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Deal Me In: Jackpot denied

30 September 2011

By Mark Pilarski

Dear Mark: I was refused a jackpot when the slot manager informed me that the machine had malfunctioned after it paid me more than the jackpot should have been. Was I denied my rightful payoff or did he just make up some random, on the spot ruling? Rusty D.

Like an ill-behaved teenager who doesn’t merit the keys to the family car, a slot machine can act up, and jackpots are denied.

Slot machines, or computers if you will, occasionally misbehave, and it is easy for a slot tech to know if a slot machine is on the fritz, or if it has been tinkered with.

You need to look no further than the payout table, Rusty, to see that you were not bamboozled by some slot manager’s arbitrary ruling. It not only spells out the coin payout for various symbol combinations, but you will also see the “official” escape clause, "Malfunction voids all pays and plays."

Another policy that most players are unaware of operates if the slot’s electronic record pays jackpots but not what is displayed on the screen. To get to that record, a slot manager will open up a machine to check and see that the display on the screen matches the random number generator’s electronic log. If it does not match, a malfunction is declared and the jackpot is invalidated.

Dear Mark: I was watching the 2011 WSP on TV the other night and heard something about the “golden rule” named after Jamie Gold for the way he played when he won the World Series of Poker. Can you explain it? Lou B.

If memory serves me, what the broadcaster denoted was that Gold broke two cardinal rules of poker at the WSOP final table.

He revealed a card to Paul Wasicka, and conveyed to another player that he had the top pair. Some called it smart play; others believed he broke the golden rule.

Dear Mark: There is an error in your recent "Deal Me In" article response to the question about "Doey-Don't" betting." You overlooked the shooter rolling a pair of sixes on the come out where the Pass line would win, but on the Don’t side, it’s just a push." It is supposed to be "Pass line would lose." Nelson

Refresher: The “doey don’t” is a flawed hedge system where the player bets an equal amount on the Pass line and the Don’t Pass. It’s a system where the bettor makes two bets that can never be won, but one of them can be lost.

Nelson correctly caught a typographical error, although in the following sentence I clarified what I should have penned in the previous line; “Yes, you get your money back with a push, but the push does not cancel out the loss on the Pass side.”

Thanks, Nelson, and I do appreciate you, and some other readers calling me on the casino carpet for it.

Gambling Wisdom of the Week: “An intelligent man gambles because this is a means of surrendering himself and his fortunes to the fates before testing his wits and nerve. He does this because it improves the flavor of living.” --Nick the Greek
Mark Pilarski
As a recognized authority on casino gambling, Mark Pilarski survived 18 years in the casino trenches, working for seven different casinos. Mark now writes a nationally syndicated gambling column, is a university lecturer, author, reviewer and contributing editor for numerous gaming periodicals, and is the creator of the best-selling, award-winning audiocassette series on casino gambling, Hooked on Winning.