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Slot Machine Odds

Pinpointing the exact odds for slot machines is overwhelming. Considering the huge variety of slot machines and games available, the odds can vary a great deal.

Generally slots machine odds are in the form of the payback percentage - the closer to 100%, the better. With progressive jackpots, some machines even pay back at percentages greater than 100%, giving the lucky players who find them a positive expectation for winning.

These "loose slots" are frequently mixed into the sea of machines on a casino gaming floor. For a while, casino operators placed the highest paying machines in high traffic areas like entrances, bars, and near lines for buffets or shows - basically any place a crowd of people was likely to be.

The strategy behind the prominent placement of higher paying machines was that since they produced winners more frequently, they would also generate more excitement from passers-by, making other players more likely to play at average or low-paying machines.

It didn't take long for avid slots players to figure out this simple strategy, so managers shuffled things up a bit. Reverse strategies were employed, putting low-paying machines in high traffic areas, and vice versa. These days, there really is no standard procedure except that the machines, themselves, still offer a mix of payout percentages with some high and most being low to average. However, a few rules of thumb will hold true regardless of where you play.

Slot machines typically offer .01, .05, .25, 1, 5, and 100 credit betting denominations. Which ones offer the best return rates? The highest denomination ones of course!

Casinos make money by getting a large monetary turnover. Operators know that less money will go in and out of any give nickel slot during the course of a day, than will in a dollar machine. Because more money turns over in the higher-denomination machines, casinos can afford to offer higher return rates for players.

Your bankroll may not be able to support playing a five-credit coin machine for several hours a day, but with a 98.4% payout, it offers significantly better odds than a quarter slot machine.

Moreover, the hundred credit slots offer a near-100% return rate, you'd really have to be a high roller though. Even though the machines don't see nearly as much action as the .25 and one credit slots, so much is at stake on a single pull that allows the casino to offer a near even money return.

So how much bankroll do you need to play each denomination of slot machine? Based on a three-coin maximum bet averaging ten spins minute, and matched against the according payout rates, to play for an hour you would need:

Remember, these figures are only estimates, based on the average payout across all slots. While playing, your actual return should vary a good bit from these numbers.

Lots of people have won huge jackpots with much less. In late 2001, an Arizona businessman on vacation at Harrah's Las Vegas won the multi-million dollar Megabucks jackpot after investing a mere 22 credits! The simplicity of the game and the high win potential is a big part of what fuels the popularity of slot machines.

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