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Video Gambling Machines Computer Chips

Dear Mark,
Because you mentioned that slots operate using the same computer chip as a video poker machine, why not stick with slots as they are easier to play? Larry L.
True, Larry, the first part of your question is correct in that most of today’s video games (video poker, video blackjack and video keno) are derivatives of slot machines and actually use the same microprocessor technology and random number sequences, but, video poker, blackjack and keno machines provide players with real options and choices that require an element of skill that
regular slot machines don’t. With this skill, you can hack away at the high house advantage that the average slot machine holds over you.

Dear Mark,
Can a casino, or anyone for that matter, mess with the computer chip in a slot machine so that a jackpot will never appear on the screen? Morgan P.

Feel safe, Morgan, that in your state, Missouri, gaming operates under the strict Gaming Commission guidelines, insuring that every chip will deliver random action each and every time you insert a coin.
In Missouri, the Gaming Commission tests each e-prom chip (erasable programmable read only memory) when the machines are first installed to verify that the machine will operate as proposed by the casino. Then when large jackpots are hit, a Highway Patrol Officer, who is an agent of the Gaming Commission, “cobotrons” (detects if the chip has been altered) the e-prom to make sure that it hasn't been tampered with. This can amount to a dozen cobotron tests per day, per boat. Sorry to bore you with all this nerdy computer stuff, Morgan, but I do plan a column soon on how the slots of today (computers) work—in layman’s lingo that is.

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More Columns By Mark Pilarski
Have a question? Ask Mark pilarski@markpilarski.com

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