TennisRatings
TennisRatings
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December 17th, 2019 at 9:39:44 AM permalink
Hi all - long time AP from UK here, have been playing slots as AP for majority of last 20 years. Most stuff is very different to US stuff although most principles are broadly similar.

Have been in Vegas for the first time in a decade throughout the last week & was wondering what you guys thought the average strip % was for their slots...

Might do a trip report when I get back but cliff notes are I've done ok - taught myself most of the US based slot AP strats plus a few others when I saw 'players' check stuff & then I just YouTubed the slot to work it out myself.

But the very basic stuff like GE/OM etc are just horrific here. Not so much the volume of plays (I expected them to be dreadful) but how they play when in + EV scenarios. I've played them a lot in Europe but those are 92-94% usually and it's a completely different (and more generous game) in Europe. Basically never lose 10x+ of stake, on the strip in Vegas it's been pretty commonplace for me...
DRich
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AxelWolf
December 17th, 2019 at 10:54:52 AM permalink
Quote: TennisRatings

Hi all - long time AP from UK here, have been playing slots as AP for majority of last 20 years. Most stuff is very different to US stuff although most principles are broadly similar.

Have been in Vegas for the first time in a decade throughout the last week & was wondering what you guys thought the average strip % was for their slots...

Might do a trip report when I get back but cliff notes are I've done ok - taught myself most of the US based slot AP strats plus a few others when I saw 'players' check stuff & then I just YouTubed the slot to work it out myself.

But the very basic stuff like GE/OM etc are just horrific here. Not so much the volume of plays (I expected them to be dreadful) but how they play when in + EV scenarios. I've played them a lot in Europe but those are 92-94% usually and it's a completely different (and more generous game) in Europe. Basically never lose 10x+ of stake, on the strip in Vegas it's been pretty commonplace for me...



I would say that most of the video slots on the strip are 12% to 15% hold.
At my age, a "Life In Prison" sentence is not much of a deterrent.
TDVegas
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December 17th, 2019 at 11:31:07 AM permalink
Quote: TennisRatings

Hi all - long time AP from UK here, have been playing slots as AP for majority of last 20 years. Most stuff is very different to US stuff although most principles are broadly similar.

Have been in Vegas for the first time in a decade throughout the last week & was wondering what you guys thought the average strip % was for their slots...

Might do a trip report when I get back but cliff notes are I've done ok - taught myself most of the US based slot AP strats plus a few others when I saw 'players' check stuff & then I just YouTubed the slot to work it out myself.

But the very basic stuff like GE/OM etc are just horrific here. Not so much the volume of plays (I expected them to be dreadful) but how they play when in + EV scenarios. I've played them a lot in Europe but those are 92-94% usually and it's a completely different (and more generous game) in Europe. Basically never lose 10x+ of stake, on the strip in Vegas it's been pretty commonplace for me...


Casinos in Vegas guard their hold percentages on slots like Fort Knox guards gold. I know of no casino that reveals their hold percentages for various slots. I don't believe the gaming public really knows. Video poker does state return and odds on other video type games for roulette or blackjack work off RNG's or 52 decks. So we know on those what the odds and chances are. Traditional slots?

Traditional slots...different animal. I don't think you will ever truly know or figure it out what the hold percentage is. First off, they don't want you knowing. That concept would invite competition between casinos....can't have that. Cue sarcasm.

There are some various publications that talk of loose slots...but some of these writer/players are on the casino payroll in one form or another.

In a perfect world....each and every slot would tell the player what the hold percentage is for $5...for $3....and down to .25 cent bets. Again, that would invite competition and that's the last thing the casino industry wants. You may hear some generic discussion on percentages and what the Strip is holding and what downtown is holding...but those specific numbers per machine are generally only known to a few within the casino.

I've never heard of an AP slot player.....playing traditional hold percentage slots? You're saying you are beating slots?
TennisRatings
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December 17th, 2019 at 11:38:43 AM permalink
Quote: TDVegas

Casinos in Vegas guard their hold percentages on slots like Fort Knox guards gold. I know of no casino that reveals their hold percentages for various slots. I don't believe the gaming public really knows. Video poker does state return and odds on other video type games for roulette or blackjack work off RNG's or 52 decks. So we know on those what the odds and chances are. Traditional slots?

Traditional slots...different animal. I don't think you will ever truly know or figure it out what the hold percentage is. First off, they don't want you knowing. That concept would invite competition between n't have that. Cue sarcasm.

There are some various publications that talk of loose slots...but some of these writer/players are on the casino payroll in one form or another.

In a perfect world....each and every slot would tell the player what the hold percentage is for r $3....and down to .25 cent bets. Again, that would invite competition and that's the last thing the casino industry wants. You may hear some generic discussion on percentages and what the Strip is holding and what downtown is holding...but those specific numbers per machine are generally only known to a few within the casino.



Thanks - it's really strange that US casinos take this approach. In UK it is compulsory for the slot to either have the target % on the help/game rules menu for video slots (eg all grosvenor casinos are 94.08%) or for physical reel-based slots in pubs the minimum payout % has to be advertised physically on the machine.

In Europe it's not compulsory although places will advertise a general payout % on their slots across the casino.
TDVegas
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December 17th, 2019 at 12:03:10 PM permalink
Quote: TennisRatings

Thanks - it's really strange that US casinos take this approach. In UK it is compulsory for the slot to either have the target % on the help/game rules menu for video slots (eg all grosvenor casinos are 94.08%) or for physical reel-based slots in pubs the minimum payout % has to be advertised physically on the machine.

In Europe it's not compulsory although places will advertise a general payout % on their slots across the casino.


Nope. Different here. Video poker machines will tell you the payback (hold).

Traditional slots (Buffalo, double diamond, willy wonka, etc, etc.).....nope.
scolist
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December 17th, 2019 at 12:36:53 PM permalink
Quote: TDVegas

Nope. Different here. Video poker machines will tell you the payback (hold).



Where will you find this info on these machines?
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DRich
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December 17th, 2019 at 12:39:07 PM permalink
Quote: TDVegas

Casinos in Vegas guard their hold percentages on slots like Fort Knox guards gold. I know of no casino that reveals their hold percentages for various slots. I don't believe the gaming public really knows. Video poker does state return and odds on other video type games for roulette or blackjack work off RNG's or 52 decks. So we know on those what the odds and chances are. Traditional slots?



Many of us that work for slot manufacturers know exactly what the casinos are ordering and what they want the default percentage to be. It is definitely in the 12% to 15% hold.
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TDVegas
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scolist
December 17th, 2019 at 1:04:05 PM permalink
Quote: scolist

Where will you find this info on these machines?


At my casino....many of the video poker machines will say it right on the machine. "98% Payback". I don't play video poker so I am not familiar with every VP machine....but many state the payback (up to 100%) on some.

I'll see if I can get a picture up.
TDVegas
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December 17th, 2019 at 1:10:15 PM permalink
Quote: DRich

Many of us that work for slot manufacturers know exactly what the casinos are ordering and what they want the default percentage to be. It is definitely in the 12% to 15% hold.


Correct. If you are an insider....you would know. I would imagine a slot manufacturer would not be at all happy to know that their employees are disclosing this info publicly but I'm sure there are some who know what % chip is in what machine and where was it shipped.

Beyond that....hold percentages are generally a closely guarded casino secret....between them and manufacturer. Your range is probably about right but I did hear one instance of a slot manager in Vegas stating he ordered his $5 machines at 94%....and it went down from there (92.5%....90%) based on denomination wagered. That was the one and only time I ever heard an employee discuss this. He didn't specify which games either.

In a general sense...they don't want the public knowing.
Boz
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December 17th, 2019 at 1:20:59 PM permalink
Quote: TDVegas



In a general sense...they don't want the public knowing.



Actually the vast majority of slot players donít care, nor understand holds and payback. Nor does it stop them.

Scratch tickets return 50% or less yet millions are sold everyday and many gift them at Christmas. Probably the worst Christmas gift out there but you always hear about the person who won a Million. Never about about the 2 Million in losers that paid for it.
TDVegas
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December 17th, 2019 at 1:44:19 PM permalink
Quote: Boz

Actually the vast majority of slot players donít care, nor understand holds and payback. Nor does it stop them.

Scratch tickets return 50% or less yet millions are sold everyday and many gift them at Christmas. Probably the worst Christmas gift out there but you always hear about the person who won a Million. Never about about the 2 Million in losers that paid for it.


Sure...why not disclose it then for those who might want to know? They do it on video poker machines. I can see no reason not to have a simple menu button option that says "hold percentage".

I assume they don't do that as they don't want one casino competing against another....ala, "Our Willy Wonka is 92% return...our neighbor is 86% return"....something like that.

There are always casinos out here making statements "our slots are 36% looser than others (Rampart).....I find that to be mostly bullshit from casino shill writers. They don't know what their competitors slots are set at. No one does other than insiders.

The vast majority might not care....but the term "tight slots" is universally used by a LOT of people. If it was me...I'd like to know how the same machine I'm playing compares to the same machine across the street.
bobbartop
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December 17th, 2019 at 2:29:45 PM permalink
Quote: TDVegas

Sure...why not disclose it then for those who might want to know? They do it on video poker machines. I can see no reason not to have a simple menu button option that says "hold percentage".

I assume they don't do that as they don't want one casino competing against another....ala, "Our Willy Wonka is 92% return...our neighbor is 86% return"....something like that.

There are always casinos out here making statements "our slots are 36% looser than others (Rampart).....I find that to be mostly bullshit from casino shill writers. They don't know what their competitors slots are set at. No one does other than insiders.

The vast majority might not care....but the term "tight slots" is universally used by a LOT of people. If it was me...I'd like to know how the same machine I'm playing compares to the same machine across the street.




There was a story from Reno, maybe five years ago or so, Peppermill got fined a million bucks when one of their employees was caught using the reset key at the competition's casinos. I forget the details, probably easy to look up, I think he was going into the machines looking up info. I don't know, I never fully understood the story. But apparently he was doing it on the company's approval. Sounded pretty stupid to me at the time.
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DRich
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December 17th, 2019 at 2:34:16 PM permalink
Quote: bobbartop

There was a story from Reno, maybe five years ago or so, Peppermill got fined a million bucks when one of their employees was caught using the reset key at the competition's casinos. I forget the details, probably easy to look up, I think he was going into the machines looking up info. I don't know, I never fully understood the story. But apparently he was doing it on the company's approval. Sounded pretty stupid to me at the time.



I think it was smart besides the getting caught part. They wanted to know where the competition was setting their machines so they could compete with them. I have a jar of hundreds of those keys and they work at almost every property.
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Mission146
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December 17th, 2019 at 3:40:17 PM permalink
Quote: Boz

Actually the vast majority of slot players donít care, nor understand holds and payback. Nor does it stop them.

Scratch tickets return 50% or less yet millions are sold everyday and many gift them at Christmas. Probably the worst Christmas gift out there but you always hear about the person who won a Million. Never about about the 2 Million in losers that paid for it.



Scratch tickets often return more than 50% and, interestingly enough, CAN have a better return than some casino progressive table game side bets depending on where the progressive is at.

(Yes, it has gotten that bad)
https://wizardofvegas.com/forum/off-topic/gripes/11182-pet-peeves/120/#post815219
smurgerburger
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December 17th, 2019 at 4:20:17 PM permalink
Quote: DRich

I think it was smart besides the getting caught part. They wanted to know where the competition was setting their machines so they could compete with them. I have a jar of hundreds of those keys and they work at almost every property.



Do you know whether it illegal to use a key without authorization like that?
ThatDonGuy
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December 17th, 2019 at 4:51:23 PM permalink
Quote: scolist

Where will you find this info on these machines?


You can calculate the hold for a VP machine based on its paytable.

For slot machines, the Nevada Gaming Control Board maintains data on slot machine holds, but it's by county, and broken down by the various denominations of machine (penny, quarter, dollar, and so on), with Megabucks machines counted separately.
Click Here to go to the main statistics page, then click on any of the "PDF" tags to see the one-month, three-month, and 12-month reports ending in that month. The "Win Percent" column is the average hold.
Boz
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December 17th, 2019 at 6:11:22 PM permalink
Quote: Mission146

Scratch tickets often return more than 50% and, interestingly enough, CAN have a better return than some casino progressive table game side bets depending on where the progressive is at.

(Yes, it has gotten that bad)




https://www.palottery.state.pa.us/uploadedfiles/PA-1432_$3M-Limited_DATA.pdf

New PA lottery $30 ticket. Appears they are selling 1.2 Million tickets for a total of $36 million and there is 1 3 Million winner. That leaves $33M for the rest of the prizes and retailer commissions and profit.

Do you have a program to plug these numbers into that would show the payback percentage?

Thanks! Boz
TDVegas
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December 17th, 2019 at 6:15:10 PM permalink
Quote: Boz

https://www.palottery.state.pa.us/uploadedfiles/PA-1432_$3M-Limited_DATA.pdf

New PA lottery $30 ticket. Appears they are selling 1.2 Million tickets for a total of $36 million and there is 1 3 Million winner. That leaves $33M for the rest of the prizes and retailer commissions and profit.

Do you have a program to plug these numbers into that would show the payback percentage?

Thanks! Boz


Itís beyond ridiculous that these are the payback percentages. Not criminal in the legal sense...but certainly criminal.
Mission146
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December 17th, 2019 at 6:24:39 PM permalink
Quote: Boz

https://www.palottery.state.pa.us/uploadedfiles/PA-1432_$3M-Limited_DATA.pdf

New PA lottery $30 ticket. Appears they are selling 1.2 Million tickets for a total of $36 million and there is 1 3 Million winner. That leaves $33M for the rest of the prizes and retailer commissions and profit.

Do you have a program to plug these numbers into that would show the payback percentage?

Thanks! Boz



Not per se, but recently Jack Casino Cleveland posted someone winning a jackpot on one of the table game progressives and the reported actual percentage payout for an instant ticket in Ohio of the same denomination ($5) was actually better than what the side bet was at in its state upon being hit.
https://wizardofvegas.com/forum/off-topic/gripes/11182-pet-peeves/120/#post815219
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TDVegas
December 17th, 2019 at 6:30:09 PM permalink
Quote: TDVegas

Sure...why not disclose it then for those who might want to know? They do it on video poker machines. I can see no reason not to have a simple menu button option that says "hold percentage".

I assume they don't do that as they don't want one casino competing against another....ala, "Our Willy Wonka is 92% return...our neighbor is 86% return"....something like that.

There are always casinos out here making statements "our slots are 36% looser than others (Rampart).....I find that to be mostly bullshit from casino shill writers. They don't know what their competitors slots are set at. No one does other than insiders.

The vast majority might not care....but the term "tight slots" is universally used by a LOT of people. If it was me...I'd like to know how the same machine I'm playing compares to the same machine across the street.



The problem with those ads are that they are highly misleading. They factor VP returns into to those numbers but advertise "slots" as all machines as a whole.
scolist
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December 17th, 2019 at 6:54:57 PM permalink
Quote: ThatDonGuy

You can calculate the hold for a VP machine based on its paytable.

For slot machines, the Nevada Gaming Control Board maintains data on slot machine holds, but it's by county, and broken down by the various denominations of machine (penny, quarter, dollar, and so on), with Megabucks machines counted separately.
Click Here to go to the main statistics page, then click on any of the "PDF" tags to see the one-month, three-month, and 12-month reports ending in that month. The "Win Percent" column is the average hold.



Got it. Thank you very much!
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TDVegas
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December 17th, 2019 at 7:07:19 PM permalink
Quote: MaxPen

The problem with those ads are that they are highly misleading. They factor VP returns into to those numbers but advertise "slots" as all machines as a whole.


That figures. Always pulling an angle.
ThatDonGuy
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December 17th, 2019 at 7:38:07 PM permalink
Quote: Boz

Do you have a program to plug these numbers into that would show the payback percentage?


Putting the numbers into a spreadsheet, I get a total payout of $27.69 million, which means the payback is 27.69/36 = 76.91% - that's high for a scratch-off game. I don't think they can be that high in California, since 1/3 of the money is supposed to go into education (translation: it replaces the equivalent amount moved from education into the "general fund").
Mission146
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December 18th, 2019 at 6:58:04 AM permalink
Quote: ThatDonGuy

Putting the numbers into a spreadsheet, I get a total payout of $27.69 million, which means the payback is 27.69/36 = 76.91% - that's high for a scratch-off game. I don't think they can be that high in California, since 1/3 of the money is supposed to go into education (translation: it replaces the equivalent amount moved from education into the "general fund").



Here's an example from the Missouri Lottery:

http://www.molottery.com/where_the_money_goes/documents/fy18_cafr.pdf

I wanted to look up California, but they are in the process of changing the lottery website and the .pdf addresses for previous annual reports that I have do not seem to work anymore. There also does not appear to be any links to annual reports from the website, (which there are supposed to be) but that site seems like it's a work in progress...so who knows?

If you go to page 24, it shows the totals for the scratchers sales and for the scratchers payouts, so you simply divide payouts by sales to get an approximate return-to-player, in this case:

627758243/906750562 = 0.69231635392 or 69.232% overall. (All denominations included)

They also have 18M in unclaimed prizes, but it doesn't specify what of that is scratchers v. other games.

Many lottery reports will break down prizes/sales by denomination and others by game for scratchers, but this one appears not to do so.

Here's the one for Ohio:

https://www.ohiolottery.com/assets/pdf/about/CAFR_FY18_lowrez.pdf

If we go to Page 57, then we see that prizes for instants were 1.1187B whereas sales were 1.6006B for about 11187/16006 = 69.893% (rounded)

Again, that's with actual prize payouts, so uncashed probably makes it a little higher. The best I can tell, they have 52.9M in unclaimed prizes, but it's impossible to tell how much of that comes from scratchers.

Anyway, I think the Ohio thing I replied to on Facebook, the side bet was a little over 70% (barely) so I extrapolated from the lottery data that a $5 ticket would likely be almost as much (or more) given the fact that it is a higher denomination and also accounting for potential unpaid prizes.

In any case, instant tickets (and you can pull up other annual lottery reports if you like, they're easy to find, just type (state) ANNUAL LOTTERY REPORT and it will usually work) generally pay somewhere from the mid-60's to the mid-70's in percent. Some states break it down by denomination, as well, I thought Ohio had been one, but was apparently mistaken. I checked five states and none of those ones did, but I know I have certainly seen it. Apparently, it's not standard, but I think it should be.
https://wizardofvegas.com/forum/off-topic/gripes/11182-pet-peeves/120/#post815219
Mission146
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December 18th, 2019 at 7:03:15 AM permalink
Quote: ThatDonGuy

Putting the numbers into a spreadsheet, I get a total payout of $27.69 million, which means the payback is 27.69/36 = 76.91% - that's high for a scratch-off game. I don't think they can be that high in California, since 1/3 of the money is supposed to go into education (translation: it replaces the equivalent amount moved from education into the "general fund").



That hasn't been the case for years:

https://www.pressdemocrat.com/news/8454282-181/report-california-lottery-sales-are?sba=AAS

It says the current education contribution is about 23 cents (or percent) of all revenues, but even that doesn't seem to be strictly required.
https://wizardofvegas.com/forum/off-topic/gripes/11182-pet-peeves/120/#post815219
bobbartop
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December 18th, 2019 at 7:35:14 AM permalink
"California ranked 42nd nationally in education"

"California trails much of the country when it comes to public education, according to Education Week's new state rankings."

published Jan 18, 2017
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TDVegasscolistMission146
December 18th, 2019 at 7:51:24 AM permalink
Quote: TDVegas

At my casino....many of the video poker machines will say it right on the machine. "98% Payback". I don't play video poker so I am not familiar with every VP machine....but many state the payback (up to 100%) on some.

I'll see if I can get a picture up.



Every true video poker machine gives it payback, if you know how to read the pay tables. Problem is many VP machines offer multiple games and only one of them might pay 98%. Most players are clueless. Many others know to look at the full house/ flush payouts to determine the percentage and don't notice a different hand may pay sub-optimal.
Slots are a different animal. You can't determine payback percentages based on a pay table.
The difference between fiction and reality is that fiction is supposed to make sense.
scolist
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Mission146
December 18th, 2019 at 8:30:38 AM permalink
Quote: billryan

Every true video poker machine gives it payback, if you know how to read the pay tables. Problem is many VP machines offer multiple games and only one of them might pay 98%. Most players are clueless. Many others know to look at the full house/ flush payouts to determine the percentage and don't notice a different hand may pay sub-optimal.
Slots are a different animal. You can't determine payback percentages based on a pay table.



The payback percentage is what I'm trying to find, but consider me clueless. Can anyone help me understand? A PM would be great.

Right now I'm closest to RW Catskills.

Thanks!
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Mission146
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scolist
December 18th, 2019 at 8:38:32 AM permalink
Quote: scolist

The payback percentage is what I'm trying to find, but consider me clueless. Can anyone help me understand? A PM would be great.

Right now I'm closest to RW Catskills.

Thanks!



Just pop the game and paytable here:

https://wizardofodds.com/games/video-poker/analyzer/

For the games that aren't some sort of gimmick. It also works for a select few games in which the overall return is unchanged by the feature, such as Hot Roll.
https://wizardofvegas.com/forum/off-topic/gripes/11182-pet-peeves/120/#post815219
scolist
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Mission146
December 18th, 2019 at 9:11:01 AM permalink
Quote: Mission146

Just pop the game and paytable here:

https://wizardofodds.com/games/video-poker/analyzer/

For the games that aren't some sort of gimmick. It also works for a select few games in which the overall return is unchanged by the feature, such as Hot Roll.



Thanks Mission146, that helps a lot, and I've been using that trainer since I joined this sight ( 2x d, 5x w). But I think I got stuck on the trainer and failed to pay enough attention to understand the strategies/frequencies.

I'm sure actual seat time at the casino would help?
There's no way out of here When you come in You're in for good There was no promise made The part you played The chance...........you took
Mission146
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December 18th, 2019 at 9:14:19 AM permalink
Quote: scolist

Thanks Mission146, that helps a lot, and I've been using that trainer since I joined this sight ( 2x d, 5x w). But I think I got stuck on the trainer and failed to pay enough attention to understand the strategies/frequencies.

I'm sure actual seat time at the casino would help?



You're welcome.

Maybe, or you can just play the games for free on here. I do agree that (at least, for me) it helps to actually play them on here and have my errors corrected just because it helps with learning the basic general concepts of a particular game and paytable. What is, "Usually," the correct hold, essentially. After that, and again this is just for me, it makes it easier to memorize the exceptions from a strategy chart after I have learned basic strategy on my own.
https://wizardofvegas.com/forum/off-topic/gripes/11182-pet-peeves/120/#post815219
billryan
billryan
Joined: Nov 2, 2009
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December 18th, 2019 at 9:51:38 AM permalink
Quote: scolist

The payback percentage is what I'm trying to find, but consider me clueless. Can anyone help me understand? A PM would be great.

Right now I'm closest to RW Catskills.

Thanks!



Most NY racinos don't offer true video poker. They offer what is known as a video lottery machine. Very different than Nevada machines, in that the hand is determined before you see the first card.
Hours of experience on video lottery machines won't help you at all. They are just dumb luck.
The difference between fiction and reality is that fiction is supposed to make sense.
scolist
scolist
Joined: Mar 16, 2018
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December 18th, 2019 at 11:12:48 AM permalink
Quote: billryan

Most NY racinos don't offer true video poker. They offer what is known as a video lottery machine. Very different than Nevada machines, in that the hand is determined before you see the first card.
Hours of experience on video lottery machines won't help you at all. They are just dumb luck.



RW Catskills is an actual casino, they ripped out all of the VLMs out of Monticello Raceway to get all of the money to the casino itself, much to the dismay of the MR patrons. Both are owned by Empire Resorts.

RW NYC has VLMs.
There's no way out of here When you come in You're in for good There was no promise made The part you played The chance...........you took
FleaStiff
FleaStiff
Joined: Oct 19, 2009
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December 18th, 2019 at 12:36:44 PM permalink
Quote: Boz

Actually the vast majority of slot players donít care, nor understand holds and payback. Nor does it stop them.

That is overwhelmingly true and those who want to take a stethoscope to a slot machine will probably be tolerated because his actions will entertain so many passersby that the overall slot action will climb.
DRich
DRich
Joined: Jul 6, 2012
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December 18th, 2019 at 12:47:02 PM permalink
Quote: smurgerburger

Do you know whether it illegal to use a key without authorization like that?



I am not aware of a law in Nevada like that but expect to get kicked out if you get caught. They may even call the police of Gaming officers on you.
At my age, a "Life In Prison" sentence is not much of a deterrent.
DRich
DRich
Joined: Jul 6, 2012
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December 18th, 2019 at 12:50:17 PM permalink
Quote: ThatDonGuy

You can calculate the hold for a VP machine based on its paytable.



I would disagree with that. You can calculate the theorhatical hold assuming players are using the perfect strategy. The actual hold of the poker machines is usually 1% TO 3% higher than the theo hold.
At my age, a "Life In Prison" sentence is not much of a deterrent.

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