The house always wins but some games win the house more than others.
Everyone who gambles understands that the house has an edge in every game. You don’t build mega-casinos like the ones found up and down the Las Vegas Strip by losing money.
Slot machines, however, might be the game the consumers understand the least. First, it’s important to know that Caesars Entertainment (CZR) – Get Free Report, MGM Resorts International (MGM) – Get Free Report, Wynn Resorts (WYNN) – Get Free Report, and other Las Vegas casino operators have some say over slot payouts, but are also heavily regulated.
“Nevada’s state gaming regulation 14 states the minimum theoretical payout for gaming devices ‘must not be less than 75% for each wager available for play on the device,'” Professor Slots reported.
That’s the floor, but in reality, most slot machines pay well more than that. A payout rate over 90% is not uncommon in Las Vegas and on the Las Vegas Strip, but there are important caveats to remember. The payouts are across all the machines in a casino and they account for large jackpots.
So, you may be in a casino that pays out 92% of all money bet on its slot machines, but that does not mean you will receive $0.92 back for every dollar bet. It is important, however, to know some numbers before you sit down at a Caesars or MGM property on the Strip or venture downtown (where the slots have anecdotally always been thought to be looser.
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Casinos Do Actually Want Winners
People winning in a casino creates excitement. The noise level goes up and other people playing believe that winning is possible. And, realistically, the casino operators know that they’re making their profit one way or another, it makes sense to make sure some people score jackpots while others have smaller wins that keep them engaged.
Las Vegas slot machines, however, did get slightly tighter in 2022 compared to the previous year, according to data analysis done by the Las Vegas Review-Journal. That analysis can show potential players which machines to play to get the best returns.
“As it was last year, it’s nickel slots, which had a 5.09% win percentage for the house, or a 94.91 win percentage for the player,” the paper shared.
It’s important to understand what those numbers mean. The numbers are based on overall returns. So, jackpots and other wins will pay back roughly 95% of the money wagered on those slot machines. You may sit down and lose all of the money you gamble quickly (or you might be a winner).
These Are the Best Las Vegas Slot Machines to Play
While nickel slots have the highest payout rate, they’re also very rare. Caesars, MGM, Wynn, and other Las Vegas Strip casino operators have largely phased out nickel slots. Only about 1,000 nickel machines are still operating and you will be more likely to find one if you head downtown to Fremont Street.
If you want the next-best odds, however, you better have a big bankroll.
“Other games that provide a statistical edge to the players: the $5 slot machines, which gave casinos a 5.46 percent win percentage in 2022 compared with 5.48% in 2021; the $25 slot machine, which won 5.86% of the money last year, but just 5.71% for the same period a year earlier; and multi-denomination machines saw 6.13% in 2022, but 5.87% in 2021,” the paper reported.
In reality, all of these percentages are very close and players won’t actually notice a difference playing machines of different denominations. Penny slots, however, the most prevelant denomination of slot machine both on the Strip and downtown, have the worst odds for players.
“The machines that take the most from players are the ubiquitous penny slots, which took 9.81% in 2022 compared with 9.85% in 2021,” the Review-Journal reported.