It probably more appropriate to call slot machines entertainment than gambling, as the
house always – and we mean always – has an edge with slot machines.

The average slot machine payout ranges from an average of 85% to 99% of all coins bet.
The lower the denomination of the machine, the lower the payout. This is because the
casino wants to make a certain amount per hour with its slots. With a one dollar slot
machine, the casino can payback perhaps 98% and make it’s hourly goal. With a lower
denomination machine, such as quarters or nickels, the payout must be much lower to
achieve the same hourly pay for the casino

There are two types of slot machine payouts: flat rate and progressives. A flat rate
machine pays the same percentage based on only that machine’s results. With
progressive machines, many machines are linked together electronically and the jackpot
gets progressively larger the more players that play and the greater the time in between
winning jackpots.

Our advice is to play the flat rate machines and avoid the progressives. The odds against
winning the jackpot are much higher on progressives. In many cases, your odds of
winning the state lottery are better! Play the non-progressive machines where you at least
have a chance at the jackpot.


The answer to this question depends on one thing: is the jackpot bigger proportionally for
maximum coins bet? If it is, play maximum coins. If it isn’t, then simply play the
minimum and your money will last longer.

To illustrate, let’s assume you want to play a machine that has a three coin maximum bet.
Should you play the maximum? Look at the payout information. If the jackpot amount
for one coin bet is 1,000, for two coins 2,000 and for three coins 5,000, then the jackpot
is bigger proportionally for three coins and you should bet the maximum coins. This is
because the maximum coins to bet is three times the minimum but the maximum coin
jackpot is five times the amount of the minimum coin jackpot. This means your jackpot
odds are better if you play the maximum coins.

In this same example, if the three coin jackpot was 3,000 instead of 5,000, then you
should only play one coin at a time because there is no odds advantage to playing
maximum coins.

One disadvantage of playing maximum coins, even if the jackpot is proportionally larger,
is that smaller, less-than-jackpot payouts are usually not proportionally larger for
maximum coins played. It’s only the jackpot that is proportionally larger. For this
reason, we recommend only playing minimum coins on machines that do no have a
proportionally larger jackpot for maximum coins. This way, you money will last longer
and you increase your odds of winning smaller jackpots and maybe coming away a slight

Good Luck!

By Tom McBroom
Tom is the webmaster at,
which is a website dedicated to turning beginning Blackjack
players into serious recreational players.