In a word: Yes! But let’s get into more details.
There’s plenty of visual evidence of jackpots hit on free play – just search YouTube and you’ll see quite a few examples of this.
To a slot machine today, free play is no different than cash or a ticket. It’s credits on a machine, and uses the same random number generator to select from the range of outcomes that are available to a player.
As such, since you can win a jackpot with cash, you can also win it with free play! The odds are the same of getting a jackpot with free play as it is cash.
Now, this may not have been the case in all situations. In an earlier generation, some casinos, like Bob Stupak’s Vegas World, would advertise big promotions that included gaming tokens (these were before the days of tickets) as part of the package. However, the use of that free play would be isolated to a set of machines that would have a lower payback percentage than the rest of the casino floor. This would certainly have lowered the chance of getting a big win or jackpot on free play.
However, today casinos let you use free play on the same games that accept cash on the casino floor. While they may restrict you from using free play on certain games, this is oftentimes for specific reasons around how those big jackpots are managed. In the case of popular machines, it’s also to ensure they’re making money for the casino and not being occupied by free play players.
While there is some information floating out there around free play not relying on the same random number generator as cash, rest assured it does, as we’ve verified with multiple slot machine manufacturers. There is no separate setting for free play payback in slot machines.
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