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For slot machine grinders like me, the Holy Grail that motivates me to keep playing is the pursuit of loose slots.

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Dec 26, 2016.Super Ultra Mega Jackpot Handpay. THE VOICE SLOT - 2 Wins - Giant Win And INSANE HANDPAY - Duration: 7:17. NewEnglander82 SLOT VIDEOS 953,319 views. Our 13th Annual Guide to the Best Slot Paybacks in the Nation by Frank Legato. It has been a dozen years since Casino Player first gave recognition to the casinos that had shown themselves to be the most generous in the nation. It was 1994 when the magazine first issued awards to. It reminded me of a conversation I had with some guy in a bar when I was back East over the Christmas holidays. He overheard me mention that I was from Las Vegas, so we got into a discussion on gambling. He began to lecture me about how to win money at the two Indian megacasinos in Connecticut, Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun. In fact, to go a step further, they might also suggest that random jackpot progressive slots are perhaps the best. With thousands of slot games available online today, slot players who have become overnight millionaires will attest to the fact that indeed progressive slots are the best paying slots online.

Now, before I go any further, let’s discuss what the term loose really means in the slot machine industry.


Many players mistakenly believe that individual machines can be programmed to play loosely – paying out winning spins more frequently – while others are programmed to play tight. In fact, as you make your way through the slot world, you’ll meet players who believe with all their heart that loose machines are always placed on the end of a machine bank, or casinos loosen the games on weekdays, or any number of similar myths and misconceptions.

Fortunately for reasonable slot enthusiasts, that’s just not how it works.

Any given slot machine model is designed and manufactured by a particular company –Aristocrat, International Game Technology (IGT), WMS Industries and so on. Before a machine ever hits the casino floor, these companies build random number generators (RNGs) into the game cabinet, and these RNGs provide truly random results on the reels.

Those results are based on the game’s probability of hitting certain combinations on the reels, and the payouts are related to those combinations. That’s it, and that’s all.

A machine can be designed to payout small winners relatively often, with large jackpots sprinkled in as long shots. Or, the designer may opt for a flatter pay out scheme, with small and large wins occurring with the same frequency. That’s all up to the folks creating the game, and with thousands of slot machine models out there today, you’ll find plenty of variety when it comes to payback percentage.

When a machine arrives at the casino, operators there have no control whatsoever over those probabilities and payouts. They’ve been pre-programmed into the random number generator, and for the duration of the machine’s life, they’ll remain constant and steady.

Most slot machine beginners don’t realize this is how it works, which is where the idea of loose and tight machines, as it is commonly understood, came from. After all, wouldn’t casinos want to tightly control the odds being offered to players?

Well, they do just that.


But not by influencing an individual machine’s pay out frequency from on high. Rather, a casino can modulate its own slot machine payout rates by choosing which types of slots to carry.

Remember, some slots are designed to be “people pleasers,” paying out small winners every other spin or so. These games run with payback percentages between 93 percent and 97 percent, and can occasionally go even higher.

When I call a slot machine “loose,” I’m referring to these higher than average payback rates.

On the other hand, many machines – especially those offering progressive jackpots – pay out winners much less often. But when they do, the returns are typically larger than the people-pleaser games. For these machines, the payback percentages usually range from 87 percent to 92 percent – rates I’d refer to as “tight.”

While a casino operator can’t control each machine’s payback percentage, they can pick and choose how many of the loose and tight machines are offered on the floor. One venue may elect to spread 20 loose games to 10 tight games, while the joint next door rolls with a 20 tight/10 loose arrangement.

In this way, every casino you visit will hold an inherent payback percentage for its slot games, which is calculated by averaging the payback rates for all machines on the floor. When a casino operator wants to tinker with its own paybacks – perhaps to provide a higher profit margin for owners – it doesn’t need to reduce the “looseness” on individual machines. Instead, the operator can simply remove a few high payback machines from the floor, while replacing them with lower paying machines to bump the casino’s overall average payback rate down.

Now that you know what loose slots really are, let’s dive into the important stuff: where to find the loosest slot machine games in your area.

The following guide is intended to help players anywhere in America locate the nearest loose slot games. I’ll run through as many individual states as possible, but before I do, take a look below at a prime directive for finding loose slots:

Popular Spots = Tighter Slots

One item of advice that regular slot players will regale you with involves the old Strip vs. Downtown dichotomy.

Boiling it down, these players believe that casinos on the Las Vegas Strip run much tighter slots than you’ll find elsewhere in the Off Strip or Downtown areas of Sin City. Unlike the many slot machine myths out there, however, this one is definitely true.

Take a look at the following table, provided by the Nevada Gaming Control Board, which covers July 2015 through June 2016:

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AreaAverage Payback Percentage
The Strip93.03 percent
Downtown94.78 percent
Boulder Strip95.60 percent
North Las Vegas95.74 percent

As you can tell, slots found on The Strip average a much lower payback rate (93.03 percent) than their counterparts Downtown (94.78 percent), on the Boulder Strip (95.60 percent) or in North Las Vegas (95.74 percent).

The reason for this discrepancy is quite simple to grasp, and is based entirely in economics.

Casino operators on The Strip – and any area’s most popular casino destination for that matter – know that a steady stream of recreational gamblers will be flocking to the floor. These venues are practically guaranteed to receive action from the hordes of tourists wandering about, so they don’t need to offer competitive payback percentages.

Venues on The Strip tend to spread slightly tighter machines, thereby bringing their property wide average down.

And why not?

The players will be there regardless, spinning away without paying close attention, so ensuring a slightly higher profit margin is in a business’ best interest.

On the other side of the coin, casinos in the Downtown district, the Boulder Strip, or North Las Vegas don’t receive the same guaranteed flow of patrons like venues on The Strip. These properties must compete for a smaller slice of the Las Vegas gambling market, and competition always provides a better climate for customers.

For this reason, casino operators running things at an Off Strip venue tend to purchase looser slots, increasing the average payback percentage across the property.

Knowing these facts, you should always be prepared to go off the beaten path as you pursue the loosest slots around. Generally speaking, the more popular a casino is, the tighter its machines will be – so branch out and explore some of the lesser known gambling halls in your area.

Pay the Piper for Higher Paybacks

This one’s simple, so we’ll keep it short and sweet.

No matter where you play, the coin denomination you use tends to be linked directly to average payback rates.

For penny slot players, the average will lean towards the lower end of the spectrum. High rollers, on the other hand, are afforded a higher average overall.

With this in mind, remember that the high limit slot parlor in your local casino will always offer a higher average payback than the regular machines. And even if you don’t make your way to the high limit room, moving up in stakes from penny slots to nickel, quarter, or dollar is a surefire way to increase your average payback.

State by State Slot Guide

Every state that offers legalized gambling, either in commercial or tribal casinos, is subject to its own gaming regulator.

In many cases, these regulators mandate a “floor” for slot machine payback rates, ensuring that a minimum payback is met. Otherwise, some unscrupulous casinos would simply spread the worst paying games in the world, counting on players to not know any better and blow off their bankroll in a hurry.

The Arizona Department of Gaming, for example, requires any tribal operator to run slot machines with an average payback between 80 percent and 100 percent. In Maine, the Gaming Control Board mandates an 83 percent payback rate or higher for slot games.

These statewide systems can vary wildly, so it can be useful to break things down on a state by state basis to see where the loosest slots in your area can be found.

Below, you’ll find a listing of all states that make their slot machine payback rates public, complete with venue or area specific payback rates. If you don’t see your state listed here, that’s because regulations don’t require slot machine payback information to be released.


The Oaklawn Racing and Gaming facility is the state’s best slot destination, with an average payback rate of 93.23 percent

Southland Park Gaming and Racing is quite close, however, averaging a payback of 93.11 percent.


Payback rates for the three major casino regions in Colorado are below, with the highest for a given region in bold:

CoinBlack HawkCentral CityCripple Creek
88.66 percent90.23 percent91.68 percent
93.01 percent94.34 percent93.41 percent
25¢93.01 percent94.25 percent95.17 percent
$193.86 percent95.23 percent95.12 percent
$594.32 percent93.09 percent94.94 percent
All92.51 percent92.56 percent93.55 percent
Average92.56 percent93.28 percent93.98 percent


The table below highlights average payback rates at the Foxwoods casino complex – and its main rival, Mohegan Sun – as recorded by the Connecticut’s Division of Special Revenue:


89.45 percent
91.42 percent
90.33 percent
25¢91.84 percent
50¢90.94 percent
$193.26 percent
$593.79 percent
$1094.74 percent
$2594.43 percent
$10094.75 percent
Average91.93 percent

Mohegan Sun

1/4¢86.06 percent
1/2¢85.83 percent
89.13 percent
89.58 percent
88.16 percent
25¢91.76 percent
50¢92.45 percent
$193.36 percent
$593.87 percent
$1096.46 percent
$2594.15 percent
$10094.77 percent
Average91.86 percent


Per data released by the Delaware Lottery, which covers the period between July 26, 2015 and June 26, 2016, slot machine paybacks at the state’s three “racinos” breaks down as follows:

Dover Downs92.60 percent
>Delaware Park92.31 percent
Harrington Raceway91.73 percent


Average payback rates – as recorded by the state’s Division of Pari-Mutuel Gaming from July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2016 – are as follows:

Magic City93.87 percent
Casino Miami93.80 percent
Hialeah Park93.49 percent
Dania Casino92.21 percent
Gulfstream Park92.39 percent
Mardi Gras91.95 percent
The Isle90.98 percent
Calder90.89 percent


Property averages, provided by the Illinois Gaming Board, can be found below:

Casino Queen92.63 percent
Harrah’s Joliet92.07 percent
Par A Dice91.22 percent
Argosy Alton91.11 percent
Grand Victoria91.08 percent
Hollywood Joliet90.96 percent
Jumer’s90.75 percent
Hollywood Aurora90.61 percent
Rivers Casino90.03 percent
Harrah’s Metropolis88.99 percent


Property averages, provided by the Indiana Gaming Commission, can be found below:

Hoosier Park91.59 percent
Rising Star91.55 percent
Indiana Grand91.53 percent
Blue Chip91.48 percent
French Lick91.38 percent
Belterra90.91 percent
Majestic Star90.42 percent
Ameristar90.38 percent
Hollywood90.38 percent
Tropicana90.11 percent
Horseshoe Casino89.92 percent
Majestic Star89.83 percent
Horseshoe Hammond89.82 percent


Property averages, provided by the Indiana Gaming Commission, can be found below:

Prairie Meadows92.02 percent
Wild Rose Jefferson91.56 percent
Wild Rose Emmetsburg91.35 percent
Catfish Bend91.09 percent
Riverside91.01 percent
Rhythm City90.84 percent
Wild Rose Clinton90.84 percent
Mystique Casino90.61 percent
Diamond Jo Dubuque90.52 percent
Grand Falls90.60 percent
Mystique Casino90.58 percent
Diamond Jo Worth90.40 percent
Ameristar90.37 percent
Lakeside Casino90.35 percent
Hard Rock90.21 percent
Isle Bettendorf90.21 percent
Lady Luck90.04 percent
Isle Waterloo89.72 percent
Harrah’s89.63 percent
Horseshoe Council Bluffs89.31 percent

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Regional averages, provided by the Louisiana State Police Riverboat Gaming Section, can be found below:

CoinBaton RougeLake CharlesNew OrleansShreveport/Bossier City
88.74 percent88.23 percent88.60 percent88.64 percent
91.94 percent92.64 percent93.96 percent91.79 percent
25¢92.57 percent92.84 percent92.47 percent91.21 percent
$193.64 percent92.07 percent93.20 percent92.48 percent
$594.28 percent93.53 percent93.28 percent92.80 percent
All91.17 percent91.01 percent90.47 percent90.30 percent


Per the Maine Gaming Control Board, between July 1, 2015 and June 30, 2016 the average payback percentage for the state’s various slot providers breaks down as follows:

Oxford Casino91.44 percent
Hollywood Casino89.88 percent


Regional* averages, provided by the Mississippi Gaming Commission, can be found below:

91.66 percent91.37 percent91.71 percent
94.68 percent93.97 percent95.14 percent
25¢94.45 percent92.83 percent93.55 percent
$193.88 percent94.20 percent94.11 percent
$594.39 percent95.36 percent95.38 percent
All92.50 percent92.09percent91.98 percent


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  • Coastal = Biloxi, Gulfport and Bay Saint Louis
  • North = Tunica, Greenville and Lula
  • Central = Vicksburg and Natchez


Property averages, provided by the Missouri Gaming Commission, can be found below:

River City91.00 percent
Ameristar K.C.91.00 percent
St. Jo Frontier90.80 percent
Ameristar St. Charles90.80 percent
Hollywood90.70 percent
Mark Twain90.60 percent
Isle of Capri/Booneville90.40 percent
Harrah’s K.C90.40 percent
Argosy90.30 percent
Lumiere Place90.2 percent
Isle of Capri/Girardeau89.80 percent
Lady Luck89.20 percent
Isle of Capri K.C.88.80 percent

Nevada – Las Vegas

Regional averages for The Strip, Downtown, the Boulder Strip, and North Las Vegas can be found below:

1¢ Slot Machines

The Strip88.45 percent
Downtown88.66 percent
Boulder Strip90.42 percent
Las Vegas90.71 percent

5¢ Slot Machines

The Strip91.84 percent
Downtown92.08 percent
Boulder Strip95.73 percent
North Las Vegas95.38 percent

25¢ Slot Machines

The Strip90.59 percent
Downtown94.48 percent
Boulder Strip96.39 percent
North Las Vegas96.58 percent

$1 Slot Machines

The Strip93.03 percent
Downtown94.78 percent
Boulder Strip95.60 percent
North Las Vegas95.74 percent

$1 Megabucks Machines

The Strip87.10 percent
Downtown87.55 percent
Boulder Strip88.91 percent
North Las Vegas87.53 percent

All Slot Machines

The Strip92.12 percent
Downtown92.87 percent
Boulder Strip94.42 percent
North Las Vegas93.62 percent

Nevada – Laughlin

Average payback rates by coin denomination for Laughlin’s casinos, as provided by the Nevada Gaming Control Board, are as follows:

88.94 percent
93.12 percent
25¢94.27 percent
$195.04 percent
$1 Megabucks86.98 percent
$594.91 percent
All Slots92.34 percent

Nevada – Reno

Average payback rates by coin denomination for Reno’s casinos, as provided by the Nevada Gaming Control Board, are as follows:

92.67 percent
94.14 percent
25¢93.86 percent
$195.90 percent
$1 Megabucks84.72 percent
$595.43 percent
All Slots94.83 percent

New Jersey

/closest-casino-to-brookings-oregon/. Property averages, provided by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, can be found below:

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Harrah’s91.70 percent
Borgata91.60 percent
Bally’s A.C.90.90 percent
Caesars90.80 percent
Golden Nugget90.70 percent
Resorts90.60 percent
Tropicana90.60 percent

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New York

Property averages, provided by the New York Lottery, can be found below:

Resorts World95.28 percent
Empire City92.95 percent
Monticello92.16 percent
Saratoga92.05 percent
Tioga Downs91.92 percent
Finger Lakes91.81 percent
Fairgrounds91.32 percent
Batavia Downs91.29 percent
Vernon Downs91.27 percent


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Property averages, provided by the Ohio Casino Control Commission, can be found below:

JACK Cleveland92.25 percent
Hollywood Columbus91.80 percent
JACK Cincinnati91.61 percent
Belterra Park91.30 percent
Miami Valley91.28 percent
Scioto Downs91.03 percent
Hard Rock90.89 percent
Hollywood Toledo90.8 percent
JACK Thistledown90.49 percent
Hollywood Dayton90.23 percent
H wood Mahoning89.92 percent


Property averages, provided by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, can be found below:

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Parx Casino90.76 percent
Valley Forge90.27 percent
Mohegan Sun90.17 percent
Mount Airy90.13 percent
Harrah’s Philadelphia90.00 percent
The Meadows89.95 percent
Sands Bethlehem89.91 percent
The Rivers89.73 percent
Nemacolin89.48 percent
Sugar House89.48 percent
Presque Isle89.52 percent
Hollywood at Penn89.29 percent

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Finding the loosest slot machine games depends on where you’re located and how far you’re willing to travel. Use this guide of where to find the loosest slot machine games right now the next time you want to venture out to play slots.

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