If I bet more, do I win more?

The Denver Post - - LIFE & CULTURE - By John G. – Email John Gro­chowski at: Casi­noAn­swer­man@casi­noan­swer­man.com.

To­day we dis­cuss bet­ting amounts:

Q. Do dol­lar slot ma­chines have higher pay­backs than quar­ter or penny games?

A. First, what do you want out of the game? If what you want for your en­ter­tain­ment dol­lar is the fun of bonus events, free spins, an­i­ma­tion, video and sound ef­fects, then pay­back per­cent­ages are lower on penny slots but you’re likely will­ing to take the trade­off in en­ter­tain­ment.

If you de­cide strictly in terms of av­er­age loss, let’s try to plot it out. I’ll use typ­i­cal slot pay­back per­cent­ages. They vary – some­times widely – from casino to casino, but 86 per­cent on pen­nies, 91 per­cent on quar­ters and 94 per­cent on dol­lars are rea­son­able es­ti­mates.

As­sum­ing 1,000 spins, then your risk is $1,000 bet­ting $1 at a time on the dol­lar game, $750 bet­ting three quar­ters and $800 bet­ting 80 pen­nies. At 86 per­cent, the penny ma­chine pays $640 and the casino keeps $160. At 91 per­cent, the quar­ter ma­chine pays $682.50 and the casino keeps $67.50. If the dol­lar ma­chine paid 94 per­cent re­gard­less of how many coins you wa­gered, then for your $1,000, you would get $940 back and the casino would keep $60. But it’s not that sim­ple.

On three-reel slots, the top jack­pot pays dis­pro­por­tion­ately more when you play max­i­mum coins. A jack­pot worth $1,000 on a one-coin bet and $2,000 on a two-coin bet might jump to $5,000 on a three-coin bet.

To cal­cu­late a pay­back per­cent­age for a one-coin bet, we would need to know how fre­quently the jack­pot com­bi­na­tion oc­curs. The casi­nos and man­u­fac­tur­ers don’t let us in on that se­cret. So, usu­ally, bet­ting the max on a quar­ter game is your best bet.

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