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Best of Frank Scoblete

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Paybacks on slots

24 September 2019

There are some general traditions in the slot world. These aren’t laws of nature, but in the casino world they come somewhat close.

  • Lower denomination machines keep a greater percentage of the players’ money. The lowest paybacks to the players are usually found on penny and nickel machines. You are probably looking at an 85% return on your money.

What makes that even more horrible is the fact that the penny and nickel machines can be played with so many multiple lines that in reality the player is not a penny or nickel player but a 25-cent or dollar player without the benefit of getting a 25-cent or dollar return. Players think they are saving money on these machines when, in fact, they are being suckered.

  • Those 25-cent machines will return between 88 and 92% of the money put in them, depending on the venue and casino. Any machines that encourage the playing of more than three coins are doing to the 25-cent players what the penny and nickel machines are doing to their players – something quite unpleasant.

    • 50-cent machines usually come in around 89 to 92%.

    • One dollar machines usually come in between 89 and 94%.

    • Five dollar machines usually come in between 92 and 96%.

    • Machines that are over five dollars can go from 94 to 98%.

There is an interesting caveat to the above numbers. Progressive machines keeping a large percentage will actually lower the average percentages. If you are a dollar player not playing an inter-linked-progressive slot machine, your return will probably be higher than the average returns cited above because those inter-linked-progressive machines keep a huge percent of the money played in them, thus lowering the average for all machines in that denomination.

[The Deadly Machines: Don’t play those large progressives! You are giving the casinos way too much money hoping to hit a monster jackpot.]

Hit frequencies
How often a machine pays is called its “hit frequency.” Some machines have hit frequencies as high as 25%, which means one-fourth of the time something will be returned to the player, a win or less than a full loss, such as getting two quarters returned for three quarters played.

Then there are slot machines that have hit frequencies as low as 7%. These machines will have many more big wins associated with them since they are not paying smaller wins with any frequency.

As a general rule of thumb, the more big jackpots a machine shows, the lower the hit frequency. That does not mean two machines, one with a low hit frequency and one with a high hit frequency, can’t return the same exact percentage of the money played in them. They will just return that percentage in different ways; one with many smaller hits, one with fewer smaller hits but more big hits.

Which machines should you play?
I have my own philosophy of which slot machines people should play. You might have your own ideas. If your ideas are similar to mine, well, then you obviously have given this question deep, careful and intelligent consideration. If your ideas are radically different than mine then . . . come on, come on . . . rethink those ideas and realize that I am right.

The machines that give back the worst overall paybacks are the inter-casino-linked monster progressives such as Megabucks. The casinos will keep about 17% of all the money played in these machines – and that is a tremendous amount of money. Short of hitting some really big ones, you are essentially throwing your money down the drain playing these big progressives. Yes, they are the stuff of dreams and an infinitesimal percentage of players have hit those big ones; the key word being “infinitesimal.”

All the best in and out of the casinos!

Visit Frank's website at www.frankscoblete.com.
Recent Articles
Best of Frank Scoblete
Frank Scoblete
Frank Scoblete is the #1 best selling gaming author in America. His newest books are Slots Conquest: How to Beat the Slot Machines; Everything Casino Poker: Get the Edge at Video Poker, Texas Hold'em, Omaha Hi-Lo and Pai Gow Poker!; Beat Blackjack Now: The Easiest Way to Get the Edge; Casino Craps: Shoot to Win!; Cutting Edge Craps: Advanced Strategies for Serious Players; Casino Conquest: Beat the Casinos at Their Own Games! and The Virgin Kiss.

Frank and Casino City Times columnist Jerry "Stickman" teach private lessons in dice control. Frank's books are available at Amazon.com, in bookstores or by mail order. Call 1-800-944-0406 or write to Frank Scoblete Enterprises, PO Box 446, Malverne, NY 11565. Frank can also be reached by email at fscobe@optonline.net.

Frank Scoblete Websites:

www.goldentouchcraps.com
www.goldentouchblackjack.com

Books by Frank Scoblete:

Golden Touch Dice Control Revolution!

> More Books By Frank Scoblete

Frank Scoblete
Frank Scoblete is the #1 best selling gaming author in America. His newest books are Slots Conquest: How to Beat the Slot Machines; Everything Casino Poker: Get the Edge at Video Poker, Texas Hold'em, Omaha Hi-Lo and Pai Gow Poker!; Beat Blackjack Now: The Easiest Way to Get the Edge; Casino Craps: Shoot to Win!; Cutting Edge Craps: Advanced Strategies for Serious Players; Casino Conquest: Beat the Casinos at Their Own Games! and The Virgin Kiss.

Frank and Casino City Times columnist Jerry "Stickman" teach private lessons in dice control. Frank's books are available at Amazon.com, in bookstores or by mail order. Call 1-800-944-0406 or write to Frank Scoblete Enterprises, PO Box 446, Malverne, NY 11565. Frank can also be reached by email at fscobe@optonline.net.

Frank Scoblete Websites:

www.goldentouchcraps.com
www.goldentouchblackjack.com

Books by Frank Scoblete:

> More Books By Frank Scoblete