Study: The Average American Slot Player Doesn’t Understand Winning Odds

slots winning odds

slots winning odds


New research has found that the average gambler cannot identify house edges on slot machines.

The study conducted by San Diego State University’s Sycuan Institute of Tribal Gaming tested casinos in both the USA and Mexico.

Two slot machines were placed near one another, one called Tokyo Rose and the other, Dragon’s Fortune X.

Professor Katherine Spilde and UNLV Hospitality College Professor Anthony Lucas found that despite the house edges on the machines varying – one at 8% and the other at 15%, almost all players didn’t notice.

And it’s no surprise, as casinos purposely try to keep their house edges out of public knowledge to keep profits up. The odds of winning on each machine are not advertised.

Spilde and Lucas concluded that players were not spending enough time on the slots to be able to detect which machines were paying out more often than others.

In an interview with Nevada Public Radio, Lucas said: “The high-house edge games actually win quite a bit more than the low-house edge games.

“There is no reason for players to play that game, and yet they still do.”

Machines with a higher edge payout the same as those with a lower one when a win is triggered, however, wins happen a lot less frequently.

Under Regulation 14 of the Nevada Gaming Control Act, slot machines are required to pay  75% of game profits back to players. However, casinos tend to disregard the rule.

Nevada slots have been shown to pay out $100 to just 5.69% of their winners.

The study has, however, ruled out the worry that gamblers may stop using slots if house edges become too high.

And it isn’t because they recognize them and play anyway – but simply because they aren’t aware that some machines are paying out more than others.

House edges on slot machines deliver casinos the majority of their gross gaming revenue and is also prominent in the world of online gambling.

The house pays off a player’s bets at odds lower than the odds of winning when playing online, giving the house the mathematical edge.

So despite players ending up with a good sum of money in their back pocket now and again, for the majority of the time, the casino will win.

It’s thought that despite players losing over and over again, it is the buzz on the one-off wins that keep gamblers coming back for more.

Some slot machines across the country have an edge as high as 35%, while others go as low as 5%.

The ultimate point is that no one knows which one is which. Your slot wins are mostly put down to the player’s ‘luck’ in picking the right machine.

Video poker machines, on the other hand, offer much better edges for the player if they are to play their hands optimally.

In these cases, the edge can be as low as 0.5%, and only ever tends to climb as high as 6%.

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