Say no to naysayers

Feb 27, 2007 12:46 AM

And the debate rages on.

This past weekend, I participated in a chat room in which sides were drawn over the validity of formulating strategy for electronic games, such as slots, video poker and video keno.

On one side, players argue that, through experience and long-term play, they’ve been able to somehow win in spite of the odds.

Opponents counter that all games are random and jackpots hinge on the whims of Lady Luck.

The truth is no one really knows the outcome of a gambling event. You can predict, based on math models or past performance, but — gambling by definition — the outcome always has a degree of doubt.

However, there are things, relative to the games I love to play, that I do know.

For instance, a video keno game is supposed to be based on random generation of numbers, but why is it that you can play a group of numbers and never get significant hits. But move your numbers to a different group and the machine all of a sudden starts hitting in your old cluster.

How does this happen? Why does this happen? Are you so unlucky that it’s a coincidence that they start to hit after you move your pattern?

This happened to me on Saturday while playing the keno progressive at Palace Station. I had a 10-spot marked and couldn’t get more than five numbers to ever hit.

But immediately after I re-marked another 10 numbers, the machine filled in eight of my 10 previously-marked numbers ”¦ on the very next game!

Should I believe that, if I hadn’t moved the numbers, I would have caught eight of 10 for a $1,000 payoff? I don’t think so.

Here’s another occurrence that happens with regularity. Playing the same keno machine, I discovered that, if the game keeps missing the minimum payoff by just one hit — you need five hits to get paid — it continues to do so until you make some sort of change.

The "changes" I employed to somehow jar the machine out of the "almost there" mode were twofold: clearing the board and re-marking the exact same numbers, and re-setting the game by cashing out and starting over again.

For whatever reason, I was able to catch six and seven-spots (out of 10) shortly after performing either of those gyrations.

Why? I can’t say, even though the math and computer experts will discount any connection.

All I can say in answer is, if it works keep at it.

I hope some of this works for our readers. Let me know about your experiences.

As Larry says in his craps article, gambling is about learning. We can all use more learning.