SLOTS FAQ's:  Miscellaneous 3

Q. Can it be assumed based on looking at the Slot Payouts Report, (top payout = 94.7) that Slots, almost anywhere in the US are a 'bad bet' and likely one of the worst, when compared to the "Ten Worst Bets" list published in issue #1? David.

David: The answer to your question is, No, slots is not the worst bet because of a couple of factors.
Slots can be a good bet and there's no denying it is the most popular game in any casino and the least intimidating. Let's make a comparison to table games.  To quote, your top payout and round up to 95%, the casino pc, or house advantage would be approximately 5%.
Certain bets for craps, double zero roulette, baccarat and yes, even playing without strategy in blackjack can earn the casino more than 5% of your gambling bankroll. All of which make the Ten Worst Bets list.
In addition, there's the 'grind' of playing these games.
As I state in my books, slots is a good bet if you play 'full-pay' Video Poker, at a bank of 'guaranteed payback' slot machines, a locals Vegas casino, any casino with more than 3 competitors close by,
dollar+ slots, certain slot versions and/or a single payline basic slot.
Thanks for your interesting question.

Q. One comment - one question. Just back from Tucson.  Went to an Indian casino that had combination
TITO and coin video slots.  When I went to cash out on a 5¢ video slot a bunch of quarters dropped into the tray AND a ticket printed out.  We played a lot of different machines and there was no real pattern.  Sometimes no coins and just a ticket, sometimes nickels and a ticket or sometimes quarters and a ticket.
A lady sitting next to me cashed out, collected her coins, and left forgetting about the printed ticket that had popped out of the top of the machine.  Luckily, we caught her before she got lost in the crowd. The slot tech told me that it happens either all the time that people forget the ticket or sometimes even the coins.
You have written about the average % pay back on a nickel, quarter and dollar slot or video poker machine.  The higher the denomination you play the higher the return,
How about the new multi- denominational video slots?  When you switch from 1¢, 2¢, 5¢, 10¢ or 25¢, on the same machine, does the machine sense the change and provide a better average % payback based on
play of a higher denomination? Phil

Phil: Thanks for the comment and advice, re: TITO.  Yes, the payout for a higher denomination can change when you switch. Today's RNG can determine different denoms, however in the end, it is up to a particular casino whether they want to payout more for higher bets. Therefore, who knows what lurks behind that screen...hmmm only the Shadow... :-) 

Q. Why would a Red Hot Seven's $1 slot machine be hot one evening paying out $1500 over an hour, (netting $800) one night and then the next morning be cold, cold, cold only hitting one $60 with $300 put in? I don't understand how this happens with a RNG.  I realize they have to pay out a certain amount over a given time period, but how can it be random if it only hits after being played a lot? Georgia.

Georgia: It's called the highs and lows of the average slot payout percentage.  The programmed % payout (e.g., 95%) averages out over a period of as long as one year. One day or one month can be low payout time and the next month--yippee!  I'm a winner :-)
Bottom line is that the programmed % at the end of the accounting period for casino management purposes will be maintained at 95% average, as in this example.
Hope this explanation helps, though maybe not as far as your wallet is concerned. 

Q. I have a couple of questions concerning slot tournaments.  My girl friend enters a slot tournament every week at the Quanalt Casino in Ocean Shores WA, an Indian casino.  She absolutely never wins, not even close.  She heard that the card that is inserted into the machine before play starts determines how many points a player will rack up.  Got any insight?  I have also been in tournaments on cruise ships and I can't remember inserting a card into the machine beforehand.
Here is a personal observation:  the Indian casinos here in Washington state, and there is a bunch, do not fall under the jurisdiction of the state or county health inspections.  Although the food appears to be good, I have personally seen occasions where waitpersons have not washed their hands after using the restroom.  If that is a one infraction, my mind can only race to what else is happening in the kitchen. Ron

Ron: this is the first I have heard about a card, unless you are referring to a slot club card but I don't think you are. If your girlfriend is not even coming close, there must be other tournaments around.
The only real strategy for slots tournaments I can offer is to focus and hit that spin button as fast as you can.
About the food: if that's at the same casino, there's another reason to stay away.

Q. I made reservations at the Plaza Hotel for 9 nights in March.  I have never had a casino host until now.  What is the patron's correct protocol with a slot host?  Such as, are tips required, or maybe a gift?  Lorraine.

Lorraine: I have a couple of suggestions. I would contact the hotel to find out if their slots hosts can accept tips (some do not permit) and if so that is the best response based on the service(s) provided.
Alternatively, a small gift purchased at one of the many upscale boutiques in Vegas.

Q. How do I find the list of jackpots in Las Vegas such as the Megabucks, Elvis, and the rest? Traymon.

Traymon: We publish these three sources in Casino Players Ezine in the first issue of every month:
 For the most current progressive jackpot totals, visit:
For IGT progressives:
Hope this helps.

Q. I find your information to be very enjoyable to read, but curious as to how you have all of this knowledge about slot machines.  Are these articles just your opinion of how slots work, which ones to choose, how to play? Or, do you have an inside track? Either way, I enjoy playing slots in Delaware and Atlantic City. Debbie.

My 'inside information' comes from several reliable sources: slot manufacturers, mostly the casinos themselves, casino personnel, readers, Gaming Commission published reports and my own extensive casino experiences while researching for my books.

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