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Slots Can slots payback percentages vary?

Discussion in 'Slots' started by Harry5, Apr 3, 2013.

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  1. Harry5

    Harry5 Tourist

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    Appreciate that the hold on say penny machines is greater than $5 machines. But does the payback percentage increase on variable stake machines the higher your stake is?

    In the UK,slots with variable stakes will often payback a higher percentage the higher the stake (and often make a selling point of this to encourage you to gamble at higher stakes). Usually it is 88% payback on 50p, 90% on £1 and 92% on £2.

    Do the slots in Vegas adjust similarly so that if you are playing say $3 a spin on a penny machine you have an increased payback percentage applying than if you were playing 30 cents?

    If they don't then it makes little sense to play $3 on a penny machine with say an 88% payback if that same $3 could be played through a $1 machine at 90%+. Or am I missing something here?
     
  2. Buddha

    Buddha VIP Whale

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    That's the mystery of the slot machines (not video poker). Unless a machine has a sign that "promises" a specific payback %, there's no way you can walk up to a slot machine, and tell if it pays 95% or 85%, since you don't know how varieties of "stop positions" are programmed into it. And, there might be six machines that all look exactly alike, but could possibly all pay back a different %.

    That's the beauty of a video poker machine, as the pay schedule printed on the machine can be calculated to its exact %, since there is a fixed set of cards involved.
     
  3. Kickin

    Kickin Flea

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    You're not missing something. Unless a slot has an outsized jackpot for max coin there is no benefit in playing it in terms of payback percentage. So you're right, generally speaking (in terms of odds) its better to play X amount of money in a higher denom machine than the same X amount in a lower denom machine, because for the most part higher denom machines have higher paybacks than lower denom ones. A lot of machines (especially reel slots) have outsized jackpots for max coin so on those it does matter. The actual payback % includes that jackpot. But I don't think many penny slots have those. If people played strictly in terms of getting the best payback % there would be a lot less penny slot play but people play whatever they think is fun.
     
  4. 44inarow

    44inarow VIP Whale

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    I don't even think it has to be hugely outsized; on VP, for example, the Wizard of Odds table puts the return for a 5-coin royal at 2.7% of the total return on the machine, so you're winding up with a not-insignificant increase in the house edge by not playing max coin. Thus, you're much better off playing a $0.25 machine for all five credits, than a $1 machine for one or two credits (if the pay tables are otherwise the same). And there, the bonus multiplier for five credits is only 3.2x what it would be. Depending on the machine, you can definitely leave a lot of money on the table by not playing max coin.

    Of course, all that being said, as has been mentioned, it's a lot harder to figure out the return from a machine by looking at it than it is on video poker, so it may be true in a real-world sense that you're often better playing a $1 machine for one credit than a $0.25 machine for 3-4 credits. But I think the point is, if you're planning on playing a particular machine and care about getting the most return for your money (which admittedly, not everyone cares about!), then make sure you check the pay table and see whether you're missing out by not playing the max bet.
     
  5. Kickin

    Kickin Flea

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    You're right, it doesn't have to be hugely outsized. Just outsized. By which I simply mean the paybacks don't increase linearly across all bet sizes. Technically even if there is a tiny tiny "bonus" for playing max-coin it would improve your theoretical payback % vs playing short-coin.

    And yeah, on a slot there's no way to know the payback but generally speaking higher denom slots payback better than lower denom ones. Though I'm sure there are exceptions.
     
  6. Jersey_Bill

    Jersey_Bill High-Roller

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    .... although somewhere on this board someone recently posted that he saw Video Poker machines that had their paytables change in front of your eyes when you chose higher denominations. I have not seen that - but if they can do it with VP perhaps the same is programmed in for slots. However, if this is the case, why wouldn't the casino promote that? I mean, would they go out of their way to stealthily increase your expected return?

    JZB
     
  7. 44inarow

    44inarow VIP Whale

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    That's been the case with video poker for a long time -- $5 has better paytables than $1 has better paytables than $0.25. You don't necessarily notice it when the machines are set to a single denomination and spread out all over the floor, but now with all the multi-denomination machines, it's more apparent.
     
  8. Auggie

    Auggie Dovahkiin

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    The equivalent of what you are talking about here is "multi denomination machines"

    You will find that some video slots you can set the value of how much a credit is. The most common is 1c, 2c and 5c but some machines will let you set the credit value to other amounts.

    Multi Denomination machines *CAN* have variable payouts, but that doesn't mean they have to.

    The way you describe your question, the answer is almost always going to be "NO", but there are some exceptions.

    If you sit at a penny machine with 30 lines and you choose to bet 1 credit per line (30 cents per spin) its going to be the same payout as if you selected to bet 10 credits per spin, with the exception that with the bigger wager the payouts will be multiplied by 10.

    So on a machine where five "bells" might pay 500 credits on a 1 credit bet per line would pay 5000 credits on a 10 credit bet per line.

    As said, there are going to be some exceptions: a common one you will see in casinos is "Platinum QuickHits" where you can bet 30c, 60c, 90c, 120c or 150c per spin... however the game has progressive awards if you get 5 or more QuickHit symbols on the screen at once, but these only pay off if you are betting 150c per spin.
     
  9. Kickin

    Kickin Flea

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    Higher denominations are a different thing than min vs. max-coin. And video poker is different. We KNOW in VP that max-coin has a higher payback because of the RF bonus, and the same has to be true for slots i.e. there has to be a max-coin bonus. I don't know about different denominations on a single slot but I'll trust the erudite Auggie that in those scenarios the payback % can change for higher denoms on a single machine.

    Remember another difference in VP and slots. In VP the odds never change, its the same 52 card deck whatever the denomination and paytable is. So you KNOW the odds and you can SEE the paytable. That gives you all you need to know. In slots you can only SEE the paytable, you can't ever see the odds. When they change the payback % of a slot they don't change the paytable but instead the actual odds of hitting different combinations or virtual stops. Which is why, unless there is a bonus for max-coin, the payback % is going to be the same regardless of how many credits/lines you play.
     
  10. Jersey_Bill

    Jersey_Bill High-Roller

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    Yeah, I always assumed that higher denom machines had better paytables - when comparing different machines - but I just never noticed it when cycling through the denominations on one machine - to see the paytables change. Gotta check that out in two weeks. Could be that every machine is like this and I never noticed... Duh... :confused:

    Well said. I was thinking of paytables changing with denomination change - but your point is more accurate. Odds are precisely the same across all machines so your ER is precisely predictable - which is not the case with slots. Two different relationships - paytables vis a vis denomination, and odds / ER vis a vis denomination. Two different things. Thanks !

    JZB
     
  11. FountainFiend

    FountainFiend Low-Roller

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    This is why I can't bring myself to play with slots... If there was some indication of ER and variance on the machine I would have some idea if I wanted to play it or not. That being said, I am kind of a stick in the mud who loses money playing video poker, so I can't judge too much :).
     
  12. Chuck2009x

    Chuck2009x VIP Whale

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    At Venetian/Palazzo, the Status Points you earn are based on the theo of a machine. So you can do a measured session and figure out exactly what a given machine's payback % is set at.

    So it would be possible there to use a specific denom, play a session at $1 a spin, find out how many points you earned, then play a session with the same denom and total dollar amount, but at $2 a spin and see if there was any diff in the number of points you earned. If you earned fewer points at $2/spin, it would mean that the payback % was higher.
     
  13. Harry5

    Harry5 Tourist

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    Thanks for the replies everyone.

    I suppose I find it hard to comprehend that in a state that is so heavily controlled as far as gaming is concerned,that casinos are under no obligation to make it clear on their slots (not VP) what the payback percentage is. The idea of approaching a bank of,say,Jackpot Party machines and being unsure of whether the machine I choose has a better or worse payback then the one next to it takes the concept of gambling to a whole new level !

    In the UK,where gambling is certainly less controlled,where you can walk into an arcade on the high street or train station and play slots in your lunch hour,the payback has to be displayed on every machine. I do appreciate though from the above info that the progressive element to the machines perhaps makes up too much of a variable.
     
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