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The Casino Answer Man

11 November 1999

I would like to know what casinos in Illinois and Indiana have the "Top Dog" slot machine that I recently played at Harrah's in Reno.

I know of no casino in the Chicago area that has Top Dog. The closest machines are a few hours away at Ho-Chunk Casino at Baraboo, Wis., in the Wisconsin Dells, and at Par-A-Dice Casino in East Peoria, Ill.

Top Dog is manufactured by Casino Data Systems. It's a multiline, multicoin video game similar to the Williams game Reel 'Em In or the Aristocrat game Penguin Pays that we see in many area casinos. Top Dog incorporates scatter pays and a second-screen bonus in which the player chooses from among five dogs playing poker. We may see the game here eventually, but CDS does not yet have much of a foothold in the Chicago area.

* * * * *

On a recent trip to Green Bay, I was playing 25-cent video poker and I won with a royal flush. Could you please give the guidelines for tipping, either at the bar or on the floor? I waited more than 30 minutes, which seems to be the policy.

Players who have hit royal flush jackpots may have noticed that usually most of their winnings are paid out in $100 bills, but the last $100 is paid in $20s. Attendants are hoping you'll take the clue and pass on a $20 tip.

If you want to pass on $20, that's fine - you're being generous. A $5 or $10 tip would be appropriate. Just as at the tables, you want to reward someone who makes the overall casino experience more enjoyable, but you don't want to tip so much you dramatically change the odds of the game.

The majority of players don't tip change persons or the slot floorpersons who accompany them to make the payoff. Tipping levels were never high, and have declined now that most players make change by sliding currency into the machine instead of seeking out a change person.

I do tip on hand-paid jackpots. Change persons' wages are not high, but they help the whole operation run more smoothly, not only by pushing those carts around but also by keeping their eyes open for players having problems with malfunctioning machines or coins stuck in the slots, hoppers that need filling and jackpots that need to be paid.

Thirty minutes seems like a long wait for a jackpot that does not require IRS paperwork. (Jackpots of $1,200 or more require the player to sign an IRS form W-2G; the typical quarter royal flush jackpot with five coins played is $1,000.) A 15-minute wait for jackpot verification, and to bring a change person and supervisor to make the payoff, seems more normal. In busy periods at the casino, waits are sometime longer.


For more information about slot machines, we recommend:

The Slot Machine Answer Book by John Grochowski
Break the One Armed Bandits: How to Come Out Ahead When You Play the Slots! by Frank Scoblete
Slot Conquest Audio Cassette Tape (60 minutes) with Frank Scoblete

For more information about video poker, we recommend:

Victory at Video Poker and Video Craps, Video Keno, and Video Blackjack by Frank Scoblete
Winning Strategies at Slots & Video Poker! Videotape written by Frank Scoblete
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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:

The Craps Answer Book

> More Books By John Grochowski

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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