Bending the rules in video poker

October 09, 2007 1:42 AM
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Over my nearly 18 years of playing video poker, I’ve had my share of machine malfunctions, short-coin drops, being cheated while redeeming cash-out tickets, and a variety of other gaffs not in my favor.

Even so, I’ve rarely pushed for redemption because I know from experience that casinos do not necessarily operate in such a manner, and I’m not much for wasting time.

Besides, for all the unfortunate incidents that I’ve been victim to in my play, I’ve more than made up for all of it in my own way. That’s part of what being a successful and consistent winning player is all about. You must be able to look out for yourself, and you have to understand that no one or no thing comes before you when going up against the casinos.

Remember when machines only took coins and you got a hand pay on certain jackpots — even if they weren’t $1,200 or greater? Remember how some casinos had a policy of always putting 5 coins in for you in order to "play the hand off"? Well, on the $5, $10 and $25 machines that was a very welcome and meaningful gesture, so those are the places I put in most of my play.

And it just so happens that these were also the casinos that never questioned you when you said your "rack" was shorted one or two coins, so they always gave the "extras" without blinking. As a player you learned how to work that type of system, and all you were really doing was making up for the other side of the casino story.

There was a time when I think it was Treasure Island, and the chair I sat down in had a roll of bills that totaled just over $500 inside a rubber band. I didn’t notice it at first, but as I moved around it began to feel uncomfortable. My choice? I played at the machine for about 50 minutes, and during that time if someone came by and asked I would have handed it over.

If not, it was mine. No one ever showed. It’s funny how I treat these sorts of things in casinos. If that had happened in a restaurant, etc. I’d have told the manager immediately. But inside casinos everything’s a game to me, and the edge is always on the casino’s side no matter what.

Just as I do in my play strategy, you have to be patient in waiting for good fortune to come along. Then you have to know how to take complete advantage of it.

There was another Strip property where I was playing Bonus Poker at the $5 level that only took coins, but the machine only needed 3 in to play five credits. To a player this type of phenomena always takes you by surprise, so I could only think such an advantage would contribute to my win goal. Even so, I lost 100 coins in very short order.

Then I told a slot supervisor something was "drastically wrong" with the machine I was playing when I put my coins in. I said at times it was chewing my coins and in other instances I thought it was doubling up on them, making for a "very frustrating" session. The result after checking — and fixing the machine? They gave me a comped rack. I proceeded to hit four 2s, and then left.

Clearly, when the bill feeders came along it was player’s heaven. But did you ever have one mess up on you by giving you the improper number of credits for what you put in? I’ve never been short-changed, but once I put a $20 into a dollar machine and the thing computed it as $100.

After losing 100 credits I tried it again with the same result. This time I reported it because it doesn’t ever pay to be greedy in gambling, A player has to know when it’s time to do the sensible thing. The result? I was comped a meal in the casino’s best restaurant. Bending the rules some? Maybe”¦.but this was a casino, so maybe not.

Many of us have had experiences with machines that have been programmed with obviously wrong pay tables. From what I’ve heard players, always take complete advantage of them for as long as they can. I ran across a Bonus Poker $2 machine one time that I kept to myself about. The pay table was juicy, but way wrong for the casino at 10/7 when the full-pay version is just 8/5.

Because of the obvious mistake in the table, after winning my session I decided to hammer away at it for as long as I could sit. I hit nothing big, but I did win an additional $1,300. Is this bending the rules, or simply playing within the rules? I say both. Since the casino adapted that pay table to that game on that machine while asking people to play it, where’s the problem? On the other hand, Robocop would have said something.

No one area gets its rules bent more than the massive amount of benefits we video poker players receive from the slot club marketing programs. And we all do it, only it’s the degree to which we go at it that differs. Approaches range from the innocent to the really sleazy, I’ve tried and been successful with them all. I won’t detail them because most of us continue to play that game with the casinos.

I’ve been told of many more events that’s seen players taking advantage of rules-bending for some time, but some things are beyond even what I would do. And remember, I look at casinos as fair game since my wallet is fair game to them.

One thing a person has to make sure of is to change hats when it comes to everything else in life. Slug it out on one side of the fence while calmly talking it over on the other.

That’s the sign of a winner.

 

I’ve been told of many more events that’s seen players taking advantage of rules-bending for some time, but some things are beyond even what I would do. And remember, I look at casinos as fair game since my wallet is fair game to them.

One thing a person has to make sure of is to change hats when it comes to everything else in life. Slug it out on one side of the fence while calmly talking it over on the other.

That’s the sign of a winner.