John Grochowski

John Grochowski John Grochowski John Grochowski John Grochowski John Grochowski John Grochowski John Grochowski John Grochowski John Grochowski John Grochowski John Grochowski John Grochowski

Q. It used to be my wife and I shared slot club accounts. Now the casinos want us to have separate accounts. Sometimes, when we want to build up her account, I use one of her cards. Sometimes she uses one of mine. One thing worries me. What if I win a jackpot while using her card? Can they refuse to pay me?

A. No, if you are playing the game and win a jackpot, the casino must pay you. Player rewards are separate from game wins and losses.

Attendants often don’t even look at my card when they remove it in order to insert their own cards during jackpot verification or other services such as refreshing paper for ticket printers. Even if they do look at your card and see it says Louise rather than Fred, they’re likely only to ask if you know Louise, if someone left the card behind, or suggest you should use your own card.

In an extreme case, the rewards club might choose to remove points earned in that session, and rarely, to blank out previously earned points. But that’s not common. The casino is not in the business of generating ill will from its customers. Operators are aware that couples sometimes share accounts, and a gentle reminder to use your own card is more likely than any points being cancelled.

And regardless of whether the attendant notices you’re using someone else’s rewards card, any jackpot you’ve won is yours. Using your wife’s card doesn’t change that.

Q. Playing Double Double Bonus Poker, I held 2-2, discarded a king and the draw brought A-A-A. Boom! Boom! Boom!

I was happy with the full house, of course, but it got me wondering what would have happened if I had held the king instead. The way those Aces popped up so fast, was the game ready to deal me a fourth Ace if I only left it enough room to deal four cards?

A. No, the game was not necessarily ready to deal you a fourth Ace. All we know is that the three cards at the top of the deck when you hit the draw button were Aces. We know nothing about card order after that.

If you’ve played video poker extensively, think about all the times your first three cards on the initial deal were three of a kind. How often did the matching fourth card come up next?

Let’s say you’d held only one card, leaving a four-card draw and room enough to go Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom! instead of only three booms. Subtracting the cards from your initial deal, there would have been 47 cards available for your draw. After the three Aces popped up, there would have been 44 cards remaining in the deck. The chances of your next card being the fourth Ace would have been 1 in 44.

If you’d discarded all five cards and the first three cards of your draw were Aces, the chances of drawing the fourth would have been 2 in 44 or 1 in 22. That would be broken down into 1 in 44 on the fourth card of the draw, and if it didn’t come up there, 1 in 43 in the fifth card.

That all assumes Aces on the first three cards. Before the start of the draw, your chances of drawing four Aces are 1 in 178,365, with a four-card draw and 1 in 35,673 with a five-card draw.

So it’s possible a fourth card after your three Aces would have completed your big quads, but you still were an underdog.

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