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Slots Changing the percentages on slot machines.

Discussion in 'Slots' started by LV_Bound, Feb 19, 2015.

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  1. LV_Bound

    LV_Bound VIP Whale

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    There have been numerous threads about slot machines and if casinos tighten or loosen them during the week, weekends or during peak times.

    All replies tell how the chip needs to be replaced and its a lengthy and time consuming process.
    Essentially not worth the hassle to constantly change the percentage.

    It seems the travel channel knows when I am near a Vegas trip as they start showing Vegas related shows.
    Most of the shows are close to 10 years old, but the one I saw was only a year or two old.

    They had a section about slot machines and showed two types.
    The first type was the older slot machines and how the chip with the hold percentage was embedded in the board.
    The second type was some of the newer machines. They showed how by simply opening the door, accessing a menu on an internal screen they can simply and quickly change the percentage. It took them all about 10 seconds.

    Before I though no way that casinos bother changing the percentages. Now it has me now wondering if casino do it.
    Just one of those things that got me thinking.
     
  2. klawrey

    klawrey High-Roller

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    Likely one of those, "I'm sure some do, and I'm sure some don't." Is it worth it for some of the MEGA resorts to go through and do it to enough machines to make a noticeable difference on the floor probably not? But say maybe a smaller downtown casino possibly. Further, upon reading some regulations from the gaming control (I'm a nerd like that, taking the bar exam in 3 days), there are restrictions on how to go about changing odds including but not limited to the machine having to be idle for a certain period before the change, life they lock the machine to change odds remotely they must notify on-screen, plus there are threshold limits as to how tight they can make the machines I think like 75%.

    Personally, I'm of the believe that with all of the hoops to jump through like having to shut down each machine for a certain amount of time to make the odds change its probably not worth it to the casinos.
     
  3. Piggylane

    Piggylane Well-Known Member

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    Not true for Aria. Some of the machines are "server based" and can be altered if they are idle for more than five minutes with no player card in them. Commonly they increase the payback slightly when there is a high roller slot tournament in for the weekend and go back to normal when the players leave. Higher denominations, select machines. Info from an MGM insider, pretty sure it's reliable. Said person went to school with my daughter.

    No info on other casinos.
     
  4. klawrey

    klawrey High-Roller

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    Well that makes sense to increase for an event like a slot tournament but on just a regular business day I find it hard to imagine they are concerned with fidgeting with too many machines. Maybe a few here and there that may be stale and haven't paid much recently but in the grand scheme I still think few are being changed often.

    But I have no dog in the fight but slots are not my thing. Prefer my house advantage much lower than what a slot can offer.
     
  5. numeno

    numeno VIP Whale

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    Honestly this just seems like too much work for the casino to go through. If the slot is connected to a server, then they could see this data. If it isn't though, then they have no idea if the slot attendant did it properly and went to 11% from 10% instead of down to 9%.

    Now I'm not saying they don't, this is simply a lot of effort to go through to do something that most likely isn't noticeable to the consumer.

    I have never seen a casino just increase VP Paytables for the weekends that a big VP tourney is happening. Why do people think they would do something different with slots?
     
  6. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    I agree with you. I think most casinos don't do this procedure typically even though they can with server based systems. I have no proof to back this opinion up though.
     
  7. Malibugolfer

    Malibugolfer High-Roller

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    The Nevada Gaming Control Board's NGC has to approve any % change (in person I believe, the change must be personally witnessed) it is not an arbitrary act at house discretion.
    It's not done willy nilly or often.
    Good question for casino boss perhaps.
     
  8. wanker751

    wanker751 Dutch Rudder Enthusiast

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    I was gonna say this I am not 100% On it but I am sure it is more tightly regulated than just based on the whim of a slot director. I am friends with one at a midwest casino when I see him I will ask.

    I do know they just changed the carpet casino wide and it was a big accounting project to power down move the machines then bring them back. Every aspect of it needed to be reported to GCB.

    He worked and slept at the property during most of it, logging little sleep.
     
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  9. LV_Bound

    LV_Bound VIP Whale

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    If Aria is able to do this then it seems to go against the preference of having to get approval unless they are calling the Control Board every few minutes.

     
  10. Auggie

    Auggie Dovahkiin

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    I really don't think Aria is changing their slot paybacks that often... but with server based slots they are approved a payback range and can set the machines to any value within that range.
     
  11. boogaloobboy

    boogaloobboy Tourist

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    Many people with frankly uninformed opinions here. Changing slot hold is not like changing VP pay tables. Pay tables are posted right on te machine am are instantly verifiable. Due to the volatility associated with the preferred games now and the number if possible outcomes with video as opposed to reel slots it is humanly impossible to tell accurately what a hold on a machine is because the necessary sample size is to hard to aquire. I absolutely believe these percentages are modified and it is safe to assume strip properties are paying 85% or less back to te player. Think about that, at least a 15% house edge....
     
  12. VegasChic-

    VegasChic- VIP Whale

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    One very interesting read is a book called "What stays in Vegas" by Adam Tanner - it's basically talking about how information is gathered for marketing and the changes that have occurred from the findings. (In my own words, not direct quotes) The major portion of the book follows Loveman and Total rewards program. In one of the chapters when Loveman first started, he heard a couple come out of an elevator and complain that the machines were too tight in Vegas and they preferred the loose ones in Atlantic City. Loveman knew that the Atlantic City slots were in fact set tighter than Vegas, so he had his first eureka moment realizing players couldn't tell when hold percentages were different. He had the casino set up some slots as an experiment, and confirmed both higher and lower hold percentage machines had equal play, so one of his first sources to increase revenue was to change the hold percentages of the slots in Vegas (made them tighter). The book does go on to say what they were set at for the particular time the book was written. The whole point of the story was to show that Loveman had discovered gamblers couldn't tell the difference when the holds were changed, so made changes to exploit that realization - and that made him, of course, a success with the new found revenues.

    Even if it is cumbersome, timely etc....I think it comes down to if making a change is worth the money the casino would get in return. Sounds like it absolutely would be. If they were to walk machine to machine opening it up for 10 minutes and tinkering inside with a gaming control person present - I personally wouldn't even know what they were doing. For all I know, they could be fixing paper jams.
     
  13. Reel Investor

    Reel Investor Low-Roller

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    Yeah I'm pretty sure the strip casinos only have three restrictions:
    1) Can't change while player is using
    2) Must display a note that system is in service while changing (but note that server changed systems can do this near instantly)
    3) They must meet a specific minimum average rate of payback over some time period dictated by the gaming board
    Since they don't have to report by property, they can screw with rates all they please.
    http://www.americancasinoguide.com/slot-machine-payback-statistics.html
     
  14. deanandmaria

    deanandmaria Tourist

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    I don't think there's much tinkering at all on the slots. I think the paytables are being installed are the lowest rung of the later right from the start. No need to change a slot that's already maxed out for the house.
     
  15. numeno

    numeno VIP Whale

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    I'm just curious as to why you(or anyone else) thinks they keep modifying them?

    I'm not saying I'm right or wrong, I'm just trying to understand why a casino would do such things. Slightly increasing the payout when a big slot tournament is in town is possible. They can only do this on certain machines easily though unless all of Aria for example is server based.



    The one piece of logic that I would love to know is what is the normal procedure when a new slot hits the floor. These are brand new and people will want to play them more than most other slots. You have the choice to make it a little looser so that the customers keep coming back trip after trip, or you could take advantage of all the new players and make it tighter so that you maximize that initial rush.

    If it is #2, I simply can't believe that later on they make the slot looser. This is NEVER done in table games and NEVER done in VP machines, so why would it be done in slots? I could understand short term small increases for a large tournament, but even that is a stretch to me.

    If the answer is #1, then I have no doubt later on when the slot dies down, they need to increase the hold because now that space on the casino floor isn't making as much money. So they go and turn the hold % up. On this, I can't see them doing this daily. All this means is that the older the slot, the worse the payout.



    Nothing a casino has done in regards to gambling has ever been in favor of a player. No VP has ever said lets decrease the hold % so more people play and we get more money. :)
     
  16. bswim

    bswim High-Roller

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    I don't care what anyone says about whether they can change them or not. I know what I've seen.
    About 15 years ago we were at Tahoe playing nickel slots. Some woman walks up and starts winning like crazy. They had to come refill the machine 4 times with more nickels. I'm just chomping at the bit to get on that machine. She finally moves to another machine a short distance away and I grab the hot machine. I feed it $40 (at 15 cents a spin) and don't get a single coin out of it. Meanwhile I'm looking at her on her new machine. Same thing all over again. They keep coming and refilling the damn thing. When she left that machine I repeated everything all over again. Feed it money and don't get a single coin back.

    Now that I think about it, I don't remember where she was keeping her buckets of nickels. I was so focused on someone winning that much over and over.

    It was so maddening I can still see her at those machines to this day LOL
     
  17. wanker751

    wanker751 Dutch Rudder Enthusiast

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    Curt and the plaza you like to speak to you about increasing payouts on vp...
     
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  18. nostresshere

    nostresshere Mr. Anti Debit Card

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    Are you saying they CHANGED the payout on those machines? Right as you were standing there?

    Nah, that could not be what you saw.
     
  19. IWannaBeInVegas

    IWannaBeInVegas VIP Whale

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    Obviously I am not in Nevada and do not know their rules or laws. I did ask one of the slot techs at the casino I work at about changing percentages and he tells me that its a two step process. He told me that they have to change something in the machine, leave the machine out of order and then make the change in the server and push the change to the machine. Additionally the gaming commission has to approve the change and they have to verify the machine meets regulations. Could be different in Vegas but he tells me as far as he knows, all of he newer machines are the same and the process we use he tells me originates from Vegas (I cannot verify that as fact)
     
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  20. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    It's probably not that different. I've seen states copy and paste Nevada law at times. Missouri definitely has for the "server based" gaming section.
     
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