Think you know where the loosest slots are? Guess again.
By Bill Burton
I get a lot of email and the question I’m asked most often by players is “Where do I find the loose slot machines in the casino?”
The ultimate goal for a slot player is finding a loose machine amidst the vast sea of machines on the casino floor. Players dream of finding a loose slot machine but few really achieve their goal. One reason for this is that the term “loose” when describing a slot machine is a relative to the location and casino.
A player from Las Vegas who plays slots at a local’s casino getting 98 percent payback would not consider a slot machine in California that is set to payback 94 percent as a loose machine. However the player from Atlantic City where the average slot return is 91 percent would consider this same machine a loose one.
Payback is the overall percentage that a machine will return to the player over the course of its lifetime. A loose machine is one that is set to pay back a higher percentage than other machines so the term loose would be relative to the other machines in the same casino or to the other casinos in the general area. However, if you only play the slots for a few hours a day during you casino visits you will probably never play long enough to determine if a machine is loose or tight. You could be fortunate enough to win frequently on your favorite slot machine and make the determination that the machine is loose. Another player could play that same machine and have several losing sessions and make the determination that the machine is tight.
That does not mean that there are not some machines in the casino set to payback a higher percentage than other machines.
Myths About Loose Slot Machines Abound
Over the years there has been much speculation and conjecture amongst slot players as to where the loose slot machines are located. There are many myths that have been circulating amongst the players in regards to the placement of loose slot machines on the casino floor. Here are a few to consider.
Loose machines are always surrounded by tight machines.
The reasoning behind this myth is that many players like to play more than one machine at a time. If a loose machine is surrounded by tight machines a player will give back the winnings from the loose machine if they simultaneously play the machines on either side.
Loose machines are placed by the entrance.
The reasoning behind this myth is that people will see players winning and this will entice them to come into the casino and play. The basis for this myth can probably be traced back to downtown Las Vegas where the casinos were in walking distance of each other. People walking down Fremont Street could see the players winning at the slots and walk into the casino. Most of the new mega-resorts have multiple entrances so I would doubt the validity of this myth.
Machines near the table games are tight.
The reasoning behind this myth is that the noise of the machines will distract the table game players. Another reason is that a table game player will be tempted to play any coins they have when they leave the table on their way to the cashier’s cage.
Machines near the end of the row are loose.
The reasoning behind this myth is that players seeing other players win will be likely to go down into the row to play the machines.
Machines near the showroom and buffet are tight.
The reasoning behind this myth is that players waiting in line for a show or for the buffet are a captive audience. They may be tempted to play a few coins to kill time while they wait. The machines are tight because they can’t leave the area to play other machines.
Machines near the casino cage are loose.
The reasoning behind this myth is that the casino wants you to see people winning while you are waiting in line. This will entice you to play more.
Round Carousals of machines are looser that rows of machines.
The reasoning behind this myth is that the carousals can bee seen from any direction in the casino. They want to put the loose machines where they winners are highly visible.
Think Like a Casino Executive
One of the problems with the myths is that no two casinos are the same. Each casino has a VP of slots who makes the ultimate decision about the placement of the slots machines. Try to think like a casino executive. Where would you put the loose machines? You have to remember that the casino executives have heard all the same myths concerning the placement of loose machines that the players have. If I were the manager I would not put a loose machine on the aisle. I would bury it further down the row. Think of this as reverse psychology. If I know where the players think the loose machines are I would want to put tight machines there instead.
Unless you play an exorbitant amount of slots, the chances of really identifying a loose slot machine will be slim. You could just as easily have a very lucky winning session on a low payback machines as a loosing session on a machine with a high payback percentage. You might never play enough to be sure.
This does not mean you should give up your quest to find loose slot machines. Playing different machines in search of a loose one will add some variety to your slot play. You might not find a loose slot but you might find a new game that you enjoy playing. The hunt for a loose slot machine can be fun and that’s what casino gambling should be.
Until next time, remember: “Luck comes and goes…Knowledge Stays Forever!”
Bill Burton is the author of Everything Casino Poker, 1000 Best Casino Gambling Secrets and Everything Casino Poker. He is also an instructor for Golden Touch Craps. (www.goldentouchcraps.com)