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26 February 2015
By John Grochowski
Back-top-back results of the duplicate kind happen in any games, but some are so commonplace they’re instantly forgotten, while some make your heart skip a beat even as you’re reaching for the phone to text the news or even take a picture.
You’ll see back-to-back 7s in craps an average of 1 in 36 trials – two or three times in an average hour. Even back-to-back blackjacks, at about once per 441 hands, are soon forgotten, and back-to-back single-number roulette wins, at once per 1,444 wins, are a nice story to be told, but not an everlasting memory.
Two top slot jackpots in a row? Now we’re getting into rarified atmosphere, There's a wide range of probabilities. On a game with a relatively small jackpot, designed as a quick-hit machine, you might see a top jackpot once per 10,000 plays, while the odds on hitting the jackpot are longer on most machines, and MUCH longer on some big-money games, up to 1 in 50 million on Megabucks.
Two in a row on a 1-in-10,000 game would be expected an average of once per 100 million trials. The odds are long against it ever happening to you, or to me, or to any other individual. But the chances of it happening to someone, somewhere? Given enough machines and enough plays, it's practically a certainty.
I save stories from readers who tell me about back-to-back win, one from Teri, who caught lightning in a bottle while playing three-reel, $1 Blazing 7s.
“I’ve always liked those games,” she wrote. “I’ve been playing since before there were casinos here. My husband likes the craps, and we’ve always gone to Las Vegas a time or two every year. I’ve hit the progressive on Blazing 7s a few times, but never twice in the same day.
“There were six machines together. The highest jackpot was $1,367, and I decided not to play that one because if I won I’d get the tax form. So I started playing one where the jackpot was $1,143. It only took a few spins before I got the three blazing 7s, and they came over and paid me $1,144.
“They asked me to play off the jackpot, but that was OK, because I was going to keep playing anyway while my husband was at the tables. The progressive went down to $1,000, and I on my first spin it came up blazing 7, blazing 7, blazing 7. I was flabbergasted. In fact, I went all numb. One jackpot was exciting. The second was just totally outside anything that had ever happened to me in a casino.”
Because the starting jackpot is relatively small at $1,000 on a $1 machine, and the game is designed for frequent jackpots, most likely to yield stories like Teri’s. Still, I’ve also received tales of back-to-back hits on games such as Double Diamond, with bigger, less frequent top pays.
The story I’ve never heard, and never expect to hear, is back-to-back jackpots on Megabucks. This is no 1 in 10,000 jackpot chance – it couldn’t be, given that winners collect millions. The chance of becoming a multimillionaire by hitting Megabucks is nearly 1 in 50 million. The chance of hitting that top jackpot twice in a row comes to 1 in 50 million times 50 million --- unless my fingers and toes deceive me, that's 2.5 quadrillion. Might as well go to the beach and count grains of sand.
Possible? Sure, but as far removed from Teri’s tale as her jackpots are from two blackjacks in a row, and then some.
Look for John Grochowski at www.casinoanswerman.com, on Facebook (http://tinyurl.com/7lzdt44) and Twitter (@GrochowskiJ).
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