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What is Payback Percentage on a Slots Machine

What is Payback Percentage on a Slots Machine

What is Payback Percentage on a Slots Machine

All slots have a payback percentage programmed into their processors that determine the houses edge. This percentage is a theoretical percentage and is only proven over the long-term. If a slot machine has a 97% payback rate then, over the long-term, it should payback 97% of the money it takes in. The payback percentage varies from slot to slot but usually is in the 90-97% range.

For the most part, the higher denomination machines will have higher payback. This makes sense because the casinos want their high roller players to win more often to keep them coming back and spending money. In reference to online casinos, the payback varies depending on the software provider. Most online slot machines have a payback in the 95-97% range. As a player, you will want to find the machines with the highest payback. The only way to do this is to play around. Record your play and keep track of which slots payout what overtime… or just check out our list of loose online slots. 😉

2 Things You Must Know If You Want to Win at Slot Machine

2 Things You Must Know If You Want to Win at Slot Machine

Win at Slot Machine #1: LOOK FOR NEAR MISSES
Scouting near misses means looking for games with jackpot symbols on the reels or screen, but just short of a winning combination.

If you’re in the right frame of mind, the scouting can add a little intrigue to choosing a game, but near misses aren’t really any indication of what’s to come.

Near misses give no indication of future outcomes.

So it goes with slot systems. They can add a little interest to the games, but they can’t change your outcomes or lead you to a winning machine.

Some players like to play games that have made big payouts, figuring they’re hot machines. Others avoid those games, figuring they’re due to go cold.

The opposite applies, too. Some players figure cold machines are duds. Others think they’re due to get hot.

In reality, allstreaks are just blips on the radar to machines that yield a normal payback percentage over hundreds of thousands of plays.

Machines are never “due” to go hot or cold, and recent paybacks do not offer any clue as to how a machine will perform for you.

At that time, I used to blog a lot about my life. I used to write about politics, to publish images of my family and, occasionally, to rant about my poor results at online gambling. I have always been honest and open about being a professional gambler, and I never made a mystery of my losses, too.

I live out of casino gambling. I bought my house with my winnings, and I know I am good at what I do. That’s why I don’t want to lie and to pretend that I never lose.

Yes, sometimes I lose money, it happens to everyone.

My proven bankroll management strategy and the right approach to gambling are what help me to stay in the black and to keep my bank account just as fat as I need it to be.

If you are serious about gambling, make sure you read this article about bankroll management as you’ll have to deal with downswings more often than you think.

It took me a lot of time to get where I am today, and I like to think that this happened (also) because I met someone who taught me some of the wisest tips for winning at slots.

It all started from a rant on my blog.

I described one of my regular online slots sessions, and a fellow professional gambler left a comment to say that I was doing it all wrong. After that, we had a short email conversation that soon developed into a long Skype chat. A chat that changed my approach to online slots forever.

Higher denomination slot machines have better payouts than lower ones
What is true is that that the higher denomination slot machines’ payouts occur more frequently than lower bet slot machines, and this could be the root of this misconception. These payouts are actually smaller than the coin-denomination play.

Note that all the slot machines, whether higher denomination or quarter slot machines, are programmed with fixed payouts that they stick to regardless of how often or seldom they hit. Furthermore, it should go without saying, if you place a larger bet, you will get a larger payout.

If you have stuffed the slot machine with too much money, you will eventually win
This is a misconception that leaves many players frustrated. It is not guaranteed that because you have made hundreds of spins you will eventually hit the jackpot. It is by mere luck that you hit the jackpot, if you ever do.

The slot machine, as aforementioned, functions independently and has no memory of prior spins or wins, so it has no idea whether you deserve to win or not.


One can see when a slot is due to pay
It is good to always remember that it is a random number generator system that determines what symbols the reels land on. It is this same system that, if you are lucky, will create a combination of winning numbers on any given spin.

The software operates on a random base, and thus, has no guarantee that the next combination will be a winning combination. Furthermore, the slot machine does not know whether it has a jackpot or not. It also has no memory, and therefore, does not know how much the last payout was worth. Therefore, don’t be misinformed that there is any way in which you can predict the next combination.

You cannot hit two jackpots consecutively
This is also a misconception because, as stated earlier, it is by mere luck that you hit the jackpot. In fact, there have been numerous occasions that online slot players have hit a sizeable jackpot and kept playing on the same slot game, only to win another sizeable jackpot.

It is human nature to become irrational and hold misinformed beliefs so as to grow and prosper. This is especially true if things don’t go our way. Myths can be fun, but only if you do not let them dictate your game plan. They are not so laughable when they control the way you carry out your daily activities, and the way you enjoy your casino games.

It is important that you now know and are warned off the slots myths that could lead you to making the wrong decisions, which could seriously threaten your bankroll and see you lose huge amounts of money

When you become a member of a slot club, the slot machines favor you
This is a lie for the aforementioned reasons. What is true is that being a member of a certain slot club has its own benefits, but these benefits have nothing to do with better payouts.

The slot machines do not have the ability to tell if you are using coins or cards, and thus being a member of a club does not influence the outcomes of the game in any way. They must follow the programmed fixed payout percentage.

The return percentage of a slot machine dictates how much of each dollar placed in the machine is returned to the player. This is a long term calculation and will vary in the short term.

If a slot machine has a 95% payback rate, it means that for every dollar put in the machine it gives back 95 cents. You can see why your entire slots bankroll seems to disappear so quickly without a proper slots strategy. If you’re putting $500 an hour through a machine at 95% return you’re losing an average of $25 per hour. And in the short term, it can be hundreds per hour or you can win.

A Common Misconception
Slot machines are never hot or cold. The only way to get a long-term edge against the slot machines is to cheat or hit a huge progressive jackpot and avoid playing so much that you give all of it back over time. A slot machine is never due to pay out or hit.

Here’s the problem with slot machine payback percentages. The manufacturers, the casinos, and the software developers don’t want you to know what the payback percentage is. Most slot machines have payback percentages between 88% and 98%, but you usually don’t know where a particular machine falls in this range.

Of course, the best slot machine tips include playing an online slots game that offers the best payback percentage, but it’s rare to be able to access this information. We’ve included a few resources at the end of this section that can help.

Determine your Expected Loss Rate
If you know the percentage a machine offers you can determine your expected loss rate per hour. Here’s how you do this.

Determine how many spins per hour you take and the amount you wager on each spin. Then multiply these two numbers and then multiply them by the payback percentage. Finally, subtract this number from the total amount wagered and you get your expected hourly loss rate.

If you take 200 spins per hour at $2 per spin and the payback is 95% you multiply 200 times $2 for a total amount wagered per hour of $400. When you multiply $400 times .95 you get a payback amount of $380. Subtract this from $400 and you find that you lose an average of $20 per hour using these numbers.

Research Before Playing
Book iconIt’s widely accepted that the house edge on slots can range from 5% to 15%. If the casino is nicer and is marketed towards the mainstream the slots will be tighter. If it’s a local’s casino it will be looser. You’ll be able to find the best odds on slots online, like with most casino games. If a casino doesn’t advertise anything about the odds they offer in slots then they won’t be great. Additionally to these slot machine tips, you can find the best slots to play with a little bit of research, starting with our online slots page. You’ll rarely know the actual payout percentages offered, though.

Quite often video poker is considered in the same category as slots. This misrepresents video poker quite a lot as the odds you can get in those games are far better than you’ll ever get in slots. At the same time in video poker, you must implement a strategy to do well, however, in slots you won’t have to implement any strategy at all. You just hit the button and hope that you get a win.

Strictly Slots magazine prints payback percentage details for individual slot machines sometimes. They also have average payback numbers for different parts of the United States. Here’s a page that has state by state details for slot machine percentages. Finally, the Wizard of Odds has a page covering slots payback percentages.


icon rate of playSlots players can spin the reels hundreds of times per hour depending on the machine. Even when you’re wagering a small amount per spin, if you’re spinning the reels 200 times per hour it can add up quickly.

One of the best slot machine tips is to extend your play, and slow down. If you simply slow down to take one spin per minute you can play over three times as long as the player taking 200 spins per hour. At one spin per minute, you still take 60 spins per hour, but it’s still less than a third of 200 spins per hour.

Here’s an example of this slot machine strategy:

You take a trip to Las Vegas every year and usually play slots for four hours a day for five days. You spin the reels as fast as possible and average 180 spins per hour. You usually play the slot machines for 20 hours total on your trip. It’d be nice to be able to play more, but you always have to watch your money because the slots don’t let you have a winning session often.

Over 20 hours of play, you make 3,600 spins. If you can reduce your spins per hour to 60 you can play 60 hours on the same amount of money. This slot machine trick means you could play slots for 12 hours per day instead of four.

Even if you can cut your rate of play from 180 spins per hour to 120 per hour you can play 30 hours on the trip, or six hours a day instead of four. Any drop in spins per hour increases how long you can play with the same amount of money.

Welcome the Distractions
slots imageMany players think they’ll quickly get bored if they reduce the number of spins they take, but if you train yourself to slow down you’ll find that it isn’t much of an adjustment. While many slots players like playing alone, among the best slot machine tips is to find a friend or two who like to play you can go as a group and visit while playing.

If you carry on a conversation with a couple other people while playing slots you can spend more time talking and less time hitting the spin button or pulling the handle.

Reduce the Number of Spins
This slot machine tip is the same as when playing live. Anything you can do to reduce the number of spins you take per hour will help you play longer. If you practice taking a spin every minute, you’ll quickly adjust and it’ll become natural. One player let us know that she used a kitchen timer to adjust her play. She took a spin and set the timer for 60 seconds. When the timer went off she took a spin and set the timer for 60 seconds again.

After she did this for a couple playing sessions she found she didn’t need to use the timer at all.

Another player reports that she likes to cook while she plays online slots. She has a place for her laptop computer in the kitchen and takes a few spins between adding ingredients and while waiting for things to cook.

Don’t Play Like the Casino Wants
The casino wants you to become a mindless zombie while playing slots and keep spinning as fast as possible until they have all of your money. Then they want you to walk 27 steps to the nearest ATM, take out more money, and mindlessly play slots again as fast as possible until they have all of that money too.

Just because you play slots doesn’t mean you have to play them the way the casino wants you to play. If you play online slots instead of playing in a live casino try to combine two or more things while you play. Grab a book and read it while playing or watch television in between spins or catch up on your paperwork.


Finally, a couple sports fans have let us know that part of their slot machine tips is to play their favorite online slot machines during commercials while they watch football games or baseball games.

The first thing you need to understand about slot machines is how they determine winners. These games use a computer program called a random number generator (RNG) to constantly generate numbers. Those numbers determine which stop each reel winds up on after you spin the reels.

One important fact to remember is that this process is entirely random, and there’s no way to predict what’s going to happen on any given spin. Another important fact to remember is that each spin of the reels is an independent event. That means that the results of previous spins have NO effect on the results of the next spin.

The final fact to keep in mind is that the random number generators are programmed in such a way that the casino has an insurmountable mathematical advantage. If you play long enough, then the casino will win, because that’s the way the game is set up. That doesn’t mean you can’t walk away a winner in the short run, but it has nothing to do with picking hot or cold machines.

Here are a few of the strategies that are touted as winning techniques on the Internet. Some of them are obviously ludicrous, while some of them seem to make sense but fall apart when examined with cold hard logic.

The zig zag system is one of my favorite nonsensical strategies. The idea is that you look at the reels at the various machines in an attempt to find a pattern. For example, you want to find a “V” shape or an “X” shape being drawn by any particular symbol. The idea is that such a machine is ready to pay off soon.

Of course, when you understand that the symbols on the reels are just for show, the entire strategy breaks down completely. Slot machines never become ready to pay off. Every spin is an independent event.

Money management systems are often touted as a way to make sure that you’re a winner, but the reality is much different. The idea behind money management is that you set win goals and loss limit. The goal is to limit the amount of money you lose when the machines are cold, and to quit while you’re ahead when the machines are hot.

Of course, we understand that slot machines don’t really get hot or cold, so in the long run, any type of money management scheme is irrelevant.

Often, money management techniques are combined with methods of predicting whether or not a slot machine game is hot or cold. Author John Patrick has an entire book of strange-sounding “strategies” based on this combination.

One of these is called “the straight 60” strategy. The idea is that you’ll walk away from the slot machine once you’ve either won or lost 60% of your bankroll. The other stipulation in this system is that once you’ve had 9 naked pulls, you’ll also walk away. (A “naked pull” is one in which you win absolutely nothing on that spin.)

So, for example, suppose you start with a session bankroll of $25. You’ll play until you’ve done one of the following:

Lost $15.Won $15.Lost on 9 consecutive spins.
Honestly, that’s a pretty simple system, and remembering it and putting it into practice is a no-brainer. But the idea that it’s going to help you win more money and/or lose less money is ludicrous. Nothing about the system changes the odds in your favor.

Another system from that same book is called the “play and run” system. The idea behind this system is that you don’t spend more than 5 or 10 minutes at each slot machine game, then you run off with your winnings. Patrick suggests that you divide your bankroll into 5 or 10 sessions of 5 or 10 minutes each. Like all of his systems, you quit on any machine when you hit 9 naked pulls.

How anyone could think that this strategy would help them win more money playing slot machines is baffling.

Online video slots have been around since the mid-1990s, when Microgaming introduced a basic slot with just three reels and one winning payline.
Online slots have become so popular that big-movie tie-ins have become commonplace. Cryptologic’s extremely popular Marvel Superheroes slots like Iron Man 2 and Hulk featured bonus rounds with arcade-style ‘skill’ elements. Marvel’s new owners, Disney, recently cancelled the Marvel slots tie-ins, distancing themselves from the gambling element of these games.
Progressive jackpots – big-money pots created by players from multiple online casinos – have reached staggering proportions. In 2011, a 20-year-old Norwegian man won an €11,736,375 progressive jackpot playing Microgaming’s Mega Fortune online slot.
Classic slots feature fruit symbols like cherries, lemons and plums. They’re a reference to the very first slot machines that appeared in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. To get round prohibitive gambling laws, the popular machines would dispense flavoured chewing gum as prizes instead of cash, hence the name, ‘fruit machines’.
With the rise in mobile gaming, many of the most popular slots can be enjoyed on smartphones and tablets. The games are specifically tailored for smaller screens but still carry the same great graphics and gameplay as their online cousins.

The case of Louis Colavecchio showed casinos that they couldn’t pay out in real cash any more. Slowly, casinos started to phase out tokens and coins and replaced them with vouchers which are printed out by the slot machines and exchanged for money at the cash desk.

If you’re caught cheating in Las Vegas, you can now expect a $10,000 fine and a possible prison sentence of up to six years. That alone should stop most cheats trying to scam the casinos.

Big casinos the world over are equipped with state-of-the-art surveillance gear to spot anyone tampering with machines. But it hasn’t stopped everyone tampering.

In 2014, four Russian men were caught cheating on slots at casinos in Missouri, USA.

The men were accused of using electronic devices to connect with servers abroad and predict the machines’ future payouts (in this case, specific Aristocrat slots). The men had apparently travelled across America scamming machines for years.