All slot machines are not created equal, just as Canadian casinos do not all represent the same payout percentages on their slots. However, the inner mechanisms that make a slot machine tick are comparably orchestrated, in the same way that Canada’s gambling facilities all abide by the same regulatory framework.
Confused yet? You probably answered yes, and that’s exactly what most gambling venues would prefer. The less their patrons know about what makes slot machines tick, the more likely the casino is to make more money off of their clientele.
Most slots players walk onto the gaming floor with the predisposed notion that the games are based entirely on luck, which would effectively eliminate the need to wisely choose a particular casino or slot machine to play. That’s not exactly the case. In fact, we’re going to dispel a few myths here, and reveal just what goes on within the mechanizations of slot machines.
Who Determines the Payout Percentage?
There are three parties that weigh in on the payout percentage of any Canadian casino’s slot machines.
First, the respective provincial government sets a minimal payout standard. In Ontario, for example, the OLG requires a minimum 85% payout on all slot machines. All manufacturers and casinos in the region must maintain a percentage at or above that level.
Next is the game’s developer, who sets the percentage requested by the casino installing the device.
Third is the casino itself. While it’s not normal practice for a casino to adjust the payout percentage of its slot machines, it can be accomplished by altering the EPROM chip. However, a casino must request and receive permission to do so from regulators, with approved adjustments performed by a licensed slots technician under the direct supervision of a regulatory agent.
Can Casinos Control a Slot’s Precise Payouts?
No. A random number generator (RNG) decides with each spin of the reels what will occur, and how much will be paid out. Casinos can only choose the long-term payout percentage, but cannot regulate when the payouts will occur. Thus there is no better time (day or night) to play slot machines, and no predicting when a progressive jackpot will strike.
The actual weekly and monthly payout percentages may be higher or lower than a machine is set to pay, but in the long-term, the exact chosen percentage will be achieved. The RNG integrates genuine unpredictability into every slot machine. For this reason, a progressive could strike only once in a 10 year span, or three times in a single week.
Do Payout Percentages Apply to Individual or Collective Slots?
Every slot machine in a casino must be individually set to comply with the region’s payout standard. You will not find one slot machine set to pay 70%, with its neighbor set at 105% to offset the difference. All slots must meet the minimum 85% or higher payout percentages.
What Slot Machines have the Highest Payouts?
Slots that require higher coin denominations generally have higher payouts, even compared to cheaper slots with a max-coin multiplier.
For example, a $0.05 slot might take up to 3 coins, paying 1,000x for a jackpot on a 1-coin bet, 2,000 for a 2-coing bet, and 4,000x for a max 3-coin bet. On this type of machine, the 3-coin, $0.15 bet has the best payout percentage. However, a $1 slot machine that requires a minimum $1 bet per coin is likely to have a higher payout percentage for a single-coin bet than wagering the max 3 coins on a nickel slot.
What about Tribal Casinos?
All casinos in Canada, whether run by their respective provincial government or by a tribal organization, must abide by the same slot machine laws of their province, and that of the national standard. There’s no reason to expect the slots at a tribal casino or Canadian-run casino to be any higher or lower than the next.
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