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Slots Slots ER

Discussion in 'Slots' started by Canyonero, Nov 23, 2012.

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  1. Canyonero

    Canyonero Tourist

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    Hey,

    I have been wondering how many people (and who) in a casino know the return rates (ER) slot machines are set to (eg. 87%, 93%, ...). Is that a well kept secret or is it that players just don't care?

    Personally I would play more slots if I knew how much I am losing on each spin. But sticking my money into a mysterious black box feels uncomfortable to me.

    Any insight would be appreciated!
     
  2. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

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  3. leo21

    leo21 VIP Whale

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    Funny, I read a column on this a little bit ago. The columnist suggested that if you were willing to invest a hundred spins, you could probably figure it out yourself.
     
  4. nostresshere

    nostresshere Mr. Anti Debit Card

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    Whomever wrote that is an idiot. You could invest in a few thousand spins and still not know. Simple math.

    Simple example: If a machine only had one payout - $4,000, for this example.
    You would have to play at least $4,000 on average to determine the hold. In reality, you could hit that $4k in one spin, or in 10,000 spins, but overall it does it once every 4,400 spins, depending on the hold. And of course, most machines pay lots of little things along the way, making that study even more difficult. And basically impossible.
     
  5. leo21

    leo21 VIP Whale

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    I apologize. The column was on hit frequency, not on return rates. Goes to show how much one retains reading email at 4AM!
     
  6. nostresshere

    nostresshere Mr. Anti Debit Card

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    That makes a bit more sense. Not sure if I would totally agree with 100 spins, but then again, it could be very close. Yea, I might buy that.

    As to reading things at 4am - guilty of that for sure.
     
  7. Smo

    Smo Mr. Las Vegas

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    The ER is based on the life of the machine. You could throw thousands of dollars into a machine and never come out ahead or close to even.

    Just remember this:
    Slot play is for fun.
    Winning is a bonus!
    Coming out ahead is a miracle!
     
  8. Buddha

    Buddha VIP Whale

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    I seriously doubt that any "common person" in a casino could figure out anything about the ER of a slot machine. You could play 10 separate machines of the very same theme, symbols, and pay schedule ... and those machines could all have a different ER. Because ... the one thing you don't know is how many different "stop-position" combinations are programmed into each machine. There's no way to tell by just playing a few hundred, or a few thousand spins.
     
  9. 1ArmedBandit

    1ArmedBandit Tourist

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    THP

    The industry's technical term for it is "Theoretical Hold Percentage" (THP) but most people call it Theoretical Hold, or Hold %, or just TH.

    Hold % is published and reported monthly to state gaming commisions by all Vegas, AC and non-Indian-tribal casinos.

    Payback or Return to Player (RTP) is a function of the base game's pay table, hit frequency of specific machine in specific casino, and historical payout, as in did the machine already exceed its lifetime max, if yes, then take it off the floor.. For e.g. Sex in the City may be set to pay 92% at medium-frequency in Showboat, but 88% at high-frequency in Tropicana, which are both fine as long as they exceed the NJGC minimum. But the machines will hit and payout very differently at those TH percentages.

    Base game (mostly video games, as in reel games it is impossible to exceed a certain # of symbol combinations regardless of Telneus outcome) is what the game pays before any bonuses are added on.

    More here:
    http://catlin.casinocitytimes.com/article/calculating-a-hold-percentage-1230
     
  10. nostresshere

    nostresshere Mr. Anti Debit Card

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    The OP corrected his original posting. Not sure why others are still trying to answer the original post??
     
  11. nostresshere

    nostresshere Mr. Anti Debit Card

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    I would not use the word "never". You could also put in $3 and win thousand$ or even million$. Chances are slim, but it could happen.
     
  12. 5-card

    5-card Tourist

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    My home casino is the Majestic Star in Gary, IN. They have VP machines that return 99.92%, 99.76% etc. The state lists VP and slots together. The total return for slots and VP for the year ending June 2011 was 90.38%. With VP return between 96% and 99.92% you can see what is paid out on slots.
     
  13. WrongWayWade

    WrongWayWade VIP Whale

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    Remember, though that the VP returns that you can calculate are based on perfect play. Players don't play perfectly; I'd take 1-2% off those number for what they actually keep on actual VP play.

    For slots you can get actual numbers of what various Nevada locales actually hold on different denominations. They keep something like 12% for pennies, 8% for quarters and 6% for dollars.

    http://gaming.unlv.edu/
     
  14. Auggie

    Auggie Dovahkiin

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    I would actually disregard the VP numbers entirely when doing this kind of rough guesswork: though maybe they do tend to have smaller house edges it would be difficult to factor them in to an overall picture of house edge because:
    a) they have a variable house edge based on how players play.
    b) most casinos don't have a significant enough number of VP machines where they should be factored in to an overall broad calculation.

    By significant number I mean: Majestic Star, the casino being referenced here, their numbers say they have 1400 slot machines on the gaming floor and for a casino that size I don't know how many VP machines they have but I would guess 25 or less, of which 25 would represent only 1.7% of their machine gaming floor.
     
  15. Grid

    Grid VIP Whale

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    I just think its lame that in Vegas, one of the only places I gamble, they lump all the casinos together by location. In other words, quarters on the strip pay 92.7%. Maybe Bellagio is 95%! But Harrahs & Treasure Island brings down that number. Other places like Atlantic City, even here in Chicago, post the actual numbers by casino!

    I like knowing that casino A pays back 93.6 on pennies VS casino B down the road that pays back 91.1. That way I can take my play to the casino with the lower hold. In Nevada I cant make that educated choice.
     
  16. Chuck2009x

    Chuck2009x VIP Whale

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    Venetian/Palazzo players club points on slot machines are based 100% on the theo of the machine, so it's a snap to figure out how they have them set there.

    Just as an example, a 5 cent Wolf Run machine was set at 87.5%.
     
  17. fremont4ever

    fremont4ever Tourist

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    * The slot manager would know. She'd probably have to look it up, but it's her responsibility to know it.
    * The casino manager is responsible for this, but he'd probably just ask the slot manager. He likely has bigger fish to fry than the return on an individual machine.
    * Some of the slot mechanics MIGHT know for SOME machines. And they might be able to tell by looking at or pulling the chip. YMMV.
    * Not at the casino, but the manufacturer would know what chip is installed in each machine, and part of the chip's responsibility is the long-term payout percentage.
    * A few machines have payout percentages listed either on the machine or on signs nearby ("This machine pays 97.4%!!!!!"). Take it with a big grain of salt if they say "up to" a certain percentage.

    Beyond the few people mentioned above, nobody really knows what any specific machine will pay. There are stats around that have general stats for areas, and sometimes individual casinos. The reason why it seems to be a big secret is a combination of reasons - the gamblers don't care and the casinos don't want them to know or care.
     
  18. nostresshere

    nostresshere Mr. Anti Debit Card

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    Pretty sure the casino does not want anyone to know.
     
  19. Canyonero

    Canyonero Tourist

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    Yay, an answer to my question! Thanks a lot!

    I wonder if the casino would tell a whale if they wanted to know...
     
  20. LV_Bound

    LV_Bound VIP Whale

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    It wouldn't help at all even if they pointed to the specific machine and said this one is 89%. You could still lose your shirt.

    What about Black Jack. With perfect play you know its what....about 1% or so.
    Does this mean if you buy in for $500 you won't lose it all?
     
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