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To be able to understand slot machine odds, you need to know exactly how a slot machine operates. There are many circulating thoughts and beliefs that I feel should be straightened out.

First of all, the reels on a slot machine are not all weighted the same, as some believe it to be. It is also a big misconception that once you pull the lever, everything is left up to the spinning reels. Sorry to break your bubble, but as soon as you pull that arm or press that 'spin' button, the symbols are already predetermined and so is your fate. The spinning reels are only an addition to construct an appealing look as well as to provide more excitement for the player; the period of waiting builds up the anticipation of a potential winning combination - sort of like playing the lottery. The thought "Maybe this time is it…" isn't quite that uncommon.

The slot machine is programmed in such a way, so as to make sure that the casino always comes out on top. That is not to say that you're doomed, but more money is lost in total than won. There are cases where individuals have won enough to keep them satisfied for a lifetime, but it doesn't happen as often as we'd like. Casinos have many lingering opportunities for those who know how to play smart; however, they're always the hardest to spot. While most players place their bets on empty promises, it takes a bit of knowledge to make the superb decision that may lead to riches.

Slot machine odds vary from one machine to another; therefore, playing the right machine makes all the difference. It is important to look at the payout rate as well as the amount of money that's being risked with each spin. Generally, slot machine odds are expressed in the form of a payback percentage. Simply, the closer the percentage is to 100%, the better your odds. Some machines offer payback percentages greater than 100%, but you'd have to be a high roller. Taking one hundred dollar slots, for example, so much is at stake that it allows the casino to offer near even money return, even though the machine gets a slice of the action at a quarter slot. Normally, the payback rate is 90% for nickel machines, 93% for quarter machines, and 95% for dollar machines. The higher the denomination is, the better your odds of winning.

Here are some comparisons of how much bankroll you need per hour in order to play a three coin maximum bet, with ten spins per minute, at two different payback rates:

Nickel Machine
At 90% - $9.00
At 92.5% - $6.75
Quarter Machine
At 90% - $45.00
At 94.1% - $26.75
Dollar Machine
At 90% - $180.00
At 95.9% - $74.00
Five-Dollar Machine
At 90% - $900.00
At 98.4% - $145.00

Looking at the numbers, you can see how much difference the payback percentage can make on slot machine odds. For the same amount of coins of the same type, you don't have to spend as much playing the slots with the higher payout rate, while giving yourself better odds of winning that jackpot.

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