Myths vs. Reality

# Do Slot Machines Pay More Jackpots at Busier Times?

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Some slot players swear that slots play more jackpots at busier times, as a way to keep players around and gambling longer. Others believe they pay less jackpots because they want to maximize profits from the crowds.

STATUS: Numerically, casinos pay more jackpots at busier times, but that’s because there’s more people playing. The number of jackpots paid as a percentage of players or spins wouldn’t be any different than at any other time.

If you have more people in the casino playing at a given time, there are more spins happening, and of course that means more chances for a jackpot to happen.

For instance, if you’re at a casino where the high limit room is incredibly busy, you’re likely going to see jackpots happen at some point. But if you’re the only one in there, the odds of a jackpot happening are lower as only one person’s pushing that spin button.

The reason why these sorts of statements come up, however, isn’t because a casino is busy, but because players seem to be questioning whether casinos are manipulating paybacks based on time of day. I’ve covered that topic at length in the past and in multiple forms on the site, but let’s tackle it from this angle.

Let’s say the casino did change the payback percentage by a point or two. A jackpot is such an outsized amount of the payback of many machines that a small adjustment isn’t going to lead to more or less jackpots necessarily.

It could be that mid-sized wins are reduced or increased instead. In fact, none of us know how the various payback percentage math models are built, unless we have access to a PAR sheet for the game, which would be unusual.

But casinos as a whole aren’t doing that sort of tweaking, so the fact remains, that the reason why more jackpots happen when they’re busier is the law of averages. More players, more spins, more likely jackpots will be hit. It’s as simple as that, and doesn’t have anything to do with machines being “tight” or “loose” a given day, or casinos tinkering with paybacks.