you to get the +EV calculation, but this is less than ideal. I'm hoping there is a shortcut.

Also, does anyone know if there are other slot clubs in Vegas that betray their machine theoretical holds in this way? (Yes, I can and will research it myself...just curious if anyone knows of some of the top of their head).
onenickelmiracle
• Posts: 8277
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April 28th, 2014 at 3:22:28 AM permalink
Quote: thefish2010

I will check, but I am almost certain you are correct. Otherwise, players would receive no slot credit awards when playing progressive games that had turned positive. So, assuming you are correct, my original question stands. Do I still absolutely need to try to figure out the odds of hitting the progressive given the theo/pay table/meter rise, or is there a shortcut for the + EV calculation?

Also, does anyone know if there are other slot clubs in Vegas that unintentionally disclose their machine theoretical holds in this way? (Yes, I can and will research it myself...just curious if anyone knows of some of the top of their head)

The casino might say Comps are based on holds but I wouldn't think it's exact and they probably use different tiers. The current state of a progressive machine doesn't mean the payback percentage has changed either. Payback percentages are based on the lifetime expected return of the machine. Small sample periods when the player has an advantage don't affect it and are already included. Now when you see payback percentages in the news, they're using actual returns dividing the money paid out by the money taken in and it's a different definition than used by casinos and machine makers.

You're likely to not get the theoretical return using the Player's card because they won't actually use the exact numbers I don't think. They don't say based on the exact hold but probably based on the hold which means something completely different. You're in over your head IMO and foolish trying to beat machines in a tight casino. Shelly needs the money for politics and probably hasn't kept much laying around.
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AxelWolf
• Posts: 22294
Joined: Oct 10, 2012
April 28th, 2014 at 3:24:11 AM permalink
Quote: thefish2010

I will check, but I am almost certain you are correct. Otherwise, players would receive no slot credit awards when playing progressive games that had turned positive. So, assuming you are correct, my original question stands. Do I still absolutely need to try to figure out the odds of hitting the progressive given the theo/pay table/meter rise, or is there a shortcut for the + EV calculation?

I know from the Wizard's slot analysis articles that on video slots, calculating odds of hitting the progressive is fairly easy because they don't use mathematically weighted stops on the reels - they just have a long virtual reel that you can map out with a few hundred spins and all stops are equally likely to hit. I'm just wondering if this is the only way, because it eliminates doing it on non-video machines. I suppose you could also record the jackpot daily and try to get an average at which it hits. Knowing the meter rise, you could deduce the approximate odds of hitting the jackpot, then combine that with the theo the slot club gives you to get the +EV calculation, but this is less than ideal. I'm hoping there is a shortcut.

Also, does anyone know if there are other slot clubs in Vegas that betray their machine theoretical holds in this way? (Yes, I can and will research it myself...just curious if anyone knows of some of the top of their head).

You need to know how many spins on average it takes to hit the progressive to find out how much the cost is going to be to hits the progressive that will tell you what the progressive amount needs to be before its a positive game. How accurate tracking reels is. Is debatable in my book and takes many more spins then what some people think.

If the game has bonus rounds this really makes it complicated and even more inaccurate.

14% holds are hard to beat your going to need a dam good promotion or progressive amount to make it a good play. Being off by 1% could be devastating.
♪♪Now you swear and kick and beg us That you're not a gamblin' man Then you find you're back in Vegas With a handle in your hand♪♪ Your black cards can make you money So you hide them when you're able In the land of casinos and money You must put them on the table♪♪ You go back Jack do it again roulette wheels turinin' 'round and 'round♪♪ You go back Jack do it again♪♪
DRich
• Posts: 11886
Joined: Jul 6, 2012
April 28th, 2014 at 11:23:05 AM permalink
Quote: AxelWolf

I always wondered if the casinos theo on slots is accurate compared to the real hold or do the screw you a few %. Some places have high return slots rated better then they should be. (not many)

I have developed player tracking systems that are used in many casinos and most of the casino's were assigning a Theo Hold to the machine and not necessarily the games being played. For stand alone games they always put in the Theo from the PAR sheet. On multigame machines they just used a straight average of the Theo's from each individual game. Basically it was a blended theo which meant that if you were playing the game with the lowest hold, you would be over-compensated because it was awarding benefits based on the average theo which is higher than the game you are playing.

It is especially difficult to assign a theo when you have poker, keno, and slots on the same machine.
At my age, a "Life In Prison" sentence is not much of a deterrent.
AxelWolf
• Posts: 22294
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May 6th, 2014 at 4:45:39 AM permalink
Quote: DRich

I have developed player tracking systems that are used in many casinos and most of the casino's were assigning a Theo Hold to the machine and not necessarily the games being played. For stand alone games they always put in the Theo from the PAR sheet. On multigame machines they just used a straight average of the Theo's from each individual game. Basically it was a blended theo which meant that if you were playing the game with the lowest hold, you would be over-compensated because it was awarding benefits based on the average theo which is higher than the game you are playing.

It is especially difficult to assign a theo when you have poker, keno, and slots on the same machine.

Yes I realize this about Multi games, but I was wondering about something like Quick hits slots, would they have they be assured to have the hosts theo sheet match the real % ? I have a few printouts wondering how accurate they are.
♪♪Now you swear and kick and beg us That you're not a gamblin' man Then you find you're back in Vegas With a handle in your hand♪♪ Your black cards can make you money So you hide them when you're able In the land of casinos and money You must put them on the table♪♪ You go back Jack do it again roulette wheels turinin' 'round and 'round♪♪ You go back Jack do it again♪♪
DRich
• Posts: 11886
Joined: Jul 6, 2012
May 6th, 2014 at 7:17:56 AM permalink
Quote: AxelWolf

Yes I realize this about Multi games, but I was wondering about something like Quick hits slots, would they have they be assured to have the hosts theo sheet match the real % ? I have a few printouts wondering how accurate they are.

From my experiences they would be correct for game when the progressives are at reset. The only real question is do they include the progressive contribution amount.

One of the small casinos I work with we set the typical video slot around 92% payback. If it is a 2% progressive we will set the base game at 90% and record it in the slots file as a 92% game. I imagine many casinos might just set it at 90% in the slot file and forget to account for the progressive contribution.
At my age, a "Life In Prison" sentence is not much of a deterrent.