For the bottom line, the casino win is the net dollars retained by the casino after all bets are paid. This can be a negative amount - any time the players win more than the casino holds. The hold percentage is the relationship of the casino win to the drop. However, the hold percentage is based on total bets. The hold percentage is better explained on a roulette table with a zero and double zero - the typical American wheel.
On this game, the casino has a house edge of 5. However, at the end of a shift, the game is likely to win close to 20 percent of the drop. This is because a player is likely to make many bets, over and over, each time against a house edge of 5. They win some, they lose some and eventually lose what they were willing to risk on this particular table.
The most important influence on casino handle is what is referred to as "time on device. Casinos maximize their income when they find ways to increase not just their house edge, but the average bet and the amount of time each gaming device table spot or slot machine is in action. As a business model, the overall handle is a product of capacity of use, game speed, and average bet.
This is why all players club comps are based on your average bet and the hours played, not on how much you win or lose! A casino with slot machines is only successful if they are in constant use. However, the utilization of game space and betting minimums at table games can be deceiving. This phenomenon is best explained by the math produced for expected win per hour at a blackjack table.
So, some decisions at your local casino are made for player comfort to extend the amount of time played, and some decisions are made simply based on casino income, as with any business. In the short term, of course, the actual win percentage will differ from the theoretical win percentage the magnitude of this deviation can be predicted from statistical theory. The actual win percentage is just the actual win divided by the handle.
Because of the law of large numbers - or as some prefer to call it, the law of averages - as the number of trials gets larger, the actual win percentage should get closer to the theoretical win percentage. Because handle can be difficult to measure for table games, performance is often measured by hold percentage and sometimes erroneously called win percentage.
Hold percentage is equal to win divided by drop. The drop and hold percentage are affected by many factors; we won't delve into these nor the associated management issues. To summarize: House advantage and theoretical win percentage are the same thing, hold percentage is win over drop, win percentage is win over handle, win percentage approaches the house advantage as the number of plays increases, and hold percentage is equivalent to win percentage for slots but not table games.
Furthermore, the house advantage is itself subject to varying interpretations. In Let It Ride, for example, the casino advantage is either 3. Those familiar with the game know that the player begins with three equal base bets, but may withdraw one or two of these initial units. The final amount put at risk, then, can be one In the long run, the casino will win 3.
So what's the house edge for Let It Ride? Some prefer to say 3. No matter. The question of whether to use the base bet or average bet size also arises in Caribbean Stud Poker 5. For still other games, the house edge can be stated including or excluding ties.
The prime examples here are the player 1. Again, these are different views on the casino edge, but the expected revenue will not change. That the house advantage can appear in different disguises might be unsettling. When properly computed and interpreted, however, regardless of which representation is chosen, the same truth read: money emerges: expected win is the same.
Volatility and Risk. Statistical theory can be used to predict the magnitude of the difference between the actual win percentage and the theoretical win percentage for a given number of wagers. When observing the actual win percentage a player or casino may experience, how much variation from theoretical win can be expected?
What is a normal fluctuation? The basis for the analysis of such volatility questions is a statistical measure called the standard deviation essentially the average deviation of all possible outcomes from the expected.
Together with the central limit theorem a form of the law of large numbers , the standard deviation SD can be used to determine confidence limits with the following volatility guidelines:. Obviously a key to using these guidelines is the value of the SD.
Computing the SD value is beyond the scope of this article, but to get an idea behind confidence limits, consider a series of 1, pass line wagers in craps. Since each wager has a 1. It can be shown calculations omitted that the wager standard deviation is for a single pass line bet is 1. Note that if the volatility analysis is done in terms of the percentage win rather than the number of units or amount won , the confidence limits will converge to the house advantage as the number of wagers increases.
This is the result of the law of large numbers - as the number of trials gets larger, the actual win percentage should get closer to the theoretical win percentage. Risk in the gaming business depends on the house advantage, standard deviation, bet size, and length of play. Player Value and Complimentaries. Using the house advantage, bet size, duration of play, and pace of the game, a casino can determine how much it expects to win from a certain player.
This player earning potential also called player value, player worth, or theoretical win can be calculated by the formula:. Using a house advantage of 1. Many casinos set comp complimentary policies by giving the player back a set percentage of their earning potential. Although comp and rebate policies based on theoretical loss are the most popular, rebates on actual losses and dead chip programs are also used in some casinos.
Some programs involve a mix of systems. The mathematics associated with these programs will not be addressed in this article. Casino Pricing Mistakes. In an effort to entice players and increase business, casinos occasionally offer novel wagers, side bets, increased payoffs, or rule variations. These promotions have the effect of lowering the house advantage and the effective price of the game for the player.
This is sound reasoning from a marketing standpoint, but can be disastrous for the casino if care is not taken to ensure the math behind the promotion is sound. This is easy to see using the well-known probabilities of winning and losing the banker bet :. A casino in Biloxi, Mississippi gave players a Again, this is an easy calculation. Not to be outdone, an Indian casino in California paid 3 to 1 on naturals during their "happy hour," offered three times a day, two days a week for over two weeks.
A small Las Vegas casino offered a blackjack rule variation called the "Free Ride" in which players were given a free right-to-surrender token every time they received a natural. Proper use of the token led to a player edge of 1. In the gaming business, it's all about "bad math" or "good math.
Players will get "lucky" in the short term, but that is all part of the grand design. Fluctuations in both directions will occur. We call these fluctuations good luck or bad luck depending on the direction of the fluctuation. There is no such thing as luck. Gaming Regulation and Mathematics. Casino gaming is one of the most regulated industries in the world. Most gaming regulatory systems share common objectives: keep the games fair and honest and assure that players are paid if they win.
Fairness and honesty are different concepts. A casino can be honest but not fair. Honesty refers to whether the casino offers games whose chance elements are random. Fairness refers to the game advantage - how much of each dollar wagered should the casino be able to keep? Such evidence can range from straightforward probability analyses to computer simulations and complex statistical studies.
Requirements vary across jurisdictions, but it is not uncommon to see technical language in gaming regulations concerning specific statistical tests that must be performed, confidence limits that must be met, and other mathematical specifications and standards relating to game outcomes. Summary Tables for House Advantage. The two tables below show the house advantages for many of the popular casino games.
The first table is a summary of the popular games and the second gives a more detailed breakdown. Note: This summary is the intellectual property of the author and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Do not use or reproduce without proper citation and permission. Cabot, Anthony N. Eadington, William R. Epstein, Richard A. Feller, William Griffin, Peter A. The Theory of Blackjack, 6th ed. Griffin, Peter Hannum, Robert C.
Humble, Lance, and Cooper, Carl Kilby, Jim and Fox, Jim Levinson, Horace C. Millman, Martin H. Packel, Edward Thorp, Edward O. Vancura, Olaf, Cornelius, Judy A. Vancura, Olaf Weaver, Warren Wilson, Allan Cabot and numerous articles in scholarly and gaming industry journals.
Hannum regularly speaks on casino mathematics to audiences around the globe. For more information, see Dr. Hannum's personal site. Do not copy or reuse without permission. Casino Mathematics. Jump to: Selected Bibliography About the Author. Introduction Why is Mathematics Important? Back to Top Why is Mathematics Important? Back to Top The House Edge The player's chances of winning in a casino game and the rate at which he wins or loses money depends on the game, the rules in effect for that game, and for some games his level of skill.
Back to Top Probability versus Odds Probability represents the long run ratio of of times an outcome occurs to of times experiment is conducted. Back to Top Volatility and Risk Statistical theory can be used to predict the magnitude of the difference between the actual win percentage and the theoretical win percentage for a given number of wagers.
Back to Top Player Value and Complimentaries Using the house advantage, bet size, duration of play, and pace of the game, a casino can determine how much it expects to win from a certain player. Back to Top Casino Pricing Mistakes In an effort to entice players and increase business, casinos occasionally offer novel wagers, side bets, increased payoffs, or rule variations.
Back to Top Gaming Regulation and Mathematics Casino gaming is one of the most regulated industries in the world. Back to Top Summary Tables for House Advantage The two tables below show the house advantages for many of the popular casino games.
House Advantages for Popular Casino Games. House Advantage. Blackjack - average player. House Advantages for Major Casino Wagers. Field 2 and 12 pay double. Field 2 or 12 pays triple.
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After some modifications to defeat cheating attempts, the video slot machine was approved by the Nevada State Gaming Commission and eventually found popularity on the Las Vegas Strip and in downtown casinos. Fortune Coin Co.
Depending on the machine, the player can insert cash or, in " ticket-in, ticket-out " machines, a paper ticket with a barcode , into a designated slot on the machine. The machine is then activated by means of a lever or button either physical or on a touchscreen , which activates reels that spin and stop to rearrange the symbols. If a player matches a winning combination of symbols, the player earns credits based on the paytable. Symbols vary depending on the theme of the machine.
Classic symbols include objects such as fruits, bells, and stylized lucky sevens. Most slot games have a theme, such as a specific aesthetic , location, or character. Symbols and other bonus features of the game are typically aligned with the theme. Some themes are licensed from popular media franchises , including films, television series including game shows such as Wheel of Fortune , entertainers, and musicians.
Multi-line slot machines have become more popular since the s. These machines have more than one payline, meaning that visible symbols that are not aligned on the main horizontal may be considered as winning combinations. Traditional three-reel slot machines commonly have one, three, or five paylines while video slot machines may have 9, 15, 25, or as many as different paylines.
Most accept variable numbers of credits to play, with 1 to 15 credits per line being typical. The higher the amount bet, the higher the payout will be if the player wins. One of the main differences between video slot machines and reel machines is in the way payouts are calculated. With reel machines, the only way to win the maximum jackpot is to play the maximum number of coins usually three, sometimes four or even five coins per spin. With video machines, the fixed payout values are multiplied by the number of coins per line that is being bet.
In other words: on a reel machine, the odds are more favorable if the gambler plays with the maximum number of coins available. Multi-way games may be configured to allow players to bet by-reel: for example, on a game with a 3x5 pattern often referred to as a way game , playing one reel allows all three symbols in the first reel to potentially pay, but only the center row pays on the remaining reels often designated by darkening the unused portions of the reels. Other multi-way games use a 4x5 or 5x5 pattern, where there are up to five symbols in each reel, allowing for up to 1, and 3, ways to win respectively.
A variation involves patterns where symbols pay adjacent to one another. Most of these games have a hexagonal reel formation, and much like multi-way games, any patterns not played are darkened out of use. The latter are typically known as "high limit" machines, and machines configured to allow for such wagers are often located in dedicated areas which may have a separate team of attendants to cater to the needs of those who play there.
The machine automatically calculates the number of credits the player receives in exchange for the cash inserted. Newer machines often allow players to choose from a selection of denominations on a splash screen or menu. A bonus is a special feature of the particular game theme, which is activated when certain symbols appear in a winning combination. Bonuses and the number of bonus features vary depending upon the game.
In other bonus rounds, the player is presented with several items on a screen from which to choose. As the player chooses items, a number of credits is revealed and awarded. Some bonuses use a mechanical device, such as a spinning wheel, that works in conjunction with the bonus to display the amount won. A candle is a light on top of the slot machine.
It flashes to alert the operator that change is needed, hand pay is requested or a potential problem with the machine. It can be lit by the player by pressing the "service" or "help" button. A coin hopper is a container where the coins that are immediately available for payouts are held. When a certain preset coin capacity is reached, a coin diverter automatically redirects, or "drops", excess coins into a "drop bucket" or "drop box".
Unused coin hoppers can still be found even on games that exclusively employ Ticket-In, Ticket-Out technology, as a vestige. The credit meter is a display of the amount of money or number of credits on the machine. On mechanical slot machines, this is usually a seven-segment display , but video slot machines typically use stylized text that suits the game's theme and user interface.
The drop bucket or drop box is a container located in a slot machine's base where excess coins are diverted from the hopper. Typically, a drop bucket is used for low-denomination slot machines and a drop box is used for high-denomination slot machines. A drop box contains a hinged lid with one or more locks whereas a drop bucket does not contain a lid. The contents of drop buckets and drop boxes are collected and counted by the casino on a scheduled basis. Free spins are a common form of bonus, where a series of spins are automatically played at no charge at the player's current wager.
Free spins are usually triggered via a scatter of at least three designated symbols with the number of spins dependent on the number of symbols that land. Some games allow the free spins bonus to "retrigger", which adds additional spins on top of those already awarded. There is no theoretical limit to the number of free spins obtainable.
Some games may have other features that can also trigger over the course of free spins. A hand pay refers to a payout made by an attendant or at an exchange point "cage" , rather than by the slot machine itself. A hand pay occurs when the amount of the payout exceeds the maximum amount that was preset by the slot machine's operator. Usually, the maximum amount is set at the level where the operator must begin to deduct taxes. A hand pay could also be necessary as a result of a short pay. Hopper fill slip is a document used to record the replenishment of the coin in the coin hopper after it becomes depleted as a result of making payouts to players.
The slip indicates the amount of coin placed into the hoppers, as well as the signatures of the employees involved in the transaction, the slot machine number and the location and the date. MEAL book M achine e ntry a uthorization l og is a log of the employee's entries into the machine.
Low-level or slant-top slot machines include a stool so the player may sit down. Stand-up or upright slot machines are played while standing. Optimal play is a payback percentage based on a gambler using the optimal strategy in a skill-based slot machine game. Payline is a line that crosses through one symbol on each reel, along which a winning combination is evaluated.
Classic spinning reel machines usually have up to nine paylines, while video slot machines may have as many as one hundred. Paylines could be of various shapes horizontal, vertical, oblique, triangular, zigzag, etc. Persistent state refers to passive features on some slot machines, some of which able to trigger bonus payouts or other special features if certain conditions are met over time by players on that machine. Roll-up is the process of dramatizing a win by playing sounds while the meters count up to the amount that has been won.
Short pay refers to a partial payout made by a slot machine, which is less than the amount due to the player. This occurs if the coin hopper has been depleted as a result of making earlier payouts to players. The remaining amount due to the player is either paid as a hand pay or an attendant will come and refill the machine. A scatter is a pay combination based on occurrences of a designated symbol landing anywhere on the reels, rather than falling in sequence on the same payline.
A scatter pay usually requires a minimum of three symbols to land, and the machine may offer increased prizes or jackpots depending on the number that land. Scatters are frequently used to trigger bonus games, such as free spins with the number of spins multiplying based on the number of scatter symbols that land. The scatter symbol usually cannot be matched using wilds, and some games may require the scatter symbols to appear on consecutive reels in order to pay.
On some multiway games, scatter symbols still pay in unused areas. Taste is a reference to the small amount often paid out to keep a player seated and continuously betting. Only rarely will machines fail to pay even the minimum out over the course of several pulls. Tilt is a term derived from electromechanical slot machines' " tilt switches ", which would make or break a circuit when they were tilted or otherwise tampered with that triggered an alarm.
While modern machines no longer have tilt switches, any kind of technical fault door switch in the wrong state, reel motor failure, out of paper, etc. A theoretical hold worksheet is a document provided by the manufacturer for every slot machine that indicates the theoretical percentage the machine should hold based on the amount paid in.
The worksheet also indicates the reel strip settings, number of coins that may be played, the payout schedule, the number of reels and other information descriptive of the particular type of slot machine. Volatility or variance refers to the measure of risk associated with playing a slot machine. A low-volatility slot machine has regular but smaller wins, while a high-variance slot machine has fewer but bigger wins.
Weight count is an American term referring to the total value of coins or tokens removed from a slot machine's drop bucket or drop box for counting by the casino's hard count team through the use of a weigh scale. Wild symbols substitute for most other symbols in the game similarly to a joker card , usually excluding scatter and jackpot symbols or offering a lower prize on non-natural combinations that include wilds.
How jokers behave are dependent on the specific game and whether the player is in a bonus or free games mode. Sometimes wild symbols may only appear on certain reels, or have a chance to "stack" across the entire reel. Each machine has a table that lists the number of credits the player will receive if the symbols listed on the pay table line up on the pay line of the machine.
Some symbols are wild and can represent many, or all, of the other symbols to complete a winning line. Especially on older machines, the pay table is listed on the face of the machine, usually above and below the area containing the wheels. On video slot machines, they are usually contained within a help menu, along with information on other features. Historically, all slot machines used revolving mechanical reels to display and determine results.
Although the original slot machine used five reels, simpler, and therefore more reliable, three reel machines quickly became the standard. This limited the manufacturer's ability to offer large jackpots since even the rarest event had a likelihood of 0. Although the number of symbols eventually increased to about 22, allowing 10, combinations,  this still limited jackpot sizes as well as the number of possible outcomes.
In the s, however, slot machine manufacturers incorporated electronics into their products and programmed them to weight particular symbols. Thus the odds of losing symbols appearing on the payline became disproportionate to their actual frequency on the physical reel. A symbol would only appear once on the reel displayed to the player, but could, in fact, occupy several stops on the multiple reel. In Inge Telnaes received a patent for a device titled, "Electronic Gaming Device Utilizing a Random Number Generator for Selecting the Reel Stop Positions" US Patent ,  which states: "It is important to make a machine that is perceived to present greater chances of payoff than it actually has within the legal limitations that games of chance must operate.
With microprocessors now ubiquitous, the computers inside modern slot machines allow manufacturers to assign a different probability to every symbol on every reel. To the player it might appear that a winning symbol was "so close", whereas in fact the probability is much lower. In the s in the U. These used a number of features to ensure the payout was controlled within the limits of the gambling legislation.
As a coin was inserted into the machine, it could go either directly into the cashbox for the benefit of the owner or into a channel that formed the payout reservoir, with the microprocessor monitoring the number of coins in this channel. The drums themselves were driven by stepper motors, controlled by the processor and with proximity sensors monitoring the position of the drums.
A "look-up table" within the software allows the processor to know what symbols were being displayed on the drums to the gambler. This allowed the system to control the level of payout by stopping the drums at positions it had determined. If the payout channel had filled up, the payout became more generous; if nearly empty, the payout became less so thus giving good control of the odds.
Video slot machines do not use mechanical reels, instead of using graphical reels on a computerized display. As there are no mechanical constraints on the design of video slot machines, games often use at least five reels, and may also use non-standard layouts. This greatly expands the number of possibilities: a machine can have 50 or more symbols on a reel, giving odds as high as million to 1 against — enough for even the largest jackpot.
As there are so many combinations possible with five reels, manufacturers do not need to weight the payout symbols although some may still do so. Instead, higher paying symbols will typically appear only once or twice on each reel, while more common symbols earning a more frequent payout will appear many times.
Video slot machines usually make more extensive use of multimedia , and can feature more elaborate minigames as bonuses. Modern cabinets typically use flat-panel displays , but cabinets using larger curved screens which can provide a more immersive experience for the player are not uncommon. Video slot machines typically encourage the player to play multiple "lines": rather than simply taking the middle of the three symbols displayed on each reel, a line could go from top left to the bottom right or any other pattern specified by the manufacturer.
As each symbol is equally likely, there is no difficulty for the manufacturer in allowing the player to take as many of the possible lines on offer as desire — the long-term return to the player will be the same. The difference for the player is that the more lines they play, the more likely they are to get paid on a given spin because they are betting more. To avoid seeming as if the player's money is simply ebbing away whereas a payout of credits on a single-line machine would be bets and the player would feel they had made a substantial win, on a line machine, it would only be five bets and not seem as significant , manufacturers commonly offer bonus games, which can return many times their bet.
The player is encouraged to keep playing to reach the bonus: even if he is losing, the bonus game could allow then to win back their losses. All modern machines are designed using pseudorandom number generators "PRNGs" , which are constantly generating a sequence of simulated random numbers, at a rate of hundreds or perhaps thousands per second.
As soon as the "Play" button is pressed, the most recent random number is used to determine the result. This means that the result varies depending on exactly when the game is played. A fraction of a second earlier or later and the result would be different. It is important that the machine contains a high-quality RNG implementation. Because all PRNGs must eventually repeat their number sequence  and, if the period is short or the PRNG is otherwise flawed, an advanced player may be able to "predict" the next result.
Having access to the PRNG code and seed values, Ronald Dale Harris , a former slot machine programmer, discovered equations for specific gambling games like Keno that allowed him to predict what the next set of selected numbers would be based on the previous games played. Most machines are designed to defeat this by generating numbers even when the machine is not being played so the player cannot tell where in the sequence they are, even if they know how the machine was programmed.
This is known as the "theoretical payout percentage" or RTP, "return to player". The minimum theoretical payout percentage varies among jurisdictions and is typically established by law or regulation. The winning patterns on slot machines — the amounts they pay and the frequencies of those payouts — are carefully selected to yield a certain fraction of the money paid to the "house" the operator of the slot machine while returning the rest to the players during play.
Within some EGM development organizations this concept is referred to simply as "par". Play now! A slot machine's theoretical payout percentage is set at the factory when the software is written. Changing the payout percentage after a slot machine has been placed on the gaming floor requires a physical swap of the software or firmware , which is usually stored on an EPROM but may be loaded onto non-volatile random access memory NVRAM or even stored on CD-ROM or DVD , depending on the capabilities of the machine and the applicable regulations.
Based on current technology, this is a time-consuming process and as such is done infrequently. Other jurisdictions, including Nevada, randomly audit slot machines to ensure that they contain only approved software. Historically, many casinos, both online and offline, have been unwilling to publish individual game RTP figures, making it impossible for the player to know whether they are playing a "loose" or a "tight" game.
Since the turn of the century some information regarding these figures has started to come into the public domain either through various casinos releasing them—primarily this applies to online casinos—or through studies by independent gambling authorities. The return to player is not the only statistic that is of interest.
The probabilities of every payout on the pay table is also critical. For example, consider a hypothetical slot machine with a dozen different values on the pay table. However, the probabilities of getting all the payouts are zero except the largest one. Also, most people would not win anything, and having entries on the paytable that have a return of zero would be deceptive. As these individual probabilities are closely guarded secrets, it is possible that the advertised machines with high return to player simply increase the probabilities of these jackpots.
The added advantage is that these large jackpots increase the excitement of the other players. This game, in its original form, is obsolete, so these specific probabilities do not apply. He only published the odds after a fan of his sent him some information provided on a slot machine that was posted on a machine in the Netherlands. The psychology of the machine design is quickly revealed. There are 13 possible payouts ranging from to 2, The payout comes every 8 plays. The payout comes every 33 plays, whereas the payout comes every plays.
Most players assume the likelihood increases proportionate to the payout. The one mid-size payout that is designed to give the player a thrill is the payout. It is programmed to occur an average of once every plays. The payout is high enough to create excitement, but not high enough that it makes it likely that the player will take their winnings and abandon the game.
In contrast the payout occurs only on average of once every 6, plays. The player who continues to feed the machine is likely to have several mid-size payouts, but unlikely to have a large payout. He quits after he is bored or has exhausted his bankroll. Despite their confidentiality, occasionally a PAR sheet is posted on a website. They have limited value to the player, because usually a machine will have 8 to 12 different possible programs with varying payouts. In addition, slight variations of each machine e.
The casino operator can choose which EPROM chip to install in any particular machine to select the payout desired. The result is that there is not really such a thing as a high payback type of machine, since every machine potentially has multiple settings. Without revealing the proprietary information, he developed a program that would allow him to determine with usually less than a dozen plays on each machine which EPROM chip was installed.
Then he did a survey of over machines in 70 different casinos in Las Vegas. He averaged the data, and assigned an average payback percentage to the machines in each casino. The resultant list was widely publicized for marketing purposes especially by the Palms casino which had the top ranking.
One reason that the slot machine is so profitable to a casino is that the player must play the high house edge and high payout wagers along with the low house edge and low payout wagers. Other bets have a higher house edge, but the player is rewarded with a bigger win up to thirty times in craps. The player can choose what kind of wager he wants to make. A slot machine does not afford such an opportunity.
Theoretically, the operator could make these probabilities available, or allow the player to choose which one so that the player is free to make a choice. However, no operator has ever enacted this strategy. Different machines have different maximum payouts, but without knowing the odds of getting the jackpot, there is no rational way to differentiate.
In many markets where central monitoring and control systems are used to link machines for auditing and security purposes, usually in wide area networks of multiple venues and thousands of machines, player return must usually be changed from a central computer rather than at each machine. A range of percentages is set in the game software and selected remotely. In , the Nevada Gaming Commission began working with Las Vegas casinos on technology that would allow the casino's management to change the game, the odds, and the payouts remotely.
The change cannot be done instantaneously, but only after the selected machine has been idle for at least four minutes. After the change is made, the machine must be locked to new players for four minutes and display an on-screen message informing potential players that a change is being made.
Some varieties of slot machines can be linked together in a setup sometimes known as a "community" game. The most basic form of this setup involves progressive jackpots that are shared between the bank of machines, but may include multiplayer bonuses and other features. In some cases multiple machines are linked across multiple casinos. In these cases, the machines may be owned by the manufacturer, who is responsible for paying the jackpot.
The casinos lease the machines rather than owning them outright. Casinos in New Jersey, Nevada, and South Dakota now offer multi-state progressive jackpots, which now offer bigger jackpot pools. Mechanical slot machines and their coin acceptors were sometimes susceptible to cheating devices and other scams. One historical example involved spinning a coin with a short length of plastic wire. The weight and size of the coin would be accepted by the machine and credits would be granted.
However, the spin created by the plastic wire would cause the coin to exit through the reject chute into the payout tray. This particular scam has become obsolete due to improvements in newer slot machines. Another obsolete method of defeating slot machines was to use a light source to confuse the optical sensor used to count coins during payout. Modern slot machines are controlled by EPROM computer chips and, in large casinos, coin acceptors have become obsolete in favor of bill acceptors.
These machines and their bill acceptors are designed with advanced anti-cheating and anti-counterfeiting measures and are difficult to defraud. Early computerized slot machines were sometimes defrauded through the use of cheating devices, such as the "slider", "monkey paw", "lightwand" and "the tongue". Malfunctioning electronic slot machines are capable of indicating jackpot winnings far in excess of those advertised.
In the United States, the public and private availability of slot machines is highly regulated by state governments. Many states have established gaming control boards to regulate the possession and use of slot machines and other form of gaming. Nevada is the only state that has no significant restrictions against slot machines both for public and private use. In New Jersey , slot machines are only allowed in hotel casinos operated in Atlantic City.
Several states Indiana , Louisiana and Missouri allow slot machines as well as any casino-style gambling only on licensed riverboats or permanently anchored barges. Since Hurricane Katrina , Mississippi has removed the requirement that casinos on the Gulf Coast operate on barges and now allows them on land along the shoreline. Delaware allows slot machines at three horse tracks; they are regulated by the state lottery commission.
In Wisconsin, bars and taverns are allowed to have up to five machines. These machines usually allow a player to either take a payout, or gamble it on a double-or-nothing "side game". The territory of Puerto Rico places significant restrictions on slot machine ownership, but the law is widely flouted and slot machines are common in bars and coffeeshops.
In regards to tribal casinos located on Native American reservations , slot machines played against the house and operating independently from a centralized computer system are classified as "Class III" gaming by the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act IGRA , and sometimes promoted as "Vegas-style" slot machines. As a workaround, some casinos may operate slot machines as "Class II" games—a category that includes games where players play exclusively against at least one other opponent and not the house, such as bingo or any related games such as pull-tabs.
In these cases, the reels are an entertainment display with a pre-determined outcome based on a centralized game played against other players. Some historical race wagering terminals operate in a similar manner, with the machines using slots as an entertainment display for outcomes paid using the parimutuel betting system, based on results of randomly-selected, previously-held horse races with the player able to view selected details about the race and adjust their picks before playing the credit, or otherwise use an auto-bet system.
Conversely, in Connecticut , Hawaii , Nebraska , South Carolina , and Tennessee , private ownership of any slot machine is completely prohibited. Statistics concerning Louisiana gaming are not broken down by individual casinos.
These numbers above display the percentage of money returned on each denomination of machine and cover all electronic machines including both video poker and video keno. The highest returns for each category are highlighted in bold print, as you can see the casinos in the Baton Rouge area offered the highest returns in most categories. Maine is home to two racetrack casinos racinos , these two locations offer electronic gaming machines, as well as live table games.
During the eleven-month period from July 1, through May 31, , the average return on gaming machines at Hollywood Casino was Maryland is home to five casinos, all of these locations are allowed to offer electronic gaming machines, as well as live table games. However, the Ocean Downs location does not offer table games.
Maryland state gaming laws does not require casinos to provide information on the actual payback percentages on gaming machines. Plainridge Park Casino is a harness racing track that is located about 40 miles southwest of Boston. It only offers electronic gaming machines. It has no live table games, but it does have electronic versions of those games, such as blackjack, craps and roulette. Both of these casinos offer live table games, as well as a variety of electronic gaming machines.
From July 1, through June 30, , the average return on electronic gaming machines at Plainridge Park was There are 17 Native American casinos located in Michigan, and state gaming laws do not require tribes to release information concerning their slot machine payback percentages. The Michigan Gaming Control Board, however, does require that gaming machines in the state must meet the same minimum standards that are required for machines in Nevada or New Jersey.
Detroit also has three privately owned casinos, though Michigan does not require their slot payback to be available to the public. All casinos in Minnesota are located on Native American reservations, and by state law the only kind of slot machines allowed are of the electronic video slot machines, you will not find any mechanical slots that have traditional reels in Minnesota.
The state allows for tribe to set their machines to pay back anywhere within the predefined limits, the tribes are not required to release any information on their slot machine percentage paybacks. The Mississippi Gaming Commission breaks down its states slot statistics region, instead of breaking down the information by individual properties.
Using the key above, the Mississippi Gaming Commission, provides the information below. The numbers above reflect the percentage of money returned on each denomination of machine, this percentage encompass all electronic machines including video poker and video keno. The highest returns for each category are highlighted in bold print, you can see that all of the gaming areas offer very similar returns on their machines. Below is information provided by the Missouri Gaming Commission, which details the payback percentages for each casino's electronic machines for the month period from July 1, through June 30, The figures above encompass the total percentages returned by each casino for all of their electronic gaming machines including slot machines, video poker, video keno, etc.
There are seven Native American casinos that offer video gaming machines. Montana's state Gambling Control Division does not have a required minimum payback percentage for gaming machines on Native American reservations. Montana state gaming law also permit bars and taverns to have as many as 20 video gaming devices per location. These video gaming machines play video poker, video keno, or video bingo. These machines are owned and operated in a partnership with the state.
There are four casinos in Nebraska located on Native American Reservations. Though these gaming machines have spinning wheels and the appearance of slot machines, they are in reality, just games of bingo. Below is information showing the slot machine payback percentages for all of the north shore casinos:. The numbers above reflect the payback percentage to the players on each denomination of machine.
All electronic machines including video poker, slots, and video keno are included in these numbers. The Nevada State Gaming Control Board breaks down its slot statistics classified by area, Rather than breaking down the information by individual properties like other states. The gaming revenue report breaks down the Las Vegas market into two major tourist areas: downtown and the Strip. The locals market in Las Vegas and the casinos located within are grouped into the Boulder Strip and North Las Vegas areas in the gaming revenue report.
The information below shows the slot payback percentages for Nevada's fiscal year beginning July 1, and ending June 30, Las Vegas - All Slot Machines The Strip - These numbers reflect the percentage of money returned to the players on each denomination of machine.
All electronic machines including slots, video poker and video keno are included in these numbers and the highest-paying returns are shown in bold print. As you can see, the machines in downtown Las Vegas pay out more than those located on the Las Vegas Strip. The numbers above show the payback percentage to the players on each denomination of machine. These numbers reflect the percentage of money returned on each denomination of machine and encompass all electronic machines including slots, video poker and video keno.
The information below, provided by the New Jersey Casino Control Commission, covers the average electronic gaming machine payout percentages for the month period from July 1, through June 30, These figures reflect the total percentages returned by each casino for all of their electronic machines which includes slot machines, video poker, etc. New Mexico's Native American casinos offer an assortment of live table games and electronic gaming machines.
New Mexico state gaming laws also allow for machines at the state's racetracks, as well as 40 various veteran and fraternal clubs. New Mexico's Native American tribes are not required to release their slot machine payback percentages to the public. These types of casinos offer live table games and electronic gaming machines, such as slot machines, video poker and video keno. These Class II video gaming devices have the appearance of slot machines, but in reality, are games of bingo. The spinning reels on these machines are actually for entertainment purposes only.
New York does not require information concerning the payback percentages on any gaming machines in Indian casinos to be made public. There are four destination casino resorts in upstate New York. These casinos all offer: blackjack, roulette, craps, slots and video poker. Some casinos also offer: mini-baccarat , poker, pai gow poker, Caribbean stud poker, let it ride, big 6 wheel, bingo, keno, Mississippi stud, three card poker, four card poker and Spanish Sports betting is also allowed at these four upstate casinos.
New York also has racinos, which are slot machine-style video lottery machines at racetracks located in the state. The video gaming machines do not operate like a traditional slot machine or video poker game. Instead, they are similar to scratch-off-type lottery tickets with a pre-determined number of winners. New York gaming laws require that video lottery gaming machines in the state must have an average pay prize of "no less than 90 percent of sales.
Below is information supplied by the New York Lottery which shows the video gaming machine payback percentages for each of the state's racetracks for the fiscal year from April 1, through March 31, North Dakota boasts more then sites statewide that offer games of blackjack. There are also six Indian casinos in North Dakota. Ohio has one casino in each of its four major cities: Cleveland, Cincinnati, Columbus and Toledo. Ohio also boasts seven racetracks that offer video lottery terminals.
Below is information provided by the Ohio Casino Control Commission. Most casinos in Oklahoma only offer Class II gaming machines, these machines have the appearance of slot machines, but are actually games of bingo with spinning video reels that are for "entertainment purposes only. Be aware Oklahoma state gaming regulations do not publish public information concerning the payback percentages on any gaming machines in the state.
Oregon only allows Indian casinos and there are nine Native American casinos in operation. The state of Oregon does not require the Native American tribes to have a minimum payback percentage on their gaming machines, and each Tribe is free to set their own limits on their machines. Oregon state gaming laws also permit bars and taverns to offer up to six video lottery terminals VLT per location. These machines offer select versions of video poker. Racetracks in Oregon are also permitted to have up to 10 VLT machines.
Video lottery terminals are the same as typical video gaming devices, the reason these machines are called lottery terminals is because they are regulated by the Oregon lottery commission. The information below is provided by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board regarding the average slot payout percentages for the one-year period from July 1, through June 30, Video lottery terminals are the same as typical video gaming devices, the reason these machines are called lottery terminals is because they are regulated by the Rhode Island lottery commission.
South Carolina has one gambling cruise ship which sails three miles out into international waters where casino gambling is permitted. Since the casino boat is required to travel into international waters, it is free from any state gaming regulations. This means the machines onboard the ship can be set to pay back whatever the operators want, without regard to a required minimum payback percentage.
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