Are Older Slot Machines Better?

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Double Diamond Deluxe three-reel slot machine

It’s not unusual for players to tell us they are attracted to the shiny and new slot machines over their older counterparts. The new games have exciting new features, high definition screens, incredible artwork and animation – the slot developers do a wonderful job of making the new games enticing.

But that doesn’t mean you should sleep on the older slot machines either. There’s a few reasons for this, which cover a variety of circumstances

They Probably Aren’t As Hard to Win

The overall trend line on slot machines over the years has been more volatile games – that is, games that pay bigger amounts less often, compared to games developed 10+ years ago. The end result of that can be more brutal casino runs, balanced by an occasional great result.

By comparison, older games tend to be less volatile, with smaller wins coming more frequently instead. This will be more likely to help players keep their bankroll going by providing some wins more frequently to replenish the balance.

Even if you don’t play the older games all the time because you like the more volatile and flashy games that are coming out now, it doesn’t hurt to have that in mind when you’re having a punishing session and need to slow things down a bit.

They Probably Have a Higher Payback Percentage

While casinos and manufacturers aren’t particularly forthcoming about payback information on slot machines, older machines have sometimes had their payback info surface in various ways, and compared to the traditional 85-95% payback machines oftentimes seen on games today, older games would have a narrower (and higher) payback range.

This means if you find those older games, on those older machines, on the casino floor, you’ll have a reasonable assurance that the payback over time on those games will be higher.


Sure, short term results can veer far away from that long term outcome, but it will still make a difference over time. And keep in mind if you see the old games remade and redone on newer equipment, those payback ranges have been redone for a modern casino floor as well, so you really do need to find the originals to take advantage of this.

They’re Often Easier to Understand

One last point about older games, especially for those who struggle to wrap their heads around some of the games being made today and how they work – older slot machines herald a simpler time when a game didn’t have as many complicated things going on at the same time. The simplest of the games would have their pays printed right on glass above the reels – hard to not understand that structure. 

But even the earlier video slots had simpler bonuses (that would also trigger more often, for that matter). On some of the earlier video slots, tapping a symbol would even have their pay information pop right up – a nice touch that’d be great to see make a return.

So while they may not have the glitz and glamour of today’s modern machines, there’s definitely a place in the world for those older machines, at least while they can still survive on the casino floor.

Have a question? Submit yours here!


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2 Replies to “Are Older Slot Machines Better?”

  • Saul M. says:

    Hello Bryan. So I watch your channel and love it. Since you started years ago, i have been watching your videos. So my question is, i like to sometimes play the high limit rooms. I go in with 200 dollars and get small wins but never anything substantial. I stay on 1machine. I wind losing all my cash. I realize its gambling, and its relatively not alot to play with since other players bet much more and I see them get handpays. My question, how much should i play in the high limit rooms to expect at least a descent winning amount. not necessarily a handpay, although that would be nice. Thank you for any expert advice. You are The expert, i think.

    • FlipTheSwitch.com says:

      Hi Saul – there’s no specific guidance here other than to find the right balance of budget and spin cost. High limit rooms mean spins could be $5, $10 or more. If you have $200 and are doing $10 spins, you’ve only got 20 tries to make something happen, and 50-100x your bet amount is a more realistic range to have a decent shot at some sort of a bonus (although we can’t guarantee that bonus will be anything special). Just remember that even if you have $1,000 in a machine like Brian often does, it can take it all without delivering anything exciting, so budget is only one component of what will make for a good run in high limit.

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