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Slotland Fraudulent "Video Poker" Games

Discussion in 'Online Casino and Poker Complaints - old section' started by chalupa, Aug 28, 2004.

  1. chalupa

    chalupa Experienced Member

    I noticed Slotland listed on Casinomeister's Reputable Casino list and thought Id give them a try.

    I deposited $100 and played some Jacks or Better video poker. About halfway through losing my initial deposit and bonus, I was dealt four to a Royal flush (I missed, hit a pair of Kings).

    About that time is when I noticed that the progressive jackpot for a Royal was very big -- over $61,000 for a $10 bet. Surprised, I first e-mailed support to verify that was a dollar amount, not a credit amount.

    Then I ran a few numbers, and got excited to see that the long-term expected payoff was well over 100% due to the size of the jackpot.

    I switched to their 3-line double-joker variant (WildHeart) at $15 per bet which offered even better odds vs. the jackpot (despite a worse pay table) because each maximum line bet is only $5. I even e-mailed support to make sure that I was correct that the jackpot was paid off if it hit on any of the 3 lines, which they verified.

    Then I went to work betting before somebody else snagged the jackpot. I figured it was a once-in-years opportunity at a nice progressive. I hadn't seen a progressive video poker jackpot as good since one in Reno over 10 years ago.

    I knew it wasn't likely I'd hit, but I'd be getting a fair shot at a big score.

    Or so I thought.

    About $1500 later I started wondering if I was just having a really bad run (having never hit any significant win along the way) and started doing some more investigating.

    Yes I should have investigated them further first, but I was confident in Casinomeister's recommendation, never having had a problem in the past with any casino he's recommended.

    On a Google search I happened to find this little tidbit mentioned somewhere else, subsequently verified on Slotland's web site... waaaaay down in the fine print, and located under the "Technical Tips" section along with other important (haha) information like "What browser should I use" I found this gem (emphasis mine):

    "Our games have been designed by software experts to perform just like its counterparts in land-based casinos. The random number generator used in SLOTLAND's proprietary software has been tested and found to conform with the results of similar games found in Atlantic City with respect to randomness and payout frequency. For your protection, all wagers at SLOTLAND are recorded and there is a complete audit trail available on all games that are played."

    "Please note that all games share the same mechanism which determines the jackpot win. Thus, with card games, the probability of hitting the jackpot combination is not natural but controlled by this shared random mechanism in the same way as slot machines' wins."

    What?? WHAATT??? How do these two paragraphs reconcile with each other?

    In EVERY OTHER INSTANCE that I have seen a video poker game, the odds are the same as from a REAL CARD DECK. That is certainly the case in Atlantic City, which Slotland compares itself to in the same breath.

    Even worse, earlier in the FAQs, Slotland touts their Jacks or Better game as follows (again emphasis is mine):

    "You may try your luck at the Jacks Or Better, the classic video poker game. Our pay table for this game is the highest and most generous in the industry; you do not need to place a maximum bet to get a bonus pay out on the Royal Flush (although a maximum bet with a Royal Flush WILL win the jackpot!)."

    Their pay table is the highest and most generous?? Well, yes, it is a good pay table... full pay Jacks or Better. But what good is a pay table if it's not paid with the correct frequency??

    The entire concept doesn't even make sense to me. How do I as a player know how to correctly play their video poker? Should I break up my pat flush to draw 1 card to a royal flush? In a real video poker game, without question I should. But in an artificial game, who knows?

    And even worser than worse... take a look at their Jacks or Better play screen, including the pay tables. This is the screen where the player sticks his money in.

    Click here: You must register/login in order to see the link.

    Note that there is NO mention on the pay table of the jackpot being artificially controlled.

    And in fact note the following words to the contrary:

    SLOTLAND casino proudly presents the Jacks Or Better, the most popular video poker game ever."

    ... and...

    "Our payout and odds are comparable to the top slot machines found in Las Vegas and conform to the Nevada Gaming Rules. "

    Now, I ask you... given that it looks like a standard video poker game, and in fact has language right on that page claiming that it is, shouldn't a reasonable person expect this to act like a Jacks or Better game as found EVERYWHERE else in the world?

    And by the way, their game certainly does NOT conform to Nevada Gaming Rules. In Nevada the law REQUIRES video games featuring images of cards to act like (surprise!) a real deck of cards!

    Slotland's Wild Heart (ostensibly Double Joker Poker) game screen contains similar false language.

    I have never, over the course of playing at MANY casinos, encountered anything remotely like this.

    I guess if Slotland wants to create a pseudo-video poker game, well it's the wild west and anything goes.

    But to make their game look EXACTLY like a real video poker game, and put absolutely NO DISCLAIMER to the contrary on the pay table or ANYWHERE on the game screen itself -- and in fact explicitly equate their games to Nevada's video poker games -- is FRAUD in my opinion.

    And unfortunately for me, I played (and lost) hundreds of dollars on their games under a false pretense.

    From my further research on this site, Slotland apparently enjoys a reputation for good customer service and I will be contacting them directly about this and hope they remedy my situation. But in the meantime other players should be made aware of how their games are operated.

    And I would hope Casinomeister will remove them from the "Recommended" list if they do not immediately (at a minimum) add a prominent disclaimer to their games. Right there on the main game screen, with an asterisk on the pay table -- is that so much to ask?
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2004
    1 person likes this.
  2. nafanny29

    nafanny29 Dormant account

    Thats one of the best written posts I have seen and I agree with you wholeheartedly on this.

    How can it be "random" if the jackpot ie RF is determined by a central RNG.

    Say you hit the deal button and the central RNG decides that this is the big jackpot it must have to deal the RF straight in (PAT) Otherwise you may have someone discard the 3 cards of the royal and then what!!

    Anyway I can only echo your words on this and think it needs to be displayed very prominently that this is a slot machine and the odds of getting any winning combinations are set by something other than a random deck of cards.

    Very sorry that you lost a considerable sum of money under totally false pretenses mate.
  3. Vesuvio

    Vesuvio Dormant account

    Completely agree - also played the sign-up bonus thinking there was a reasonable chance of keeping some of it as they had video poker. Only realised afterwards it was a slot machine.

    I can't see any reason whatsoever they couldn't change the software to point this out (call it a Jacks or Better Slot or whatever), unless their aim is to trick video poker players into playing at the casino. Casinomeister, why not have a quick word with them as they seem to be one of the most prominent advertisers on here?
  4. dominique

    dominique Dormant account

    Slotland has slots only. The VP is a slot with cards instead of fruit and bars. It functions just like any other slot, and it is as fair as any other slot.

    The place is called Slotland. They disclose that their video poker is a slot machine. Everything at Slotland is a slot.
  5. caruso

    caruso Banned User - repetitive violations of <a href="ht

    Easily: the "similar games" referred to are SLOT games. Neat, eh?

    Chalupa: Do a search next time - you'll save yourself some money:

  6. Vesuvio

    Vesuvio Dormant account

    Well, it's hidden in the small print - and as it's called 'video poker' you'd have to admit a few naive souls might mistake it for video poker :D

    I'm not sure how it functions, to be honest. As mentioned above it doesn't quite function like a slot as you have to hold or discard cards - so it's hard to know how the slot mechanism takes that into account. My guess at the time was that it actually works like a video poker machine except that it stops the player getting a royal flush unless it's time for a payout... but who knows - they don't explain it.
  7. largeeyes

    largeeyes Dormant account

    It plays like a fixed video poker machine, simple as that. How they get away with calling it video poker, I have no idea.
  8. Freudian

    Freudian Dormant account

    That is nonsense. It is called video poker ("SLOTLAND casino proudly presents the Jacks Or Better, the most popular video poker game ever."), it looks like VP, it has the paytable of a VP, the only warning is hidden away from the actual game screen.

    I like the initial poster assumed it was a VP. We are not alone, I can guarantee.

    Slotland wants people to think it is a VP. It is so obvious that no intellectually honest person can argue otherwise. They fooled me once, it won't be twice.
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2004
  9. chalupa

    chalupa Experienced Member

    Thanks, I appreciate the support. I didn't think I was just being utterly stupid due to the late hour, but you never know. :)

    If you read nothing else in my first obscenely long post, take away only this. On the MAIN PLAYING SCREEN they explicitly state:

    "Our payout and odds are comparable to the top slot machines found in Las Vegas and conform to the Nevada Gaming Rules."

    That is a pretty explicit (and blatantly false, as it turns out) statement. How can they reasonably expect a player to go searching for fine print under an obscure "Technical Tips" section to find something to contradict that?

    Not to mention that the main screen gives every possible visual and common-sense cue that it is a normal VIDEO POKER game?

    But wait, there IS a link on the main page to You must register/login in order to see the link., so maybe there's a disclaimer there? Nope. That just further reinforces the (false) notion that it is a normal video poker game. Again you must dig further using the link at the bottom of that page. Keep going... going... there! Right next to other critical information like... like... WebTV compatibility?!?

    The bottom line is that I was led to believe the game was something other than it was. Had I known what it was, I wouldn't have played at all.

    And when I did play, I played Wild Heart (their Double Joker poker) instead of the much better pay table Jacks Or Better game. That was a specific decision based on the smaller maximum bet relative to the jackpot size which (should have) overcome the pay table disadvantage.

    And then I played the game completely incorrectly. For example, holding 2 to a royal instead of a pair. Again that was based on the jackpot size and what I expected were normal royal flush odds.

    In other words, I played a bad game I wouldn't normally play, and then played it horribly to compound my mistake. It's no surprise I went through my bankroll as fast as I did.

    The bottom line is I threw my money away based on false information.

    I have returned an e-mail to a customer service supervisor at Slotland who said he is available 7 days a week to address problems. That was several hours ago but I remain hopeful that they will make good on their reputation for customer service and make me whole.

    I also hope for the benefit of future customers, as well as their long-term reputation, that they make the operation of their games clear. It would be trivial to do. The slightest little asterisk on the main pay table screen and I would have absolutely no argument to make.
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2004
  10. clawback

    clawback Dormant account

    Just played the VP and if its a slot payer then its a poor one,played 82 hands and lost 69 :eek: the rest was at best a pair so in theory played 82 lost 82.
    Dross after dross continuosly appeared,it felt like a switch was turned on and set on deal dross mode :(
    Hmmm even gfed VP performs better than that :)
  11. rowmare

    rowmare Dormant account

    Frankly, the fact that the "video poker" games at Slotland are actually slot games is not made clear at all at Slotland.

    IMO it is misleading. The fact that it is misleading - whether intentional or not - is proven time and again by players mistaking it for a true video poker game.

    By the way, spacejack is a slot game, also.

    I agree with Chalupa.
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2004
  12. largeeyes

    largeeyes Dormant account

    How long have they had "VP" anyways? THey are on the meisters reputable list, hard to believe given this shady act.
  13. caruso

    caruso Banned User - repetitive violations of <a href="ht

    I take back my comment that those "irreconcileable" paragraphs are reconcileable, albeit very sneakily:

    You must register/login in order to see the link.


    "We offer six different slot machines and three stylish card games at the moment..."

    "In addition to our slot machines, we offer four great card games: You may try your luck at the Jacks Or Better, the classic video poker game. Our pay table for this game is the highest and most generous in the industry."

    This is flagrant misinformation. They SPECIFICALLY state that the CARD games are NOT slots on this "general information" page.

    Then, WAY down at the bottom of the page, they post that ridiculous little "disclaimer" about the unnatural nature of the dealing.

    I wonder how many players have been duped into dumping thousands chasing the jackpot on an apparent 110% return game?

    I've nothing against casinos running slots-only packages to fleece the mugs, but I am TOTALLY opposed to this level of deception being practised on players.
  14. chalupa

    chalupa Experienced Member

    An update... I received a reply from a customer service supervisor today. Unfortunately no resolution yet.

    Basically his entire argument about the artificial jackpot odds is this:

    "Finally, we do not hide this fact at all. Every player can find this information easily on our website."

    Hmm... do not hide this fact at all? I responded:

    That statement is equivalent to me sitting down at a progressive video poker in Vegas, dropping $1500, finding out the game was artificially controlled, and having someone tell me "Well, you should have looked at the note taped to the bottom of the ash tray next to the machine."

    Here are the facts:
    - You CALL these games video poker
    - They look EXACTLY like video poker games
    - The pay table makes NO mention of the Jackpot being different odds
    - You say "CONFORM TO NEVADA GAMING RULES" right on the playing screen, and those rules REQUIRE correct odds for card-based video games

    In fact there is absolutely no reason for a player to suspect that the game is anything other than a normal video poker game!

    The ONLY place on your ENTIRE site where you mention that the cards are not random is, as you know, in the "Technical Tips" section, BELOW mundane tips like which browser to use and WebTV compatibility!

    I have asked to be bumped up the line to someone else in Slotland if necessary to resolve my situation.

    I'm hopeful they will realize this is no way to run a successful long-term business, and that the bad publicity they are generating isn't worth the deceptive practices. I'll keep this forum updated.

    If not, when Casinomeister returns I'll try to enlist his help. Afer all, I did find and play at this casino because they are on his Reputable Casinos list, and at the moment they are acting very disreputably.

    I've attached a screen shot (as much as it would let me upload) from the Jacks Or Better main playing screen. You can You must register/login in order to see the link. to visit it yourself, I wanted to capture this in case they change it later (as they should).
  15. chalupa

    chalupa Experienced Member

    Similar screen shot from Wild Heart, their Double Joker Poker game. This is where I lost most of my money. I was playing it instead of Jacks Or Better despite a poor pay table because of the better jackpot odds per dollar wagered (or so I thought).

    You can view it on their web site for yourself here: You must register/login in order to see the link.
  16. rowmare

    rowmare Dormant account

    That's exactly right. But it's hard to find the ashtray on site.....

    I also assumed it was VP.
  17. dominique

    dominique Dormant account

    Again, this is from the site:

  18. jpm

    jpm Dormant account

    I agree with you fully Chalupa, and in fact have been thoroughly enjoying your posts. Excellently written, I particularly liked the ashtray reference.

    And I did the same thing as the others, assumed that these were legitimate VP games when I first signed up there. Played and had some decent luck on wild heart, or whatever it was called, but then it all just kinda went downhill. Never went back because of the poor 'luck' I had on their vp and glad I didn't becuase it wasn't until last month that I learned that they are slot machines in the guise of videopoker. They really do have to do something to CLEARLY state that these are video poker SLOT machines and stop misleading players.

    I agree that Bryan needs to remove them from his recommended list until they do this.

    Dominique, I think you are being a bit too apologetic for them. It is really false advertising for them to state "...we offer four great card games: You may try your luck at the Jacks Or Better, the classic video poker game." That is VERY clearly stating this is a vp game. They should say something along the lines of 'you may try your luck at OUR VERSION of JoB, the classic video poker game THAT WE MADE INTO A SLOT GAME' That would be an honest description of this game.
  19. chalupa

    chalupa Experienced Member

    Well I have received no further response from my last e-mail to Slotland as of today. I hope I'm being passed up the line and not being put in ignore mode. I also find it interesting that they haven't responded in this thread, as I e-mailed them a link to it. I wish Casinomeister would hurry up and get back in town. :)

    dominique, if you give that much weight to a disclaimer buried in the "Technical Tips" section of their web site, why not give the same weight to the information on the MAIN PLAYING SCREEN that directly contradicts that? Are you saying it's ok for a casino to do anything they want -- as long as they hide some little disclaimer somewhere on their site?

    A player has a right to expect certain conventions to be respected, and a huge convention is that card games are dealt according to the odds of actual cards. I have NEVER seen a card game that operated otherwise in ANY casino other than Slotland.

    It is OK for a casino to create a video poker game that has a poor payout table, and state that. It is not OK to create a video poker game that has a good payout table but doesn't pay it at the correct frequency.

    That's like advertising a single-deck blackjack game with full payouts, but taking a couple aces out of the deck. And then burying a note to that effect somewhere.

    It is just not right.
  20. dominique

    dominique Dormant account

    Agreed. I assume they will read this and hope they adjust their description in that direction... It needs to be made more clear.

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