You stole my jackpot!

Some time ago I sat at a 9/6 Jacks or Better video poker machine and played for an hour or so.  During that time I hit 3 four of a kinds, an above average amount to be sure.  I got up and went to eat and when I returned the machine I had been playing was occupied by a women, so I sat down beside her and began to play the machine next to her.  After about 15 minutes or so she was getting very upset because she was losing.  She would turn to me and complain about how bad the machine was.  Finally she asked how I was doing, I said “OK”.  I said “I did pretty well on the machine you are playing about an hour ago, I hit 3 four of a kinds”.  “What!!!!!”,  she exclaimed, as if I just told her she was adopted.  “Why didn’t you tell me?” she asked emphatically.  She immediately cashed out.  I was confused.  “Why would I tell you that?”, I asked.  “Because that means this machine has already ‘hit’ and it won’t ‘hit’ again for a while.”  Is this women out of her mind, I thought to myself?  I decided to play along, so I told her with complete sarcasm that I would now announce to everyone whenever I hit something good and let everyone know which machine I hit it on.  This seemed to calm her down a bit, but she still wished I had of told her about that machine before she sat down.  People never cease to amaze me.

Did somebody hit this as soon as you got up?

This situation exemplifies one of the biggest misconceptions in casino gambling regarding slots and video poker.  Many believe that when a machine is “due” it is going to hit.  That it is preprogrammed to hit at a specific time or spin.  This is not so.  Each machine has something called a Random Number Generator” (RNG)  This RNG goes through thousands of number sequences per second.  Each number sequence represents an outcome of either cards or slot symbols.  While the machine is just sitting there or in between spins it is going through thousands and thousands of number sequences, so in order for someone who left a machine to hit the jackpot that someone else just hit on that machine, they would have had to hit the play button at exactly the same milisecond as the person who sat down, which is virtually impossible.

I know this is a hard one to come to grips with.  I’ll admit that leaving a machine and watching someone else hit a jackpot can be agonizing, but use your intellectual mind to overcome your child like emotion of that jackpot is MINE!!!

Now, everything I just talked about are for machines in regulated gambling areas (Vegas,AC,ect.) that use Class III (Also known as Las-Vegas style) slots.  They are produced from the major slot manufacturers like GameKing, IGT, Ballys, ect.  If you live in Podunk, Georgia and play at the local corner store, that is probably what is called a video lottery terminal (Class II machines) and those are different.  Class II machines are all programmed to payoff at certain times and the cards or symbols on the screen are meaningless, there is no skill involved   Bottom line is if somebody hits a jackpot on the machine you were just on, that doesn’t mean you would have hit the jackpot if you did not leave that machine.  The jackpot is not yours and nobody stole it from you.

“How do I know it’s not rigged?”  The simple answer is it doesn’t need to be.  A multi-billion dollar enterprise like Harrah’s is not going to risk their entire brand by rigging a slot machine so you don’t win a $500 jackpot.  They don’t need to.  Even though the machines use a RNG which is completely random and theoretically means a jackpot can be hit on any spin, the casinos know that over a certain period of time,  it will pay them back a certain percentage.  For slots its built into the program, for video poker it is built-in the paytable.

I’m no apologist for the casinos and I love to bash them whenever I can, but let this one go.  If you are sitting at a video poker machine in Caesars in AC, your machine is not rigged or preset, it is completely random.  Now you want to debate the randomness of the RNG and how something programmed by the human mind cannot be truly random that’s another subject completely.  For now, let’s try to resist the urge to whine about the jackpot that was stolen from us and realize that person was luckier, that’s all.  I know it’s easier to blame someone for your bad luck, I try to blame my wife all the time, but really no one is sitting in a backroom hitting buttons and picking who should hit the jackpot, and the machine in front of you is not set to “Hit” on the 25th spin.

About Greg Elder

I was 37 years old, a husband and father, a former teacher, college and high school basketball coach, and a business owner, I decided to give it all up (Not the husband and father part) to take a shot at pro gambling. I was coming off a job I hated selling insurance, and I vowed to do something I was passionate about. For the next year I would spend 12-15 hours a day researching, studying, and practicing advantage gambling techniques. The goal was to see if I could sustain our current lifestyle as a professional gambler. I wanted to find out if casinos really could be beat. At the time, I thought it may be the biggest mistake of my life, but my intentions were to have fun trying. It has been an interesting few years since that journey began. My feature book GAMBLERS FIGHT BACK has been released and can be purchased on my author site at I would consider my pro gambling career to be a success on all fronts. I didn't win millions of dollars, but I was able to enjoy every minute of it. It brought an excitement and passion back into my professional life. It has helped lead me to a writing career that I had no idea I even wanted before this challenge. I was able to write a book that shared with others exactly what I learned along the way.. Gambling professionally is not easy, but there are certain things the average gambler can do to increase their chances of success tremendously. That's the information I try to pass along to my readers.

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