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Where to Find the Loosest Slots in Vegas – (Fresh GCB Data)


Key Points:

  • Slots on the Strip and in Downtown Las Vegas were among the tightest in the entire state of Nevada.
  • The loosest slots were found in the North Las Vegas and Boulder reporting areas.
  • For the 4th year in a row, slots on the Strip were a hair looser than those downtown.

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 mine is to dig into that real-world data from the previous year to help you 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). I’ll be 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 that 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.

Essentially, the higher the casino win percentage is, the worse it is for the player.

Where To Find the Loosest Slots in 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.

A graph depicting what areas around Las Vegas offered the loosest and tightest slots.
All Non-Restricted locations – All Slot Denominations -The taller the bar, the tighter the slots.

As demonstrated by the graph, the best places around Las Vegas to play slots are the Boulder Area (6.36% casino win percentage) and North Las Vegas (7.60% win percentage).

As tends to be the case year after year, Reno is an outlier boasting a player-friendly 5.45% casino win percentage.

Keep in mind that video poker also figures into the slot statistics above. 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.

Downtown Tighter Than The Strip Again in 2023

For the 4th year in a row, slots were tighter in downtown Las Vegas than they were on the Strip (8.53% downtown vs. 8.01% on the Strip).

Before this current 4 year stretch, slots in downtown Las Vegas were reliably a tad looser than those on the Strip, however, I’m beginning to think this may be the new dynamic going forward.

Slots on the Strip Trending Looser

Historically, slots on the Strip have almost always tightened slightly vs. the previous year.

Refreshingly, 2023 saw slots on the Strip loosen slightly for the 3rd straight year to an 8.01% win percentage in 2023 vs. 8.14% in 2022.

In 2021, slots held an even higher 8.27%.

Moving in the right direction.

Where to Find the Loosest Penny Slots in Vegas

Since penny slots are the most popular denomination with players, I also broke down where the loosest penny slots in Vegas can be found by region.

Since the data below looks exclusively at the penny denomination, it’s untainted by video poker and thus provides a clearer window into where looser slots can be found across Las Vegas.

A graph depicting where the loosest and tightest penny slots were in and around Las Vegas.
All non-restricted locations. Again, taller bars equate to tighter slots.

As evidenced by the graph above, there is again a correlation between an area being “touristy” and higher slot hold rates.

Downtown and Strip penny slots came in as the tightest with casino win percentages of 11.20% and 11.22% respectively.

Similar to my previous data set that looked at all denominations, penny slots more apt to pay out can be found in the Boulder (9.48% win rate) and North Las Vegas (9.51% win rate) areas.

Reno came in with a comparatively low 5.97% win rate which is significantly more player-friendly than slots in and around Las Vegas.

So, What Las Vegas Casinos Have Looser Slots?

Although most players aren’t able to tell the difference between a “tight” or a “loose” slot, the data suggests getting away from the Strip and Fremont Street will give you a slightly better chance of winning.

Casinos that fall into the looser Boulder and North Las Vegas reporting zones are broken down below.

Note that these aren’t the most scenic areas, but if winning is more important to you than bright lights, acrobatic shows, and celebrity chef restaurants then hail an Uber and make the trip.

Notable Casinos in the Boulder Area: Sam’s Town, Arizona Charlie’s, Boulder Station, Sunset Station, M Resort, and Green Valley Ranch.

Notable Casinos in the North Las Vegas Area: Jerry’s Nugget, Cannery, and Aliante.

The Denomination You Play Matters

Slot denominations also play a role in finding loose machines which is demonstrated by the graph of statewide data below.

In 2023, penny slots were the tightest denomination in Nevada by a large margin with a 9.67% win percentage, with quarters coming in a distant second place at a 7.99% win percentage.

Although the data is somewhat “polluted” by video poker at the quarter denomination and above, the visual provided by the graph below is still beneficial to demonstrate the poor bet penny slots are comparatively.

As a general rule of thumb, higher denominations tend to be looser.

A graph depicting statewide slot hold by denomination in 2023 - Penny slots were by far the tightest.
All non-restricted locations. Again, taller bars equate to tighter slots.

If you’re a penny slot player who plays 75 cents per spin or more, you’d likely give yourself a better chance of winning by playing the same bet on a higher denomination machine.

Of course, I never recommend betting more than you can afford to chase better returns. Slots at any denomination are a losing bet over time.

I’d also recommend that penny slot players brush up on their video poker skills as the returns are more favorable in comparison.

While looking at the numbers is a fun exercise, the random number generator could select you as the next big winner anywhere. Ultimately, the best slots to play in Vegas lie away from the main tourist corridors and at higher denominations.

Good luck, and hopefully my breakdown of real-world slot data helps you on your quest to find the loosest slots in Vegas!

Related: What are the BIGGEST casinos in Las Vegas?

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Steve

Sunday 14th of July 2024

Are Durango, Red Rock, or Southpoint included in any of these categories? My guess is no, but if it was going to be one it'd have to be Boulder, right?

Jeff Lawlor

Tuesday 9th of January 2024

Great article and great site!

Nickels seem to be your best option by far according to the denomination chart. How come everyone isn't playing them? Are they hard to find? Playing with nickels rather than $25 per pull gives me a lot longer to let the odds play out!

Thanks!

Jake Hoffman

Thursday 11th of January 2024

I think there's a LOT of variation that plays into the numbers from year to year, especially on machines like nickels and high denomination in which there are very vew of in town. In general, I think that the rule of higher denom = slightly higher RTP on average is accurate, but not something that people would want to venture out of their comfort zone to chase.

Marje

Friday 5th of January 2024

Jake, I love seeing your name come up in my email. I can always know I'm going to learn some good information about Las vegas! I also know that you have your own opinion I will get enough information, with pictures to boot, to make my own decission. Your pictures are excellant and useful. I appreciate your honesty and trust your opinions. You make me feel as though I am at the places you talk about through your descriptions of them.

Thank You Jake

Marje Weatherly

Jake Hoffman

Thursday 11th of January 2024

Thank you! Glad to hear you're enjoying the newsletter. - Jake

Craig

Monday 1st of January 2024

What exactly makes up the "multi-denom" category? I ask because these days most penny machines can be switched from $.01/$.05/$.10/$1.00/$2.00 and up. Are these considered multi-denom or is that category reserved for the old school reel multi-denom machines only? Thanks!

Jake Hoffman

Monday 1st of January 2024

Great question - Any game that offers multiple denominations would fall into that multi-denom bucket, which is a LOT of machines. Looking at the Strip specifically in November 2023, there were over 18,000 multi-denom machines vs 12,000 pure penny slot games. In fact, there are more multi-denom slot games on casino floors than all other denominations (.1, .5, .25, etc.) combined.

Joe

Thursday 10th of August 2023

Hi Jake, great Articles! Been in town a while and was in gaming for years live poker etc. But for some reason its video poker for me and keno for my wife. We are finding out to (us) Sunset Station has been a direct deposit unlike years past. We play a variety. Have you encountered this before? We have changed it up but to us it's a phenomenon and will continue to support until it changes around. Have a good day.

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