likeplayingcrapsandbj
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November 9th, 2010 at 7:25:46 AM permalink
Has anybody since the introduction of server based control of slot machines tracked the best day and time to play slots for greatest payout. This last year I have unofficially noticed slots appear to pay better on Friday and Saturday night and aweful on Friday morning and all day Sunday/Monday. My understanding is slots machines are now controlled via a main server and not individual chips manually inserted/replaced by slot tech. My theory played out again this last weekend with some good wins Friday and Saturday night and aweful on Friday morning and all day Sunday/Monday. I keep thinking the casinos are trying to encourage play when people come to town and take the money back on Sunday and Monday before they leave.
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Wizard
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November 9th, 2010 at 7:27:02 AM permalink
*sigh*

I doesn't matter what time of day, or day of the week you play.
"For with much wisdom comes much sorrow." -- Ecclesiastes 1:18 (NIV)
miplet
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November 9th, 2010 at 7:30:39 AM permalink
Quote: Wizard

*sigh*

I doesn't matter what time of day, or day of the week you play.


April 31st from noon to 6pm is when I prefere. Haven't had a losing sesion since I turned 21. ;+)
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Ibeatyouraces
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November 9th, 2010 at 7:31:55 AM permalink
deleted
DUHHIIIIIIIII HEARD THAT!
likeplayingcrapsandbj
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November 9th, 2010 at 7:34:16 AM permalink
My understanding from a slot manager in Reno is the casino industry had gone to server based slot payout. The random luck of hitting that machine with a chip ready to payout is gone. The casino slot payout % is controlled via server according to NV state law. The days of waiting for a slot tech to change the chip(50/50 it is a payout chip are gone).
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MathExtremist
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November 9th, 2010 at 8:05:14 AM permalink
Quote: Wizard

*sigh*

I doesn't matter what time of day, or day of the week you play.



That's only true under the assumption that the casino doesn't dynamically change their floor on a schedule as the OP said. At least two major gaming manufacturers, IGT and Bally, have systems that allow precisely that to happen -- and at least the Aria is totally set up for that technology. On-the-fly floor mix changes is one of the benefits of server-based gaming. The question is "if that's implemented, what's the schedule?".

To my knowledge, most casinos have not implemented server-based gaming in this level of detail. It's still very much a turn-the-key process.
"In my own case, when it seemed to me after a long illness that death was close at hand, I found no little solace in playing constantly at dice." -- Girolamo Cardano, 1563
Wizard
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November 9th, 2010 at 8:14:41 AM permalink
It is my understanding that even with server-based slots, the casino would have to fax in a report for every machine they change the return on every time they do it. That would be a lot of paperwork to tighten and loosen the slots on a daily and weekly basis.

Even if we ignore that issue, it wouldn't be good business to loosen and tighten slots according to the hour or day. For any given casino there is going to be some optimal return to set the slots at, according to denomination. Same as any other game. Make the machines too tight on a busy night, with a captive audience, and you may make more money temporarily. However, you'll create ill will among all the players who lost, and they will be less likely to return.
"For with much wisdom comes much sorrow." -- Ecclesiastes 1:18 (NIV)
MathExtremist
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November 9th, 2010 at 8:37:44 AM permalink
I'm pretty sure the regulations support, or are being reworked to support, electronic update submissions. It doesn't make sense to have high speed changes on the floor when you can't get them across to the state in high speed.

That said, I'm not sure I agree that it's not good business. It's very commonplace in other industries to charge different fees for the same services at different times. Lunch always costs less than dinner. Even in table games, you can find a $5 table mid-day Thursday but not Saturday evening. Other than changing the game entirely, the two levers the casino has are denom and edge. Most slot games are multi-denom, so that leaves only edge. In my mind, taking a multi-line penny machine from 92% to 90% on a Saturday evening isn't much different than taking a dice table from $5 to $10. Casino games have different EVs based on location, why not time?
"In my own case, when it seemed to me after a long illness that death was close at hand, I found no little solace in playing constantly at dice." -- Girolamo Cardano, 1563
likeplayingcrapsandbj
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November 9th, 2010 at 8:47:48 AM permalink
"Casino games have different EVs based on location, why not time?"
I always thought different EV's based on slot location was a myth because of the random assigment of the chip. I don't know.
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MathExtremist
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November 9th, 2010 at 8:48:46 AM permalink
I mean downtown vs. Strip vs. airport. But there's nothing random about which EEPROM goes into which machine. Those are all specifically identified on the floorplan.
"In my own case, when it seemed to me after a long illness that death was close at hand, I found no little solace in playing constantly at dice." -- Girolamo Cardano, 1563
Doc
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November 9th, 2010 at 9:22:29 AM permalink
Quote: MathExtremist

... In my mind, taking a multi-line penny machine from 92% to 90% on a Saturday evening isn't much different than taking a dice table from $5 to $10. ...

I disagree. I feel that changing the slot machine from 92% to 90% on a Saturday evening is more akin to changing the craps payout on the field bet from triple on 12 to double on 12 for Saturday evenings. Upping the table minimum would be more like making the penny slot a 2-cent or nickel minimum per line on Saturday night. In one case you are raising the minimum stakes; in the other you are changing the house advantage of the wager.
MathExtremist
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November 9th, 2010 at 10:04:00 AM permalink
Sort of. In slots, you're not changing the paytables but the reel weights. The equivalent would be loading the dice to make 7s show up more, which is illegal. The only lever you have to change the EV of a table game is the payouts. In slots, you can tweak the payouts and/or the probabilities. When a slot game is designed, it comes with one paytable but several math models in varying percentages -- 94%, 92%, 90%, etc. The change is almost imperceptible to the casual player, though regulars can tell.

Either way, slot players haven't shown a willingness to tolerate higher limits while table players have. So you take a slot game, keep the denom and decrease the odds, while you take a table game, keep the odds but increase the limits. In either case, from the casino's perspective, revenue goes up. That's why I said they're equivalent.
"In my own case, when it seemed to me after a long illness that death was close at hand, I found no little solace in playing constantly at dice." -- Girolamo Cardano, 1563
Wizard
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November 9th, 2010 at 5:06:13 PM permalink
Changing the limits is different from changing the rules. You don't see casinos making blackjack rules worse at busy times, but indeed, they will raise the limits. When I said there is some optimal return per business, I meant for each individual business. The profit-maximizing return for the airport slots is not the same as that for the Palms. However, if 94% is right at 8:00 A.M. on a Wednesday morning for 5¢ slots at the Palms, then it is right for 8:00 P.M. on a Saturday night, at least in my opinion.
"For with much wisdom comes much sorrow." -- Ecclesiastes 1:18 (NIV)
Ayecarumba
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November 9th, 2010 at 5:35:37 PM permalink
Quote: Wizard

Changing the limits is different from changing the rules. You don't see casinos making blackjack rules worse at busy times, but indeed, they will raise the limits. When I said there is some optimal return per business, I meant for each individual business. The profit-maximizing return for the airport slots is not the same as that for the Palms. However, if 94% is right at 8:00 A.M. on a Wednesday morning for 5¢ slots at the Palms, then it is right for 8:00 P.M. on a Saturday night, at least in my opinion.



It is doubtful the Manager who decides the floor mix cares at all about doing what's "right". I think they are looking to maximize the hold for the casino and will use all the tools at their disposal to do it. The ability to change "chips" via a central server is a huge benefit to the casino, and offers no benefit to the player. I would not be surprised if the percentages were "tweaked", by day and time, to try to hit certain target revenue marks, since that is how I would do it. It makes sense that you can be more liberal when the volume of play supports more pay outs.

Of course if folks get wise to the stiff machines and don't play at all, the logical thing is that the machines would be loosened up in an attempt to build volume (or totally stiffened to maximize whatever was put into them, ala the airport). This would be like all BJ players refusing to play 6:5. They would have to be replaced if no one played.

I think the floor mix managers without central server systems are already "tweaking" the games; but with a method that is much slower. They vary the mix of machines and returns available to try to optimize the total volume of play vs. payouts. The only reason they don't do it on a day to day basis is the amount of work required to switch out chips and move machines. However, there were certainly adjustments made prior to big conventions, or busy holidays.
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Wizard
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November 9th, 2010 at 5:41:51 PM permalink
Quote: Ayecarumba

The only reason they don't do it on a day to day basis is the amount of work required to switch out chips and move machines. However, there were certainly adjustments made prior to big conventions, or busy holidays.



May I ask how you know?
"For with much wisdom comes much sorrow." -- Ecclesiastes 1:18 (NIV)
NightStalker
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November 9th, 2010 at 6:00:38 PM permalink
Why should i post my secret winning formulae on this site?

Allright, there you go:::

Time of day = h:m:s
Date = yy/mm/dd

sqrt(sq(dd)+sq(s)) + sqrt(sq(mm)+sq(m)) + sqrt(sq(yy)+sq(h))
- sqrt(sq(dd)-sq(s)) - sqrt(sq(mm)-sq(m)) - sqrt(sq(yy)- sq(h))

is a multiple of 1000.

This is the only lucky time and date when all slots throw out money.. If you are smart enough to find out that lucky time and date, you better wasting your time on this thread.. Go get your share :P :P
EvenBob
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November 9th, 2010 at 6:05:17 PM permalink
There was a guy at the roulette table the other day who always bet 17 and 20 on every spin. He was serious when he said its because they hit more than the other numbers, thats why so many people bet on them. I explained the reason they get bet on a lot is they're exactly in the middle of the layout. He looked at me disgustedly like I had a big wad of dog crap on the bottom of my shoe. Just when I think I've learned to keep my mouth shut, I disappoint myself. At the same table there was a Native American in his 60's telling the table that the White man killed 300 million Indians in the US. A laugh burst out of me, it was not controllable. I didn't say a word, I kept my mouth shut. Ignorance is bliss is my motto.
"It's not called gambling if the math is on your side."
miplet
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November 9th, 2010 at 6:14:54 PM permalink
Quote: NightStalker

Why should i post my secret winning formulae on this site?

Allright, there you go:::

Time of day = h:m:s
Date = yy/mm/dd

sqrt(sq(dd)+sq(s)) + sqrt(sq(mm)+sq(m)) + sqrt(sq(yy)+sq(h))
- sqrt(sq(dd)-sq(s)) - sqrt(sq(mm)-sq(m)) - sqrt(sq(yy)- sq(h))

is a multiple of 1000.

This is the only lucky time and date when all slots throw out money.. If you are smart enough to find out that lucky time and date, you better wasting your time on this thread.. Go get your share :P :P


March 13th, 2011, 2:21:25am is the next lucky time according to your formula.
“Man Babes” #AxelFabulous
mkl654321
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November 9th, 2010 at 7:04:32 PM permalink
Quote: Wizard

May I ask how you know?



I've wondered, in the past, just why I couldn't ever win on a Friday night. I was playing video poker, so the matter of EPROMS didn't arise, but I simply got tired of getting pounded into the ground whenever I ventured forth on a Friday night, so that became family eat out and go to a movie night instead. A number of friends who were slot players said that their results were almost uniformly terrible on Friday nights. Would there have been a rational reason for this effect? No. Did it talk quite a few people out of playing? Yes. My best play result days were Tuesday, Monday, and Wednesday, in that order. My worst were Friday, Saturday, and Thursday, in that order. Obviously, any suspicion I would have of the VP machines being diddled with would carry the attendant assumption that the machines were nonrandom in the first place. I just simply wouldn't play any more when there was smoke, whether or not I could see fire as well.

It's not unlike if you sit down at a blackjack table and lose nineteen out of twenty hands. Is the dealer cheating you? Almost certainly not. However, has the likelihood of your being cheated increased from the moment you sat down? Yes (by some finite amount). Therefore, you may as well switch tables.

I do think that when it becomes simple and easy to tweak the payback percentages from a central server, the casinos will tighten and loosen the machines on a constant and regular basis. The revenue-enhancing potential of such a move makes me think that they have been doing this the old-fashioned way for some time now---it would be SO worth the effort to do so.
The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one. The happiness of credulity is a cheap and dangerous quality.---George Bernard Shaw
Doc
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November 9th, 2010 at 7:29:37 PM permalink
Quote: miplet

March 13th, 2011, 2:21:25am is the next lucky time according to your formula.

Now, if we could just figure out which casino this applies to (surely they are not all coordinated), we could reschedule WoVCon, get a big group together, and .....
FleaStiff
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November 9th, 2010 at 8:22:55 PM permalink
Quote: likeplayingcrapsandbj

Has anybody since the introduction of server based control of slot machines .

Uh,, were they introduced. I thought two casinos were engaged in an experimental project but that there was no such across the board set up and nothing going on except in that one Reno area casino and I believe one casino in California or something.
Wizard
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November 9th, 2010 at 8:29:50 PM permalink
I think the Treasure Island did the field trial, which went fine. It is my understanding the entire Aria and Barona are on them.
"For with much wisdom comes much sorrow." -- Ecclesiastes 1:18 (NIV)
SanchoPanza
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November 10th, 2010 at 6:24:25 AM permalink
Quote: mkl654321

. My best play result days were Tuesday, Monday, and Wednesday, in that order. My worst were Friday, Saturday, and Thursday, in that order.


Same for me at the craps table. I wonder whether that different shade of red on the dice had anything to do with the difference in winning and losing. Hmmmmmm.
FleaStiff
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November 10th, 2010 at 6:38:55 AM permalink
Quote: Wizard

I think the Treasure Island did the field trial, which went fine. It is my understanding the entire Aria and Barona are on them.

So you mean that after the successful field trial, the gaming board allowed implementation of Server Based Slots. If so, what are the requirements for adjustment intervals and record keeping as well as divulging such adjustments?
MathExtremist
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November 10th, 2010 at 7:27:53 AM permalink
See NGC Reg 14, Tech Standards. They provide definitions for System Based and System Supported games and the standards that apply to them. All changes need to be logged in two different places, on the server (backend) and also on some other remote logging machine.

Reg 14 Tech Standards

I think the one you're looking for is this:

Quote:

1.140 Conditions for changing active software on a conventional gaming device or
client station that is part of a system supported or system based game.

2. The conventional gaming device or client station must be in the idle mode with no errors or
tilts, no play and no credits on the machine for at least 4 minutes. After this time, the conventional
gaming device or client station must be disabled and rendered unplayable for at least 4 minutes.
During the time the machine is disabled a message must be displayed on a video screen or other
appropriate display device notifying the patron that the game configuration has been changed.



So, a minimum of 8 minutes between playing one game and another on a system-change event.

And these regs weren't just approved, they've been in place for about 5 years.
"In my own case, when it seemed to me after a long illness that death was close at hand, I found no little solace in playing constantly at dice." -- Girolamo Cardano, 1563
FleaStiff
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November 10th, 2010 at 8:27:06 AM permalink
Thank you.
I'll try to study the regulations shortly.
It seems that in general usage the term Server Based Gaming has TWO meanings.

Electronic based games with group collaboration and group selected bonuses wherein the type of game that is being displayed is selected by the player(s) is one use of the term, another use of the term refers to actual altering of the payoffs or expectations involved.

I see nothing wrong with a casino letting players chose one game instead of another at a particular terminal and see nothing wrong with groups of players collaborating, but I fear a lashback effect from surrepitiously altering the odds of a slot machine remotely even if its after an eight minute hiatus.

Players have long thought that casinos had this ability when all the casino could in fact to was install a different chip set and comply with paperwork requirements. Now that the casinos are actually able to make such alterations remotely, I fear a lashback effect.
Doc
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November 10th, 2010 at 8:48:03 AM permalink
Quote: FleaStiff

... I fear a lashback effect.

Anticipate, perhaps, but why "fear"? Why not encourage it? Or are you saying this from the perspective of the casino?
boymimbo
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November 10th, 2010 at 9:34:30 AM permalink
We all know that with paperwork, it's possible to change the payouts on a machine. I've seen it done at the Wynn where I was playing 5-6-9 DDB Video Poker and an hour later it was 4-6-9 (with the machines shut down). Currently, it looks like the regulations show that you must shut down the machines for 8 minutes in order to make the change in payouts.

So, technically, if the paperwork is not onerous and casinos have the ability to change payouts via server based technology, what would that look like? On a slot machine, would the payouts change, or would the nature of the RNG change? And, what is the benefit of loosening and tightening slots on a nightly basis? For example, would a casino tighten all of its slots on a reward bonus multiplier day? Would a casino tighten up its slots on weekends in order to generate more revenue?

Very few slot players play for a long enough time to calculate what their payback is or how loose or tight a slot machine is, and certainly, all but a few would be impervious to a software change unless they see the payouts themselves change.

And ethically, if there is a slot director who believes they can generate more revenue this way, and keep up with the paperwork to change the paybacks, why wouldn't the director do it? Who knows how onerous the paperwork is? Is there a regulation to point to?
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MathExtremist
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November 10th, 2010 at 10:40:44 AM permalink
Quote: FleaStiff

It seems that in general usage the term Server Based Gaming has TWO meanings.


Yeah, the problem is that it has lots of meanings so usually nobody knows what's being discussed. Server Based Gaming has been used to describe:
1) Central-determinant systems (like some lotteries or all Internet casinos) where the player terminal is just a conduit for making wagers and the game itself plays out remotely;
2) Systems where the games are played out locally but the game content is provided by a server, so the player terminal is just a generic box with addressable program memory and LCD panels instead of printed glass
3) Systems where the games are played out locally and the content resides locally but the content is authorized or configurable by a server.

There are lots of permutations, and the marketing message from Bally, IGT, etc. hasn't been at all clear. Even the NGC regs use two different phrases.
"In my own case, when it seemed to me after a long illness that death was close at hand, I found no little solace in playing constantly at dice." -- Girolamo Cardano, 1563
Ayecarumba
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November 10th, 2010 at 11:06:20 AM permalink
Quote: Wizard

May I ask how you know?



Here is a link to an old (May, 1981) article published in "Gaming Business" magazine discussing a slot mix optimization technique. The article makes clear that managers are concerned with mix, and the ability of machines to generate target revenue goals, and that by varying the offerings (denominations and holds were not adjustable back then, you had to switch out the entire machine) a casino could optimize their revenue. Here are the conclusions.
Quote: article


1) Evaluation can be made of the popularity of machine by types as well as denominations using this technique. The internal hold percentage by type of slot machine is not readily available in existing slot systems; this has prevented, to date, a supply and demand analysis by type.

2) Comparison of slot win resulting from one month of play in two of the Atlantic City casinos in operation reveals a dramatic difference in demand for dollar machines. “... Caesars’ dollar-slot handle [coins-in] per machine was less than half that of Resorts’,” according to Dean Wit­ter’s report for August, 1979.

3) A false demand can be created from the practice of giving out coupons to cer­tain customers-coupons, which result in free nickels or free dollars, for example. These factors must be considered in analyzing results and/or fluctuations.

4) As the case study illustrates with the 1979 supply and demand relationship, it does not automatically follow that a client must match the measured demand with his supply. On the contrary, a decision to exceed supply in order to push up the win per machine on one denomination and cause potential growth in demand for large—unit win machines may increase overall profitability. Whether or not marketing decisions, such as this, work as anticipated can be monitored through periodic analysis of supply and demand.

5) Deliberate trade-offs in machine mix can be made and by knowing the changes caused in demand, the amount of slippage in win per unit can be monitored to pre­vent any revenue loss.




I'll keep looking for more current information. I recall a more recent article in the LVRJ discussing servers when Aria was about to open. I'll try to track it down.
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Wizard
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November 10th, 2010 at 11:57:45 AM permalink
I don't dispute that slot managers spend a great deal of time thinking about the kinds of slots and denom mixture to put on their floor. However, I don't think you can jump from that to say that they also would move the returns up and down like a yo-yo depending on the time of day and day of the week. I would indeed be interested in other evidence that they would/could do this.
"For with much wisdom comes much sorrow." -- Ecclesiastes 1:18 (NIV)
MathExtremist
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November 10th, 2010 at 12:18:07 PM permalink
The evidence that they *can* is right there in the 5-year-old regulations on how they're allowed to do it. The systems haven't been implemented widely, but they will be. The question of whether they will is ultimately a business decision, but in any event being able to make on-demand slot floor changes gives an operator more flexibility than the current model.

I'm betting that regular floor-mix changes will be the norm in the next few years -- literally. I have patents in that space.
"In my own case, when it seemed to me after a long illness that death was close at hand, I found no little solace in playing constantly at dice." -- Girolamo Cardano, 1563
Ayecarumba
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November 10th, 2010 at 12:19:24 PM permalink
Quote: Wizard

I don't dispute that slot managers spend a great deal of time thinking about the kinds of slots and denom mixture to put on their floor. However, I don't think you can jump from that to say that they also would move the returns up and down like a yo-yo depending on the time of day and day of the week. I would indeed be interested in other evidence that they would/could do this.



Bally's calls their products "Bally's Central Command", and "iVIEW". It would be great if you could ask their reps at the G2E about the capability to tweak returns, and their perception if the expected revenue is worth the trouble.

The company literature promotes the amount of detailed information that will be available to the casino manager. Given the ability to easily tweak returns, and the quick feedback on results, it is logical to assume they will do it, if it will grow revenue. I'll keep looking for more info.
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Wizard
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November 10th, 2010 at 12:30:08 PM permalink
I don't dispute that server-based slots will allow the slot manager to easily change the return of every slot on the casino floor. However, just because he can, doesn't mean he will abuse the ability and do so on a daily basis. If I do run across anybody who can shed light on this at the show next week I will be sure to ask. I already ask somebody I know at Barona, but have not received a reply.
"For with much wisdom comes much sorrow." -- Ecclesiastes 1:18 (NIV)
likeplayingcrapsandbj
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November 10th, 2010 at 12:35:29 PM permalink
You guys are operating at graduate level and I am trying to keep up at an 8th grade level. Great information you all have provided. I thought I read years ago that the casinos that implemented server based slot control were required by NV law to mainatin a constant payout % based on the overall daily casino revenue from all games. If they continued to use the chip the payout % was based on monthly revenue. I don't know. Don't flame me, just asking.
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Ayecarumba
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November 10th, 2010 at 12:37:57 PM permalink
Here is a snippet from a LVRJ article on Aria's testbed rollout of IGT's system. Note that changes were made not just to, "wagering limits", but to, "payout levels" as well:

Quote: Howard Stutz, Las Vegas Review Journal, July 11, 2010


"On busy weekends and during special events, table-game wagering limits are raised and hotel room rates increase. But it was cost-prohibitive and time-consuming to kick up the wagering limits for slot machines.

During a few slot machine player special events, Aria executives "flipped the switch" and changed out the payout levels and content for several banks of slot machines."



Here is the link to the whole article: LVRJ
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Wizard
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November 10th, 2010 at 12:46:22 PM permalink
Quote: Howard Stutz, Las Vegas Review Journal, July 11, 2010


During a few slot machine player special events, Aria executives "flipped the switch" and changed out the payout levels and content for several banks of slot machines."



Good article. However, that doesn't disprove my assertion. This was just for several banks and was a "special event." They probably invited their valued slot players to play specifically designated machines for a promotion.
"For with much wisdom comes much sorrow." -- Ecclesiastes 1:18 (NIV)
sunrise089
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November 10th, 2010 at 1:15:23 PM permalink
As long as an 8-minute play gap with a visible 4-minute notification is present then I'm not worried...not that I play slots ;)

Question though - has anyone seen or heard of someone who has seen that return change notification screen? If this was a common practice, with thousands of machines in a casino I'd think it would be easy to spot.
Doc
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November 10th, 2010 at 1:36:07 PM permalink
Quote: MathExtremist's citation of NGC Tech Standards

2. The conventional gaming device or client station must be in the idle mode with no errors or tilts, no play and no credits on the machine for at least 4 minutes. After this time, the conventional gaming device or client station must be disabled and rendered unplayable for at least 4 minutes. During the time the machine is disabled a message must be displayed on a video screen or other appropriate display device notifying the patron that the game configuration has been changed.


Quote: sunrise089

... Question though - has anyone seen or heard of someone who has seen that return change notification screen? If this was a common practice, with thousands of machines in a casino I'd think it would be easy to spot.


This raises the question (at least to me) as to what the notification actually says. The tech standards say they have to notify you that the "configuration has been changed." Whatever that implies. Would people necessarily know that meant they had bollixed the payouts?
Ayecarumba
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November 10th, 2010 at 2:20:32 PM permalink
Quote: Wizard

Good article. However, that doesn't disprove my assertion. This was just for several banks and was a "special event." They probably invited their valued slot players to play specifically designated machines for a promotion.



Agreed. At the time the article was written, the system was freshly installed in only a few banks of machines. I don't think they knew what they had at the time (...or the Aria folks did a good job of playing dumb). I would be surprised if a system owner ever shared that they are indeed tweaking the returns. It would be a big hit to their image as "player friendly".

Does anyone have a contact at "Dateline NBC" or "60 Minutes"? This has all the earmarks of a great investigative piece.
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likeplayingcrapsandbj
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November 10th, 2010 at 2:27:01 PM permalink
I googled casino server slots and found some great articles. one on cnet that describes aria server system.
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likeplayingcrapsandbj
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November 10th, 2010 at 2:29:17 PM permalink
"A Myth Comes True
For years slot players have believed a myth that the casinos could change the payback of a machine with the flip of a switch. They worried that the casino could tighten the machines during busy times such as weekends and then loosen them up to pay more during the week. With the new server based system this myth could actually become a reality as they can change the payback of the machines through the server. " I found my answer at casinogambling.com
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likeplayingcrapsandbj
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November 10th, 2010 at 2:55:35 PM permalink
"The Missouri regulators, for example, were making the rounds with the hypothetical issue of whether casinos should be banned from allowing better slot paybacks to players who gamble more - a feature that is possible with server-based games.
Clayton said Nevada regulations prohibit casinos from offering one player a better chance of winning than another. But in reality, casinos already play favorites by offering different levels of rewards for members of their slot clubs. Casinos also single out high rollers at table games with better complimentary offers.
But regulators in other jurisdictions may consider whether they want to allow their casinos the ability to give $1,000-a-night players better odds than $100-a-night players to encourage more play from the big spenders."

I am done with slots, period.
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mkl654321
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November 10th, 2010 at 3:02:58 PM permalink
Quote: likeplayingcrapsandbj

"A Myth Comes True
For years slot players have believed a myth that the casinos could change the payback of a machine with the flip of a switch. They worried that the casino could tighten the machines during busy times such as weekends and then loosen them up to pay more during the week. With the new server based system this myth could actually become a reality as they can change the payback of the machines through the server. " I found my answer at casinogambling.com



It always HAS been possible to do that--it's a myth that it is a myth.

I remember, on several occasions, watching a slot tech use a key to make a menu come up on the screen of a video slot, and selecting a payback percentage from that menu. He didn't even have to open the machine. Five choices: 1) 97.4% 2) 95.9% 3) 94.0% 4) 92.4% 5) 91.2%. Select one. Turn the key. Boom. Done. That makes me laugh when I read that it would be impractical and take too much time to manually change all the payback percentages on the casino floor. (And I saw the scene described above as long as fifteen years ago, so the capability has been there for quite some time.)
The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one. The happiness of credulity is a cheap and dangerous quality.---George Bernard Shaw
MathExtremist
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November 10th, 2010 at 3:04:05 PM permalink
Quote: likeplayingcrapsandbj

"The Missouri regulators, for example, were making the rounds with the hypothetical issue of whether casinos should be banned from allowing better slot paybacks to players who gamble more - a feature that is possible with server-based games.
Clayton said Nevada regulations prohibit casinos from offering one player a better chance of winning than another


That's only partly right. A high-roller absolutely has better odds on a slot game than a low-roller because the models are different on a $100 machine than on a 5c machine. It's also okay to give a player who bets more a better return within a single machine -- that's what *every* multiplier slot does when they bonus the last coin. Same thing with VP games and the bonus pay on a royal. I think the issue is whether the same machine being played at the *same level* should have a different payback based on some external criteria like comp points, but even then the effect of the comp rewards on higher players makes the net payback better anyway, so...
"In my own case, when it seemed to me after a long illness that death was close at hand, I found no little solace in playing constantly at dice." -- Girolamo Cardano, 1563
likeplayingcrapsandbj
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November 10th, 2010 at 3:17:40 PM permalink
You guys obviously know your games of chance. My original question, Is there a particluar time and day of week that is better to play slots with a greater chance of winning? ANd additional are there any other factros that should be considered; size of crowd, denomination, minmax bet, type of slot game, player level, parent company, ....
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Wizard
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November 10th, 2010 at 5:47:04 PM permalink
Quote: mkl654321

It always HAS been possible to do that--it's a myth that it is a myth.

I remember, on several occasions, watching a slot tech use a key to make a menu come up on the screen of a video slot, and selecting a payback percentage from that menu. He didn't even have to open the machine. Five choices: 1) 97.4% 2) 95.9% 3) 94.0% 4) 92.4% 5) 91.2%. Select one. Turn the key. Boom. Done. That makes me laugh when I read that it would be impractical and take too much time to manually change all the payback percentages on the casino floor. (And I saw the scene described above as long as fifteen years ago, so the capability has been there for quite some time.)



Nobody who knows slots would dispute that. However, it would be impractical to open every machine and change the return on a daily or weekly basis. The myth is that some guy in the back room can change the return on any machine from his desk because he doesn't like your polka dotted hat, or any other reason he wishes. However, with server based slots, now he can. As noted, in Nevada he has to wait until the machine has been idle for four minutes, and then is has to be down another four minutes.

Quote: likeplayingcrapsandbj

You guys obviously know your games of chance. My original question, Is there a particluar time and day of week that is better to play slots with a greater chance of winning? ANd additional are there any other factros that should be considered; size of crowd, denomination, minmax bet, type of slot game, player level, parent company, ....



Time of the day, day of the week, size of crowd: Doesn't matter.
Denom, Min bet: Definitley does matter, the higher the denom, the higher the return (generally).
You would also be advised to avoid slots with fancy signs with a movie or television theme, as these are usually set to around 88%, which for slots is pretty low. Then again, they may provide more entertainment value.
"For with much wisdom comes much sorrow." -- Ecclesiastes 1:18 (NIV)
mkl654321
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November 10th, 2010 at 6:11:15 PM permalink
Quote: Wizard

You would also be advised to avoid slots with fancy signs with a movie or television theme, as these are usually set to around 88%, which for slots is pretty low. Then again, they may provide more entertainment value.



Modification to that: when they first bring those kind of slots out, the slot techs generally set them to the highest available payback, to garner interest, then after a few weeks, they tighten them up. One slot tech told me that since just about all themed slots have bonusing games, the determinant for the variable payback percentages is usually the frequency of the bonusing game--nothing else is usually altered.

So if you see what looks like a very new themed slot, it might be worth a fun play for a while--it'll cost you less now than later.

I have one secret location in Vegas where all the Monopoly machines are set to 97.4%, per the slot tech I know who works there...you can play for HOURS on those machines without getting wiped out. He said that he was told to leave those machines at the highest setting in order to increase play in an area that gets a lot of foot traffic, but that traffic is usually going somewhere else. The frequency of the bonus games makes people stop and take a look, and hopefully, sit down and play. (He also told me that the rest of the Monopoly machines in the casino were set to 92%.)
The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one. The happiness of credulity is a cheap and dangerous quality.---George Bernard Shaw
weaselman
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November 10th, 2010 at 6:23:14 PM permalink
Quote: mkl654321

He said that he was told to leave those machines at the highest setting in order to increase play in an area that gets a lot of foot traffic



If they wanted to attract the players, wouldn't it make more sense to advertise the generous payout rather than keep it a secret?

In general, I don't quite understand how loosening the games on low traffic days will help the casino, unless they make it known to the public. I kinda take the lack of that advertising as an indirect confirmation of Wizard's point, that they don't do this as a rule, because they either see it as too cumbersome or just not good for the business.

Sure, they could just leak the info discreetly, so that people, who hear the rumor think they'd just been let in on a huge secret, and run to the casino ... But in that case, they also don't have to actually increase the payout - they just need to allude that they are going to ...
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Wizard
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November 10th, 2010 at 6:47:26 PM permalink
Quote: mkl654321

Modification to that: when they first bring those kind of slots out, the slot techs generally set them to the highest available payback, to garner interest, then after a few weeks, they tighten them up. One slot tech told me that since just about all themed slots have bonusing games, the determinant for the variable payback percentages is usually the frequency of the bonusing game--nothing else is usually altered.



Correct me where I'm wrong, but I thought that it was standard on "participation games" that the return is set close to 88%. For those who don't know, participation games are ones where the casino and the slot maker share in the revenue. They generally have some kind of branded theme and very fancy signage and machines. I'm sure the brand being promoted gets a cut too. I was quoted saying as much in a LV Sun article about a year about, on the Sex and the City slot machine, and I heard IGT got very mad. The next week the Sun ran a puff piece praising slots.
"For with much wisdom comes much sorrow." -- Ecclesiastes 1:18 (NIV)
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