Worst Slot Machines

Slot machines are usually a casino’s biggest source of revenue. Reuters/Andres Martinez Casares Raising the price. Ultimately, the casino is selling excitement, which is comprised of hope. The 10 Worst Games in the Casino. If you’ve read the companion piece to this blog post, “ The 10 Best Games in the Casino ”, you’ll notice that I included slot. American Roulette. For most people who play dollar machines, on the other hand, a 94% machine is among the worst-paying machines in their area. The person who called 94% loose probably plays lower-denomination machines, while the person who called 94% tight probably plays higher-denomination machines. Let me add one more piece of information. Amaya slots are by far and away the worst slot machines for payouts with a 92% RTP average (more on that later). NetEnt make the most player friendly slot games averaging a 96.51% payout percentage. The majority of companies are within 1% of each other setting an online industry standard of about 95% for slot payouts. But while the $0.99 shrimp cocktails and classic coin-in pull-lever slot machines offer a certain sense of nostalgia, Golden Gate’s slot menu gooses its owner’s bottom line with a regrettable 90.64 percent payback rate on slots.

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that slot machines on The Strip are “tighter” than the alternatives found outside of the Las Vegas Boulevard bubble.

And no, I’m not talking about individual machines set up to pay out less frequently by the casino overlords above. That notion of “tight” and “loose” slot gameplay has always been a myth passed around by uninformed gamblers.

Instead, I’m referring to the way casino operators with properties on The Strip carefully curate their slot machine selection.

Let’s say Slot X offers a 95.50 percent payback rate, which you might know as the return to player (RTP) rate, while Slot Y and Slot Z offer paybacks at 93.25 percent and 91.10 percent, respectively. In this example, a casino on The Strip will have no problem whatsoever ordering hundreds of Slot Y and Slot Z, while only spreading a dozen or so of the Slot X machines.

In doing so, a casino can easily ensure that its property-wide average for slot payback is reduced. And in turn, this choice to include a higher ratio of tighter slots thereby increases the house’s overall edge on its slot offerings.

The big corporate casinos on The Strip can get away with offering lower average payback rates because they have a captive audience of sorts. Over 40 million tourists visit Las Vegas every year, and when they get there, the vast majority will never leave The Strip. Knowing this, corporations like MGM Resorts, Caesars Entertainment, and Las Vegas Sands Corp. show no compunction about sticking it to their slot players with tighter machines.

On the other side of the spectrum, all of those casinos located far from the action on Las Vegas Boulevard have no choice. In order to attract customers and retain the loyalty of local regulars, off-Strip casinos must compete by taking the opposite tack. Mid-major operators like Station Casinos, Boyd Gaming, and others stay afloat by choosing a higher ratio of loose slots to balance out a handful of tight machines.

This strategy creates a higher overall payback percentage on average when you play slots in an Off Strip casino. As you can see below, using data compiled by the annual Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) survey of Las Vegas slot payback rates by region, playing away from The Strip always provides a more player-friendly experience:

Las Vegas Slot Machine Payback Percentage Rates (by Coin Denomination and Region)

1¢ Slot Machines

RegionAverage Payback
The Strip88.38%
Boulder Strip90.38%
North Las Vegas90.88%

5¢ Slot Machines

Worst slot machine odds
RegionAverage Payback
The Strip91.64%
North Las Vegas95.29%
Boulder Strip96.21%

25¢ Slot Machines

RegionAverage Payback
The Strip89.35%
North Las Vegas96.41%
Boulder Strip96.13%

$1 Slot Machines

RegionAverage Payback
The Strip92.43%
North Las Vegas95.39%
Boulder Strip96.13%

$1 Megabucks Machines

RegionAverage Payback
The Strip87.83%
North Las Vegas88.52%
Boulder Strip91.35%

All Slot Machines

RegionAverage Payback
The Strip91.47%
Boulder Strip94.34%
North Las Vegas93.53%

Nonetheless, not all off-Strip slot parlors are built the same way…

It got me thinking about all of the off-Strip properties that try to have it both ways, by marketing themselves as the “home of loose slots” even though their machines are tighter than the baseline average for their region.

With that in mind, the list below serves as a warning for slot players, so do your best to avoid the seven worst off-Strip casinos where tight slots reign supreme.

1 – McCarran International Airport

For millions of visitors to Sin City, the first sin they’ll commit is parting ways with even a single penny playing slots at McCarran International Airport.

In case you’re close enough to drive to Las Vegas, and thus haven’t had the “pleasure” of seeing the airport up close and personal, the place is lined with slot machines in a scene straight out of a typical casino. At first glance, these slots can seem like a cool novelty, a welcome mat greeting new arrivals and letting them know they’re in for a little something different.

And on the other side of the coin, when you’re heading home and want to take one last crack at landing that elusive jackpot score, a few spins on the airport slots can’t hurt, right?

Well, you should definitely consider the 85.02 percent average payback rate found on McCarran slots to be painful…

That’s the lowest payback percentage of any slot machine provider in all of Las Vegas.

When compared to other off-Strip locales, the airport puts players at a disadvantage equal to 8 percent off their average payback. And even when sized up against The Strip, airport slots are 6 percent worse overall.

You’re already going to face the indignities of modern air travel when passing through McCarran, so stay smart and don’t add industry-worst slot payback to the pain.

2 – Rio All Suites Hotel & Casino

Best known as the site of the annual World Series of Poker (WSOP), the Rio All Suites Hotel & Casino is a place where life-changing fortunes are won dozens of times over every summer.

Best And Worst Slot Machines

Unfortunately for gamblers who prefer the slots over Texas Hold’em, however, the Rio is relentlessly bad for reel spinners. Likely owing to its parent company Caesars Entertainment struggling through bankruptcy, management has made sure the Rio’s slot selection spits out an average payback rate of only 88.72 percent.

To get a sense of just how bad that payback rate really is, consider this – only the Venetian (86.66 percent) and the Bellagio (87.42 percent) are worse for slot players, and those casinos are on The Strip. In terms of proper casinos found away from Las Vegas Boulevard, you simply can’t do any worse than the Rio if the slots are your game of choice.

3 – Fremont Hotel & Casino

A member of the Boyd Gaming family found in Downtown Las Vegas, the Fremont has been an iconic fixture along Fremont Street since Sinatra and the “Rat Pack” were strutting their stuff.

Worst Slot Machines To Play

Sin City has changed a ton over that time, and most of the action has moved to The Strip, but Fremont is still considered to be a home away from home for many locals and longtime visitors. Even so, Fremont’s slot selection still manages to offer the worst payback average of any casino in the Downtown district at 90.37 percent. To wit, the average for all Downtown casinos stands at 92.67 percent, so you’re shaving more than 2 percent off your overall payback rate by spinning at Fremont. Texas holdem poker hands best to worst.

4 – Main Street Station Casino Brewery Hotel

Folks who call Las Vegas home love the Station Casinos brand, which encompasses several reasonably priced venues found all over the city.

Main Street Station is typical of the Station Casinos concept, combining affordable fare with the best odds on table games and video poker. Unfortunately for slot players, Main Street Station found a way to mess up a good thing, as it’s the worst of all Station casinos in terms of slot payback with a 90.56 percent average rate.

5 – Silverton Casino Hotel

One of the rare independent casinos still going strong in Sin City, the Silverton is a holdover from a bygone era of Las Vegas lore.

Even though its relatively new, having opened its doors in 1994, the Silverton looks and feels like it belongs in the 1970s in Nevada’s other gambling locale of Lake Tahoe. The vibe is rustic and intimate, and you’ll easily save a pretty penny eschewing The Strip to stay here.

On the flip side, however, those savings will be eaten up quickly playing slots at the Silverton, thanks to a lower than average 90.57 percent payback rate.

6 – Golden Gate Casino Hotel

The Golden Gate Casino first opened its gaming floor all the way back in 1906, making it the oldest casino in all of Las Vegas – and anywhere in America for that matter.

Golden Gate is a fixture on Fremont Street, surviving for more than a century while rivals came and went with the desert winds.

But while the $0.99 shrimp cocktails and classic coin-in pull-lever slot machines offer a certain sense of nostalgia, Golden Gate’s slot menu gooses its owner’s bottom line with a regrettable 90.64 percent payback rate on slots.

7 – Golden Nugget Las Vegas Hotel & Casino

Personally speaking, I still love to take a stroll through the Golden Nugget’s iconic gaming floor whenever I’m in the Downtown district.

Everywhere you look is shining gold, and unlike many other casinos on Fremont Street, the Golden Nugget somehow manages to feel new again despite its age.

But that age is apparent in the 90.85 percent payback rate faced by slot players, a figure which likely hasn’t changed a tick from the days when gamblers simply didn’t know any better.

So, while I still enjoy visiting the old gal from time to time, playing slots at the Golden Nugget will always be a nonstarter in my book.


Visiting an off-Strip casino to score improved odds and an increased chance of winning has become a rite of passage for sharp gamblers. Many take pride in avoiding the money pit of Las Vegas Boulevard, choosing to preserve their bankroll by staying at a more budget-conscious casino instead.

And while that’s all well and good, it can be all too easy to find yourself spinning slots in an off-Strip casino that still doesn’t serve its players honorably. To help you avoid that fate, this list should serve as a guide to all of the off-Strip casinos that just aren’t worth a slot player’s time.

When most people think of Casino gambling, probably the very first thing which to be able to mind is Las Vegas, or Atlantic City. Imagine of bright lights, the sounds of hustle and bustle, and rows and rows of slot machines often come to mind. This is not every there is to casino gambling. The article will discuss casino gambling, as well as some in the games casino gamblers play.

If you like to be deemed a sightseer then you can need to remain on the strip, may find hotels just about every legitimate budget and you will be a new distance contrary to the new casinos, which are an attraction themselves. For your strip additionally you have main event shopping with stores coming from all over the globe. The gambling on the strip is a really little more costly if you play table games whilst the bet minimums are higher than downtown, , however, live roulette ladbrokes if you where to play slot and video poker the rates are the same. The dining for the strip is world class and achievable find any cuisine you want. You can also find a buffet in mere about every casino, and also of them are truly incredible.

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