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Casino Royale confusion!


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Hi everyone! I've read as many topics I can find on the casinos onboard and I'm left super confused at what happened with our last cruise. 

We sailed on Symphony back in April. My first cruise and my boyfriend's third. We both ended up getting fairly lucky at the casino (for people who don't gamble often or much). I won $800 on that Key Master arcade machine (probably all of my luck for the next 5 years), he won around $1600 on a slot machine pull, and we both got a couple good hands in 3-card poker. We both definitely left up from what we came with, miraculously, but we're not talking thousands and thousands. 

Ever since then, we have been receiving offers in the mail for free cruises from the casino. Mine are always interior, his get up to Jr. Suite level (including some Oasis Class ships), we assume because he both bet more and won more than I did. A few have been X-amount off but 90% are straight-up complementary. And these aren't occasional...we're both getting the physical offers in our mailbox on a near weekly basis, even after we redeemed one.

Now obviously I'm not complaining - we're heading out on the Navigator on September 6th, having paid nothing but tax for a balcony room! I just really don't understand. I don't think I played any slots at all, and he played for less than an hour on one day. All the rest of the time we played table games, just 3-card poker and roulette. We didn't bet an outrageous amount of money. From everything I've read both here and anywhere else I could find people discussing it on the internet, you win the big points on slots and don't really get much from table games anymore after they changed the points system. So what's the deal? Neither of us know what our point totals are right now; we didn't really understand how any of that worked so we didn't check before we left the ship.

Obviously we can just check up on it all when we get onto Navigator but I figured I'd ask here to see if anyone has any insight! We'd like to direct our money into the right areas while we're in the casino so the offers keep coming. One cruise in and I'm absolutely hooked on the whole cruise experience! ?

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3 minutes ago, monctonguy said:

Lucky you is all I have to say...

 

That key master game..I have NEVER seen anyone win anything on almost a dozen cruises with Royal....I have watched hundreds of ppl spend money on that with nothing...wish I was there to see that!.....ha

I honestly know how those games work and that they are a long shot but I didn't have much to gamble with on a 7-day cruise so I was going light...I figure $1/play, it'll keep me occupied for a while....bam, 6th try. No one could believe it and word apparently spread because for the rest of the week, any time we went into the casino there were people grouped around the machine playing! A couple other people must have won on the two lower levels as some of the money disappeared (unless they do that to make people think people are winning lol).

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2 minutes ago, Momof4crazytocruise said:

Sounds like I need to find my way into a casino on my next cruise....

(honestly, I can't handle the smoke, so I've never played on board. May be time to invest in a gas mask?)

Honestly on Symphony it wasn't bad! You were only allowed to smoke in a certain area and we happened to be at the opposite end so it didn't bother us. I also hate the smoke so I get it!

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@romanticheart Hi and welcome to the RCB forums!

I understand your curiosity.  I too would like to know what I need to do get the free offers.  I can certainly invest an hour into the casino.  BUT, of course the question is how to do that?  Where to spend my time and how much will it cost me.  I too had heard you are better off with the slot machines.  Seems like in your case that wasn't necessary.  Anyone?  What gives?

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1 minute ago, YOLO said:

I understand your curiosity.  I too would like to know what I need to do get the free offers.  I can certainly invest an hour into the casino. 

My feelings on this is to look at your casino time as entertainment and the cost of that entertainment.  What price are you comfortable putting on an hour of casino time?  Then you just allocate yourself that amount of money to spend. 

You can't really say spending X amount of dollars will get you to a certain level because you don't have an exact idea of how much you are going to win or lose.  It's easiest to track the points on the slots.  It will show you how many points you've accumulated.  It's 1 point for every $5 played.  You insert $100 into the machine and play through it all and you will have 20 points at a minimum.  But you can't calculate how many points you are going to earn as you play on your winnings from that initial $100.

The only sure thing is that if you don't put your SeaPass into the machine you won't get any credit for playing. 

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13 minutes ago, romanticheart said:

I honestly know how those games work and that they are a long shot but I didn't have much to gamble with on a 7-day cruise so I was going light...I figure $1/play, it'll keep me occupied for a while....bam, 6th try. No one could believe it and word apparently spread because for the rest of the week, any time we went into the casino there were people grouped around the machine playing! A couple other people must have won on the two lower levels as some of the money disappeared (unless they do that to make people think people are winning lol).

haha..it is like that most cruises..I just haven't seen anyone win..we had ppl with stop watches to time it..and watching from like 3 different angles to guide whoever was trying..alot of fun but never a winner on my cruises....

 

I think they move the money around and change it up..never seen a winner and I spend a lot of time in the casino..lol

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6 hours ago, monctonguy said:

Lucky you is all I have to say...

 

That key master game..I have NEVER seen anyone win anything on almost a dozen cruises with Royal....I have watched hundreds of ppl spend money on that with nothing...wish I was there to see that!.....ha

Haha! That Key Master machine is pure entertainment. I could sit there all night watching people play it. I saw a single person win a $100 brick of singles once and that’s about it. 

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8 hours ago, YOLO said:

@romanticheart Hi and welcome to the RCB forums!

I understand your curiosity.  I too would like to know what I need to do get the free offers.  I can certainly invest an hour into the casino.  BUT, of course the question is how to do that?  Where to spend my time and how much will it cost me.  I too had heard you are better off with the slot machines.  Seems like in your case that wasn't necessary.  Anyone?  What gives?

Ah, the endless mystery that is the Casino Royale points system.

It's pretty straightforward if you just play slots.  Well, the scoring is more straightfoward-ish.  The comps you get for your play seem to be all over the place.  I'm sure there's some system struggling along valiantly on a 1980s vintage PDP-11 in some high-tech data center (basement closet in a parking garage in Miami) that figures it out.  Or they use tossed chicken bones.  Probably both.

Table play is an exponential increase in scoring vagueness and rewards.  I can sit 4 hours a night playing $50-$100 a hand at blackjack for a week and get an offer for a comped interior room on a 3-5 night cruise... or get a comped JS on a week long one at the end of my cruise.  I don't think they use a fancy basement PDP-11 for this.  Probably a TRS-80 with a fickle cassette tape drive and a Morse code key for the pit boss to input play rating.

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9 hours ago, mk-ultra said:

I'm sure there's some system struggling along valiantly on a 1980s vintage PDP-11 in some high-tech data center (basement closet in a parking garage in Miami) that figures it out.

We were using a PDP-8 in production when DEC came in an bought it back to put it in their museum!  Everyone has reported randomness in the points system.  I'll guess they spin a modified roulette wheel once per cruise and your points get assigned accordingly - no where near as logical as a TRS-80.  Maybe some had a program running on their HP-41C like the real old days...

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  • 2 years later...

PSA on that Key Master game the OP mentioned winning $800 on.  That game is actually very predictable in its payout.  It's probably the game I'd be the most likely to play on the ship. 

Here's why: The payout is based on number of plays since last prize redemption rather than skill or random chance for each play.  The game is set up to allow, not guarantee, a win every X number of plays.  It's described as the "payout rate" in the manual.  The operator is able to set this payout rate between 1 and 9999 credits (plays) for each of the three rows of prizes.  

For example, if the top row's payout rate is set to 1000 credits, the machine will not allow a player to win until it has collected at least 1000 credits since the last prize redemption for that row OR since the game was last reset by the operator.  How does this game prevent a player from winning until that payout amount has been met?  In the instance of a perfect or near perfect play (key is lined up square with key hole or nearly below it), instead of pushing the key towards the keyhole right at the moment the player releases the "lift" button, the game will continue raising the key between 0.4 to 4 mm (adjustable by the operator) so that the top of the key hits the top of the keyhole and no prize is won.  The game will continue to add this deviation until the payout rate has been met, but once it has been met for that row, the deviation will not happen until a prize has been claimed.

With this being said there is a way to tell whether the machine has met the payout rate for each row, but you do have to play the game to find out (or watch others try).  If the key is consistently hitting the top part of the keyhole, it's likely the payout rate has not been met and the game is adding height after release of the button.  However, if the key just nearly intersects the bottom of the keyhole, that is the red flag that the row has met the payout rate.

Even when the machine has met the payout rate for the row it is still difficult to thread the needle but at least it's no longer impossible.  There is some skill involved at this point, but the knowledge that the game is ready to pay out is worth the extra plays.  You might spend $10 to get it to line up just right.

Another thing to remember is that the payout rate is counted and accumulated for each row of prizes.  It sounds like the RC machines are set up with groups of $10s on the first row, $20s on the second, and $50s on the third.  It's likely RC sets the payout rate for each row proportional to the total amount of money to win, so the bottom row containing the $10s is likely to be "ready" more often than the $50s row.

I played this Keymaster game on a Celebrity cruise in the casino before I knew how this all worked.  Looking forward to my next RC cruise so I can use this knowledge.

Try to keep this on the down low if you're trying to win at this game on the cruise.  You'll have a better shot at being the one to snag the prize when the machine is ready. 😉

Here's the link to the manual for reference: https://primetimeamusements.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Keymaster-Manual.pdf  The payout rate and "compulsory upper deviation" are described on page 7.

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You can log into your Casino Royale account to see the actual points you have accumulated during the year.

https://www.clubroyaleoffers.com/    use your C&A number and last name to login (points take about 2 weeks to post from your last cruise)

That way you will know how much you invested to get those offers.... 1 point is $5 on slots

 

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