November 10th, 2010 at 9:54:27 AM
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Intro: I am of the belief that VP machines are completely random, but I am skeptical of a promotion that Main Street Station has been running for over a year.

Main Street Station has a promotion that if you hit a natural four of kind you get a scratch off ticket. Generally, the scratch ticket pays $1.00 for a $0.05 4 of a kind, I believe $2.00 for a $0.25, and not sure about what it pays for a $1.00 4 of a kind. You do get a scratch ticket if playing deuces wild and hit a natural 4 of a kind as well. Now maybe this is just me, but I have never played there and not hit a four of kind or at least more than one during an hour session. If you walk around the casino you will see many vp players with several tickets in front of them.

There are not any full pay machines that I am aware of at Main Street Station, but I have had success hitting four of a kinds. Now let me preface all of that by the fact that I have only played there a few times.

Is it possible that their machines hit four of kinds more frequently, but have much lower payouts on lesser hands? For example, I know that most of their deuces wild machines only paid 50 credits for 5 of a kind, I believe without much effort you can find pay tables where 5 of a kind in deuces pays 75 credits. I hit 5 natural four of kinds last night in less than an 1:30hrs, including a nice 5 of a kind playing Jokers Wild.

I am also interested in how much the house edge is effected by the scratch off ticket.

Thanks for the comments in advance.

Main Street Station has a promotion that if you hit a natural four of kind you get a scratch off ticket. Generally, the scratch ticket pays $1.00 for a $0.05 4 of a kind, I believe $2.00 for a $0.25, and not sure about what it pays for a $1.00 4 of a kind. You do get a scratch ticket if playing deuces wild and hit a natural 4 of a kind as well. Now maybe this is just me, but I have never played there and not hit a four of kind or at least more than one during an hour session. If you walk around the casino you will see many vp players with several tickets in front of them.

There are not any full pay machines that I am aware of at Main Street Station, but I have had success hitting four of a kinds. Now let me preface all of that by the fact that I have only played there a few times.

Is it possible that their machines hit four of kinds more frequently, but have much lower payouts on lesser hands? For example, I know that most of their deuces wild machines only paid 50 credits for 5 of a kind, I believe without much effort you can find pay tables where 5 of a kind in deuces pays 75 credits. I hit 5 natural four of kinds last night in less than an 1:30hrs, including a nice 5 of a kind playing Jokers Wild.

I am also interested in how much the house edge is effected by the scratch off ticket.

Thanks for the comments in advance.

November 10th, 2010 at 10:14:18 AM
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The bonus tickets are randomly distributed. The denomination of your play does not matter. The max award is $5,000. I have spoken to people who have seen someone win this prize. However, like most scratcher promotions, the vast majority of the tickets are in the <$5.00 range.

You do have to be a member of the player's club to get the bonus ticket. The most irritating thing is that you have to wait for the attendant to verify your quad and give you the scratcher. On busy weekends the wait can sometimes be several minutes. This has some effect on the hold for a machine since it is not in play while someone is waiting for the verification.

I don't think a casino has the ability to "force" more quads out of their machines, so the incidence of wins should fall in line with a typical spread. Perhaps you notice it more specifically because of the promotion. It may influence the strategy of some players, encouraging them to hold small pairs in hopes of catching the quad for the bonus, but that is just my speculation. Without knowing the distribution of the prizes in the scratch-offs, it is impossible to accurately determine the impact on the house edge. However, I don't hear of $5,000 winners very often, so I would guess that it is negligible.

You do have to be a member of the player's club to get the bonus ticket. The most irritating thing is that you have to wait for the attendant to verify your quad and give you the scratcher. On busy weekends the wait can sometimes be several minutes. This has some effect on the hold for a machine since it is not in play while someone is waiting for the verification.

I don't think a casino has the ability to "force" more quads out of their machines, so the incidence of wins should fall in line with a typical spread. Perhaps you notice it more specifically because of the promotion. It may influence the strategy of some players, encouraging them to hold small pairs in hopes of catching the quad for the bonus, but that is just my speculation. Without knowing the distribution of the prizes in the scratch-offs, it is impossible to accurately determine the impact on the house edge. However, I don't hear of $5,000 winners very often, so I would guess that it is negligible.

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication - Leonardo da Vinci

November 10th, 2010 at 10:24:48 AM
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Say you do find a full-pay JOB machine (99.54% return). You'll see maybe 200 hands/hour, so on average you'll be down about .92 bets after that hour. If you're playing quarters ($1.25/hand), that's a loss of about $1.15/hour. Depending on exactly how you play your cards, you should see quads about once every 425 hands, or once every 2 hours and 8 minutes or so. So, if the average scratch off is worth more than $2.45, it'll create a player advantage. I suspect that the average scratch off has a value that is significantly less than that. I also suspect that some players really do change their strategy to try to increase their hit frequency on the quads, which will also increase the house edge on the game.

"So as the clock ticked and the day passed, opportunity met preparation, and luck happened." - Maurice Clarett

November 10th, 2010 at 12:53:06 PM
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The scratch cards aren't totally random as there is a difference between playing nickel vp and quarter vp and up, you actually get different cards. Yes, if you are lucky enough to receive the scratch ticket for $5,000 then that is great, but almost all other cards are either $1 for a nickel and $2 for a quarter.

Just swung by there on my lunch and hit 2 more natural 4 of a kinds. Just hard to believe they don't hit more often there from my LIMITED experience.

Just swung by there on my lunch and hit 2 more natural 4 of a kinds. Just hard to believe they don't hit more often there from my LIMITED experience.

November 10th, 2010 at 1:20:56 PM
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Quote:rdw4potusSay you do find a full-pay JOB machine (99.54% return).

You'll see maybe 200 hands/hour, so on average you'll be down about .92 bets after that hour.

If you're playing quarters ($1.25/hand), that's a loss of about $1.15/hour.

Depending on exactly how you play your cards, you should see quads about once every 425 hands, or once every 2 hours and 8 minutes or so.

This is the mistake that VP players make when talking about averages to hit certain hands.

Remember an "average" can be the most misleading statistic known to man when used by itself.

The 1 in 425 works out to be, as a percentage, 0.002352941

It would take many tens of thousands of hands to "get the average"

Something better to use would be a cumulative frequency table.

A CF table shows the probability of results that are less than or equal to X.

You can also extract the relative frequencies but that would be for another topic.

A CF table shows a better picture of how many hands you can expect, with it's percentage of occurring, it takes to see a 4oaK.

One can expect half (the median) of all 4 of a Kinds to happen within 294 hands.

425 hands would be 63.2553783%

36.7446217% of 4oaKs that hit would be after 425 hands... and 10% would take 978 or more hands to see the 4oaK.

N Hands | Cumulative % |
---|---|

44.7 | 10.0% |

69.0 | 15.0% |

94.7 | 20.0% |

122.1 | 25.0% |

151.4 | 30.0% |

182.9 | 35.0% |

216.8 | 40.0% |

253.8 | 45.0% |

294.2 | 50.0% |

339.0 | 55.0% |

389.0 | 60.0% |

425 | 0.632553783 |

445.6 | 65.0% |

511.1 | 70.0% |

588.5 | 75.0% |

683.2 | 80.0% |

805.3 | 85.0% |

977.4 | 90.0% |

1,271.7 | 95.0% |

1,366.4 | 96.0% |

1,488.5 | 97.0% |

1,660.7 | 98.0% |

1,954.9 | 99.0% |

formula used to create a CF table was found at:

http://hit-it-again-roulette.com/math.html

Thanks DJ. Hope one of your bets makes it to the big time!

7 winner chicken dinner!

November 10th, 2010 at 1:21:37 PM
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Most of the VP at MSS is crap, but they do have one bank with very good games. They have 10/7 DB (100.1%), and from my experience, those machines have performed just about as would be expected. My quad frequency has been about what it should have been. There are also some 9/6 JOB here and there, but since I hate JOB, and the better DB game is available, that's my game of choice. The bank is located on the west side of the casino.

Almost all the .25 scratch tickets are $2. Last time I played, I got 23 tickets--one for $3, one for $5, and the rest for $2. I would imagine that the expected value of a .25 scratcher is something like $2.15 (factoring in the $5000 possibility).

If you use the rough calculation of a quad every 425 hands, a scratcher is worth 1.6 additional bets, so it's worth an additional 0.37% or so. This makes 10/7 DB about four times as good as it otherwise would be, and moves JOB into positive territory with the 0.1% slot club factored in.

Almost all the .25 scratch tickets are $2. Last time I played, I got 23 tickets--one for $3, one for $5, and the rest for $2. I would imagine that the expected value of a .25 scratcher is something like $2.15 (factoring in the $5000 possibility).

If you use the rough calculation of a quad every 425 hands, a scratcher is worth 1.6 additional bets, so it's worth an additional 0.37% or so. This makes 10/7 DB about four times as good as it otherwise would be, and moves JOB into positive territory with the 0.1% slot club factored in.

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

November 14th, 2010 at 10:30:14 AM
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Nice to hear. thanks.

November 14th, 2010 at 11:00:17 AM
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All this banter about how much a scratch ticket is worth vs. the overall payback and if the machines can be set up to pump out less quads.......that's all hokey myth. The fact is, the ONLY reason they have the promotion is to drag as many players in as they can, because whether the machines are "theoretically" 100.8% or 94.2% or whatever and regardless of the promotion theo, they will make money off of every single one of them. The more players, the better, and if it were not a very successful promotion it would have been gone long ago. Many casino have quad promotions in one form or another. Promotions are extemely successful in driving in the locals, and as we all know, the locals keep the machines filled up as well as the hotels maintained for the rest of us for when we get to town.