To Spin or Not to Spin After a Hand-Paid Jackpot

 To Spin or Not to Spin After a Hand-Paid Jackpot

Back when slot and video poker machines paid in coins, sizable jackpots usually were paid by attendants. You didn’t want to wait for $1,000 worth of quarters to drop into a tray – with time extended by delays for hopper fills – and the casino didn’t want the machine out of action that long.

With today’s payoffs by tickets redeemable at kiosks or the cashiers cage, payoffs of less than $1,200 usually are just added to your credit meter, and you can go on playing.

When you do win a hand-paid jackpot, many casinos ask you to play once more, so the winning combination no longer shows on the reels or screen.

One big winner recently asked what happens if you refuse to spin again. Can the casino refuse to pay you?

The answer is, no, the casino can’t stop the payoff. It still has to pay you if you refuse to spin off the winner. When a player refuses, a casino employee usually spins once so the jackpot combination no longer shows on the reels or screen.

That’s because some players will refuse to play a game with a jackpot combination showing. They thing the recent jackpot makes it less likely they will win. Actually, results are random and you’re no less likely to win after a jackpot than at any other time, but casinos don’t want to discourage the play of customers who read jackpot combos as “keep away” signs.

I once was responsible for a change in policy, in the early days of nickel video slots. I had more than 1,000 nickels on the credit meter, but had been losing early and made three $20 buy-ins before making a little comeback. My 1,000-plus nickels actually represented a loss of a little less than $10.

The screen didn’t show a winning combination, but policy called for the attendant to ask the player to spin again on any hand pay. I declined, pointing out that this wasn’t a big win, or any win at all.

I then wrote about the situation in my newspaper column. Not only was the policy changed, the casino communications director thanked me for helping to end a policy many in the company knew was outmoded.

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