It seems painfully obvious that slots players should head for games with the highest payback. For example, a game with 95% payback gives you a much better shot at winning long-term profits than one with 85%. But is picking a slots game really as easy as just opting for the highest payout percentage? As we’ll explain below, there’s a little more to consider before simply jumping at the highest-paying slot machine.
Better Payback often leads to Higher Costs
The drawback to higher slots payout percentages is that they usually cost more to play. Moreover, to achieve better payback, you often need to either bet the max coin size or play every payline. This is especially true of progressive slots, where you sometimes need to satisfy a certain betting requirement to qualify for the jackpot.
To explain this point, let’s say that you have to bet $1 to achieve the 95% maximum payback. In contrast, we’ll assume that you normally like to bet a quarter per spin on a machine with 90% payback. Let’s look at what the theoretical losses from what these scenarios would be:
$1 x 1,000 spins x 0.05 house edge = $50 in losses
$0.25 x 1,000 spins x 0.10 house edge = $25 in losses
Also consider Losses Per Dollar Bet
While the above shows that playing dollar slots is more expensive, it also doesn’t take into account how much you’re theoretically losing per dollar. If you were to make $1,000 worth of bets on both dollar and quarter slots, you’d lose the following:
$1 slots (0.05 house edge x 1,000) = $50
$0.25 slots (0.10 house edge x 1,000) = $100
The average player will definitely lose more money when they make the same amount of spins with dollar slots. However, the amount of cash they’re losing per spin drops with the 95% payback game. So if you don’t make many spins per session, you may still consider the machine with a higher payout percentage and more-expensive spins.