Casinos across Nevada are required to report revenue figures to the Nevada Gaming Control Board to include what percentage of wagers they held as profit on slot games. A nerdy annual tradition of ours is to dig into that real world data from the previous year to help our readers find the loosest slots in Las Vegas.
Unfortunately, the data we have access to isn’t granular enough to tell us how loose or tight slots were at individual casinos. Rather, the reporting will highlight groups of casinos based on where they are located (ie The Strip, Downtown, Boulder, etc). We’ll make sure to point out what casinos reside in zones identified as having looser slots.
As a matter of housekeeping, casino slot “win percentage” is defined as the percentage of the total amount wagered by the player that the casino held as profit. For instance, a 10% casino win percentage means the casino, on average, kept 10 cents of every dollar wagered on slot machines.
Example: A player put $20 into a slot machine and made her money last for a while playing a total of $200 in spins before losing it all. The total amount wagered by the player was $200 and the casino won, or held, $20 resulting in a 10% casino win percentage.
Now that we cleared that up, lets dig into where you can find slots that are more apt to pay out around Las Vegas.
Where you play matters. The graph below details casino slot win percentages by area, which lumps together all slot denominations. You can quickly surmise that casinos in tourist centers hold a larger percentage of slot play as profit.
As evidenced above, the best places around Las Vegas to play slots are the Boulder Area (5.78% casino win percentage), North Las Vegas (6.71% win percentage) and Downtown (7.78% casino win percentage). The Strip featured the tightest slots by a wide margin at a win percentage of 8.16%.
Unfortunately, slots tightened up versus last year on both the Strip (8.12% in 2018 vs. 8.16% in 2019) and on Fremont Street (7.64% in 2018 vs. 7.78% in 2019) by a slight margin.
Since penny slots are the most popular denomination with players, we also broke down where the loosest penny slot machines can be found.
Clearly, there is again a correlation between an area being “touristy” and higher slot hold rates. Downtown and Strip penny slots come in with casino win percentages of 10.94% and 11.59% respectively.
Similar to the data that looked at all slot denominations, penny slots more apt to pay out can be found in the Boulder (9.36% win rate) and North Las Vegas (9.28% win rate) areas.
Although most players aren’t able to tell the difference between a “tight” or a “loose” slot, get away from the Strip if you want to give yourself a slightly better chance of winning.
Casinos that fall into the looser Boulder and North Las Vegas reporting zones are broken down below. Not the most scenic areas, but if winning is more important to you than bright lights, fountains, and celebrity chef restaurants then order up an Uber and make the trip.
Casinos in the Boulder Area: Sam’s Town, Eastside Cannery, Arizona Charlie’s, Boulder Station, Sunset Station, M Resort, Fiesta Henderson and Green Valley Ranch.
Casinos in the North Las Vegas Area: Jerry’s Nugget, Silver Nugget, The Cannery, Fiesta Hotel and Casino, Texas Station, Cannery and Aliante.
Keep in mind that video poker also figures into these slot statistics. Lower casino win percentages away from the Strip are in part, but not completely, due to better video poker pay tables offered by establishments away from tourist centers.
Slot denominations also play a role in finding lose machines which is demonstrated by the statewide data below. In 2019, Megabucks was the tightest variety of slot in Nevada (12.78% win percentage), followed closely by penny slots (9.93% win percentage).
Taking a look at the graph above, there is a clear correlation between denomination and how loose their corresponding slot machines are. Generally speaking, the higher the denomination, the looser the slot.
If you’re a penny slot player that plays 75 cents per spin or more, you would likely give your self a better chance of winning by playing the same bet on a higher denomination machine.
While looking at the numbers is a fun exercise, ultimately, the random number generator could select you as the next big winner anywhere. Good luck, and hopefully our break down of 2019 slot data will help you on your quest in finding the best paying slots in Vegas!