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When to Max Bet: Quick Hit Machines

Quick Hit by Bally six symbol win
Written by Joshua

One of the important things to understand about slot payback is when max betting is a crucial part of the decision to play a game. For some games, if you’re choosing to not max bet, you’re making a decision to not accept the full payback opportunity of the game, and you might be accepting a lower payback percentage at your bet level.

One such machine, which has a long and fabled history, is the Quick Hit line of games. In this article we’ll briefly discuss the Quick Hit mechanic, and then why max betting is generally the recommended advice. We’ll also share with you how you can tell if a Quick Hit machine won’t penalize your for not max betting.

An Introduction to Quick Hit

Quick Hit is a classic Bally’s slot machine mechanic that has among the symbols on any given game a Quick Hit symbol. Landing more Quick Hit symbols is better.

Most Quick Hit machines have Quick Hit symbols in a 1-2-3-2-1 configuration, allowing for a maximum of nine Quick Hit symbols, which would trigger the top Quick Hit progressive jackpot.

On most Quick Hit games there’s 5 reels, and the Quick Hit symbols are arranged in a 1-2-3-2-1 configuration so you can land up to nine Quick Hit symbols on a single spin. (While a couple of games deviate from this, generally speaking the Quick Hit Pro machines being the exception, the vast majority follow these rules, whether mechanical reel or video.)

Landing three Quick Hit symbols generally earns your bet back, four symbols is 3-5x your bet and starting at five symbols you qualify for a jackpot. There are jackpots for each level from five to nine Quick Hit symbols, which each jackpot being progressively bigger. Generally the nine Quick Hit symbols jackpot is the biggest (although there are some games, such as Quick Hit Platinum, where there’s a jackpot over the top of that).

Why Quick Hit is Generally a Max Bet Game

Quick Hit Jackpots at max bet
The jackpots on the top box of Quick Hit games, as stated on the left, is only winnable at max bet. At lower bets a prize is paid, but max bet jackpots usually have a bonus.

The jackpots are generally why Quick Hit is considered a game you should always max bet. The five progressive jackpot increment at every bet level, across one or a bank of machines depending on the configuration, but you can only win the jackpots if you bet the maximum bet, which can vary based on the game type and the casino’s configuration of the game. The starting jackpots are generally proportional to the max bet, so higher max bets mean higher jackpots.

If you bet less than the max bet, the payout is equivalent to a percentage of the starting progressive jackpot amount, but without the extra bonus the progressives provide at max bet. Here’s an example, using the picture above, which was from a $1.50 Quick Hit 5-physical-reel machine:

  • Five Quick Hit symbols pays 10x the bet on any bet below max bet. So a 30 cent bet would pay $3 for five Quick Hit symbols, 60 cents would have $6, etc. However, if betting the max bet of $1.50, the win would be $18.11, which is a $3.11 additional premium over the $15 that would be the normal 10x pay. That’s a 20 percent premium in this example. The progressive jackpot would then reset to $15 and begin incrementing again.
  • Six Quick Hit symbols pays 50x the bet on any bet below max bet. So a 30 cent bet would pay $15 for six Quick Hit symbols, 60 cents would pay $30, etc. However, when max betting $1.50, the win here would b3 $88.65 (which was my win, hence the light border around the frame). This is higher than the $75 following the same rules as before, about an 18% premium. It would then reset the progressive jackpot to $75 and count up again.

This pattern repeats for all five jackpots, and so when max betting there’s a premium earned whenever five or more Quick Hit symbols appear.

When Max Betting is Not Required

So now that we know that Quick Hit has max bet jackpots, why would you not max bet and get that premium? Because sometimes casinos turn that premium off. This is most frequently seen in markets where the bigger casino chains operate, such as Las Vegas and Atlantic City, but I did see it at MGM Springfield in Massachusetts too.

In those instances, the top box will show fixed jackpots that don’t progress. So that five Quick Hit jackpot doesn’t budget from its $15 starting point, the six Quick Hits at $75, if we stick with the example game pictured earlier.

At that point, the payouts are identical proportionally to your bet as the other levels – there’s no longer a premium for betting the maximum on this game. So you should no longer feel obligated to play the game at that level should you not want to.

…or Should You Play Them At All?

But what you might want to do is look around to see if the same game, with progressive jackpots, or other Quick Hits with the same bet ranges, are around with progressive jackpots.

While you can’t know what the payback percentages are on a given game, it’s possible that the payback percentages will be lower on the fixed jackpot versions, as they’ve turned off the progressives, which contributed to the payback percentage. It’s possible that they’ve set some machines to higher paybacks with no jackpots vs. lower paybacks with jackpots on the same floor. But that is not a guarantee and so choosing a machine with fixed progressives is rolling the dice that they’re making up for it on the line hits.

In every instance where I saw fixed progressives, not all machines had that setup, even at the same bet level. So it’s always worth doing a bit of machine comparison shopping.

Do you have a favorite Quick Hit game? Have you ever hit one of the bigger Quick Hit progressives? Share your experiences 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.


  • I have hit the 9 quick hit jackpot twice. One where the progressive was at 10,357.00. The other time the jackpot was only at 5000.00 but I won 10,000 because it was in a bonus play so it doubled up. Very cool. My question is. Is there ever a must go amount on these machines? Because there is one casino that I frequent that has the progressive at over 19,000.00. Its a 2.00 max bet. But I have never seen it that high. I play it every chance I get. But I really thought it would have went before now.

    • Hey Margo – Quick Hit games do not have a must-hit-by component, so they will keep climbing until either hitting the max the machine is allowed to go, in which they’ll just stay at that top number until the prize is won, or they are awarded by the 9 Quick Hit symbols showing up.

  • My wife hit 9 quick hits on 2 cent machine at harrahas in cherokee nc I was playing next to her she hit it on free spins. I got up and moved while waiting to be paid she moved to my machine and hit 1300 on it for a total of 8600

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