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John Robison

John  Robison
John Robison is an expert on slot machines and how to play them. John is a slot and video poker columnist and has written for many of gaming's leading publications. Hear John on "The Good Times Radio Gaming Show," broadcast from Memphis on KXIQ 1180AM Friday afternoons. You can listen to archives of the show online anytime.

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Ask The Slot Expert

13 Mar 2003

By John Robison

My husband has asked me to find a computer program for video poker which actually advises which cards you should hold each time you deal. Do you know where I can find such a program?

I read your suggestions about playing at one or two casinos and having a player's card. We do all of that and have benefited with free rooms, meals, etc.

Thanks for your help!

There are two programs I recommend. One is Bob Dancer Presents WinPoker and the other is Frugal Video Poker. Both are available from I have used WinPoker for years. Frugal Video Poker just came out and has a few extra features that WinPoker doesn't have. I haven't had a chance to try it out yet, but Jean Scott (the Frugal Gambler) helped design it and I'm sure it will be excellent. Both programs will advise you on which cards you should hold.

Best of luck in and out of the casinos,

Dear John,

I have a query with which you can perhaps help me. Around Christmas, I played for the first time in an online casino, The River Nile casino. I won a net $1,000 on the blackjack table. Of course, I expected to be credited on my credit card for the amount won plus the purchase of credits ($200).

They sent me a message back and said that they would only refund me the $200 deposit. If I wanted my $1,000 gain, in order to transfer the money, I would have to supply them with a copy of my ID, a copy of my credit card, a copy of a bank account statement, and a copy of a utilities bill to check if I really live where I say I live.

Is this legal?

If I sent them all these data, they could abuse my credit card number, not to mention my bank account. Besides, I do not think it is any of their business where I live. I am very hesitant to give this info to a casino I do not know.

What annoys me most if that they more or less blackmail me--if I don't supply the data they demand, they won't pay.

Are these practices common with online casinos? They claim it serves for my own as well as their protection, but I really do not see the point. Why not check my ID before I play and not afterwards? I asked them these questions, but they are being neglected so far.

I hope you can clarify this and I look forward to your reply.


Dear Peter,

I went to the FAQ page for the River Nile casino to check on their withdrawal procedures. They are following the procedures they described on this page.

First, they can only refund to your credit card the amount you charged on it. The additional will be paid as a wire transfer because it is more than $500. I can see why they need the bank information, but I can't see why they need a copy of a utility bill.

As to whether or not it is legal to require this information, you'd have to check with the laws of the country that regulates this casino -- if the casino is regulated by a country at all!

You might be able to get around some of the requirements by canceling this withdrawal and doing two smaller ones such that the amount after any credit card refund is less than $500. This way they'll send a bank draft. It will take longer than the wire transfer and they write drafts in a limited selection of currencies, but they may not require as much identifying material for the bank draft.


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