Today’s slot machines come in different sizes, shapes, sounds, lights, and denominations. You can pull a handle, push a button, or even touch a screen. But after all is said and done they basically breakdown to two machines; video and reel.
There are no more mechanical reel machines, so even the reel machines today are computer controlled. Which simply means that, like the video games, built into the program there is a “random number generator” (RGN) which determines the spin of the wheel or the outcome of the video screen.
The (RNG) is generally set to payout 80% to 95%.
If a slot machine is set to payout 90%, that means over the course of hundreds of thousands of spins (and sometimes millions) it will pay back 90% of what was played into the machine.
If a slot machine is set at 80% payout, then it is considered a “tight” machine, because this gives the house a much higher advantage (20 cents out of every dollar).
If the slot machine is set at or closer to 95% payout then it is considered a “loose” machine, because it gives more back to the player, with the casino keeping only 5 cents out of every dollar.
However finding those loose machines can be a bit difficult.
It is up to the Casino Manager where they are placed, and this varies from casino to casino. There is no set place for these machines; it just depends on the Casino Managers philosophy of where he will get the best bang for the buck.
Generally speaking they are never placed next to each other (so those of you that like to play two machines at one time, be warned that probably at least one of them is “tight”).
They usually aren’t found near the table games or sportsbook (noise factor), nor are they found somewhere close to where lines are formed (i.e. restaurants, shows, etc.), they know you will play them anyway while you wait, so these are generally “tight” machines.
They are seldom or never the local “progressive machines”, local meaning machines linked within the casino, and definitely never the “progressive” machines that are linked to other casinos in the same city or state.
They are however sometimes found in high traffic areas, or high visible areas, and many times in the middle of the slots area, usually no more than one or two per bank of machines.
The higher traffic areas or high visible areas, so people walking by will see lights and hear bells going off, and in the middle of the slots area so other slots players will experience the same thing, lights, bells, noise, excitement…encouraging them to get in on the action or keep on playin’.
Sometimes you can ask, but they may or may not tell you. However making friends with the cocktail waitress and/or the change gal can’t hurt, they know, they work the casino floor every day.