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Some people might want to know how to find the payout percentage on a slot machine. Sadly, it’s not something that’s printed on most games — at least not here in the United States.
Our less popular casino games will show a higher swing in payout percentage. Example: A player makes bets of €100 in a rarely played game, winning €300. The payout percentage will show 300%. The more bets and wins a game generates, the more accurate the average payout percentage will be. Kansas – 87% minimum (80% at Indian casinos) Louisiana – Casino slots must pay no less than 80% and no more than 99.9%. The minimum return at locations other than casinos is 80%, with a maximum of 94%. Maine – 89% minimum payback. Maryland – 87% minimum payout.
This post is for them.
Understanding this topic involves some rudimentary understanding of probability as it relates to casino gambling. You’ll need to understand three separate concepts thoroughly:
- Payback percentage
- House edge
- Return to player
This post explains each of those in enough detail that even a beginner should understand what they mean.
Some Basic Facts Related to Probability, the House Edge, Payback Percentage, and Return to Player
Probability is the branch of mathematics that deals with how likely an event is to happen. If you want to measure how likely you are to win a jackpot on a slot machine, probability is the way to figure that out.
But the word also refers directly to that likelihood.
In other words, if I say the probability of getting heads when I flip a coin is 50%, I’m not talking about that branch of mathematics. I’m talking about the actual statistical likelihood of that event.
You should understand a few things about probability in general.
Probability is always a number between 0 and 1. An event with a probability of 0 will never happen, and an event with a probability of 1 will always happen. The closer to 1 the probability is, the more likely the event is to happen.
Probability can be expressed multiple ways. It can be expressed as a fraction, a decimal, a percentage, or as odds. The probability of getting heads on a coin flip can be expressed as 1/2, 0.5, 50%, or 1 to 1.
An event’s probability is the number of ways it can happen divided by the total number of possible outcomes. When you’re discussing a coin toss, you have two possible outcomes. Only one of those is heads. That makes the probability 1/2.
The probability that an event will occur added to the probability that an event won’t occur always equals 1. Therefore, if you know the probability that something will happen, you also automatically know the probability that it won’t happen, and vice versa.
The house edge is a statistical measure of how much the house expects to win (on average, over the long run) from every bet you make on a game. The house edge is a theoretical number that accounts for the probability of winning versus the probability of losing AND the payout if you win.
All casino games carry a house edge. In the short run, it doesn’t matter much, but in the long run, it’s the most important thing.
If I say a game has a house edge of 4%, this means that over time, you should average a loss of $4 for every $100 you bet on the game. This is a long run statistical average, though. In the short run, you’re unlikely to see results that mirror the house edge.
The return to player and the payback percentage are the same thing. Some writers use one to refer to the statistical expectation and the other to refer to the actual results, but most writers use these terms interchangeably.
The payback percentage added to the house edge always equals 100%. The payback percentage is the amount of each bet that you get back, and the house edge is the amount of each bet that the casino wins. Again, these numbers are on average over the long run.
A game with a 4% house edge has a 96% payback percentage.
In the United States, slot machine payback percentages are impossible to calculate and not posted on gambling machines. To calculate the house edge or the payback percentage for a casino game, you need two pieces of data:
- The probability of winning
- The amount of money you’ll win (the payoff)
Slot machines include their payouts on their pay tables, but they don’t include the probability of achieving any of the winning outcomes.
In some countries, the payback percentage is posted on the machines, but not in the United States.
To make things even worse for a slot machine player, the random number generator program can be set differently even if the slot machine is identical to the one next to it. You could be playing The Big Lebowski slots at Choctaw Casino in Durant, Oklahoma, and your buddy could be playing the identical machine right next to you.
The payback percentage on his machine might be 94%, and the payback percentage on your machine might only be 88%.
The difference comes from how the probabilities are weighted for each symbol. On one game, the bars might show up 1/4 of the time, but on the next, they might only come up 1/8 of the time.
This has an obvious effect on the payback percentage.
The payback percentage would be easy to calculate if you knew the probabilities. The payback percentage is just the total expected value of all the possible outcomes on the machine.
Let’s assume you have 1000 possible reel combinations. Let’s also assume that if you got each of those in order, from 1 to 1000, you’d win 900 coins.
The payback percentage for that game would be 90%.
You’d put 1000 coins in, and you’d have 900 coins left after a statistically perfect sampling of 1000 spins.
If you knew the payback percentage and house edge for a slot machine game, you could predict your theoretical cost of playing that game per hour in the long run. You’d only need to multiply the numbers of bets you made per hour by the size of those bets. Then you’d multiply that by the house edge to get your predicted loss.
Most slots players make 600 spins per hour. Let’s assume you’re playing on a dollar machine and betting three coins on every spin, or $3 per spin. You’re putting $1,800 per hour into action.
If the slot machine had a 90% payback percentage, you’d lose $180 per hour on that machine. You’d have $1,800 at the start of the hour and $1,620 at the end of the hour — assuming you saw statistically predicted results.
In the real world, though, where you’d be seeing short-term results, you’d see some hours where you won and some hours where you lost. If you played long enough, the Law of Large Numbers would ensure that you’d eventually see the statistically predicted results.
But in the long run, the math will ensure that the casino will win a net profit.
How You Could Calculate a Payback Percentage Based on Actual Results
Of course, you have some data that you can directly observe when you’re playing slot machines.
But tracking this data and calculating the payback percentage on a specific session can add to your enjoyment of any slot machine game. It can make you more mindful because you’ll be paying more attention to what’s happening.
Here’s how to do it.
Start by tracking how many spins you’re making per hour. This is easy to do, but it takes more effort than you might think. It might help to get one of those clicky things people use to count stuff with. You will probably also need a stopwatch of some kind. I just use the timer function on my phone.
Make a note (mental is fine) of how much you’re betting per spin. It helps to bet the same amount.
Also note how much money you started with so that you can calculate how much you’ve won or lost. The slot machine will convert your money into credits. The easiest thing to do is to keep up with how many credits you had at the beginning of the session and again at the end of the session.
Now, let’s do the math using a hypothetical 45-minute session.
I made 300 spins in 45 minutes. I was betting $3 per spin, and I started with $600.
After my playing session, I had $500 left. At times I was up, and at times I was down.
But my net loss was $100. (My starting bankroll was $600, and I finished with $500.)
Over 300 spins, that means I lost an average per spin of 33 cents. $100 in losses divided by 300 spins is 33.33 cents per spin.
How much was I betting per spin?
Since I was playing a $1 machine, and my max bet was three coins, I was risking $3 per spin.
33 cents is 11% of $3, which means my actual loss was 11%. The machine paid back 89% for the session.
Does this mean that the payback percentage for the machine is 89%?
In the scheme of things, 450 spins is a small sample size. To have any confidence in your statistics, you really need to have at least 5,000 spins under your belt.
Even then, depending on how volatile the game is, your actual results might be wildly different from the mathematically expected payback percentage.
Here’s another example that will prove that point.
My friend Leo went to the Winstar last weekend and played the $5 slots. He started with $3,000, and when he left, he had $4,800, which means he had an $1,800 profit for the day.
He played for seven hours.
I’ve watched Leo play. He’s slow, but not much slower than average. He makes about 500 spins per hour.
This means that he made about 3,500 spins.
$1,800 in winnings divided by 3,500 spins is an average win of 51 cents per spin.
Since he was betting $5 per spin, his return was 10.3%.
His actual return for the trip on that slot machine was 110.3%.
I have friends who design slot machines for a living — more than one, in fact. They’ll be happy to tell anyone who asks that the algorithm is never set up to have a payback percentage of more than 100%.
What About the Casinos That Advertise a Specific Payback Percentage?
Some casinos advertise a specific payback percentage. This is almost always stated as an “up to” number.
So you might see an ad for a casino that says, “Payback percentages up to 98%!”
They’re almost certainly telling the truth, too. They probably have one slot machine in their casino that has a payback percentage of 98%. Of course, it isn’t labeled, so you don’t know which one it is.
And in the short run, which is what you’re going to be playing in as an individual gambler, there’s not much difference between a 98% payback percentage and a 92% payback percentage. You could walk away a winner or a loser at either setting.
Also, keep in mind that the games aren’t designed to tighten up after a win and loosen up after a lot of losing spins. That’s not how it works at all.
The machines are designed to allow you to win a certain specific percentage of the time because of the probability. Then there’s an average amount that you’ll win based on the payout for the specific combination of symbols that you hit.
But every spin of the reels on a slot machine is an independent event. You can hit a jackpot on a spin, and your probability of hitting the jackpot on the next spin hasn’t changed at all.
What About the Denominations and Location Reports I See Advertised on the Internet?
You’ll find websites like Strictly Slots and American Casino Guide which post payback percentages for specific denominations and specific casinos. These are AVERAGES.
These averages have little bearing on the machine that you’re sitting in front of.
you might be looking at a casino that reports an average payback percentage of 94% on its dollar slot machines. That casino might have half their machines paying off at 90% and the other half paying off at 98%.
And you won’t be able to differentiate between the two because the hit ratio might be the same from one of those machines to another.
What Do Hit Ratio and Volatility Have to Do With It?
The hit ratio is the percentage of time that you can expect to hit a winning combination on a slot machine. Something like 30% isn’t unusual, but it can vary 10% or more in either direction. The casinos want you to a hit a winning combination often enough that you won’t lose interest in playing the game.
But hit ratio is only part of the equation. The average size of the prize amounts is also important. Volatility takes this into account. A game that hits less often but has higher average prize amounts might have the same payback percentage as a game that hits more often but with lower payouts.
Either way, in the short run, it will be all but impossible to discover this number, too.
If you wanted to, you could track how many spins resulted in wins for you and calculate the percentage, but you’re facing the same obstacle you are with the overall payback percentage of the machine.
You just don’t know what it’s programmed to accomplish in the long run.
Online Slot Machines
Some online casinos post the payback percentages for their slot machine games. I think this information is of limited use, but I also think it’s fairer to the gambler than not providing them with that information.
After all, table games are transparent. You can calculate the house edge for any casino table game there is because they all use random number generators with known quantities — cards, dice, and wheels.
There’s been a push to label food, both at the grocery store and at restaurants, with nutritional information that includes caloric amounts.
Requiring casinos to provide similar information about their gambling machines only makes sense.
We’ll see if it ever happens, though.
You can’t find the payout percentage on a slot machine — at least not in the United States.
I’ve heard that you can get this information on slot machines in Europe, but I’ve never seen an actual photograph of this kind of labeling.
You can, though, have some fun calculating actual payback percentages in the short run. This at least gives you something to keep track of while you’re playing slots, which is honestly one of the more mindless activities in the casino.
|Nevada||New Jersey||New Mexico||New York|
|North Carolina||North Dakota||Ohio||Oklahoma|
|Oregon||Pennsylvania||Rhode Island||South Carolina|
|South Dakota||Texas||Washington||West Virginia|
ALABAMA SLOT MACHINE PAYBACK STATISTICS
Alabama has three Indian casinos that offer Class II video gaming machines. They are not required to release payback statistics about their machines.
ARIZONA SLOT MACHINE PAYBACK STATISTICS
In mid-1993 Arizona’s Governor Symington signed a compact with the state’s tribes that allowed them to offer slot machines on their reservations.
The compact originally didn’t allow for any table games but in early 2003 blackjack was added as a permissible table game.
Arizona tribes aren’t required to release information on their slot machine percentage paybacks, however, according to the Arizona Department of Gaming, the terms of the compact require eachtribes’ machines to return the following minimum and maximum paybacks: video poker and video blackjack - 83% to 100%, slot machines - 80% to 100%, keno - 75% to 100%. Each tribe is free to setits machines to pay back anywhere within those limits.
ARKANSAS SLOT MACHINE PAYBACK STATISTICS
Arkansas has two pari-mutuel facilities featuring “electronic games of skill,” which are defined as “games played through any electronic device or machine that affords an opportunity for theexercise of skill or judgment where the outcome is not completely controlled by chance alone.”
The games offered are video poker, video blackjack, and “skill” slots where you have two opportunities to spin the reels. The “skill” factor comes into play because after seeing the results ofyour first spin you then have to decide whether to keep none, one, two, or all three of the symbols on each reel before you spin them again. Gaming regulations require that all of theelectronic games of skill must return a minimum of 83%.
For the one year period from July 1, 2018, through June 30, 2019, the average gaming machine’s return at Oaklawn was 92.81% and at Southland, it was 92.72%
CALIFORNIA SLOT MACHINE PAYBACK STATISTICS
California’s Indian casinos are legally allowed to offer electronic gaming machines, blackjack, and other house-banked card games. The games of craps and roulette are not permitted. However,some casinos do offer modified versions of craps and roulette that are played with cards rather than dice or roulette wheels.
Most California card rooms also offer some form of player-banked blackjack, but because they are prohibited by law from playing blackjack, the game is usually played to 22 rather than 21.Additionally, players must pay a commission to the house on every hand they play. The amount will vary depending on the rules of the house but, generally, it’s about two to five percent of thetotal amount bet. There are about 90 card rooms in California and you can see a listing of them on the Internet at http://www.cgcc.ca.gov
California’s tribes aren’t required to release information on their slot machine percentage paybacks and the state of California does not require any minimum returns.
COLORADO SLOT MACHINE PAYBACK STATISTICS
Here’s information, as supplied by Colorado’s Division of Gaming, showing the slot machine payback percentages for each city’s casinos for the one-year period from July 1, 2018, through June30, 2019:
|Black Hawk||Central City||Cripple Creek|
These numbers reflect the percentage of money returned on each denomination of machine and encompass all electronic machines including video poker and video keno. The best returns for eachcategory are highlighted in bold print.
CONNECTICUT SLOT MACHINE PAYBACK STATISTICS
The following information is from Connecticut’s Division of Special Revenue regarding Foxwoods’ slot payback percentages:
These figures reflect the total percentages returned by each denomination of slot machine from July 1, 2018, through June 30, 2019.
Here's information from Connecticut's Division of Special Revenue regarding Mohegan Sun's slot payback percentages:
These figures reflect the total percentages returned by each denomination of slot machine from July 1, 2018, through June 30, 2019.
DELAWARE SLOT MACHINE PAYBACK STATISTICS
Delaware’s three pari-mutuel facilities all feature slot machines. Technically, the machines are video lottery terminals (VLT’s) because they are operated in conjunction with the DelawareLottery. Unlike VLT’s in other states, however, Delaware’s machines payout in cash. The VLT’s also play other games including video poker, video keno, and video blackjack.
By law, all video lottery games must return between 87% and 95% of all wagers on an annual basis. Games can return above 95% but only with the Lottery Director’s approval.
According to figures from the Delaware Lottery for the twelve-month period from July 1, 2018, through June 30, 2019, the average VLT return at Dover Downs was 92.59%, at Delaware Park itwas 92.12%, and at Harrington Raceway it was 92.03%.
In mid-2018 a U.S. Supreme Court decision legalized sports betting at all U.S. casinos. Delaware was one of the first states to act on the ruling and all three of the state’s casinos offersportsbooks.
In January 2010 the Delaware legislature approved the addition of table games for the state’s casinos.
FLORIDA SLOT MACHINE PAYBACK STATISTICS
Florida has three forms of casino gambling: casino boats, Indian casinos and gaming machines at pari-mutuels in two south Florida counties.
The casino boats offer gamblers the opportunity to board ships that cruise offshore where casino gambling is legal. From the East Coast, the boats sail three miles out into the Atlantic Oceanand from the west coast the boats travel nine miles out into the Gulf of Mexico. Since the casino boats travel in international waters they are free from regulations and the machines can be setto pay back whatever the operator wants without regard to a minimum payback percentage.
Florida has eight Indian gaming locations. The Seminole Tribe has seven and the eighth is on the Miccosukee Tribe’s reservation.
The Seminoles signed a compact with the state that allows them to offer both Class II and traditional Class III gaming machines. As part of their compact, five Seminole casinos are also allowedto offer the following:
- three-card poker
- let it ride
- pai gow poker
The Miccosukee Tribe has not signed a compact and they only offer Class II gaming machines at their casino.
Class II video gaming devices look like slot machines but are actually bingo games and the spinning reels are for “entertainment purposes only.” No public information is available concerningthe payback percentages on any gaming machines in Florida’s Indian casinos.
The other games allowed in all Indian casinos include
- high-stakes bingo
- video pull tabs
All of the casinos are open 24 hours (except Big Cypress) and all offer bingo except for both Seminole Hard Rock Casinos and the Seminole Casino Coconut Creek. The minimum gambling age is18 at all Indian casinos for bingo or poker and 21 for electronic gaming machines.
Broward County (home county of Fort Lauderdale) and Miami-Dade County both have four pari-mutuel facilities that each offer electronic gaming machines, but no table games.
Florida gaming regulations require a minimum payback of 85% on all gaming machines. From July 1, 2018, through June 30, 2019, the gaming machines at Magic City returned 93.43%, CasinoMiami returned 92.34%, Hialeah Park returned 93.55%, Gulfstream Park returned 92.16%, Dania Casino returned 92.68%, Big Easy returned 91.50%, Calder returned 91.32%, and The Isle returned90.22%.
GEORGIA SLOT MACHINE PAYBACK STATISTICS
There are two casino boats in Georgia which both sail three miles out into international waters where casino gambling is permitted.
Since the casino boats travel in international waters they are free from regulations and the machines can be set to pay back whatever the operator wants without regard to a minimum paybackpercentage.
IDAHO SLOT MACHINE PAYBACK STATISTICS
Idaho has six Indian casinos that offer electronic pull-tab machines and other video games. The machines don't pay out in cash. Instead they print out a receipt which must be cashed by a floorattendant or taken to the cashier’s cage. Some casinos also offer bingo (BG) and off-track betting (OTB).
The terms of the compact between the tribes and the state do not require any minimum payback percentage that the gaming machines must return to the public.
ILLINOIS SLOT MACHINE PAYBACK STATISTICS
Here’s information from the Illinois Gaming Board showing each casino’s average slot payback percentage for the one-year period from July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018:
|Hollywood - Aurora||90.42|
These figures reflect the total percentages returned by each casino for all of their electronic machines. As you can see, the Casino Queen returned the most to its slot machine players, whileHarrah's in Metropolis returned the least.
INDIANA SLOT MACHINE PAYBACK STATISTICS
Following is information from the Indiana Gaming Commission regarding average slot payout percentages for the one-year period from July 1, 2018, through June 30, 2019:
|Horseshoe Casino SI||90.09|
|Majestic Star II||89.88|
These figures reflect the average percentage returned by each casino for all of their electronic machines including slot machines, video poker, video keno, etc.
IOWA SLOT MACHINE PAYBACK STATISTICS
Here’s information, as supplied by the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission, showing the electronic gaming machine payback percentages for all non-Indian locations for the one-year period fromJuly 1, 2018, through June 30, 2019.
|Wild Rose- Emmetsburg||90.61|
|Wild Rose- Clinton||90.56|
|Wild Rose- Jefferson||90.52|
|Diamond Jo Worth||90.52|
|Diamond Jo Dubuque||90.49|
|Casino Queen Marquette||90.19|
|Horseshoe Council Bluffs||89.66|
These figures reflect the total percentages returned by each riverboat casino or pari-mutuel facility for all of its electronic machines including: slots, video poker, video keno, etc.
KANSAS SLOT MACHINE PAYBACK STATISTICS
In April 2007 the Kansas legislature authorized local referendums to allow state-run casinos in four counties.
The Kansas Racing & Gaming Commission does not release information about the payback percentages on electronic gaming machines in Kansas. However, gaming regulations require that allmachines return no less than 87%.
There are also five Indian casinos in Kansas and they are not required to release information on their slot machine payback percentages. However, according to officials at the Kansas StateGaming Agency, which is responsible for overseeing the tribal-state compacts, 'the minimum payback percentage for electronic gaming devices is 80%.'
LOUISIANA SLOT MACHINE PAYBACK STATISTICS
Gaming regulations require that gaming machines in casinos be programmed to pay back no less than 80% and no more than 99.9%. For video gaming machines at locations other than casinos, the lawrequires a minimum return of 80% and a maximum return of 94%.
Louisiana gaming statistics are not broken down by individual properties. Rather, they are classified by region: Baton Rouge (BR), Lake Charles (LC), New Orleans (NO) and Shreveport/BossierCity (SB).
The Baton Rouge casinos consist of the Belle of Baton Rouge, Hollywood Casino, L'Auberge and Evangeline Downs. The Lake Charles casinos include Isle of Capri, L’Auberge du Lac and Delta Downs.New Orleans area casinos are Amelia Belle, Boomtown, Harrah’s (landbased), Treasure Chest and Fairgrounds Raceway. The Shreveport/Bossier city casinos include Boomtown, Diamond Jack’s, Sam’sTown, Eldorado, Horseshoe, and Harrah’s Louisiana Downs.
Here’s information, as supplied by the Louisiana State Police-Riverboat Gaming Section, showing the average electronic machine payback percentages for each area’s casinos for the 12-monthperiod from June 1, 2018, through May 30, 2019:
These numbers reflect the percentage of money returned on each denomination of machine and encompass all electronic machines including video poker and video keno. The best returns for eachcategory are highlighted in bold print and you can see that the Baton Rouge area casinos offered the best returns in most categories.
MAINE SLOT MACHINE PAYBACK STATISTICS
Maine has two racetrack casinos (racinos) that offer electronic gaming machines, as well as live table games.
State gaming regulations require a minimum return of 89% on all machines and during the one-year period from July 1, 2018, through June 30, 2019, the average return on gaming machines atHollywood Casino was 90.15% and at Oxford Casino, it was 90.01%.
MARYLAND SLOT MACHINE PAYBACK STATISTICS
Maryland has five casinos that are allowed to offer electronic gaming machines, as well as live table games. However, Ocean Downs has no table games.
No public information is available about the actual payback percentages on gaming machines in Maryland. However, gaming regulations require a minimum payback of 87% on any one machine and allmachines within a casino must have an average payback of 90% to 95%.
MASSACHUSETTS SLOT MACHINE PAYBACK STATISTICS
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick signed a bill in late 2011 that legalized casinos. The law allows three casinos, in three different geographic regions, plus one slot parlor.
The slot parlor, Plainridge Park Casino, a harness racing track located about 40 miles southwest of Boston, opened June 24, 2015.
The first resort-casino license in Region B (Western Massachusetts) was awarded to MGM Resorts and their $1.3 billion casino, MGM Springfield, opened August 24, 2018.
The second license for Region A (Eastern Massachusetts) was awarded to Wynn Resorts and their $2 billion, Encore Everett, is expected to open in mid-2019. The final license for Region C(Southeastern Massachusetts) had not yet been awarded as of late 2018.
Additionally, the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe is planning to build a destination resort casino near Taunton. That facility, First Light Casino, was expected to open by late 2019. However, theproject has been hampered by lawsuits that might stop it from being completed.
Massachusetts gaming regulations require a minimum payback of 80% on all gaming machines. From July 1, 2018, through June 30, 2019, the gaming machines at Plainridge Park returned 92.03%,91.39% at MGM Springfield* and 91.49% at Encore.**
* Stats for MGM Springfield began August 23, 2018, when it opened
** Stats for Encore are June 23- July 31, 2019.
MICHIGAN SLOT MACHINE PAYBACK STATISTICS
There are 17 Indian casinos in Michigan and the tribes are not required to release information on their slot machine payback percentages. However, according to officials at the Michigan GamingControl Board, which is responsible for overseeing the tribal-state compacts, 'the machines must meet the minimum standards for machines in Nevada or New Jersey.' In Nevada, the minimum returnis 75% and in New Jersey, it's 83%. Therefore, Michigan's Indian casinos must return at least 75% in order to comply with the law.
There are also three privately owned casinos in Detroit, but their slot payback information is not made available to the public.
MINNESOTA SLOT MACHINE PAYBACK STATISTICS
All Minnesota casinos are located on Indian reservations and under a compact reached with the state the only table games permitted are card games such as blackjack and poker. Additionally, theonly kind of slot machines allowed are electronic video slot machines. Therefore, you will not find any mechanical slots that have traditional reels - only video screens
According to the terms of the compact between the state and the tribes, however, the minimum and maximum payouts are regulated as follows: video poker and video blackjack - 83% to 98%, slotmachines - 80% to 95%, keno - 75% to 95%. Each tribe is free to set its machines to pay back anywhere within those limits and the tribes do not release any information regarding their slotmachine percentage paybacks.
MISSISSIPPI SLOT MACHINE PAYBACK STATISTICS
The Mississippi Gaming Commission does not break down its slot statistics by individual properties. Rather, they are classified by region.
The Coastal region includes Biloxi, Gulfport, and Bay Saint Louis.
The North region includes Tunica, Greenville, and Lula.
The Central region includes Vicksburg and Natchez.
With that in mind here’s information, as supplied by the Mississippi Gaming Commission, showing the machine payback percentages for each area’s casinos for the one-year period from July 1,2018, through June 30, 2019:
Which Slots Payout The Most
These numbers reflect the percentage of money returned on each denomination of machine and encompass all electronic machines including video poker and video keno. The best returns for eachcategory are highlighted in bold print and you can see that all of the gaming areas offer rather similar returns on their machines.
MISSOURI SLOT MACHINE PAYBACK STATISTICS
Here's information from the Missouri Gaming Commission regarding the payback percentages for each casino's electronic machines for the 12-month period from July 1, 2018, through June 30, 2019:
|Ameristar- St. Charles||91.0|
|Harrah’s - N.K.C||90.1|
|Isle of Capri - Booneville||90.1|
|Isle of Capri - Cape Girardeau||89.7|
|Isle of Capri - K.C.||88.9|
|St. Jo Frontier||88.9|
These figures reflect the total percentages returned by each casino for all of their electronic machines including slot machines, video poker, video keno, etc.
MONTANA SLOT MACHINE PAYBACK STATISTICS
Montana law permits bars and taverns to have up to 20 video gaming devices that play video poker, video keno, or video bingo. These machines are operated in partnership with the state and arenot permitted to pay out in cash; instead, they print out a receipt which must be taken to a cashier. The maximum bet on these machines is $2 and the maximum payout is limited to $800. Montanagaming regulations require these machines to return a minimum of 80%.
There are seven Indian casinos offering video gaming machines that also print out a receipt. The maximum bet on these machines is $5 and the maximum payout is capped at $1,500. According toMontana's Gambling Control Division, there are no minimum payback percentages required for gaming machines on Indian reservations.
NEBRASKA SLOT MACHINE PAYBACK STATISTICS
No public information is available concerning the payback percentages on gaming machines in Nebraska.
NEVADA SLOT MACHINE PAYBACK STATISTICS
NEVADA - Lake Tahoe
Here’s information, as supplied by Nevada’s State Gaming Control Board, showing the slot machine payback percentages for all of the south shore casinos for the fiscal year beginning July 1,2017 and ending June 30, 2018:
And here's that same information for the north shore casinos:
These numbers reflect the percentage of money returned to the players on each denomination of machine. All electronic machines including slots, video poker and video keno are included in thesenumbers.
NEVADA - Las Vegas
Unlike New Jersey, the Nevada Gaming Control Board does not break down its slot statistics by individual properties. Rather, they are classified by area.
The annual gaming revenue report breaks the Las Vegas market down into two major tourist areas: the Strip and downtown. There is also a very large locals market in Las Vegas and those casinosare shown in the gaming revenue report as the Boulder Strip and North Las Vegas areas.
When choosing where to do your slot gambling, you may want to keep in mind the following slot payback percentages for Nevada's fiscal year beginning July 1, 2018, and ending June 30, 2019:
1¢ Slot Machines
The Strip - 88.33%
Downtown - 88.96%
Boulder Strip - 90.53%
N. Las Vegas - 90.79%
5¢ Slot Machines
The Strip - 91.96%
Downtown - 93.32%
Boulder Strip - 96.30%
N. Las Vegas - 95.24%
25¢ Slot Machines
The Strip - 89.34%
Downtown - 93.91%
Boulder Strip - 95.77%
N. Las Vegas - 96.27%
$1 Slot Machines
The Strip - 92.34%
Downtown - 94.12%
Boulder Strip - 95.49%
N. Las Vegas - 95.62%
$1 Megabucks Machines
The Strip - 87.31%
Downtown - 86.40%
Boulder Strip - 87.61%
N. Las Vegas - 86.98%
All Slot Machines
The Strip - 91.84%
Downtown - 92.22%
Boulder Strip - 94.26%
N. Las Vegas - 93.34%
Slot Machine Payout Rates
These numbers reflect the percentage of money returned to the players on each denomination of machine. All electronic machines including slots, video poker, and video keno are included in thesenumbers and the highest-paying returns are shown in bold print. As you can see, the machines in downtown Las Vegas pay out slightly more than those located on the Las Vegas Strip.
Returns even better than the downtown casinos can be found at some of the other local casinos along Boulder Highway, such as Boulder Station and Sam's Town and also in the North Las Vegasarea which would include the Fiesta, Santa Fe and Texas Station casinos. Not only are those numbers among the best returns in the Las Vegas area, but they are also among the best paybackpercentages for anywhere in the United States.
NEVADA - Laughlin
Here’s information, as supplied by Nevada’s State Gaming Control Board, showing the slot machine payback percentages for all of Laughlin’s casinos for the fiscal year beginning July 1,2018, and ending June 30, 2019:
These numbers reflect the percentage of money returned to the players on each denomination of machine. All electronic machines including slots, video poker, and video keno are included in thesenumbers.
NEVADA - Reno
Here’s information, as supplied by Nevada’s State Gaming Control Board, showing the slot machine payback percentages for all of the Reno area casinos for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2017and ending June 30, 2018:
These numbers reflect the percentage of money returned on each denomination of machine and encompass all electronic machines including slots, video poker, and video keno.
NEVADA - Sparks
Here’s information, as supplied by Nevada’s State Gaming Control Board, showing the slot machine payback percentages for all of the Sparks area casinos for the fiscal year beginning July 1,2018, and ending June 30, 2019:
These numbers reflect the percentage of money returned on each denomination of machine and encompass all electronic machines including slots, video poker, and video keno.
NEVADA - Wendover
Here’s information, as supplied by Nevada’s State Gaming Control Board, showing the slot machine payback percentages for all of the Wendover area casinos for the fiscal year beginning July 1,2018 and ending June 30, 2019:
These numbers reflect the percentage of money returned on each denomination of machine and encompass all electronic machines including slots, video poker and video keno.
NEW JERSEY SLOT MACHINE PAYBACK STATISTICS
Following is information from the New Jersey Casino Control Commission regarding average slot payout percentages for the 12-month period from July 1, 2018, through June 30, 2019:
These figures reflect the total percentages returned by each casino for all of their electronic machines which includes slot machines, video poker, etc.
NEW MEXICO SLOT MACHINE PAYBACK STATISTICS
New Mexico's Indian casinos offer an assortment of table games and electronic gaming machines. Additionally, slot machines are allowed at the state's racetracks as well as at about 40 variousfraternal and veterans clubs.
New Mexico gaming regulations require that electronic machines at racetracks and fraternal/veterans organizations return a minimum of 80%.
New Mexico's Indian tribes do not make their slot machine payback percentages a matter of public record but the terms of the compact between the state and the tribes require all electronicgaming machines to also return a minimum of 80%.
NEW YORK SLOT MACHINE PAYBACK STATISTICS
There are several Indian casinos located in upstate New York which offer traditional Class III casino gambling.
The terms of the compact between the tribes and the state allow table games and slot machines, including video keno and video poker. These machines do not pay out in cash. Instead, they printout a receipt which must be exchanged for cash.
There are also some Indian casinos that offer Class II gambling which consist of electronic gaming machines which look like slot machines, but are actually games of bingo and the spinning videoreels are for 'entertainment purposes only.' No public information is available concerning the payback percentages on gaming machines at Indian casinos.
Here’s information, as supplied by the New York Gaming Commission, showing the slot machine payback percentages for all of the casinos for the fiscal year from April 1, 2018, through March31, 2019:
|Resort's World Catskills||91.40|
In October 2001, legislation was passed to allow for the introduction of slot machine-type video lottery machines at New York racetracks. Officially referred to as Video Gaming Machines(VGM’s), they are regulated by the New York State Lottery Division.
All VGM's offer standard slot machine-type games, plus keno in denominations from five cents to $10. The machines all accept cash but do not pay out in cash. They print a receipt which must betaken to a cashier.
The legislation authorizing the VGM’s states, “the specifications for video lottery gaming shall be designed in such a manner as to pay prizes that average no less than ninety percent ofsales.”
Here's information, as supplied by the New York Lottery, showing the video gaming machine payback percentages for each of the state's racetracks for the fiscal year from April 1,2018, through March 31, 2019:
NORTH CAROLINA SLOT MACHINE PAYBACK STATISTICS
North Carolina has two Indian casinos and both are affiliated with the state's Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians which signed a compact with the state. According to the terms of thecompact, the video gaming machines are required to return a minimum of 83% and a maximum of 98%.
NORTH DAKOTA SLOT MACHINE PAYBACK STATISTICS
North Dakota has more than 800 sites throughout the state that offer blackjack, with betting limits of $1-$25, for the benefit of charities.
There are also six Indian casinos which are limited by law to the following maximum bet limits: blackjack-$100 (two tables in a casino may have limits up to $250), craps-$60, roulette-$50,slots/video poker-$25 and poker-$50 per bet, per round with a maximum of three rounds.
The terms of the state's compact with the tribes require gaming machines to return a minimum of 80% and a maximum of 100%. However, if a machine is affected by skill, such as video poker orvideo blackjack, the machines must return a minimum of 83%.
OHIO SLOT MACHINE PAYBACK STATISTICS
Ohio voters passed a statewide referendum in November 2009 to allow one casino to open in each of four major cities: Cleveland, Cincinnati, Columbus, and Toledo. There are also seven racetracksthat offer video lottery terminals.
Here’s information from the Ohio Casino Control Commission regarding the payback percentages for each racino and casino’s electronic machines for the twelve-month period from July 1,2018, through June 30, 2019:
OKLAHOMA SLOT MACHINE PAYBACK STATISTICS
All Oklahoma Indian casinos are allowed to offer both Class II and Class III gaming machines.
Most casinos offer only Class II machines which look like slot machines, but are actually games of bingo and the spinning video reels are for 'entertainment purposes only.' Some casinos alsooffer traditional Class III slots.
In either case, the gaming machines are not allowed to accept or payout in coins. All payouts must be done by a printed receipt or via an electronic debit card. No public information isavailable concerning the payback percentages on gaming machines in Oklahoma.
OREGON SLOT MACHINE PAYBACK STATISTICS
Oregon law permits bars and taverns to have up to six video lottery terminals that offer various versions of video poker. Racetracks are allowed to have no more than 10 machines. The maximumbet allowed is $2.50 and the maximum single payout on any machine is capped at $600.
These machines are the same as regular video gaming devices but are called lottery terminals because they are regulated by the state’s lottery commission which receives a share of eachmachine’s revenue. The machines accept cash but do not pay out in cash; instead, they print out a receipt which must be taken to a cashier.
According to figures from the Oregon Lottery, during its fiscal year from June 28, 2018, through June 25, 2019, the VLT’s had an approximate return of 92.34%.
There are nine Indian casinos in operation in Oregon. According to the governor’s office which regulates the Tribe’s compacts, 'there is no minimum payback percentage required on the Tribe’smachines. Each Tribe is free to set their own limits on their machines.'
PENNSYLVANIA SLOT MACHINE PAYBACK STATISTICS
Pennsylvania gaming regulations require that gaming machines return a minimum of 85%.
The following is information from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board regarding average slot payout percentages for the one-year period from July 1, 2018, through June 30, 2019:
|Wind Creek Bethlehem||90.09|
|Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs||89.90|
|Lady Luck Nemacolin||89.34|
|Hollywood Casino at Penn National||89.38|
RHODE ISLAND SLOT MACHINE PAYBACK STATISTICS
Rhode Island has two pari-mutuel facilities which both feature video lottery terminals (VLT’s). These machines are the same as regular video gaming devices but are called lottery terminalsbecause they are regulated by the state’s lottery commission which receives a share of each machine’s revenue. The machines accept cash but don’t pay out in cash; instead, they print out areceipt which must be taken to a cashier.
All VLT’s are programmed to play at least six different games: blackjack, keno, slots and three versions of poker (jacks or better, joker poker and deuces wild).
According to figures from the Rhode Island Lottery for the one-year period from July 1, 2018, through June 30, 2019, the average VLT return at Twin River was 92.10% and at Tiverton, it was91.63%.
SOUTH CAROLINA SLOT MACHINE PAYBACK STATISTICS
South Carolina has two gambling cruise ships which sail three miles out into international waters where casino gambling is permitted. Since the casino boats travel in international waters theyare free from regulations and the machines can be set to pay back whatever the operators want without regard to a minimum payback percentage.
SOUTH DAKOTA SLOT MACHINE PAYBACK STATISTICS
Here are statistics from the South Dakota Commission on Gaming for the payback percentages on all of Deadwood’s slot machines for the one-year period from July 1, 2018, through June 30,2019:
In addition to the Deadwood casinos, there are also nine Indian casinos in South Dakota. No information is available on the payback percentages of the video gaming machines.
TEXAS SLOT MACHINE PAYBACK STATISTICS
Texas has one Indian casino which offers gaming machines based on bingo. It also offers pull tab machines, bingo, poker and a player-banked blackjack game where each player must pay acommission to the house for each bet that is made. The commission is 50¢ for $3-$50 bets and $1 for bets over $50. The minimum gambling age is 21 and the casino is open 24 hours daily.
Class II video gaming devices look like slot machines, but are actually bingo games and the spinning reels are for “entertainment purposes only.” No public information is available concerningthe payback percentages on any gaming machines in Texas’ Indian casino.
WASHINGTON SLOT MACHINE PAYBACK STATISTICS
There are 28 Indian casinos operating in Washington and they all have compacts with the state allowing them to offer table games, as well as electronic ‘scratch’ ticket games which use a finitenumber of tickets with a predetermined number of winners and losers.
All of the state’s Tribes are not required to release information on their slot machine percentage paybacks. However, according to the terms of the compact between the Tribes and the state, the minimum prize payout for electronic ‘scratch’ ticket games is 75%.
WEST VIRGINIA SLOT MACHINE PAYBACK STATISTICS
West Virginia has four pari-mutuel facilities and one resort hotel that feature video lottery terminals. The VLT’s are the same as regular video gaming devices but are called lottery terminalsbecause they are regulated by the state’s lottery commission which receives a share of each machine’s revenue.
West Virginia law requires that VLT’s return a minimum of 80% to a maximum of 95%. VLT games include slots, blackjack, keno and numerous versions of poker. The minimum gambling age is 21.
For the one-year period from July 1, 2018, through June 30, 2019, the average return on VLT’s was: 88.97% at Mountaineer Park, 90.81% at Mardi Gras, 89.46% at Wheeling Island, 89.53%at Charles Town Races.
What Does Slot Payout Percentage Mean
WISCONSIN SLOT MACHINE PAYBACK STATISTICS
All Wisconsin casinos are located on Indian reservations and the Indian tribes are not required to release information on their slot machine percentage paybacks. However, according to the termsof the compact between the state and the tribes 'for games not affected by player skill, such as slot machines, the machine is required to return a minimum of 80% and a maximum of 100% of theamount wagered.'
WYOMING SLOT MACHINE PAYBACK STATISTICS
Wyoming has Indian casinos that offer Class II bingo-type gaming machines, plus traditional Class III slot machines.
The machines don't pay out in cash. Instead they print out a receipt which must be cashed by a floor attendant or taken to the cashier's cage. You can also make bets via a cashless systemwhereby you get a 'smart' card and deposit money to that card's account. The machines will then deducts losses from, or credit wins to, your account.
No public information is available regarding the payback percentages on Wyoming's gaming machines.
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