Myths vs. Reality

Do Casinos Change Payouts Based on a Player’s Offer?

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Written by Joshua

Here’s another in the weeds question on slot machine paybacks, this time based on a player’s offer:

Does anyone know if the casinos tighten up the machines based on you as an individual? Like, in some algorithm, there’s code that says “we gave him a really cheap room and he’s barely played – tighten all his play.”

I’m sure that would probably be illegal and against the gaming commission, but does anyone know if it happens anyway?

Can you guess the answer to this one?

STATUS: They don’t do this.

As previously shared here, using your players card, which would be their primary chance to identify who is playing a machine, does not impact payouts. So that still holds here.

But notice the question: “probably be illegal” but “if it happens anyway” is the thing that caught my eye. This is another area I’ve been pushing back on a bit here on the site lately.

Slots are very, very profitable for casinos. Considering it’s easy for machine to pay anywhere from 5-15% back of the wagers earned, higher than table games and without the constant labor requirements (just occasional maintenance, handpays, paper refills and so on), so they don’t need to do anything special to make oodles of money off of players.

Slots are also sticky enough, as a general rule, that players will willingly play a game heavily favored for the house without needing to factor in who got what comps or got what handpays lately. Casinos use offers to woo back players who have already shown play they like, so they’ve already made their money on that offer and want to make it again.

With over 1,000 casinos in the US alone, there’s also lots of competition now, and so casinos continue to walk a fine line on how much they give out on payouts and offers while remaining competitive in their market. But they do that with time-tested casino math, not through which card is in the machine. Or hacking slots. Or other things that would clearly break gaming regulations across the country.

Casinos have plenty of ways to make money without needing to risk their gaming licenses, fines and more to try to take people’s money a bit faster.

If you’re so distrusting of casinos that you think they’d risk billions of dollars in revenue/profits so they can win your money a bit faster, you shouldn’t be inside a casino.

About the author


My name is Joshua, and I’m a slot enthusiast who works in tech as a marketer by day, and dabbles in casinos periodically during off-times. Know Your Slots will reflect my interests in understanding the various ways you can play slots, travel, casino promotions and how you can get the most out of your casino visits.

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