We get a lot of questions about slot machine denominations, what they are, and what their role in slots are. The concept is simple, but aside from going over that we’ll also share a few things to know as a player around denominations.
The denomination on a slot machine is what a single credit is worth. On a penny denomination slot machine, that credit is worth a penny. On a quarter denomination machine, it’s worth a quarter. Easy enough, right?
Denominations don’t have to match what types of coins and bills are out there – odd denominations like 2 cent, 3 cent and 20 cent exist on some games, even though you won’t find a 20 cent coin in your pocket or at the bank.
If you want to know how much money is in the machine, you can multiply the denomination by the amount of credits. Or, on many slots, tap the credits number and watch it magically switch to cash – it’ll do the math for you!
Nowadays, many slot machines are multi-denomination machines. You can select which denomination you wish to play. On some games, switching the denomination can also change the number of lines available to win on. This can have an impact on volatility because having fewer lines reduces the chances you’ll win on a given spin, but tends to yield a better payout when it happens.
As a general rule, higher denomination machines have an overall better payback percentage than lower denomination games. This goes back to a traditional structure on casino floors that sees the payback percentage increase a bit for each denomination step up – nickel denomination paying better than penny denomination, quarters paying better than nickels, and so on. This bears out in publicly reported payback information across a variety of states that share this data with players, such as in Nevada, New Jersey and Connecticut.
So the denomination effectively tells you how much a credit is worth. Higher denomination machines often (but not always) tend to have higher bets, so it’s also a helpful indicator of how much that machine will cost per spin.