Slot Payback Smarter Gambling

Payback Reporting vs. Multi-Denomination Games

Repeat Bet button on WMS machine
Written by Joshua

My recent post on state-by-state and by casino payback reporting yielded a question on Facebook from reader Zack, who asked:

So, obviously each machine is different, but do paybacks correspond to each denom within a machine? Like, if I sit at a machine and change it from penny denom to dime denom, am I now playing at dime payback percentage, or is the entire machine settings locked to the penny payback and I need to go find a nickel or quarter machine to do better?

Just curious on the specifics. Reason I ask is I’m looking at Louisiana and they have no dime or two cent percentages listed but I know I’ve played those on machines there. Thanks!

Zack, via Facebook

These are great questions, with not very clear cut answers I’m afraid, but I’ll break it down:

  • Many modern machines have the ability to break down payback percentage selection by denomination. Casinos may or may not choose to set higher denominations at higher paybacks – just because they have the option doesn’t mean they use it. But most modern game with multiple denominations have at least some way to break down payback in either individual denoms or groups of denoms. Then the casino selects a payback level for each denom or group out of the choices available.
  • As a slot player, given the choice of a, say, high limit Lightning Link at dimes vs. the same one with a dime choice at pennies, I would personally recommend the high limit, as it’s more likely to have a higher payback. We just don’t know what the casino chose inside of it, which is the challenge, so we just make an educated guess. And usually casinos will default high limit machines higher than low limit just based on standard rules.
  • As far as reporting, it’s my understanding that multi-denom machines in some states will get rolled into the statistics for the lowest denomination it offers. Others have a multi-denomination line within the payback reporting – Nevada is an example where I’ve seen this. Each state has its own rules and so I can’t say for certain about each. But that could explain, say, why a state does not have a 2 cent reporting despite penny games having a 2 cent option.

The above is not an absolute guarantee, but is common enough to presume reasonably safe to believe. And at least it can help guide decision making on machine choice and denomination choice.

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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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