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Some progressive jackpots best calculated over time

Sep 11, 2007 1:05 AM

A second type of progressive jackpot does not increment directly as a percentage of the amount wagered, but increments a certain amount per unit of time.

Although much simpler to implement (particularly on a manual game) than a true progressive, this approach suffers from several drawbacks. An example of a time progressive is a catch-all five spot with an initial jackpot of $1,000 for a $1 wager, with a jackpot increment of $5 per day until hit.

Since it is not necessary to count the actual dollar action on this wager to implement it or to increment the jackpot, it is well suited for the manual operation where such information may be difficult or very time consuming to obtain. The drawback is that the meter may increment out of all proportion to the amount of action on the wager.

It is also difficult to calculate the house percentage on a time progressive. The only practical way is to take the average jackpot over an extended period of time and use it for calculation. It is interesting to note that on this type of progressive, the house percentage is lower the less the action is on the wager.

In the case of low action, the wager has less effect on the weighted house percentage of the game as a whole. On the other hand, a time progressive with a high amount of action has a relatively high house percentage. There is a correspondingly higher effect on the weighted house percentage. Because of these facts, the prudent game operator will put a limit on all time progressives.

It is difficult to determine the true theoretical house percentage of a time progressive ticket. This in turn creates difficulties in determining the true theoretical percentage of the game as a whole. An alternative approach may be used. The keno manager could calculate all the individual house percentages of tickets in action, including the time progressive ticket at its initial setting.

Taking the case of the five spot mentioned above, $5 per day would then be deducted from the gross theoretical win of the house per day. The resultant effect upon the weighted house percentage could then be determined. By backing out the time progressive five spot, its individual percentage could then be determined.

The house percentage of the five spot mentioned above at its initial jackpot of $1,000 is 35.5. If the theoretical house percentage of all non-progressive tickets including this five spot (calculated at its reset value) is 29 and the game is writing $10,000 per day, then the game should hold $2,900 per day.

Deducting $5 per day from the win will result in a theoretical house percentage of 28.95. It is my experience that the dollar volume of these types of specials is usually 2-5 percent of write, and rarely as much as 10 of total write. If we estimate the action of the five spot as 2 percent of the game in dollar volume, then backing it out of the non-progressive percentage calculation results in a 28.87 for all non-progressive tickets.

Using this figure and that of 28.95 for the game as a whole, it can be determined that the true house percentage for the progressive five spot is 32.87. That’s given the fact volume on the progressive is 2 percent of gross game handle.

If you have a Keno question that you would like answered, please write to me care of this paper, or contact me on the web via email at [email protected] Well, that’s it for now. Good luck! I’ll see you in line!