Do Banked Machines Pay Less Than Standalone Ones?

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Rich Little Piggies banked slots

Some players worry that with banked machines, because the progressives are linked together, that one player winning means another one must be losing. Here’s an example:

There is a growing trend in Gulf Coast casino of linking slots, like all link slots with same payouts. Others linked as well. Seems payouts are reducing, as more players are effectively playing the same machines.True? If the payout % is set say 75-90, then anytime somebody hits anything, the % is met, for all the machines, as they are now acting as “one” machine.

Russ O.

We’re happy to report that your fears are unfounded. This theory fails for a couple of reasons:

  • More people playing machines means more money going into machines, of which a percentage will be paid back over time. It isn’t like the payouts for one machine are now being spread across four machines, because that wouldn’t pay back enough over time to reflect the additional coin-in that players are doing across a bank of machines.
  • Machines don’t hit a certain percentage and stop paying – slots hit their payback over time through a pseudo-random process and that means sometimes machines will be ahead of their payout percentage, and sometimes behind, but the finite set of outcomes will get the machine to its intended payback over time.

Banked machines still have their own independent RNGs running inside the machine. What the banked machines are doing is pooling access to jackpots. Generally, because more machines are fueling them, those jackpots will grow faster than a standalone machine can grow by itself. They’ll also be won more often, resetting them back down to their original number over time.

Banked machines with linked jackpots can get exciting when those jackpots begin to get up there in size, leading more people to want to play them. That’s one of the reasons why linked progressives tend to have some additional value for a casino to offer – they’re front and center in big numbers on machines, which can catch players’ attention.

So, no need to worry – you can play a banked machine and the payback percentage will over time be the same as any standalone machine set to the same payout number.


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