Hunting for the Loosest Slots is a Challenge in Any Casino

August 15th, 2014
Back Hunting for the Loosest Slots is a Challenge in Any Casino

For those of us that have been to a land based casino, the tagline “Loosest Slots” is very familiar. They all boast having the loosest Slots but how can they guarantee such a thing and on second thought, what exactly does that mean? Drive along the road and out of nowhere you may see a billboard advertising a casino with the loosest slots. Does it compel you to drive straight there or does it may you roll your eyes and keep driving?

Casinos try to lure us in by flashing signs that they’ve got the highest and most frequent number of payouts compared to the others. Many players are naturally drawn to the casinos with more payouts. More payouts equals more winners and of course we want to be one of them. Should gamblers follow the signs or fluff off such proclamations? Let’s go over the ins and outs of the concept of a loose Slot.

How Are Loose Slots Determined?

When you think about a loose slot you associate it with lots of wins and the number of jackpots paid out. There really isn’t a device specifically designed to measure a loose slot so how can a casino make such a statement? It doesn’t mean that there isn’t some truth in what they’re marketing to the public. The payout percentage and frequency is the basis for such a bold statement.

Payout Percentages

Players will often find the payout percentage posted on a Slot machines especially if it’s high. The casino wants to attract your attention to it. Players are more likely to be drawn to a machine that pays out 97 percent of the time than one that pays out 75 percent of the time.

Slots are typically preprogrammed to payout somewhere in the range of 80 to 98 percent based on the amount of the total wagers that players feed into the machine. This is where things can get a bit sticky because this does not mean that you can count on this percentage in terms of a return on your bet. The payout percentage is based on the entire lifetime of a Slot. So in other words if the Slot machine has a shelf life of 12 years it will pay 80 to 98 percent of all the bets made over the course of its life. Since this is the case, players also need to consider the amount of the bet they’re placing. You’d have to wager more for the chance at the full benefit of a higher payout machine.


The payout percentage is within the software programmed into the Slot before it leaves the factory; however this does not mean that it cannot be altered once it reaches the casino floor.

Frequency of Payouts

Payout frequency refers to how often a Slot pays. Paying and gaining anything are very different. If you are spinning at $1 per spin and you get back 20 cents you, that’s not a very good return but hey, the machine is frequently paying out though isn’t it? A Slot can return a penny of your bet on every spin so technically it pays frequently. It’s this and the combination of the payout percentage that casinos use to bolster a loose Slot.

Myths Surrounding Loose Slots

Just as we may believe that the concept of the “Loosest Slots” is a myth, there are several other myths related to such machines.

First off, some players believe that looser Slot machines are located in specific remote areas of the casino. If you wanted to draw people to these machines why would they be placed in a dark corner somewhere? Placement makes sense if you consider the paying Slots are located where there is a lot of traffic through the casino. The more players that pass by the more that will see the lights and sounds of winning.

Another false belief is that a Slot will not pay another jackpot soon after a major win. The Random Number Generator (RNG) is responsible for the randomness of each and every spin so if this were true, the entire concept of RNG would go out the window. It absolutely can happen! If you win a $2,500 jackpot, your odds of winning another soon after are just as good as not winning. So then next time you pass up a machine because someone just hit bit on it think twice.

This one is a spinoff of the last. Just because a Slot has not paid out in a long time does not mean that it will hit big soon. When progressive jackpots are involved we can see the trend of how often they were won but not with any game. We’ve all seen that person that dumps more and more money into a machine when it’s not paying on the premise that it’s got to. Again, RNG rears its head. There’s no telling when a significant win will come along. It’s random so there is nothing built into the machine that determines that it’s your turn to win based on how much you’ve personally wagered.


Other myths surrounding Slots that are debunked based on RNG include:

  1. Casinos control when a Slot awards a jackpot.
  2. Stopping the reels or the speed in which the spin button is pressed will affect the outcome.
  3. Casinos increase payout percentages during Slot tourneys.

Go Hunting

There may be a machine that pays pretty well in a casino near you and all you’ve got to do is find it. If you were on the casino’s management team where would you place the hot Slots? They don’t always pay as we’ve gone over but there are definitely some that like to pay. You’d place these Slots in areas where they will be seen, right? Hot spots would be entrances, exits, in front of restaurants, down main aisles and around bar areas. When you’re in a casino that’s crowded and you see a group of Slots where no one is playing, there’s a reason for it. The locals know what to play and what not to play.

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