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11 members have voted

Wizard
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Wizard
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camapl
June 23rd, 2022 at 4:14:03 PM permalink
The next game we will look at in my series on advantage play slots is Hexbreak3r, also known as Hexbreaker 3.



The thrust of this game is the visible positions on the reels expand gradually from 3 to 8. When a reel expands beyond the 8th position, the player is awarded either a fixed win, bonus game, or progressive and then that reel resets to three visible positions.

This is a "ways to win" game. The expected value of pay table wins will be proportional to the product of the visible positions of all five reels. For example, in the image above there are 6*4*3*6*6 = 2,592 ways to win.

For now you may find the rules only over at Wizard of Odds. I welcome any comments and corrections on them.

The big question is when is the game positive? Based on preliminary discussion with machine AP's, a good rule of thumb is either:

1. 6,000 or more ways to win.
2. Any reel has the full eight positions visible.

I believe it is possible to have a positive game in other situations too, which I hope to discuss here.

For now, I welcome all comments on when the game is in a positive state.

The question for the poll is do you play Hexbreak3r and/or what's your opinion on the 6,000 figure?
It's not whether you win or lose; it's whether or not you had a good bet.
DogHand
DogHand
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June 23rd, 2022 at 6:44:21 PM permalink
Wiz,

Although the horseshoe usually advances the reel by just one position, I have seen it advance the reel by as many as four positions.

Hope this helps!

Dog Hand
Wizard
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Wizard
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June 23rd, 2022 at 7:06:28 PM permalink
Quote: DogHand

Wiz,

Although the horseshoe usually advances the reel by just one position, I have seen it advance the reel by as many as four positions.

Hope this helps!

Dog Hand
link to original post



Thanks for confirming that. I thought I saw it advance two myself, but the rule screen don't indicate that as a possibility, but nor do they deny it.
It's not whether you win or lose; it's whether or not you had a good bet.
McSweeney
McSweeney
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June 23rd, 2022 at 11:13:36 PM permalink
The middle reel is extremely valuable and warrants special consideration if it's high.

Finding this game at 6,000 ways to win is a luxury that you probably won't be lucky enough to have.
Wizard
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Wizard
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June 24th, 2022 at 5:51:46 AM permalink
Quote: McSweeney

The middle reel is extremely valuable and warrants special consideration if it's high.

Finding this game at 6,000 ways to win is a luxury that you probably won't be lucky enough to have.
link to original post



I noticed the pay table pays the same for 3, 4, and 5 symbols. That means that the middle reel is twice as important as the other four, since it's the only one that runs through both sides.

Let's label the reels, from left to right: a,b,c,d,e.

The value of the pay table wins should be proportional to abc + cde = c*(ab+de).

It's not whether you win or lose; it's whether or not you had a good bet.
Wizard
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Wizard
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June 24th, 2022 at 6:22:48 AM permalink
To expand on my post above, here is a rough strategy. It is based on the assumption that 50% of the return comes from line pays, 40% to the bonus and Luck Zone wins, and 10% to the house.

That said, the player should label the reels, from left to right -- a,b,c,d,e.

Then, calculate c*(ab + de). Let's call this the "combinations."

The average combinations will be 239. The player should play if it is 287 or more. Of course, this should depend on how liberal the casino is with slots and the value of the points.

The middle reel in this game goes up very slowly. If it is at least so-high, then the player should sit and play until it gets to the top and the progressive hit. It may not be positive every spin, but the other four reels will go up and down, averaging at 4.93 symbols high, for an average positive state.

How high is "so-high"? If find that answer to be six.

In other words, always play if the middle reel is at least six and don't stop until it reaches the top.

Comments?
It's not whether you win or lose; it's whether or not you had a good bet.
camapl
camapl
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June 24th, 2022 at 12:46:09 PM permalink
Quote: Wizard

To expand on my post above, here is a rough strategy. It is based on the assumption that 50% of the return comes from line pays, 40% to the bonus and Luck Zone wins, and 10% to the house.

That said, the player should label the reels, from left to right -- a,b,c,d,e.

Then, calculate c*(ab + de). Let's call this the "combinations."

The average combinations will be 239. The player should play if it is 287 or more. Of course, this should depend on how liberal the casino is with slots and the value of the points.

The middle reel in this game goes up very slowly. If it is at least so-high, then the player should sit and play until it gets to the top and the progressive hit. It may not be positive every spin, but the other four reels will go up and down, averaging at 4.93 symbols high, for an average positive state.

How high is "so-high"? If find that answer to be six.

In other words, always play if the middle reel is at least six and don't stop until it reaches the top.

Comments?
link to original post



The last two times that an AP acquaintance played at three ticks away from the progressive, he ran afoul. Both times, the progressive was higher than usual, yet he was still down a couple hundred after hitting on the middle to lower bet options. I know itís a small sample

How do APís decide if itís just variance, a lower machine setting, or (fill in the gap)?

Most of his better plays are when the Bonus is in range. How close (or how high) do you think those reels need to be?
* Actual results may vary.
Wizard
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Wizard
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June 24th, 2022 at 5:45:35 PM permalink
Quote: Wizard

That said, the player should label the reels, from left to right -- a,b,c,d,e.

Then, calculate c*(ab + de). Let's call this the "combinations."



I'm having second thoughts about this.

However, before getting to that, let me emphasize the unusual nature of the pay table that pays the same for 3, 4, or 5 in a row.



Next, I want to remind everybody this is a "ways to win" game, not a pay table game. Let's look at the following screenshot, as an example.



In this spin, the player has 2 crows on reel 3, 4 on reel 4 (including the two wilds), and 2 on reel 5.

2*4*2 = 16

The base win for three crows is 10. However, the player bet 240, which is 3x more than the minimum bet of 80, so win is multiplied by 3.

Thus, the entire win is 16*10*3 = 480 credits. You can see the 480 in the lower center of the screen. If this were a 1800-payline game, the player would win 15x as much for the ways the paylines could go through reels 1 and 2.

Getting back to the beginning, I think my c*(ab + de) formula puts too much emphasis on the middle reel. Although the player isn't paid more for getting 4 or 5 symbols, above 3, there are more "ways to win," according to how long those reels are as well as how much the symbols are stacked, which they generally are.

Let me think about it.
It's not whether you win or lose; it's whether or not you had a good bet.
ALG
ALG
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June 24th, 2022 at 6:38:47 PM permalink
Quote: camapl

Quote: Wizard

To expand on my post above, here is a rough strategy. It is based on the assumption that 50% of the return comes from line pays, 40% to the bonus and Luck Zone wins, and 10% to the house.

That said, the player should label the reels, from left to right -- a,b,c,d,e.

Then, calculate c*(ab + de). Let's call this the "combinations."

The average combinations will be 239. The player should play if it is 287 or more. Of course, this should depend on how liberal the casino is with slots and the value of the points.

The middle reel in this game goes up very slowly. If it is at least so-high, then the player should sit and play until it gets to the top and the progressive hit. It may not be positive every spin, but the other four reels will go up and down, averaging at 4.93 symbols high, for an average positive state.

How high is "so-high"? If find that answer to be six.

In other words, always play if the middle reel is at least six and don't stop until it reaches the top.

Comments?
link to original post



The last two times that an AP acquaintance played at three ticks away from the progressive, he ran afoul. Both times, the progressive was higher than usual, yet he was still down a couple hundred after hitting on the middle to lower bet options. I know itís a small sample

How do APís decide if itís just variance, a lower machine setting, or (fill in the gap)?

Most of his better plays are when the Bonus is in range. How close (or how high) do you think those reels need to be?
link to original post



The center reel is the majority of the advantage and then getting lucky for reels B & D to be high at the same time to increase the odds of getting numerous bonuses.

At my locals the campers take it as soon as the middle is on 5. Ways to win doesn't even matter. The hope is to get enough bonuses and or get the progressive in one of the bonuses. Part of the benefit to this game is all the points accumulated by fast tapping the machine for 4-6+ hrs. That goes to tier benefits and drawing entries. Breaking even or losing a small amount would still be considered a win.

The other day I lost $100 on $.80 bet the bonus was 1 away on reel A and 1 away from $8 on reel B. That said if the bonus is 1 away I'd always play hoping to get the bonus reasonably soon and getting a better bonus. I wouldn't play 2 away from the bonus. The outside reels advance much slower than reels B and D. Anything 1 away on 2 or 4 I'd play off.
Wizard
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June 24th, 2022 at 8:08:46 PM permalink
Quote: ALG

The center reel is the majority of the advantage and then getting lucky for reels B & D to be high at the same time to increase the odds of getting numerous bonuses.
link to original post



I agree the center reel is the most important. However, I am struggling with a way to quantify that in a strategy without complicated formulas.

Sacrificing advantage for simplicity, here is my strategy as I have it now. Play if any of the following are true.

  • The number of combinations is at least 3,500.
  • The height of reel 3 is at least six. Five is borderline.
  • Any reel is under a Bonus in the Luck Zone has a height of eight.
  • If reel 2 or 4 has a height of 8 and is under a win the Luck Zone of at least 20x the bet.


I have just updated my Hexbreak3r page to reflect this strategy. As always, I welcome all comments. Otherwise, I think I will close the book on this game soon.

I thank those unselfish players who have been helpful quietly behind the scenes.
It's not whether you win or lose; it's whether or not you had a good bet.

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