Seminole Slots and Video Poker Machines

How about those “Vegas Style” slots that just went in at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel? The question I had the first day for the players the day the slots made their debute was how were they? What are the pay outs like? Loose slots or tight slots.? Steve Bourie who publishes the American Casino Guide told me that since Indian Gaming Casinos do not have to report the percentage return that we’d never know about the slots but when video poker machines were installed he’d have a pretty good idea how they paid. Here is what he tells me:

“The Hard Rock has put in real video poker and I noticed that the paytables are rather poor. The Jacks or Better games at both the quarter and dollar level have 7/5 paytables. This means that a player using perfect strategy and betting the five-coin maximum could expect a long-term return of 96.15%. All of the other racinos in town offer that same game with better paytables.”

With that said I had high interest in a recent item in the Miami Herald. Roberto Santiago interviewed Frank “Lefty” Rosenthal. I never called Frank “Lefty” in my days covering gaming in Las Vegas. He didn’t like the name and Mr. Rosenthal, who is currently listed in Nevada’s so-called Black Book, was a pretty tough cookie in his day. As Santiago mentions Mr. Rosenthal served as the model for “Ace” the casino operator in the motion picture “Casino.” One thing for sure, Frank Rosenthal could run a Casino. The Stardust Hotel was a hot spot when he was in charge. So after reading Steve Bourie’s E-mail what Mr. Rosenthal had to say made sense:

Q: You’ve spent time at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino near Hollywood, which will debut baccarat and blackjack this summer. If you ran the casino, what would you do?
A: That’s simple. Loose as a goose slots, returning at least 95 percent on every buck. They could go a shade higher, which would guarantee them a terrific handle.

Both experts agree loose slots and generous payouts produces volume which in turn generates a large gross take or “handle.” There is a good chance that the slots are a little tight at the Hard Rock and that is probably what Mr. Rosenthal is hinting at. Steve Bourie and Mr. Rosenthal come from opposite ends of the Gaming Business but both know their craft and what works.

This is all good information for Video Poker buffs and slots fans.


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