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Review of Robbing the One-Armed Bandits

Review of Robbing the One-Armed Bandits

Recent years have brought something I never thought I’d see in my life, the true professional slot machine player. In their quest to be ever more seductive and appealing, the slot manufacturers have begun producing machines that will “bank” some sort of credit that is accumulated until it pays off. If enough of these credits have been banked, the slot machine will turn from a negative expectation game to a positive one. Robbing the One-Armed Bandits is a book about how to find and exploit these machines.

Lund, a frequent contributor to Blackjack Forum, starts the book with a basic introduction to banking slot machines, slot clubs, and casino responses to this new breed of “slot pro”. The information is brief, but sufficient, and the reader is recommended good sources to obtain more detailed information.

Next, the author begins listing banked slot machines, and indicates at what point he believes they yield a positive expectation. Lund freely admits that his math is based on estimates, which he explains in a little more but not overly technical detail in the Appendix, but I find his methods sound. Frankly, I think he could have risked getting even more mathematical for those who are inclined that way, but this is not a major gripe.

The listing of each type of machine gets more than a little repetitive, though, with many games being functionally identical to each other despite some variation in name and outward appearance. However, due to a convenient table at the end of the book, the reader doesn’t need to constantly refer to the text, but even the first time through it can get to be a bit of a chore.

The book then provides a section on “clean up” material, covering slot machine anomalies, cheating scams, etc.. There is certainly a continuum of experience ranging from ethical opportunist on one end, passing through legal Slot Gacor angle shooter in the middle, ending up with cheating criminal on the other end. For my tastes, Lund drifts further into the gray area than I would like, but he’s careful to not recommend outright cheating. Even though early in the book he tells the reader that he’s not a legal expert, he does present some legal opinions on some of his tactics as more factual than might be prudent.

Nonetheless, this is a breakthrough book that exposes a new realm of profitable casino play. While not always a great read, it is far and away the best book on the topic and worth looking through. There are a few more flaws, Lund’s extremely brief, yet, in my opinion, inappropriate, coverage of video poker and video blackjack, and I believe he understates the amount of effort necessary to find profitable machines, but I recommend the book for the good information it does provide.

Capsule:

Lund’s book is a breakthrough into a new realm of profitable casino play. There is much about the book I would have written differently, but his observations are solid and his methodology seems very valid. Some of his suggestions get a little more ethically murky than I’m comfortable with, and the text filled with lists of machines gets dry after a while, but the charts showing when which machines become advantageous are worth the cost of the book alone.