5 Ways to Find Loose Slot Machines

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The inquiries come in often – how do I find higher paying slot machines, also known as loose slot machines? It can be a difficult question to answer, especially when games don’t tend to tell you what they’re set to payout over time, and the same game at different casinos may be set to different payout options.

That said, there are some markers that you can look for that can give you a clear idea of games that will have a better overall payback and give you a better chance of achieving a good outcome.

1. Review Casino Payback Reporting

Most commercial markets have some form of casino payback reporting that is shared publicly with anyone who is interested. Some websites, such as state gaming commission sites, have historically provided that data in a way that is accessible to players to learn a bit about how things are changing over time.

In some more established markets like Atlantic City, Nevada and Connecticut, the payback data is more robust, but even in newer markets like Massachusetts, some basic payback data is out there.

2. Select a Higher Denomination Option

A review of that payback data we just discussed will surface a pretty standard finding – casinos tend to set payouts higher on higher denomination slots than lower ones. This is in part because the wagers tend to grow as well, although that’s not always the case – you can play three quarter slot machines on the same casino floor where a penny denomination machine maxes out at $10 or $20 a spin.

As such, you can identify games with higher denomination options that fit your budget, and take advantage of that to enjoy looser slots than if you were playing a penny denomination machine.

3. Spot Casino Marketing Promises

If a casino is making an intentional decision to offer loose slots relative to their competition, they’re going to go out of their way to make sure you know this. They will do this through their marketing in very clear and explicit language.

El Cortez is a great example of this – for years they’ve maintained a statistic on their website that notes how much looser they are vs. the Las Vegas strip on their slot machine payouts. And while that number has slowly shrunk with time, it’s still a significant difference between them and a strip casino, which can make a difference if you play a lot.

So casino marketing about loose slot machines can be a helpful way to identify a casino that has them. Just make sure it’s based on the data, as casinos will also market when they’re “voted” loosest slots, which is a purely subjective rating and not one based on the data.

4. Look For Signage Guaranteeing Loose Slot Machines

Sometimes casinos will use certain banks of machines as a marketing opportunity to draw more play. Here’s an example of a game where the machine notes its payback visible – 97% on this dollar machine.

97 percent payback slot machine

​​If the game itself is marked with a specific payback, you can count on that machine to be set up with that payback. If there’s a sign on a bank of machines that specify payback, similarly you will be able to assure that the payback on those games is what it is shown to be.

But be careful – if a sign over a bank says “up to” as part of the language, that usually means only one or a smaller percentage of the bank is at that higher payout, and you won’t necessarily be able to discern which one(s) have that higher payback, or what the rest of them are set to be. Marketing language tends to be precise in casinos because they have to deliver on what is promised due to regulations.

5. Glance At Video Poker Pay Tables

Casinos that run a tighter ship tend to do so across their games, and similarly those that run a looser floor tend to do so across the games too. So with that in hand you can take a look at other, more transparent games for some intel.

While you generally can’t tell how much a slot machine will pay, you can tell what a video poker game will pay, because there’s only so many hand combinations in a single deck of cards and all of the game’s payouts are listed right on the screen.

This was a tip previously shared on a forum by Kevin Sweet, at the time a VP at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas responsible for what was on their gaming floor:

Most of you know I’m a gambler myself, so I’m just as in tune with how a floor feels as you guys are. I basically look at a casino’s video poker paybacks to determine the type of floor the rest of the games are probably set at. Is the $1.00 and $5.00 poker set fairly, if so, I hope the rest of the floor is too.

Kevin Sweet


While you won’t know exactly what the games pay, in relative terms you’ll have a better idea of what to expect. Using the information at your disposal, you can get a better sense of what to expect over time from your gambling sessions, and how to make the most of them.

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7 Replies to “5 Ways to Find Loose Slot Machines”

  • Carol Britton says:

    We live in north Texas close to Dallas and go to Oklahoma to gamble. We usually go to Winstar or Choctaw Casino which are Tribal owned. Are Tribal owned casinos required to keep the Casino Payback Report records you discussed in the 1st paragraph or are they exempt?

    • FlipTheSwitch.com says:

      Thanks for the question Carol! Tribal casinos are often not required to publicly report payback information, so you are unable to look up the data like you can in commercial markets like Atlantic City or Las Vegas.

  • Sherry Lynn Lukianchuk says:

    How is it I have been going for 8 years, haven’t won a jack pot yet. High and low bets done

    • FlipTheSwitch.com says:

      One of our staff members didn’t get his first jackpot until more than 15 years playing slots. And as Brian has shown on his live streams, betting big isn’t necessarily a guarantee of a jackpot – he’s done live streams with big bets and not a single jackpot. Luck is still an element of all this as it really is all about timing. And as we also wrote here, a jackpot isn’t necessarily the best indicator of success.

    • Janette S. says:

      Same here!! I won’t even play a machine near the one I just got off of because it always seems as soon as I get off the machine and the next person sits down, “BOOM” they magically get the bonus or land a big win….. I also read all the tips and tricks try to better my odds but to no avail. Oh well, maybe someday.

  • jacs says:

    all said and done this is the way i feel about gambling period
    you need to play either in a money management mode or a time mode never gamble more than you can afford to lose,,,
    and know when to walk away from a dead machine and there are plenty of those on a casino floor.

    i have been playing slots for 40 years and have hit big jackpots but they are few and far between sesions
    in the end it is all about timing the right machine at the right time.

    so in the end i say if you cant afford to play and lose then you should not gamble on slots.

    for myself i enjoy the possibilty of a nice line hit
    each spin of the reels it can be fun,,,
    if you let it,,

    • jacs says:

      that is the right way to play have some fun with it
      only gamble what you can afford to lose
      enjoy the possibility of maybe getting a nice line hit
      or a jackpot and use the winners bank

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