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Pennies vs. Nickels: Changing Denominations and What it Offers Players

Denomination button slot machine Munchkinland
Written by Joshua

Regular readers of the site, and those who spend time reading about slots, tend to know that as you increase your denomination on a slot machine, the expectation is that the payback over time will be better.

But how much time? Will a small sampling of spins give you enough to go against?

Steve and Matt Bourie, now known as The Jackpot Gents and the former author and editor of the American Casino Guide, have been doing a series of experiments on their channel where they do $100 of spins on a penny denomination of a game at $2.50 a bet, or 40 spins, and then do the same thing at nickels.

An example of such a video is below, and after their session we talk a bit about what happened and what they should expect.

Similar to what I said about Slotaholic’s 100 Spins series previously, there are things you can learn about a session, and then there are things that are simply beyond what a single session can inform you. In the case of 40 spins, it’s simply too small of a sample size to determine if pennies or nickels are paying better, because the variance possible on a slot machine is so broad.

What if you got a handpay or a massive bonus on one denomination? Does that mean that denomination pays more? More likely you’ll just learn you got luckier in that scenario.

Matt Bourie also asked about the potential to get a bonus more frequently when max betting or near max betting on a lower denomination vs. a minimum bet on a higher denomination. There are games that encourage you to max bet and can give bigger or more frequent bonuses. Some newer games have uneven bet levels because they’re fueling more money into bonuses on higher bets, for instance.

Check out their game play and our conversation on the topic, and if there’s something you’d like to hear us discuss, be sure to share in the comments, whether on their video or on this post down below!

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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