In other words, if I had kept the Ace and the 10, I would have had a Royal Flush…and at that progressive machine, it would have paid out $1,250!
Oh well…I think on average you get a Royal Flush once in 250,000 hands, so I guess in another 249,999 hands I’ll be due again.
First, I have one too many cards dealt to me in my OP story above…but you get the idea. I still screwed myself out of a Royal.
Secondly, most video poker games are set to select all 10 cards the second you hit the draw button.
This means that you get the first five cards drawn to you, but the next five cards (assuming you discard all of the first five) have already pre-determined, AND in the order they will appear. In my case, the 6th card was Jack of Spades, the 7th card was Queen of Spades and the 8th card was King of Spades…who knows what the 9th and 10th cards were…I would have only found out if I had discarded the entire first five cards.
That info is from IGT, largest mannufacturer of almost all video poker machines.
By the way…as someone told me today, if the other two ten’s had shown up, I would have been happy. Besides…that’s why it is called gambling. “Say Levy.”
Plus, if you had kept the ace and the ten when you had a pair of tens showing, you would have been going for a flush (from two cards) or an inside straight (needing three cards). And that’s just poor judgement.
So don’t feel too bad, you played it like you could reasonably be expected to and got screwed by fate/programming/probability.
Quarter machine, max coins bet (In-order royal would’ve paid out just under $2,000 IIRC).
Dealt Ace Hearts, King Hearts, Queen Hearts, Queen Spades, Ten Hearts.
So I’m sitting with a pair of Queens (a guaranteed even-money winner), but OTOH I’m one card away from a $2k payday. I ponder it for perhaps 20 seconds, and realize that, hey, how often is this chance going to come again? So I elect to hold the Hearts and throw the Queen of Spades.
The draw yeilds a 10… of DIAMONDS. Improved my hand, (now a 4-1 winner), but… AAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHH!!!
I didn’t think I could ever get upset about getting a straight on a video poker machine, but I did that night.
My brother in law was recently sitting at a bar in Vegas near where he lived playing video poker. He won over $700 but the tavern didn’t have enough cash on hand to pay the full amount so he had to wait while the machine company dispatched a courier with the balance. While he was waiting he continued to drop money into the machine. A short time later he scored a royal flush and picked up another $5200. Not a bad day at the office.
I used to work just over the Idaho border (home of the Utah Lottery) and would occasionally pick up a couple of scratch lotto tickets while on break. One day the cashier gave me the wrong game and as I was about to point out her mistake, I said to myself “Aw hell, it’s not worth worrying about. Just take the ticket.” Hmmmmm. Turkey, turkey, turkey. whats that? $5000!!! Needless to say, I took a couple of days off.
You must have meant “deal”, above, to start the game. That used to be how it was. If you were playing a very old machine, that may be how it was for you. But, no video poker machine nowadays that acts that way will be approved for use in Nevada, which is a large enough market that all machines (from any sufficiently large and ambitious manufacturer) are made to support it.
macabresoul’s idea wouldn’t fly, either.
Nevada (gaming control board) requires that the draw cards not be selected before the player presses “draw” (to discard unheld cards), so that no cheat device which someone could conceivably create can look into the memory of the machine and see what the next five cards will be. The remaining deck is continually virtually shuffled a hundred times a second (minimum).
I’m my own cite: the first five poker machines I developed were approved for sale in Nevada earlier this year
So, just out of curiosity, what happens if a machine was cheating? That is, peeking at the currently dealt hand and then altering the next deal to be sure that the pigeon can’t win. Say it was a sense switch at the bottom of the case, flipped to different positions for the inspector and the pigeon.
If you’re playing a “clean” (that is, a video poker machine that comprises a “52-card deck,” not the “slot machine in video poker clothing”)*, Frank Scobelete claims that the odds of getting a royal flush after the draw are about 40,000/1, not 250,000/1.
If it cheers you up any, remember Scobelete’s dictum: NSGNG. No second guess, no guess. What he means is, don’t beat yourself up over making the right play and getting the “wrong” result. I don’t know what the payouts for the machine you were playing were, but for most machines, you made the right play in keeping the tens. It sucks that in this case you would have made the big bucks, but, in the long run, you would keep more money by keeping the tens.
I have hit royal flushes twice in Vegas. Same machine, six months apart. So, they’re out there.
*Sorry that that’s confusing, but a “clean” machine is the one that AmbushBug is describing in the Nevada jurisdiction. Other jurisdictions (notably, New Jersey), don’t necessarily have the clean machines.
The gaming boards for the various state and national jurisdictions have their own labs (NV, NJ) or hire one of a select few outside [/url=“http://www.bmm.com/”]firms to do their testing.
To answer your first question,
These places not only get the software on chip or hard drive, they have submission examples of the machines themselves - every internal wire assembly, circuit, switch and lightbulb is subject to their review. A gaffe switch such as you describe would be too suspicious for words.
The labs also get 100% of the source code, and they have experienced programmers on staff and the expertise to validate the mathematics and search for duplicitous code.
And your second question, as to what would be done - the gaming manufacturer companies would be punished, such punishment to possibly include the permanent loss of a gaming license in the offended jurisdiction, or all jurisdictions. IIRC, in Nevada, you can’t even write code for a slot machine in your place of business if your company doesn’t have a Nevada gaming license.
In my experience, the NJ labs are tough as nails
There are a couple of slot machines out there of the “reel stop poker” variety - but I haven’t seen a new one in some time, as someone’s got a fat patent on it.
Patenting of gaming devices and methods can be a subject for the BBQ Pit - it’s on a level with the ongoing Microsoft/Amazon/etc. software patent controversies.