WalterW
Joined: Dec 29, 2018
• Posts: 41
January 10th, 2019 at 5:39:13 PM permalink
Thanks, I'll look for:
\$5 or higher denomination
non-progressive
triple stars/triple butterflies or other not fancy looking reel slots
in the middle of a bank

It should be the best way to gestimate without inside info.
KevinAA
Joined: Jul 6, 2017
• Posts: 280
January 13th, 2019 at 12:14:35 AM permalink
Red Hot Jackpots is a 5 mechanical reel slot machine with a progressive \$5, \$20, \$100 and \$5,000 jackpots. If you bet \$1 (the max) and get 3 or more red hot jackpots, you will win those (3 red hots wins \$5 and the free spins can add \$20, and can also add \$100, though that one has not happened to me yet). Four red hots wins you the \$20 and you can win \$100 (I got that once). Five red hots win the \$100 and you can win \$5000 (sadly, that has not happened to me). You can win \$5,000 progressive outright by getting the top symbols on the reels.

I have been keeping track of the probability of winning the 5, 5+20, 20 only, and 20+100 by recording total number of spins, number of 5, 5+20, 20 only, and 20+100 jackpot wins. I also recorded the meter rate of the \$5, \$20, \$100 and \$5,000 jackpots.

I have made a total of 4,357 spins since I started this study. The probability of getting a \$5 (5 only or 5+20) is 1 in 52, the probability of getting a \$20 (5+20, 20 only, or 20+100) is 1 in 132, for an overall chance of getting some jackpot 1 in 46.

Using those probabilities, I calculated that if the \$5 jackpot is now at \$10, and the \$20 jackpot was just won (i.e. it's exactly \$20), it adds 9.5% to the base RTP. If the \$5 jackpot is exactly \$5, and the \$20 jackpot is now at \$30, it adds 7.5% to the base RTP. If both the \$5 jackpot is at \$10 and the \$20 jackpot is now at \$30, it adds 17% to the base RTP.

Unfortunately I don't know what the base RTP is. I should have kept track of cash in, cash out, what the progressive jackpot won was (then subtract the excess over the jackpot reset amount to arrive at the base return), but I didn't do that.

But if you assume that the base RTP is 85%, it means if the \$5 jackpot is at \$10 and the \$20 jackpot is at \$30, or the \$5 jackpot is at \$15 and the \$20 jackpot is just \$20, you're at roughly 100% return. When the jackpots are in the middle, it's fairly easy to estimate the additional RTP since it's linear.

So, what I do is look at the current jackpot amounts, do a little math in my head, and then decide whether or not to play. However, these figures are only good if you are the only player. If there is one other player who is also betting \$1/spin, then you are competing with someone, so you have to cut those percentage additions in half. Someone there's another player betting less than \$1/spin, which is great, because it adds to the jackpot that they cannot win.

That's pretty much the only slot machine I ever play, and it exists in just one casino in Reno.

For other slot machines, while the expected value of a quarter denomination may be lower than a \$5 denomination, it's not drastically less. Assuming you are going to wager the same number of dollars in total, the variance for the 25c denom is far less than the \$5 one. The downside is that if you win the jackpot, you'll win far more on the \$5 machine than the 25c machine. Decisions, decisions....
mamat
Joined: Jul 13, 2015
• Posts: 494
January 15th, 2019 at 3:45:45 AM permalink
As slot machines are being installed, slot techs will flip through 2-3+ screens where the payback percentages are shown.
Sometimes staff will walk around with a clipboard, checking the payback percentages.

So I was able to see a bank of eight \$5K progressive machines (84.xx% on 1c) being installed by Harrahs.
Last visit to Vegas, I saw settings at Four Queens (86.xx% on 1c), Main Street Station (87.xx% on 1c), and Cosmopolitan (90.xx% on \$1).

Machine settings will vary between machines, but you can get a general feel for how tight/loose a casino is.
Keep in mind that \$1 machines and 1c machines at the same casino will usually be 3-5% different.

Depending on your area, settings may be 80-100+%.
Some slot machines have different paybacks at different bet sizes (Usually the highest bet has higher payback, but occasionally the highest bet is set to a lower payback).
wrxrob
Joined: Aug 28, 2010
• Posts: 45
January 16th, 2019 at 8:09:36 AM permalink
I spotted a good one the other day. Local east coast casino was installing "Selexion" 1c machines by Konami. It had 2 payback percentages. Base game payout was around 85%, but then there was an "overall payout including progressive" which was 90%.

In addition, there were brand new machines installed of a different breed, where the set payback was 89%, and the "actual payback" was 104%, with the exact coin-in/coin-out figures. I looked over the tech's shoulder as he was texting the boss, asking if they wanted him to shut the machines down that were paying out too much. In the end, they didn't shut them down.
Zcore13
Joined: Nov 30, 2009
• Posts: 3519
January 16th, 2019 at 8:13:30 AM permalink
Quote: wrxrob

I spotted a good one the other day. Local east coast casino was installing "Selexion" 1c machines by Konami. It had 2 payback percentages. Base game payout was around 85%, but then there was an "overall payout including progressive" which was 90%.

In addition, there were brand new machines installed of a different breed, where the set payback was 89%, and the "actual payback" was 104%, with the exact coin-in/coin-out figures. I looked over the tech's shoulder as he was texting the boss, asking if they wanted him to shut the machines down that were paying out too much. In the end, they didn't shut them down.

The actual pay back just means its had some early jackpots hit. It happens. It will work it's way back to 89% just like it's supposed to.

ZCore13
I am an employee of a Casino. All the personal opinions I post are my own and do not represent the opinions of the Casino or Tribe that I work for.
JohnnyQ
Joined: Nov 3, 2009