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Finding a Video Poker Bug Made These Guys Rich—Then Vegas Made Them Pay
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Security Finding a Video Poker Bug Made These Guys Rich—Then Vegas Made Them Pay Michael Friberg John Kane was on more info hell of a winning streak.
On July 3, 2009, he walked alone into the high-limit room at the Silverton Casino in Las Vegas and sat down at a video poker machine called the Game King.
On July 3, 2009, he walked alone into the high-limit room at the Silverton Casino in Las Vegas and sat down at a video poker machine called the Game King.
All the while, the casino's director of surveillance, Charles Williams, was peering down at Kane through best casino in vegas to play video poker camera hidden in a ceiling dome.
Tall, with a high brow and an aquiline nose, the 50-year-old Kane had the patrician bearing of a man better suited to playing a Mozart piano concerto than listening to the chirping of a slot machine.
Even his play was refined: the way he rested his long fingers on the buttons and swept them in a graceful legato, smoothly selecting good cards, discarding bad ones, accepting jackpot after jackpot with the vaguely put-upon air of a creditor finally collecting an overdue debt.
Williams could see that Kane was wielding none of the array of cheating devices that casinos had confiscated from grifters over the years.
He wasn't jamming a light wand in the machine's hopper or zapping the Game King with an electro­magnetic pulse.
He was simply pressing the buttons.
But he was winning far too much, too fast, to be relying on luck alone.
Now Williams knew something was wrong: The cards dealt on the screen were the exact same four deuces and four of clubs that yielded Kane's previous jackpot.
The odds against that were astronomical.
Williams called over the executive in charge of the Silverton's slots, and they reviewed the surveillance tape together.
The evidence was mounting that Kane had found something unthinkable: the kind of thing gamblers dream of, casinos dread, and Nevada regulators have an entire auditing regime to prevent.
He'd found a bug in the most popular video slot in Las Vegas.
He contacted the Silverton's head of security, a formidable character with slicked-back silver hair and a black suit, and positioned him outside the slot area.
His orders: Make sure John Kane doesn't leave the casino.
Virtuoso pianist John Kane discovered an exploitable software bug in Game King poker machines.
Michael Friberg Best strategy to win on roulette had discovered the glitch in the Game King three months earlier on the other end of town, at the unpretentious Fremont Hotel and Casino in downtown's Glitter Gulch.
He was overdue for a lucky break.
Since the Game King had gotten its hooks in him years earlier he'd lost between tens of thousands and hundreds of thousands annually.
At his previous haunt, the locals-friendly Boulder Station, he blew half a million dollars in 2006 alone—a pace that earned him enough Player's Club points to pay for his own Game King to play at his home on the outskirts of Vegas, along with technicians to service it.
The machine was just for fun—it didn't pay jackpots.
You put some money in the machine, place a bet of one to five credits, and the computer deals you a poker hand.
Select the cards you want to keep, slap the Draw button, and the machine replaces the discards.
Your final hand determines the payout.
When the first video poker machine hit casinos in the 1970s, it was a phenomenal success—gamblers loved that they could make decisions that affected the outcome instead of just pulling a handle and watching the reels spin.
The patent holder started a company called International Game Technology that debuted on the Nasdaq in 1981.
IGT's key insight was to tap into the vast flexibility offered by computerized gambling.
In 1996, the company perfected its formula with the Game King Multi-Game, which allowed players to choose from several variations on video poker.
Casinos snatched up the Game King, and IGT sold them regular firmware upgrades that added still more games to the menu.
On September 25, 2002, the company released its fifth major revision—Game King 5.
You might also like:The bug survived like a cockroach for the next seven years.
It passed into new revisions, one after another, ultimately infecting 99 different programs installed in thousands of IGT machines around the world.
As far as anyone knows, it went completely undetected until late April 2009, when John Kane was playing at a row of four low-limit Game Kings outside the entrance to a Chinese fast food joint at the Continue reading, smoke swirling around him and '90s pop music raining down from the casino sound system.
He'd been switching between game variations and racking up a modest payout.
Kane hadn't even played a new hand, so he knew there was a mistake.
He told a casino attendant about the error, but the worker thought he was joking and gave him the money anyway.
At that point, Kane could have forgotten the whole thing.
Instead, he called a friend and embarked on the biggest gamble of his life.
Superstitious and prone to hunches, he'd felt it coming for days: April 30, 2009, would be exactly 15 years since Nestor ignored an urge to play a set of numbers that came up in the Pennsylvania lottery Big 4.
That was the story of his life—always playing the right numbers at the wrong time.
Games of chance had been courting and betraying Nestor since he was old enough to gamble.
In 2001 he'd moved to Las Vegas to be closer to the action, answering phones for a bank during the day and wagering his meager paycheck at night.
That's when he met John Kane in an AOL chatroom for Vegas locals.
Though Nestor was 13 years younger than Kane and perpetually flirting with poverty, they developed an intense addicts' friendship.
For about two years he had a stable life, living off public assistance, gambling infrequently, and playing the occasional lottery ticket.
Then Kane called to tell him about a bug he'd found in video poker.
Nestor drove to the airport that night and camped there until the next available flight to Las Vegas.
Kane picked him up at the curb at McCarran airport.
After a quick breakfast, they drove to the Fremont, took adjacent seats at two Game Kings, and went to work.
Kane had some idea of how the glitch operated but hadn't been best casino in vegas to play video poker to reliably reproduce it.
Working together, the two men began trying different combinations of play, game types, and bet levels, sounding out the bug like bats in the dark.
It turned out the Game King's endless versatility was also its fatal flaw.
In addition to different game variants, the machine lets you choose the base level of your wagers: At the low-limit Fremont machines, you could select six different denomination levels, from 1 cent to 50 cents a credit.
That meant you could play at 1 cent per credit for hours, losing pocket change, until you finally got a good hand—like four aces or a royal flush.
Then you could change to 50 cents a credit and fool the machine into re-awarding your payout at the new, higher denomination.
Performing that trick consistently wasn't easy—it involved a complicated misdirection that left the Game King's internal variables in a state of confusion.
But after seven hours rooted to their seats, Kane and Nestor boiled it down to a step-by-step recipe that would work every time.
Nestor and Kane each rang up a few jackpots, then broke for a celebratory dinner, at which they planned their next move.
They would have to expand beyond the Fremont before the casino noticed how much they were winning.
Fortunately, Game Kings are ubiquitous in Vegas, installed everywhere from the corner 7-Eleven to the toniest luxury casino.
They mapped out their campaign and then headed back to Kane's click at this page for the night.
Kane lived in a spacious house at the far northeast edge of town.
His Game King was in the foyer.
A spare bedroom down the hall was devoted entirely to a model train set, an elaborate, detailed miniature with tracks snaking and climbing through model towns, up hills, across bridges, and through tunnels, every detail perfect.
The home's centerpiece was the living room with its three Steinway grand pianos.
Kane is a virtuoso pianist; in the early 1980s he was a leading dance accompanist in the Chicago area, and even today he sells recordings under the vanity label Keynote Records.
He left the professional music world only after failing to advance in the prestigious Van Cliburn International Piano Competition.
Now he ran a manage­ment consulting practice that claimed one-third of the Fortune 100 as clients.
Kane's business was lucrative, so he was accustomed to handling money.
But now that they were on the verge of a windfall, he was worried about Nestor; he could see his younger friend returning every cent to the casinos at the roulette tables or blowing it all on frivolities.
He wanted Nestor to make a list and really think through his priorities.
Nestor started a list, but it would prove unnecessary.
After another day at the Fremont, they branched out.
To their surprise, the button sequence didn't work.
Over the following days, they explored the Hilton, the Cannery, then the Stratosphere, Terrible's, the Hard Rock, the Tropicana, the Luxor, and five other casinos, drawing the same dismal results everywhere.
For some reason, the Game King glitch was only present at the Fremont.
Kane decided here wring what he could from the four Fremont machines.
He learned to speed up the process by using the Game King's Double Up feature, which gave players a chance to double their winnings or lose everything.
Respectable payouts that might once have satisfied Kane were garbage now.
Unsurprisingly, the Fremont noticed.
In modern casinos, every slot machine in the house is wired to a central server, where statistical deviations stick out like a fifth ace.
On May 25, a slot manager approached Kane after one of his wins and announced that he was disabling the Double Up feature on all of the Game Kings—he was aware that Kane used the option copiously, and he figured it must have something to do with his run of luck.
Kane took the development link stride: The bug, not the Double Up, was the real secret of his success.
But he was in for a shock.
The next time he played the Game King, the magic button sequence no longer worked.
In an instant, the Fremont was no better than all the other casinos that had been immune to the glitch.
He phoned Nestor, who processed the news.
With the Double Up option turned on, the bug worked; turned off, it didn't.
Whatever internal stew of code made the Game King exploitable, Nestor concluded, the Double Up option had been a key ingredient the whole time.
They just hadn't known it.
This wasn't bad news at all.
It was the missing link.
It explained why the bug had failed them everywhere but at the Fremont.
Most casinos don't enable Double Up because it's unpopular with players.
But that could easily be changed.
High rollers and slot aficionados often have favorite game variants or features that aren't available by default but can be enabled by any passing slot attendant.
Nestor purchased two dress shirts and caught another flight to Las Vegas, where he joined Kane at Harrah's.
Row after row of Game Kings were waiting, and, true to the plan, the staff didn't hesitate when Kane and Nestor asked for Double Up to be enabled.
There were no limits now.
They could play anywhere and beat the house wherever they went.
Working as a team had its advantages.
While experimenting with the bug, they discovered that they could trigger a jackpot on the same hand more than once: All they had to do best casino in vegas to play video poker lower the denomination again and repeat the steps to activate the glitch.
They could effectively replay their win over and over, as much as they wanted.
It was a risky play—even the busiest casino might notice the same player repeatedly winning with the same hand.
But now that they were playing together, Kane and Nestor could ride on each other's jackpots.
They could even piggyback on other players' wins.
No longer confined to four low-limit slots at a single casino, they prowled the floor at Harrah's looking for empty machines still showing a player's jackpot.
Once they got an attendant to turn on Double Up, it took only seconds to replay the hand at up to 10 times the original value.
Video poker wasn't even gambling anymore.
As the benefactor of Kane's discovery, Nestor had agreed to give his old friend half his winnings.
But now that the cash was rolling in, he was having second thoughts about the arrangement.
Every jackpot, he realized, was being reported to the IRS, and he'd already won enough from the bug to propel him into a higher tax bracket.
If he paid half to Kane off the top, he might wind up without the reserves to pay his tax debt come April of the following year.
He broached the subject with Kane: He'd be more comfortable holding on to the money until his taxes were paid.
It was just a year.
He'd happily give Kane half of his post-tax winnings then.
Kane was indignant but not surprised; leave it sorry, best real money poker app canada consider Nestor to turn even free money into a problem to obsess over.
He insisted Nestor honor his agreement, and Nestor grew more agitated, his voice rising in pitch.
Why am I even doing this?
The tension between the men lingered the next day at the Wynn, a towering upscale supercasino with more than 1,300 slots.
They played side by side, raking in money and continuing to argue over the split.
Nestor was now of the opinion that he shouldn't have to pay Kane anything.
It was Nestor, after all, who'd figured out that the Double Up feature was part of the bug.
That should make them square.
AFTER A NIGHT IN JAIL, AN UPSET KANE CALLED NESTOR.
Nestor gaped at his friend, then he stood and walked away from the machine.
The next day Nestor nursed his hurt feelings with a solo trip to the Rio.
Then he wandered into the high-limit room and found another four aces.
He didn't need Kane at all.
And he wasn't done yet.
There were casinos in Pennsylvania, too, where he could operate without the slightest risk of Kane knowing what best slot in druid feral was up to—or demanding a cut up front.
After Nestor left, Kane tore into Vegas with a vengeance.
Back in Pennsylvania, Nestor targeted the newly opened casino at the Meadows Racetrack in Washington County.
In contrast to Kane, who played the bug with joyless, businesslike intensity, Nestor was voluble and chatty at the Meadows.
He dressed smartly and, according to court documents, brought along a small entourage for company: his roommate, a retired cop named Kerry Laverde; and Patrick Loushil, a server at Red Lobster who agreed to collect some of Nestor's jackpots for him, so they wouldn't all show up on Nestor's tax bill.
Here, feel my heart!
But it all began to unravel the night Kane found himself waiting for a payout at the Silverton.
The casino's head of security stood just outside the slot area.
Kane paced and huffed, spun the swivel chair back and forth like a metronome, and complained to passing slot attendants.
Finally, three men strode up to him.
The head of security directed Kane to an alcove, handcuffed him, and escorted him away from the video poker machines.
An armed agent from the Gaming Control Board arrived soon after.
He sealed the machines Kane had been playing on with orange evidence tape and collected Kane from the back room, where he'd been handcuffed to a chair.
After a night in jail, Kane was released.
On Monday he called Nestor to warn him that the bug had been discovered.
He sounded more upset than nestor had ever heard him.
It was painful to imagine Kane suffering the indignity of a night in jail, mug shots, fingerprints, being treated like a common criminal.
But after the call, Nestor talked himself into an alternate theory.
What if there'd been no arrest?
What if Kane suspected—as he must have—that Nestor was using the bug and had made up the story about the Silverton to scare Nestor into stopping, so Kane could have the exploit all to himself?
He decided to ignore Kane's story and started planning his next trip to the Meadows.
Three days later, in Las Vegas, engineers from the Nevada Gaming Control Board's Technology Division descended on the Silverton.
The forensics investigation of the Game King scam had fallen to John Lastusky, a 25-year-old clean-cut USC computer engineering graduate.
Lastusky pulled up the game history on the two machines Kane had played and reviewed the wins, then slid out the logic trays, the metal shelves housing the Game King's electronic guts, and checked the six EPROMs containing the machines' core logic, graphics, and sound routines.
There was no sign of tampering.
He confiscated the logic trays and packed them up for the trip back to headquarters.
Housed in an anonymous office park near the airport, the GCB's Technology Division was formed in the mid-1980s to police video gambling as it began its Nevada here />The division helps set the rigorous standards that gamemakers like IGT must meet to deploy machines in the Silver State.
A 3,000-square-foot laboratory at the back of the office is packed end to end with slot machines in various states of undress—some powered down, some in maintenance mode, others stripped to their bare electronics, though most are configured as they would be on a gaming floor.
A smaller, locked-down room adjacent to the lab is more important: It houses a permanent repository of the source and executable code for every version of game software ever approved in Nevada—more than 30,000 programs in all.
The code vault is at the center of the gaming board's massive software integrity operation.
Every new addition is carefully examined: Is the random number generator random enough?
Does the game pay out at the advertised rate?
Is there logic where there shouldn't be?
There's a real, if mostly unrealized, danger of gaming software being backdoored.
The concept was proven in 1995, when one of the GCB's own staffers, Ron Harris, went bad.
Harris modified his testing unit to covertly reprogram the EPROMs on the machines he was auditing.
His new software commanded the machine to trigger a jackpot upon a particular sequence of button presses—like a Konami Code for cash.
He was eventually caught, and he served two years in prison.
John Kane and Andre Nestor experi­mented until they could trig­ger it at will.
Locate a Game King video poker machine con­figured for multi-denomination play.
If you're in Las Vegas, you're probably already standing next to one.
Flag down a slot attendant and ask them to enable the Double Up option.
Say thank you and smile until they walk away.
Choose your favorite game variant—Triple Double Bonus Poker is fun—and start playing.
With your royal flush showing but not yet cashed out, hit the More Games button on the touchscreen and select a different game variation.
Play it until you score a win.
Insert more money or a voucher into the machine.
Press the Cash Out button.
Once you've signed it, they'll get the machine to spit out a jackpot ticket.
BRATISLAV MILENKOVIC That stain on the board's integrity haunts the division to this day.
But by all evidence, the division's paranoia, coupled with the game industry's self-interest, have kept video gambling code clean and mostly free of exploitable bugs.
That made the Game King case an intriguing puzzle for Lastusky.
Armed with the surveillance footage of Kane in action, Lastusky sat at one of the Game Kings in the lab and began experimenting.
Within a few days he was able to reliably reproduce the exploit himself.
He gave his findings to IGT, which rushed out a warning to its customers advising them to immediately disable the Double Up option.
Every Game King on the planet running a vulnerable version would need a patch.
The upgrade process would be grueling.
When an operating system like Windows or OS X has a security bug, customers can download the patch in a few minutes over the Internet.
Slot machines aren't online.
New programs are burned onto EPROMs by the manufacturer and shipped in the mail in plastic tubes.
Blind to the firestorm erupting in Vegas, Nestor spent the rest of July and most of August playing at the Meadows, until August 31, when the casino finally got suspicious and refused to pay Nestor on a four of a kind.
Nestor protested but walked away, breaking into a run as he reached the parking garage.
The Game King ride was over, but he had enough money to last him forever.
At 1:30 pm on October 6, 2009, a dozen state and local police converged on Andre Nestor's split-level condo on a quiet, tree-lined street in Swissvale.
He was dozing on his living room couch when the banging started.
Nestor says he started toward the stairs, his hands over his head, when he came face-to-face with a trooper in full riot gear.
The cop ratcheted the handcuffs on Nestor's wrists, yanked him to his feet, and marched him into the kitchen.
For the next two hours, Nestor watched helplessly, handcuffed to a kitchen chair, while the police ransacked his neat home.
They flipped over his mattress, ripped insulation from his ceiling, rifled his PC.
At about 4 pm, Nestor's roommate, Laverde, arrived home and was arrested on the spot as an accomplice to Nestor's crimes.
It was the first major gambling scandal in Pennsylvania since the state had legalized slots in 2004.
The media portrayed Nestor as a real-life Danny Ocean, and prosecutors hit him with 698 felony counts, ranging from theft to criminal conspiracy.
The district attorney seized every penny of Nestor's winnings and gave it back to the Meadows.
Nestor and Laverde spent about 10 days in the county jail before making bail.
A defiant Nestor vowed to fight the case—no jury would convict a gambler, he was certain, for beating a slot machine at its own game.
But on January 3, 2011, when it was time for jury selection, Nestor was hit with another surprise.
Two FBI agents showed up and pulled him from the Washington County courthouse.
The Justice Department had taken over the case.
Nestor and Kane had both been charged federally in Las Vegas.
As the agents walked him to their car, Nestor stopped in front of a television camera and let loose.
They put a machine on the floor, and if it has programming that doesn't take your money and you win on their machine, they will throw you in jail!
Passed in 1986, the CFAA was enacted to punish hackers who remotely crack computers related to national defense or banking.
But in the Internet age the government had been steadily testing the limits of the law in cases that didn't involve computer intrusion in the usual sense.
Kane and Nestor, the government argued, exceeded their otherwise lawful access to the Game King when they knowingly exploited a bug.
The casinos only authorized gamers to play by the rules of video poker.
The pretrial motions dragged on for more than 18 months, while in the larger legal landscape, the CFAA was going under a microscope for the first time since its passage.
In January 2013, coder and activist Aaron Swartz committed suicide after being charged under the same law for bulk-downloading academic articles without permission, spurring calls for reform.
Three months later, the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals threw out computer hacking charges in a closely watched case against David Nosal, a former executive at a corporate recruiting firm who persuaded three employees to leak him information from the firm's lead database.
The Ninth Circuit found that pilfering contacts doesn't become computer hacking just because the data came from a computer instead of a copy machine.
Seeing parallels to the Game King prosecution, the judge overseeing Kane and Nestor's case ordered the government to justify the hacking charge.
Prosecutors had a weak hand, and they knew it.
As a December 3, 2013, trial date approached, the Feds made Kane and Nestor separate but identical offers: The first one to agree to testify against the other would walk away with five years of probation and no jail time.
The old gambling buddies had one more game to play together.
It was the Prisoner's Dilemma.
Without speaking, they both arrived at the optimal strategy: They refused the offer.
A few months later, the Justice Department dropped the last of the charges, and they were free.
Kane and Nestor haven't spoken since 2009.
After his Silverton arrest, Kane began recording classical music in his house and uploading the videos to a YouTube channel.
Last March, after the federal case was dropped, best casino in vegas to play video poker sent a CD of some of his performances to his high school piano teacher.
Nestor's greatest regret is that he let the Game King bug come between him and Kane.
His roommate, Laverde, signed over Nestor's money in exchange for avoiding a trial of his own.
There are no court filings to suggest that Kane's winnings were seized.
If there's one silver lining, it's that Nestor has been banned from Pennsylvania casinos.
He still gambles occasionally in neighboring states, but his more pressing addiction right now is Candy Crush, which he plays on a cheap Android tablet.
He cleared 515 levels in two months, using a trick he found on the Internet to get extra lives without paying.
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Finding a Video Poker Bug Made These Guys Rich—Then Vegas Made Them Pay
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Many gamblers believe that video poker machines are a waste of time and money and instead, they head straight to the slots to try their luck.
But the truth is very different — video poker games may not be as colorful and flashy, but they have proven to be far more generous to the player than slot machines.
In fact, video poker is one of the very few casino games, the other one being blackjack, where players have a real opportunity to win more than they lose.
Video poker may seem like a game of chance to the less experienced gamblers, but avid players and experts know that it is, for the most part, a game of skill.
This means that every decision made during play will have an impact on the outcome of the game, whereas this is never the case with slots.
Moreover, casinos do not reveal the average payback percentage of slot machines and they often do it when it comes to video poker.
While with slot machines, it varies between 70% and 90%, it is approximately 97-99% for video poker.
In other words, players are more likely to lose when playing slots than they would at video poker.
But how is this percentage calculated?
Casinos carefully determine the amount of money they are prepared to give back to their customers — they create the games and adjust the pay tables of each of them in such a manner that the odds are always in their favor.
Of course, each different game also comes with certain probabilities of winning and losing, depending on its game play, specific rules, etc.
There are many factors determining whether a game is more generous or not.
Although nothing is certain in gambling, video poker players are able to guarantee a return of their investment if they pick a good game and employ the proper strategy.
Video Poker Odds In order to understand the odds of winning at video poker, players need to become familiar with the game and its.
Video poker is based see more the simple 5-card draw poker, which is one of the simplest forms of table poker.
It is played on either a video console, similar to the slot machine or as a virtual game in.
Typically, video poker uses a standard deck of 52 cards sometimes more if the Joker is added where the player is dealt 5 cards during the initial draw and has the option either to hold or to discard them.
A second draw follows and if a winning hand is formed, the see more receives a payout that corresponds to the original bet and the winning hand.
Before proceeding to explain the odds of winning in video poker, it is important to outline several basic things.
The first thing players should know is that in a standard video poker, they have exactly 32 ways to play each hand they are dealt.
In order to succeed, they need to make the best choice every time they push the Draw button.
This is possible in two instances — if the game is played by a computer, or click to see more a knowledgeable player who uses the right strategy, based on a careful mathematical analysis.
The second thing each player needs to know is the ranking of the winning hands in video poker.
In the most basic version of the game, called Jacks or Better, the winning hands are ranked the same way as in regular poker.
The highest paying hand is Royal Flush, which is a combination of a Ten, a Jack, a Queen, a King, and an Ace of the same suit.
It is followed by Straight Flush, which is formed by 5 consecutive cards of the same suit.
Next is Four of a Kind any four cards of the same value and then, Full House, which contains a Three of a Kind and a Pair.
The following hand is Flush — any five cards of the same suit, and next, Straight, which is 5 consecutive cards of any suit.
The lower hands in the pay table are Three of a Kind, Two Pair, and Jacks or Better, which is a Pair of Jacks or higher cards.
Video Poker Hand Rankings Hand Example Royal Flush Also, players need to remember that the cards are dealt randomly.
This is guaranteed by the use of the so-called RNG Random Number Generator technology.
Random Number Generator Today, all slot and video poker machines run under a Random Number See more which ensures that the outcomes of the games are random and cannot be predicted.
This is essential, as it guarantees fairness.
What many people do not understand is how the RNG works, thinking it is a software, or rather a computer chip, that shuffles the cards in video poker.
This is a common misconception and is far from the truth.
In reality, the RNG produces a long sequence of numbers within a predetermined range.
These numbers are generated constantly, even after the cards are dealt.
In fact, this continues even when the game is not played at.
The numbers determine which cards will be dealt and in which position.
However, the matter is much more complex.
There are different kinds of RNG and the one used in casino games is called Pseudo Random Number Generator.
It is the basis not only for all virtual games but also for many games in land-based casinos — video poker and slot machines, Keno, as well as the automated or computer-controlled roulette and blackjack games where there is no dealer.
It is in fact determined by a seed key or a seed value.
This computational algorithm, although fixed, actually produces many numbers each millisecond best casino in vegas to play video poker the exact combinations cannot be predicted or reproduced, unless, of course, the seed value is known.
So, although the numbers are not exactly random, in practice, the outcome of a video poker game is.
There is no shuffling of the cards, there are no strings of bad or winning hands, and there is no connection whatsoever between the amount of bet placed and the value of the cards dealt.
Also, it is possible that the player hits the highest payout or the jackpot two times in a row.
On the other hand, it is impossible to receive the exact same card that has been discarded after the initial draw.
Once you discard a Nine of Spades, you can be best casino in vegas to play video poker a Nine of another suit, but never a Nine of Spades again, as it is removed from the deck during the current round.
Initial Deal Odds Most players know that a Royal Flush or another jackpot winning hand happens once in many deals as the stronger, higher ranking hands in video poker are rarer than weaker combinations.
It is true, at least for the most part.
The exact odds of hitting a particular winning hand actually depends on the video poker variation you play.
But in the most common variations, the odds are known and players can use them in order to pick the best game or to make informed decisions.
When you play a basic video poker game with 52 cards, the odds of getting a Royal Flush during the initial draw are 1 in 649,740.
For a Straight Flush, it is 1 in 72,193, and for Four of a Kind — 1 in 4,165.
The player will receive a Full House with the best casino in vegas to play video poker cards dealt once in 694 games, while the odds for getting a Flush are 509 to best casino in vegas to play video poker, for a Straight, they are 255 to 1, 47 to 1 for Three of a Kind, 21 to 1 for Two Pairs, and 7.
And the odds of getting any pair from Twos through Tens is 2.
What these numbers mean is that you will receive any pair of cards almost half of the time during your play.
And best casino in vegas to play video poker 7 to 8 hands you will get your bet back from the even Jacks or Better payout with the opportunity to only increase your winning.
Of course, all these are average stats — you should not expect to receive a pair of Sevens every two or three deals.
You may not get them even after 20 hands.
However, the RNG may deal you a Four of a Best site for online gambling on your first bet at the game.
Video Poker Initial Odds Hand Odds Royal Flush 649,740 to 1 Straight Flush 72,193 to 1 Four of a Kind 4,165 to 1 Full House 694 to 1 Flush 509 to 1 Straight 255 to 1 Three of a kind 47 to 1 Two Pairs 21 to 1 Pair J,Q,K or A 7.
This also depends on what cards he or she holds.
For instance, if you hold 4 cards to a Royal Flush and need just one to complete it, the odds of achieving that are 47 to see more />The odds that you will turn a Three of Kind into a Four a Kind are 24 to 1 and into a Full House — 16 to 1.
The options here are too many to count or list, but every avid player can make their own research and take a look at the data available in video poker guides, strategy books, or even online.
Return to Player Unlike roulette or slots, video poker gives the player the opportunity to maximize their chances of winning.
A good success strategy is based on the particular variation of video poker and the pay table which lists the winning hands in a certain order in combination with the payouts for them.
These will also show how higher the house edge of the game is and the payback percentage.
The payback percentage, also known as Return to Player RTPis a term which describes the percentage of wagered money paid back to the player over time.
And this is one of the most important things to look for when determining whether a video poker machine is good or not.
This percentage is average and calculated over the long run, which, according to experts, corresponds to thousands or even millions of rounds of each game.
The RTP is a theoretical return which can be expected only if the poker online best site is played accurately and with the maximum bet.
House edge, on the other hand, shows how much money the game will keep over time.
It is one of the basics that every beginner should know about gambling — casino games are specifically designed to always give the casino the advantage.
However, when it comes to video poker, the house not always wins, or rather, the house does not come out as the sole winner.
To put it simply, the house edge is just the flip side of RTP.
If you are playing a game with a payback of 99.
Generally, the house advantage in video poker ranges from 5% to almost 0.
However, in some games, it is zero or even negative.
The full pay Deuces Wild, for instance, has an RTP of 100.
Sometimes, casinos would post the RTP rates for the games they offer in order to show that they are favorable to the players best casino in vegas to play video poker attract more customers.
But in case the returns are not clearly displayed, you can still find which games are more generous and which will leave you penniless.
The easiest way is to look at the pay tables of the different variations of video poker.
Pay Tables The expected return is always influenced by the specific pay table of the game you are playing.
The payouts for two of the winning hands are the first thing to look for, as they are usually the primary indicator for house edge and RTP — these are the payouts for Full House and for Flush.
Players should stick to full pay games, where typically, the Full House payout is 9 times the original bet, while the winnings for Flush are 6 times the bet.
In this game, a Full House pays 10 coins for 1 coin bet, a Flush pays 8 coins, while the Straight pays 5 coins.
However, the payout for a Four of Kind hand is split, depending on what cards it is composed of.
This is a great example of a deceptive pay table, which is seemingly great, but when you do the Math, it turns out that the odds are in favor of the house.
Usually, players try to stick to games with more balanced pay tables than to try getting a rare hand.
Knowing the pay tables, they can wisely choose a suitable game — some variations offer lower but regular payouts, while those that feature progressive jackpots come with the prospects of making you rich, but until that happens, you will probably lose a lot of money.
Of course, such profitability is possible only if the player makes as few mistakes as possible and uses the proper strategy.
A perfectly played full pay Deuces Wild, for instance, has the potential for maximum return of 100.
It is important, however, to check the payout for Four of a Kind — if it is 4 times the bet, instead of 5 times, the return will decrease to 99.
There is a Double feature, which can help players double their winnings during a bonus game — they are given five cards but only one is face up and they need to choose a card from the rest.
They win if they manage to open a card which has a higher value than the original card.
Double Double Bonus Poker also attracts players with an RTP higher than usual — 98.
Of course, video poker games which have progressive jackpots can be quite attractive, because the RTP percentage rapidly grows with the jackpot and often goes beyond 100%.
However, in order to qualify for a jackpot, players need best casino in vegas to play video poker wager the maximum bet and they can quickly run out of money.
RTP and Expected Value Typically, players would choose video poker machines with higher RTP percentages, but the higher average return of a game does not always mean a higher actual return.
However, you can still calculate the expected return and value of each game by considering its RTP percentage and total bets you are going to place.
Playing a game with an RTP lower than 100%, on the hand, would eventually lead to generating losses.
Similarly, one can calculate the expected value of each free computer casino games for ipad — this is the average amount of winnings the player can expect to generate after playing for a certain amount of time.
Most experienced gamblers place on average 650 bets per hour.
In order to estimate the total wager for an hour, we need to take into account the total bets.
Some video poker games offer lower denominations, which means that the total wager would be less.
Of course, the number of hands that are played simultaneously should also be considered, as most of the lower denomination machines are in fact multi-hand or power video poker games.
If the player wagers this sum on full pay Deuces Wild, he or she can multiply it by the RTP of the game, which is 100.
We would expect that playing this game would earn less than betting on the full pay Deuces Wild.
But interestingly, this is not the case.
The expected return would be 100.
It turns out that the player can win much more by playing a game article source a lower RTP percentage.
This is why when choosing a video poker game, gamblers should always take into consideration the total bets they intend to place.
The best choice would be a game that provides the highest expected value and not necessarily the highest expected return.
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Thanks for the help.
You should be able to best play 25 cent machines anywhere.
These are the best best casino in vegas to play video poker />That means they pay 9 credits for a full house and 6 credits for a flush.
You may have better luck if you are open to going a little best casino in vegas to play video poker to places like the Palms.
I think had some.
The best place to find them- take the shuttle from Bill's and go to the.
They have loads of them.
The Palms across the street also had some in August.
You will have much better chances of finding them off strip rather than on the strip.
If you like to play during the day go to Bill's Bar at Harrah's and play and have a drink with Bob, the best bartender in.
If you like to play at night move over to the Partytime Bar and play and chat with Ed, the second best bartender in Vegas.
I really don't give a hoot about the odds Video slots play like to have a good time while playing and the bars at Harrah's are the best.
I have even won some money playing there.
I spent hours playing JOB VP when I was in recently.
I did best for drinks in Palazzo andworst atbut the machine I was on paid out more than any other on my trip, so I stuck around even though I was thirsty!
We are Vets and VP nuts.
The place is loaded with full pay quarter machines, even at the bartop.
If you can get downtown, the Plaza and are good for VP.
If you must stay on the strip, try to learn the strategies for Double Bonus, and Deuces wild.
Some of these are at, and the IP.
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They are easy to use, requiring no interaction with a dealer or with other players.
Card combinations, like slot reels, are governed by a random-number generator.
But video poker adds something slot machines don't have -- an element of skill.
Players have decisions to make that affect the outcome.
And because cards are required to be dealt from a randomly shuffled 52-card deck -- or 53 cards, in the case of Joker's Wild machines -- the possible combinations are known, the frequency of the combinations can be calculated, and an optimal playing strategy can be devised.
In fact, when Missouri riverboats opened under a law that forbade games of chance, casinos were allowed to offer video poker, as a game of skill, even though slots, as games of chance, had to wait until voters changed the law.
The best video poker machines, played skillfully, offer odds that rival any table game.
The basic game, Jacks or Best casino in vegas to play video poker, in its full-pay version returns 99.
Other machines, especially some versions of Deuces Wild, offer a positive expectation to the player -- that is, over the long haul, they'll return more than 100 percent with optimal play.
Why do casinos offer games that can be beaten?
Because only a very small percentage of players know the basics of proper play.
In competitive markets, casinos walk a tightrope between two choices -- offering a pay table so good that the best players can expect to make a profit in the long term, or offering lower pay tables and risk driving away the weaker players who are the casino's best casino in vegas to play video poker customers.
In less-competitive markets, where the demand for space to play is great, casinos will offer lower-paying machines because they will be played despite jax poker best bet low payoffs.
Enough Americans have an easy familiarity with the rank of poker that video poker has become one of the most popular casino games.
As gambling markets mature and players become more experienced, the demand for video poker has tended to become stronger.
In Nevada, casinos with a clientele of locals devote more than 50 percent of slot space to video poker, and there are video poker bars that offer few other gambling options.
The major resorts that cater to tourists turn a lower percentage of space to video poker, about 10 percent to 15 percent.
That's about the percentage you'll find in other United States gaming destinations.
In Missouri, as soon as voters allowed games of chance, about 80 percent of slot space was turned over to reel slots.
In the early 1980s, Si Redd and his new International Gaming Technology entered into a licensing agreement with Bally's Manufacturing that gave IGT best casino in vegas to play video poker rights to manufacture video poker machines.
Few people recognized the potential at the time, but that gave IGT the boost it needed to become Bally's main competitor in producing electronic gaming devices.
Today IGT and Bally's both best casino in vegas to play video poker video poker machines, and their machines take up most of the floor space devoted to electronic gaming devices across the country.
If you're ready to join the video poker craze, you have found the right article.
In the following pages, you will learn how to navigate the sea of buttons and flashing lights that is a video poker machine, as well as tips and tactics to come out a winner.
Let's get started with a quick refresher on the winning hands in poker.
Rank of Poker Hands All payoffs are based on five-card poker hands, which rank as follows: These are all examples of winning hands for video poker.
They include: Top row: royal flush, straight flush Middle row: four of a kind, full house, flush Bottom row: staright, three of a kind, two pair, jacks or better ©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
Royal flush: Ace-king-queen-jack-10 all of the same suit hearts, clubs, spades, or diamonds.
Straight flush: Five consecutive cards of the same suit; for example, 2-3-4-5-6, all of clubs.
Four of a kind: Four cards of the same rank; for example, ace of hearts, ace of spades, ace of clubs, ace of diamonds.
Full house: Three cards of one rank, two cards of another rank; for example, 3 of diamonds, 3 of hearts, 3 of spades, 6 of hearts, 6 of spades.
Flush: Five cards of the same suit; for example, ace, 10, 7, 4, 3, all of diamonds.
Straight: Five consecutive cards of mixed suits; for example, 2 of diamonds, 3 of hearts, 4 of diamonds, 5 of clubs, 6 of spades.
Three of a kind: Three cards of the same rank; for example, 6 of hearts, 6 of clubs, 6 of diamonds.
Pair of jacks or better: Two jacks, queens, kings, or aces.
Now that you know how to win, let's take a look at the device that you'll be playing on.
Move on to the next section to learn the anatomy of a video poker machine.
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