reno
reno
Joined: Jan 20, 2010
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February 16th, 2010 at 11:20:29 AM permalink
Fitzgerald's has a nickel video poker machine with a payback of 101.6 percent. (At least according to www.vpfree2.com; anyone know if this info is up to date?). If I was an executive at Fitzgerald's, I'd shamelessly advertise that my casino was "Home of the Loosest Video Poker Machine in America." Instead, it's a hush hush secret.

Questions:

Aren't nickel machines supposed to have the worst odds?

If this machine is beatable, why does it exist? I'm assuming it still earns a profit for the house because of player error, but then again, the players hogging this machine are precisely the sort of players who have done their homework and know their poker.
DJTeddyBear
DJTeddyBear
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February 16th, 2010 at 11:56:41 AM permalink
It's a nickel machine.

Even if it IS paying 101.6%, and people were playing perfectly, just how much is that machine bleeding? More than what the people that play it (or their spouses) are potentially loosing at other games while there?

It's the very definition of "Loss leader."

Why isn't it advertised? Good question.

Then again, how many of them are in there?

---

But you're right. Typically, the HIGHER the denomination, the looser it is. But if it's paying over 100%, yeah, a nickel machine makes sense - if they advertised it!
Superstitions are silly, childish, irrational rituals, born out of fear of the unknown. But how much does it cost to knock on wood? 😁 Note that the same could be said for Religion. I.E. Religion is nothing more than organized superstition. 🤗
cclub79
cclub79
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February 16th, 2010 at 12:12:18 PM permalink
I always thought the higher the denom, the better the odds, but that only holds true when the house has an edge. In positive EV Vp, often the best odds are at the 25c level.
NicksGamingStuff
NicksGamingStuff
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February 16th, 2010 at 12:18:40 PM permalink
Just because it pays back over 100% does not mean everyone who plays it will be a winner. With good counting and strategy blackjack provides about the same 1.5% advantage (I think!) But many good counters have bad sessions.
cardshark
cardshark
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February 16th, 2010 at 12:21:42 PM permalink
I read somewhere that a professional poker player can play up to 1,000 hands per hour. Fitzgerald's players card will net you an additional 0.1% in cash back for video poker. So, a perfect player could get 101.7% out of the machine.

Now, I haven't seen these machines, but I will assume its single play vp and the max bet is 0.25$ (in other words, you can't up the denomination and max bet is 5 coins).

At a 1.7% advantage, this machine will earn a perfect player:
0.25 $ * 1.7% * 1,000 hands = 4.25$/hour

Less than minimum wage!

Maybe they have 5X comps days, even then you would only net 5.25$/hour. Nonetheless, I would still play it.

So what does this cost Fitzgerald's? It doesn't seem like much, but if they've got 20 of these machines, they are losing up to $100/hour + the opportunity cost of these machines (ie the space they take up which could be used for games that would net them a better return).
DJTeddyBear
DJTeddyBear
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February 16th, 2010 at 1:01:59 PM permalink
No matter hot you slice it, if it gets them in the door, to Fitzgeralds, they are worth every penny NICKEL.
Superstitions are silly, childish, irrational rituals, born out of fear of the unknown. But how much does it cost to knock on wood? 😁 Note that the same could be said for Religion. I.E. Religion is nothing more than organized superstition. 🤗
FleaStiff
FleaStiff 
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February 16th, 2010 at 1:02:05 PM permalink
I don't know how many such machines they have or what techniques they might employ to prevent hogging of them, but I think its a sort of loss-leader or close to it. Casinos in outlying areas offer Bingo Rooms but really only make money on them during the even hours when Bingo players play the slot machines. It just might be the same way. Fitzgeralds gets a guy in there playing VP but meanwhile his wife is playing at an 8percent machine. If ten people show up for the very loose machine but its being hogged, most of those ten will simply play a nearby machine that is not quite so loose. So they won't advertise it but the casino will benefit from it.
odiousgambit
odiousgambit
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February 17th, 2010 at 5:36:34 AM permalink
If it's one of those games where you have to wait to hit the natural royal to get into positive earnings, then only the most dedicated are going to play it right.

For example, in Full Pay Deuces are Wild, the temptation would be to go for the natural royal when holding maybe 3 cards to that *natural* and a Deuce. Of course you are practically never supposed to discard the deuce, but holding it makes the natural impossible (with 3 to a natural plus a deuce, hold the deuce too for the shot at the wild-card royal is correct). I think there are a few other examples that don't come to me now.

Let's say you know you are going to only play for one weekend a year. If you play it right you have almost no shot at getting ahead without because the natural royal is still what is 'make or break'. Aren't you going to be tempted to take extra chances? If you have a big bankroll and a zillion hours, then you'd have reason to follow perfect strategy if you can, but has been pointed out, your EV is going to net you less than minimum wage. I think the casino can begrudge those few folks that.

I guess my point is that even someone who knows the deal may not elect to play it right, never mind the average Joe who hasn't looked into proper play. And the casinos count on that too. Plus I think errors are really big in keeping a guy from playing actual positive EV.

If you want to check out the above statements that is here.
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
FleaStiff
FleaStiff 
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February 17th, 2010 at 6:33:33 AM permalink
Initial lack of knowledge, lack of knowledge concerning certain more unusual situations, lack of gumption to follow optimal strategy, fatigue, inebriation ... all these things cut into that statistically attractive starting point.
The entire town is built on illusion and lack of full disclosure.

I wonder if "full pay" will become as popular a term as "loosest slots" ... and just as meaningless.
teddys
teddys
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February 17th, 2010 at 9:14:36 AM permalink
Agreed with the above. If you go to the full pay deuces wild machines at Sam's Town or Palms, you don't really see anyone camped out in front of them "working them," even though you could earn close to $10 an hour with perfect, fast play. Nobody (well, almost nobody) wants to put in that kind of work for such little reward. Might as well get a job with health and 401(k) benefits. (Okay, that might be difficult right now :))

Meanwhile, the people that play those machines are amateurs and day-trippers who are not going to play the perfect strategy nor put in enough time to get that edge. Those machines are still a "loss-leader" for the Palms, et al. but only in the sense that they make less money for the casino than other machines. (I would bet those FPDW machines return about 97% for the casino.)
"Dice, verily, are armed with goads and driving-hooks, deceiving and tormenting, causing grievous woe." -Rig Veda 10.34.4

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