Why Casinos Are Tightening Video Poker Machines

Casinos previously could only make changes to their slots‘ pay tables by reprogramming or updating individual machines, but now thanks to technological advances they can now change odds across their entire casino from a central server – raising concerns among industry regulators that could allow casino operators to manipulate odds or compromise security for casino machines. It’s certainly not the first time such concerns have arisen but this latest twist adds another wrinkle.

Computer programs controlling slot and video poker machines are programmed to distribute symbols or cards based on standard probability, providing casinos with an edge and explaining why casinos cannot simply alter payout percentages to reduce its advantage; symbol pay tables do allow this; card ones don’t.

Typically, casinos that tighten up on video poker machines do so due to increasing complaints or as a response to pressure from regulators who want to ensure players do not receive preferential odds on specific machines, according to one gaming company spokesman.

Experts contend that casinos cannot rig games due to random number generators being tied into a central system that is monitored by gaming commission. Furthermore, machines come equipped with trigger-sensored enclosures making tampering with them almost impossible. There are also tools that alert players when they have made a strategic error, so that they can correct it before it costs them money. Tampering with casino machines could have serious repercussions, including losing its gaming license or facing class action lawsuits from angry customers. Most casinos do not tamper with their machines; but in the future if their profits become excessively high they may need to tighten pay tables if profits grow too rapidly.

Even with these advancements, many gamblers remain wary that casinos may be manipulating video poker machines to increase profits. Some casino executives have even admitted they’ve had to tighten them in order to meet demand; others maintain customers are just making up stories about it.

Some experts argue that most members of the public are misinformed about how video poker machines are programmed to favor the house. More likely than not, customers today are simply more aware and bothered by this house edge than before.

Video poker’s house edge may be high compared to table games and other gambling machines, yet still relatively low compared to them. That is one reason it has become such an appealing form of entertainment in recent years; players feel in control when making decisions that affect them directly and games are becoming ever more sophisticated – making video poker all the more desirable among gamblers.

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