BamaGirl
• Posts: 9
Joined: Nov 3, 2017
November 3rd, 2017 at 2:59:15 AM permalink
I won't say which casino, but I was able to obtain a couple of theoreticals on progressive slots. One had a major and minor jackpot with no "must hit by" points and was 13.05% (\$39.15 theo on \$300 coin in exactly). The second was an Ainsworth must hit by \$5000 and it had a theoretical of 14.8% (\$29.60 on \$200 coin in). Two sets of questions:

1. Is the theoretical based on the reset value of the jackpots or some average value, and is it different for jackpots with no cap versus must hit by jackpots?

2. Would the theoretical substitute for the house edge in the Ainsworth target point formula? If so, what target point would the formula yield? I don't quite follow the formula and was unable to replicate the target points that the Wizard calculated. If someone is able to properly apply the formula to compute the target point, could you please show the details of the calculation? Also, in reading through the forums, I found two different formulas: The first was:

t = m X (h+r) / (h+2r) but then this formula was followed by tables with various target points that I was unable to duplicate. Also I was confused that the various jackpot levels were not part of the formula but part of the table. The second formula that I found was:

TP = (max jackpot) * [1 - (fixed return) - (value of other jackpot) / [ 1 - (fixed return) - (value of other jackpot) + rate of increase ]. I must admit I cannot follow this formula.

I am someone that can "follow along" with math formulas when a numerical example is provided and understand the broader concepts, but I am not a math wiz. Please appreciate that I did some research before putting this post up, my first post ever, but need some help. Thank you.
odiousgambit
• Posts: 9656
Joined: Nov 9, 2009
November 3rd, 2017 at 4:15:48 AM permalink
The theo should be the same as the house edge in slots, but there is no guarantee that the casino 'got it right' .

In your formulas, you need to substitute return for house edge, though there is slight humor in changing edge to return and then using 1-r in the formula. That is because the way you change edge to return is the equation 1-e where e stands for edge. However, in slots, return is more commonly used than edge.

So if the theo is 13.5%, 1-13.5% = 86.5% for return

does that help?

better help should be coming actually, stay tuned for other members better able to help
the next time Dame Fortune toys with your heart, your soul and your wallet, raise your glass and praise her thus: “Thanks for nothing, you cold-hearted, evil, damnable, nefarious, low-life, malicious monster from Hell!”   She is, after all, stone deaf. ... Arnold Snyder
BamaGirl
• Posts: 9
Joined: Nov 3, 2017
November 3rd, 2017 at 4:26:22 AM permalink
That never occurred to me but yes I can see that the return is in the second formula. However in the first Formula the wizard clearly defines the H as house Edge. I'm not sure I even have a question there just more confusion
odiousgambit
• Posts: 9656
Joined: Nov 9, 2009
November 3rd, 2017 at 9:44:54 AM permalink
if the formula calls for house edge, use house edge. If it calls for return, use return.

welcome to the forum, btw. I am a little surprised at the lack of help from others so far.
the next time Dame Fortune toys with your heart, your soul and your wallet, raise your glass and praise her thus: “Thanks for nothing, you cold-hearted, evil, damnable, nefarious, low-life, malicious monster from Hell!”   She is, after all, stone deaf. ... Arnold Snyder
Romes
• Posts: 5607
Joined: Jul 22, 2014
November 3rd, 2017 at 12:23:19 PM permalink
Hi BamaGirl, and welcome to the forums.

Quote: BamaGirl

...1. Is the theoretical based on the reset value of the jackpots or some average value, and is it different for jackpots with no cap versus must hit by jackpots?

It's my understanding that the theo is based on the BASE VALUE of the progressives. Are these digital reels, or classic reels? I'm getting a bit dusty here, but I 'think' some of the newer digital reels have the ability to modify payback on the fly so as the progressive hits certain levels it keeps the theo of the machine static.

This is just some things I've read from here or there or heard from others. You'd probably want to get more of a machine pro to answer to be more exact. So long as it's classic reels then of course you could map the reels and do the math yourself to determine the base HE/theo and then to find a trigger point of when you'd want to play it. If you're able to obtain the Theo, somehow, then to me as odiousgambit said 1-Theo = base return for the game.

I'm not familiar with the target point formula, so I was planning on doing some reading on that later to see how it relates. I believe it would be much more accurate to decipher the probability of hitting the jackpot pay (what symbols do you need, how many are on each line, etc, etc) and simply looking at the return of the game as the progressive grows. I don't wan to get in to too much detail and match because others on the forums would get mad as it's kind of giving away how to beat the machines (even though the information is out there already).

*Also, do you have to go in to a bonus round to win the progressive in the bonus round? That's a whole other level of computation...

I think you're probably not getting as much feedback on those 2 formulas because not a ton of people use them, to be quite honest.
Playing it correctly means you've already won.
beachbumbabs
• Posts: 14268
Joined: May 21, 2013
November 3rd, 2017 at 2:24:01 PM permalink
Hi, bamagirl, and welcome to the forum! I do appreciate the sophistication of your question, and it's obvious you've done some reading first. Unfortunately, this is not my area of expertise, and the question itself is somewhat chicken-and-egg, as it is trying to calculate a proprietary edge.

Hopefully you will receive some knowledgeable help. I believe CrystalMath, Drich, Mission146, Wizard, and perhaps AxelWolf might have further insights.
If the House lost every hand, they wouldn't deal the game.
BamaGirl
• Posts: 9
Joined: Nov 3, 2017
November 3rd, 2017 at 2:59:24 PM permalink
Thank you for the welcome. I only posted just last night and am pleasantly suprised by the amount of feedback so far. I would disagree that this is a proprietary edge, in that it is not all that difficult to get the theos from casino personell. What I am asking about is the formulas previously posted by the Wizard. Why are there two of them, how do you plug the numbers in, and can you use the theo to substitute for house edge. Had I found just one formula, I would not have started a new thread. When I googled Ainsworth progressives I came across some previous threads on here. One formula is in one thread and the other formula is in a different thread.

Also the Wizard had stated that house edge is unknown and no casino will ever tell you that. Which led to my question as to whether theo and house edge are the same, as theo is easily obtainable at many casinos. I don't know if this is still the case, but at Venetian the point structure was a direct function of theo and they told you the relationship , so they made theo public knowledge on every machine. Also most casino hosts will tell you your theo.
cyberbabble
• Posts: 89
Joined: Mar 24, 2013
November 3rd, 2017 at 3:50:58 PM permalink
BamaGirl,
Could you post links to the formulas? I'm not sure what the symbols represent.
I can't seem to get the search to work here.

I won't claim to be an expert but some of the confusion is due to the terminology not being defined precisely.
Hopefully someone will explain it better. I will try later if nobody shows up to explain some of it.
cyberbabble
• Posts: 89
Joined: Mar 24, 2013
November 3rd, 2017 at 4:43:41 PM permalink
I found the Wizard of Odds pages for Ainsworth/WMS. These show the first formula and the tables you mention. I don't think the tables can be derived solely using the first formula. One table show the big progressive amount as a function of the small progressive and the house edge. This would require a function using both the small progressive amount and house edge. The Wizard should look at this.

Where is the second formula from?
BamaGirl
• Posts: 9
Joined: Nov 3, 2017
November 3rd, 2017 at 5:36:30 PM permalink
I am so annoyed with myself, I can't locate the second formula again, but I thought it was the Wizard's formula. Dumb on my part for not marking it, gonna keep looking
BamaGirl
• Posts: 9
Joined: Nov 3, 2017
November 3rd, 2017 at 5:43:50 PM permalink
Found it! I am no good at posting links, but copy the formula and put it in google. It is the second link, a thread on here from May 10, 2013. Let me try to post the link.

/forum/gambling/slots/13916-mystery-progressives-on-ainsworth-slots/2/

Obviously I did not post the link correctly, never do. Sorry about that. Hope I provided enough information for you to find it and post it.

Last edited by: BamaGirl on Nov 4, 2017
tringlomane
• Posts: 6281
Joined: Aug 25, 2012
November 3rd, 2017 at 7:12:28 PM permalink
Quote: BamaGirl

Thank you for the welcome. I only posted just last night and am pleasantly suprised by the amount of feedback so far. I would disagree that this is a proprietary edge, in that it is not all that difficult to get the theos from casino personell. What I am asking about is the formulas previously posted by the Wizard. Why are there two of them, how do you plug the numbers in, and can you use the theo to substitute for house edge. Had I found just one formula, I would not have started a new thread. When I googled Ainsworth progressives I came across some previous threads on here. One formula is in one thread and the other formula is in a different thread.

Also the Wizard had stated that house edge is unknown and no casino will ever tell you that. Which led to my question as to whether theo and house edge are the same, as theo is easily obtainable at many casinos. I don't know if this is still the case, but at Venetian the point structure was a direct function of theo and they told you the relationship , so they made theo public knowledge on every machine. Also most casino hosts will tell you your theo.

Yes, the Venetian will let you back calculate theo. And those theos definitely sound like what I would expect Venetian to offer. I assume (I really don't know) that the theo assumes the average jackpot values hit.
BamaGirl
• Posts: 9
Joined: Nov 3, 2017
November 4th, 2017 at 12:19:01 AM permalink
If you read through that May 2013 thread, there is yet another subformula for fixed return. I really tried to plug the numbers into the formulas, but I am just too confused. In the TP formula, there are two left facing brackets and only one right facing bracket which confuses me. What I am hoping someone will do is show in detail how to plug the numbers into the formulas and ultimately calculate the target point. By the way, there is a comment in that thread that the target point is not the breakeven point; my mind just exploded with that one. It is explained, but I just don't get it. I promise you I have given that my best effort. I am not asking for anything proprietary. The formulas have been posted here previously, all of the input values are easily publicly available, and theo is easily available if you ask. Hoping a math person with good teaching skills can walk me/us through this.
beachbumbabs
• Posts: 14268
Joined: May 21, 2013
November 4th, 2017 at 12:39:49 AM permalink
Bamagirl, links will work for you after you have 20 posts. It's a spam protection that's a bit cumbersome for legitimate new members.

https://wizardofvegas.com/forum/gambling/slots/13916-mystery-progressives-on-ainsworth-slots/2/
If the House lost every hand, they wouldn't deal the game.
cyberbabble
• Posts: 89
Joined: Mar 24, 2013
November 4th, 2017 at 1:12:25 AM permalink
The second formula is missing a ] - bracket.
I'm not sure what the correct formula should be.
The second formula would let you derive the tables since it uses major and minor jackpot amounts in the formula.
BTLWI
• Posts: 458
Joined: Nov 6, 2013
November 5th, 2017 at 11:05:32 AM permalink
If Theo is 86%, base game payback is probably somewhere around 81%, progressives 5%. Get on a game where base game pay back is further divided by a high bonus game pay back and you're in for a wild ride on short sample sizes. Can get on a good \$1 machine at \$485 and still lose \$1200 when it goes to \$497 and you get crap for bonuses even though it was worth say \$45.
DRich
• Posts: 12088
Joined: Jul 6, 2012
November 6th, 2017 at 6:24:40 AM permalink
Quote: Romes

Hi BamaGirl, and welcome to the forums.

It's my understanding that the theo is based on the BASE VALUE of the progressives. Are these digital reels, or classic reels? I'm getting a bit dusty here, but I 'think' some of the newer digital reels have the ability to modify payback on the fly so as the progressive hits certain levels it keeps the theo of the machine static.

Yes, theo is based on reset value of the progressive plus the increment rate. It has no bearing on what the progressive is actually at.

I don't know of any slots that are adjusting based on the progressive value. I am pretty sure that would not meet the regulations and technical standards in many jurisdictions.
At my age, a "Life In Prison" sentence is not much of a deterrent.
FleaStiff
• Posts: 14484
Joined: Oct 19, 2009
November 6th, 2017 at 7:22:01 AM permalink
The math and just about everything else in this thread is all 'greek to me'.

As I understand the term 'theo' it refers to a players theoretical loss when its expressed as a negative number or to a particular game's theoretical profit to the casino when expressed as a positive number.

In the case of a slot machine a player's 'theo' is Amount bet times number of spins per hour times machine's house edge wherein the machine's house edge is ill-defined and only vaguely known to the player.

In olden times such things as spins per hour or hands per hour in various other games were often rounded off estimates used when record keeping was pen and small index cards. Now spins per hour are computer generated and precisely know due to the use of player cards, better surveys, etc.

Confounding factors with slot machines are that each spin "pays" some amount into an imaginary Progressive Fund, disbursements from which are made from time to time as the Progressive Prize is actually won. So there is an "accounting value" to consider: amount of the Progressive Prize times the chance of actually getting it that spin.
cyberbabble
• Posts: 89
Joined: Mar 24, 2013
November 6th, 2017 at 10:18:22 AM permalink
BamaGirl -

Come back. You were right.
It appears you are the only person to work through and check this information.
The formulas and explanations are at best confusing and unclear.
BamaGirl
• Posts: 9
Joined: Nov 3, 2017
November 12th, 2017 at 11:33:30 PM permalink
I am here. To DRich, what does "plus the increment rate" mean? To Cyberbabble, did you have any success trying to apply the formulas?

Appreciate you both.
tringlomane
• Posts: 6281
Joined: Aug 25, 2012
November 13th, 2017 at 12:58:54 AM permalink
Quote: BamaGirl

I am here. To DRich, what does "plus the increment rate" mean?

Example: Non-progressive wins: 80% return. Progressive base 5% return. Meter increments: 2% return. i.e. meter moves 2 pennies per dollar wagered. Theo for this machine: 100% - 80% - 5% - 2% = 13%
cyberbabble
• Posts: 89
Joined: Mar 24, 2013
November 14th, 2017 at 11:05:59 AM permalink
BamaGirl -

Short answer is I could not use the formulas to produce the tables. I'll claim the tables can't be produced from the formulas as stated. I am referring to the two part calculation described in the thread you pointed to. If someone would like to work through the calculation I would like to see it also.

The missing bracket is ..... other jackpot) ] / [ 1 - (fixed return)......

You obviously did the research before your first post. I don't think I can add anything that you haven't already figured out for yourself. I think this is at a dead end unless someone would like to explain the calculation of the tables in detail.

You probably can't find any playable machines anyway. It obvious when these machine get "close" to the must pay by point and people start camping out on them.

I don't know how much research you have done in other areas of machine play. There is a lot of info available if you want to chat some more.
BamaGirl
• Posts: 9
Joined: Nov 3, 2017
November 15th, 2017 at 1:48:32 PM permalink
I am definitely interested. It is reassuring that you were not able to get the formulas to work. Now I know that it wasn't me.
BamaGirl
• Posts: 9
Joined: Nov 3, 2017
November 15th, 2017 at 1:51:00 PM permalink
I follow that. What number would then be the "fixed return" in the formula that has that term? 80% or 85% or 87%?

This is a reply to tringlomane
cyberbabble
• Posts: 89
Joined: Mar 24, 2013
November 16th, 2017 at 8:43:27 PM permalink
BamaGirl -

I don't know any slot secrets. Your post shows that you put in the effort to understand this and I thought I might be able to help. I didn't help much.

I play poker at my local casino once or twice a week. Sometimes I walk through and check the specific slots. I look for new slots that might be interesting. My casino had two Rock around the Clock machines that were removed not long ago. They have progressive and UltimateX video poker. They have Quick Hit and must pay by progressives. These have all been discussed on this forum. There may be other types. There are still some playable machines around.

The people that are interested in machine play don't like to see details posted on an open forum. Read and post here occasionally. Search the internet for information. Check every machine in your casino and look out for new machines. You might find something. You probably will not make much money.

bobdancer.com/radio has hundreds of recorded interview podcasts about gambling. These are very good.

Peter Liston has some interviews. He wrote the book "Million Dollar Slots" which I think is where your first equation came from. I haven't read the book. The interviews don't go into details on analysis of the slots.

Micky Crimm has some interviews. He has been supporting himself for years by playing machines. He has posted at multiple forums for years. He posted here for a while. He goes into detail on how he has analyzed some machines. You should listen to his interviews and search for all of his forum posts. He provides a lot of information.
mamat
• Posts: 494
Joined: Jul 13, 2015
December 1st, 2017 at 4:28:21 AM permalink
Quote: BamaGirl

Also the Wizard had stated that house edge is unknown and no casino will ever tell you that.

Some casinos will tell you what a specific machine is set to (but it's rare). I was surprised when asking about one casino's machines, and a friend said "I just asked the staff, and they said X%". Wow.

-----
WARNING: Some must-hit machines do NOT have uniform distribution of progressive drops. Two types I know of:
1) Fake must-hit; e.g. goes to \$49.99 and stays there for weeks, before dropping at \$50.
-> In some cases, the meter keeps moving internally, and the extra amount goes into the next progressive (or 2-3+ progressives)
2) Drops heavily weighted towards high end.
And variations:
3) Coin-out meter (rather than a coin-in meter), so meters do not move if you bet & lose, only if you bet & win.
4) "Turbo Boost": On each bet, machine randomly decides to spin the progressive up a few cents/dollars/etc...
5) Progressive may drop 1-2 times without resetting at base value
6) Progressive may receive a random boost at reset

WARNING 2: Back-calculating "house edge" from Theo is dangerous.
a) Casinos may have the wrong Theo for a machine in their database.
b) I've seen people use this technique and get +/- 2-3%, which might be a lot.

-----
Machines have a return X%. I have debated with friends whether the stated return on a "must-hit" is
a) factory-delivered with no extra money in progressives (my opinion)
b) or average over actual lifetime of machine (some other people)

Since I've never seen a must-hit PAR sheet, I don't know which way is correct...so I don't know how to construct an accurate formula.

In any case, what you'd like is the "base game percentage" (aka. What does the machine pay NOT including the progressives?), which is less than the return X%.

This helps you calculate how much you expect to lose, while playing for a progressive.

For example, on a \$50 progressive, if you expect to hit the progressive with a -\$30 loss, then it can be profitable (with average or better luck).

I am not fond of any on-line formulas. They are so confusing. Sorry.
Factor in points earned, comps earned (and whether those comps can be cashed out), etc...
On some days, these extras could be 2.5% or more.

Some people have written apps or spreadsheets to do the calculations real-time in a casino.
I consider that quite stupid...to do something like that in full view of casino cameras. Ugh.

-----
Notes:
The % amount in progressives varies quite wildly (e.g. 1-10%).
Higher %, the game tends to be more AP-friendly.
Lower %, a very high start number is usually required, and APs can't usually find profitable machines.

Some people play progressives with a theoretical loss (e.g. 5K must-hit expecting to spend -6K to drop progressive).
Why? It gets very complicated.

So you might like to play 4,960 on a 5K must-hit, but others are willing to play 4,850.
Vegas is a terrible place to play must-hits. Other places are much better.
Last edited by: mamat on Dec 1, 2017