Do Higher Bets Mean Lower Payouts?

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Max bet vs. play button

There are some players who swear that they only win on lower bets. We’re not sure if that’s the reasoning behind today’s question, but let’s dive in:

Do slots not pay as well the higher you wager?

Steven B.

Some players think it’s harder to win at higher bets. This is often because when you’re betting more per spin, the money will go faster, and if you’re betting above what your bankroll will support, you could run out of money before anything consequential happens.

Think about putting $20 into a slot machine and doing $1 spins. You’d have a minimum of 20 chances to make something happen. To have the same chances on, say, a $5 bet, you’d need $100. 

But there are times when people feel lucky and will push their bets on their same bankroll – and run out of money before reaching a bonus. That can make it feel like higher bets don’t pay as well, but it’s the circumstances moreso than the slot’s settings.

In fact, generally speaking, slots will, if anything, pay better on higher wagers than lower ones, or at the very least it will be consistent, particularly within a given denomination. There are a few specific reasons why this would be the case.

Unlocking Pays at Higher Bets

Some machines only make certain payouts available at higher bets. The old school mechanical reel machines would often have pay tables that unlocked some of the pays with each additional coin, for instance.

But many modern day machines with wide area progressives require a certain bet level to qualify for the biggest progressive. Many Quick Hit machines require you to max bet to qualify for the progressives.

Better Pays With Higher Bet

Then there’s games like More More Chilli, where the payout for a specific symbol improves at higher bet levels, or Quick Spin, where the wheel odds improve at higher bet levels.

The U1 machines found at certain casinos in Nevada, as well as the Dotty’s chain, visibly display the payout of various games on the screen, and the payouts increase as you increase your bet.

Higher Denomination Payback

Many bigger betters will increase their denomination because higher denominations, as a general rule, pay a bit better than lower ones. 

So if you can choose between a penny denomination $1 bet and a nickel denomination $1.25 bet, that may be a better option over time because the overall payback will be a bit better.


A higher bet won’t pay less than a lower one in the long run. At minimum it will be the same, and in some cases it can be higher. But players should always play within their budget, as that can have an outsized impact on whether a player can outlast quieter periods for the chance at some good bonuses.

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