If every slot machine game in the world had a payback percentage posted on the machine somewhere, it would be easy to determine which slots pay back the most money. You could limit your play to machines with a payback percentage of over 95% for example.
It’s too bad casinos don’t provide that information on specific games, though.
You can find information about specific locations and their payback percentages, though. Some gambling guides and magazines publish this information. For example, The American Casino Guide provides certified information about the payout percentages in various states. Not all states reveal this information, but it’s not a huge leap of logic to expect better payback percentages in states that do reveal this information.
For example, the overall payback percentage for slots in Black Hawk, Colorado is 92.8%. In Central City, Colorado, it’s 92.93%, and in Cripple Creek, it’s 93.66%. Alabama doesn’t release the numbers on their payback percentages.
Which casinos do you think offer the better game?
A couple of guidelines hold true no matter where you play, though. One of those is that payouts are better in large cities with lots of gambling. For example, the payouts in Vegas are higher overall than the payouts in Colorado. And the payouts improve when you play for higher stakes. For example, penny slots in Vegas average around 88% to 91%, but dollars slots average between 93% and 96%. Finally, slot machines at airports usually offer the lowest payouts.
What does that mean for the player? It means that over the long run, if you wager $x on a particular game, you’ll win back $x times the payback percentage for that machine. If you’re playing a dollar slot machine on the Strip in Las Vegas, for example, and the payout percentage is around 93%, then if you place $10,000 in wagers, you’ll win back $9300. You lost $700.
That’s only a long term mathematical expectation, though. In the short run, anything can happen, and that’s what keeps people playing.