Why Not Up the Denomination for Higher Jackpots?

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Dragon Link Autumn Moon slot denominations

When you play on multi-denomination games, there’s often multiple prizes listed on the screen. When you increase in denomination, at least some of the prizes will often increase. This leads a player to wonder:

Why would you do a 1 cent @ $10.00 vs $1.00 @ $10.00 when the jackpots are more on the $1.00?

Merry S.

This is a fair question, and it pretty much comes down to odds.

Looking at Jackpots By Denomination

When you’re playing $10 at a 1 cent denomination, you’re likely max betting at that level. By comparison, a $10 bet at the $1 denomination might be a minimum bet or close to it.

When the jackpots or prizes increase, and your bet has stayed the same, they’re going to be harder to hit. So playing at the $1 level may unlock bigger prizes, but they won’t be as easy to win as the smaller prizes when max betting at 1 cent.

Let’s look at two examples on the casino floor.

Lightning Link features for jackpots. Two are progressives that stay the same regardless of bet. Then there’s two bonus jackpots, the Mini and Minor, that change by denomination. On penny denomination, you have a $10 mini and a $50 minor.

Since the Major and Grand don’t change regardless of bet on this game, your odds of winning these prizes betting $10 on any denomination are the same, as your overall odds are determined based on your bet amount, with denomination not being  factor.

The Mini and Minor aren’t progressives at all – they’re just flat prizes. So they can appear when a matching number would land. At max bet on pennies, getting a $10 ball during a hold and spin is pretty common, so seeing the word Mini won’t be unusual. (It’s also not really something to get excited about – it’s still a $10 prize at penny denomination).

Compare to a higher denomination, like 10 cent, where the Mini and Minor prizes grow substantially (to $100 for the Mini and $500 for the Minor), but now compared to those penny denomination prizes they’re much less likely to drop. (But really they’re just replacing numbers that would drop with words so getting a “Mini” doesn’t really matter.)

By comparison, a game like All Aboard sets its flat jackpot prizes based on bet. So changing denomination doesn’t change the prize values if you’re betting the same amount. And those prizes have some actual meaning in the game structure since they’re proportional to your bet.

Other Considerations for Changing Your Bet

There’s two other things to keep in mind when increasing your denomination. The first is that the number of lines is likely to change. That $10 bet may only get you five or 10 lines at the $1 denomination, while you might have 50 lines at the penny denomination.

This change is important as it means you’re less likely to have winning spins, but when you do they’ll generally be more substantial. This is because there’s less lines to spread the payouts around on those higher denomination games. This tends to make a game more volatile for the same bet amount, so you’ll want to make sure you’re comfortable with that.

The other is that generally speaking, casinos offer higher payback percentages on higher denomination games. This means playing at the $1 denomination, over time, will yield better performance over the penny denomination. This may not bear out over a single session, and the higher volatility will certainly add wilder swings, but in the long run, it’s a better bet.

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