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Best of John Grochowski

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My favorite bonuses

3 April 2016

QUESTION: My wife and I were talking the other day about all of the bonuses on slot machines, and the ones we really like. She’s a big fan of Goldfish, and all the different bonuses you get. I think Jackpot Party is just classic, picking all those gift boxes. Sometimes you get hot on your picks and get hundreds and hundreds of credits, and sometimes you pick the Pooper right away and it’s over.

What do you think? Do you have favorite bonuses?

ANSWER: I think I’ve mentioned before that I have a soft spot for Monopoly and its trips around the game board. Partly that’s because I loved the board game as a kid, and my sister and I used to play for hours. Partly it’s because when I went to Rio in Las Vegas to test Monopoly in its first release, I landed on Boardwalk on a quarter three-reel slot, then moved to a nickel video version and landed on Boardwalk again. I have happy memories of coins pouring into the trays.

Some others I’ve liked just because they were fun to play: Deal or No Deal, where the suitcase bonus is one TV event that seems just made for a slot machine; Battleship, an old Mikohn game where you skill in locating ships on a grid really mattered; and Centipede, where I really like playing the skill-based bonus, even if I’m not that good at it.

Let’s not limit this to pick’em bonuses, because the free spins can be fun, too, when extra elements are added. I really enjoy Zeus II, with the respins when Zeus fills the first two reels as well as traditional free spins launched by three lightning bolts. I like the graphics of coins and bills raining down and the catchy theme tune that help make free spins a big event on Money Rain.

But really, all this is just a sample. I try out dozens of games and bonus events every year, and if you asked me next week, I’d probably have a whole different list – except for Monopoly.


QUESTION: What do you think of this roulette system? Two girlfriends and I always play together. One of us always bets $10 on the first column, one always bets $10 on the second column and one of us always bets $10 on the third column. We’re all rated as $10 players, so we get our comps, and we don’t really risk much because we have the numbers covered.

ANSWER: Have you actually tried this in a casino, or is this a hypothetical that you’re looking to try? If you’ve played very much, you should be noticing a pattern: This system never wins, and almost always loses money.

On numbers 1 through 36, one column will be a winner. Since winners are paid at 2-1, each win balances out the losses of the other two – your combined bets are $30, and after payoffs you still have $30. There is no way to win money.

However, a 0 or 00 wipes out all three bets. If the session includes one of the zeroes, the three of you are guaranteed $30 in losses, and it rises to $60 with two zeroes, $90 with three and so on.

The bottom line is that the combination of those three wagers is subject to the common double-zero roulette house edge of 5.26%. That’s a given when you play the game, but a system that can never have a winning session strikes me as self-defeating.
Recent Articles
Best of John Grochowski
John Grochowski

John Grochowski is the best-selling author of The Craps Answer Book, The Slot Machine Answer Book and The Video Poker Answer Book. His weekly column is syndicated to newspapers and Web sites, and he contributes to many of the major magazines and newspapers in the gaming field, including Midwest Gaming and Travel, Slot Manager, Casino Journal, Strictly Slots and Casino Player.

Listen to John Grochowski's "Casino Answer Man" tips Tuesday through Friday at 5:18 p.m. on WLS-AM (890) in Chicago. Look for John Grochowski on Facebook and Twitter @GrochowskiJ.

John Grochowski Websites:

www.casinoanswerman.com

Books by John Grochowski:

> More Books By John Grochowski

John Grochowski
John Grochowski is the best-selling author of The Craps Answer Book, The Slot Machine Answer Book and The Video Poker Answer Book. His weekly column is syndicated to newspapers and Web sites, and he contributes to many of the major magazines and newspapers in the gaming field, including Midwest Gaming and Travel, Slot Manager, Casino Journal, Strictly Slots and Casino Player.

Listen to John Grochowski's "Casino Answer Man" tips Tuesday through Friday at 5:18 p.m. on WLS-AM (890) in Chicago. Look for John Grochowski on Facebook and Twitter @GrochowskiJ.

John Grochowski Websites:

www.casinoanswerman.com

Books by John Grochowski:

> More Books By John Grochowski