How Do Banked Slots Differ From Standalone Ones?

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How does a banked machine differ from a standalone slot? It’s a question that’s been coming in a lot lately:

If machines are linked to one bank, are you competing with your “neighbour” for the bonus and/ or progressives?

Heather J.


I have seen a growing trend of tying banks of machines together. Same payouts throughout the casino on the same game.  These machines are now acting as one unit. There may be 15-20 like machines. Different themes, but still the same game.  Does this effect the payout percentages?

Russ O.

First of all, it’s important to remember that even though games can have their progressives banked, they’re still working individually. Each machine has its own RNG.

What’s being connected is some of the prizes in the form of progressive jackpots. Each machine contributes to the number, which will naturally grow faster than a single machine’s number by itself. Of course, with more machines connected to it, the progressive will be won, and reset, more often as well. 

So to your question, Heather, you are not competing for the bonus – those have the same overall frequency regardless of whether the machine is banked or not. You are competing for the progressive – another player could win it and reset. But the progressive will rebuild itself faster because more machines are contributing to it.

So to your questions, Russ, the payout numbers don’t get impacted because the machines will still pay back the same percentage, chosen by the casino, as they would be if they weren’t banked. More machines, more money in, more money out, with a percentage won by the casino over time – it all works out the same in the end.

Tying banks together has its pros and cons. With banks of machines, the numbers grow more quickly. But when a progressive is just hit, the number’s now reset on all those machines. By comparison, a row of machines that aren’t banked will have individual numbers, and players will often (wisely) gravitate to the largest progressive number.

And keep in mind sometimes only some progressives will be linked. On many Link style machines like Dragon Link, the top progressive is linked while the secondary progressive(s) like the Major will not be. Meanwhile, on Ultimate Fire Link and Dancing Drums, among others, there’s four progressives and they’re all linked.

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