1. Welcome to VegasMessageBoard
    It appears you are visiting our community as a guest.
    In order to view full-size images, participate in discussions, vote in polls, etc, you will need to Log in or Register.

Slots On the question of slot payback changes

Discussion in 'Slots' started by tacallian, Oct 2, 2013.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. tacallian

    tacallian Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2011
    Messages:
    372
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    3
    Read some interesting things recently about slot paybacks. I thought I'd bring it up again here and see what other forum members read into it. I understand that Nevada has some fairly rigid rules regarding the altering of paybacks but have never actually been pointed at the actual wording of the rules themselves.

    There was mention of the 4 minute timer but a number of times people have mentioned that the machine has to display an obvious indicator that the payback has changed to an end user, but some of the following throws that into question.

    http://media.igt.com/Marketing/PromotionalLiterature/DynamiX/IGT_DynamiX_WHITEPAPER_Flexibility-.pdf

    "Change payouts: Make slots looser on slower nights and tighter on holiday weekends."

    This implies not just that payous for different days can be coded, but also time of day as well.

    http://www.ballytech.com/Uploads/SideLinks/AddSideLink/PDF/Command%20Center%20FAQ_English_1-2013.pdf

    "The system and game operating system have the intelligence to hold a job sent to the machine if
    someone is playing. The machine will make the change only after the regulatory criteria have been met.
    In most jurisdictions, this is zero credits plus four minutes of game idle time at zero credits. At that time,
    the game will make the change and notify the system when the change takes place."

    This part seems to indicate that the machine simply needs a criteria based period of time being idle and will change over the payback as soon as that timeframe of no play has occured.

    At this point, I'm really curious if some of the old addages remain true about slot paybacks. Paperwork for alterations could well be automated at this point and though obviously the technical capability of doing this kind of thing is trivial, it would also appear that practical application is as well.

    It seems to me that the slot tin foil hats may well be correct that a machine could switch from hot to cold albeit not during a particular individuals play session. You could come back 20 minutes later to see someone doing very well on a machine that was eating you alive and it wouldn't necessarily just be the random number generator thumbing it's nose at you.
     
  2. CJ's

    CJ's Low-Roller

    Joined:
    May 12, 2013
    Messages:
    666
    Location:
    London
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    10
    wow! wonder who or what has the finger on the button to make the changes?
    scarey that Aria is already using this technology
     
    The way I like to start a new year
  3. DeMoN2318

    DeMoN2318 The DERS

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2012
    Messages:
    2,072
    Location:
    Arizona
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    25
    This is only for server based slots though...which are not very widespread in Vegas...yet


    I would be interested to see the rational and thought that goes into when to change the paytables though...Cant make them too loose or the casino goes broke, cant make them too tight or people wont want to come there and play, make them all super tight during busy times...yes people are going to play regardless but your flow of people is higher so there are more people who wont come back to tight machines, make them loose during busy times...two busy days and 5 slow days so hook them in on busy days when the flow is higher and hit them hard on slow days, etc...would be interesting...
     
  4. Auggie

    Auggie Dovahkiin

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2009
    Messages:
    5,749
    Location:
    Burnaby, BC
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    14
    The screen has to say that the game is changing, it doesn't have to say that the payback is getting better or worse though being computer based they should have the ability to enter whatever message on the screen that they want so long as it meets regulatory requirements.


    This is marketing material from IGT to sell their system. Of course it would have the ability to change based on weekday, time, month, etc - if its handled by a computer it should be pretty easy to set up a schedule in that.


    The key there is "after the regulatory criteria have been met" which is whatever the governing body sets the time, message, rules, etc for changing a machine's payback. If one state says "must be 15 minutes" then the time is 15 minutes, if another says "you have to wait an hour and display a message saying 'paybacks are changing on this machine'" then thats what they have to do in that state.


    They don't need paperwork or a gaming control agent on site to change these machines: when the machine is approved for installation it has an accepted range set up in it so the casino can have it set to anything within that range.


    Changing the payback percentage won't change a machine from hot to cold.

    The whole "you could come back 20 minutes later to see someone doing very well on a machine that was eating you alive" actually covers the whole flaw in that argument:

    First, the changes allowed are only a few percentage points. Do you really think that if a slot machine was set to 88% payback that its going to just suck your money up but they change its payback to 91% and suddenly the machine is "running hot" and the lucky bastard playing is now taking money out of it like its his personal ATM?

    The problem there is: either way its still a negative expectation. A payback of 88% is saying that for every $1.00 you play through the machine expects to keep 12 cents... a 91% payback is saying that for every $1.00 you play through the machine expects to keep 9 cents. In either case the machine expects to keep some of your money over the long term.

    Second, when somebody wins at a machine what does that mean? If you sit at a machine and put in $50 and it just gobbles up your money so you move to another machine... somebody else sits at that same machine 20 minutes later and puts in $50 and hits a hot streak and cashes out $200... what does that mean? The casino set the machines payback to 300%? No, the casino is never going to set a slot machine to a positive expectation.


    The human brain is wired to try and make sense and apply order and patterns to everything. In the case of slot machines they are entirely random but most people can't figure it out which is why you see things like:
    - some players rub the screen with their hand between every spin
    - some cashout a TITO voucher and reinsert it every few spins
    - some take out their player card whenever they hit a bonus game
    - some have a player card but never use it
    - push all the buttons on the machine before hitting the SPIN button

    These are some of the little rituals people use when they play slots because they think it helps them win or they saw somebody else do it and that person won so it must work... and thats just the brain telling them that there must be some way to crack this slot machine thing and come up with something that works, that will help them win.

    In the end it doesn't matter how slot machines work or if they are server based or not: people will always have their little rituals when they play and the slot machine conspiracy theorists, even if server based slots didn't exist, would just find some other thing to explain why "they never win at those things" - if it wasn't for server slots it would be because they are playing a machine that isn't on the aisle because the winning machines are on the aisle to lure people in to playing, or because the casino had so many hand pays over the weekend that they have to tighten the machines up during the week, or because the machines are kept loose during the week to give money to the locals and tight on the weekend to fleece money from the tourists, or...


    If the casinos have server based slots can they just go out and change the paybacks? Yes.

    Do they? For that you can ask yourself: have you ever seen a slot machine "down" for a change? Or Venetian and Palazzo have these machines as well, why were they losing $50M a month for a year and a half there if they could just jack their slot machines to some horrible paybacks? CET casinos have these machines, why do they still have so much outstanding debt if they can just drop the payback on a bunch of their machines?

    I am not saying none of them ever do it, I actually saw a bank of six machines changing at Ti a few years back, but more that though the casinos can they aren't constantly flipping the payback on their machines up and down like a yo-yo.

    And to add:

    Aria? The reason Aria's name comes up with this technology is because when they opened their doors they built their casino floor around this technology and at that time about 40% of their machines were server based and passed the 50% mark after almost 2 years of being open...

    However, server based slots are in all the big casinos on The Strip and almost everywhere Downtown as well.
     
  5. nostresshere

    nostresshere Mr. Anti Debit Card

    Joined:
    May 4, 2009
    Messages:
    11,122
    Location:
    TN
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    19
    Here we go again.
     
  6. LV_Bound

    LV_Bound VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2010
    Messages:
    4,905
    Location:
    Florida
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    18
    :popcorn:popcorn:popcorn
     
  7. michael cevene

    michael cevene Tourist

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2012
    Messages:
    32
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    256
    it's a gambleing isn't it?

    50yrs of vegas, 15yrs of various lotto tickets and scrachers - my thought if the odds are 1/001% (power ball ect) or 70% or 80% ect. on slots - if you are lucky you win if not you loose - simple it's gambling, the jackpot is the dream. dumb people (like me) gamble knowing the odds are against them, people with PHD's in math gamble knowing the odds are against them - don't like the odds don't gamble - i like the odds and look forward to the next trip to vegas to most likeley loose
     
  8. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2013
    Messages:
    9,890
    Location:
    Missouri
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    15
    Wow big post Auggie, but very informative. Saved me a lot of effort!
     
  9. tacallian

    tacallian Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2011
    Messages:
    372
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    3
    The noticable factor of whether paybacks are set lower or not would certainly be more of a casinowide change. To be perfectly honest, I would expect the casinos with serverbased implementation to fine tune their paybacks on a daily basis along with the physical attendance at the time. This was not feasible prior to the technology changing but now the reporting and tracking of results and with the adjustments being so easy, they would be foolish to not take advantage of the capability.


    In addition to that, the trend in slots is towards lower volatility. Lower volatility games approach a statistical similarity to the set percentage over much fewer spins than high volatility ones do, simply on the basis of the lack of swings in variance. Will you ever notice a payback change on something like Megabucks? No. But a non-progressive low volatility game like Great Zeus with a very low max payout per full line wins, I'm not so sure.


    Now whether or not the player is capable of notcing the change on an individual machine, the casino over the course of an evening with a significant proportion of machines being changed would most certainly notice the difference. While there is value in the statistical truth that these machines approach their payback percentage when extrapolated to infinite spins, they will all approach a very reasonable margin of error to that payback much much sooner, conceivably within an evening.


    Again, I'd love to read the rules but I can't find the actual regulation quotes. The idea that they're only permitted to move the bar a few points seems contrary to the base minimums that exist. Ultimately the casino's need to be competitive which is the only reason paybacks are as high above the minimum as they are.


    @nostresshere Sorry, I thought VMB was a discussion board.
     
Tags:
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.