Pechanga Resort & Casino

Slots Q&A with Buddy Frank: Best machine payouts

Here are the highlights from the most recent Q&A with our VP of Slots, Buddy Frank, via our Facebook page. Be sure to tune in and ask your question every other week.

Which slot machines have the best payouts?

There’s no easy answer to which machine has the best payouts. Megabucks, Wheel of Fortune, Wizard of Oz and the other nationally linked progressive machines have the largest payouts. Ironically, these games sometimes have the worst odds. The loosest odds in any casino tend to be the video poker machines (same here at Pechanga). Then there is everything in between. My personal favorite this week are the Bally Quick Hit Platinum machines in pennies with the tall video screens.

Do casinos make slot machines looser on certain days?

It’s quite a bit of work to change the machine odds, and you’d have hate your employees if you made them change the odds every other day. Some folks believe that the machines are looser after big weekends (not true). Or that new machines are looser when they first hit the floor (not true). The “truth” is that Lady Luck (also known as the random number generator in the game) is the only thing that counts.

Do more people win on penny machines than quarter machines?

There are more “winners” on the pennies, simply because they get played more. However, the “bigger” winners at Pechanga are generally on the $1 and up machines since the individual jackpots are higher. We also say that the pennies have higher “hit frequencies.” This is why players like them. Even though they are not as loose as the $1 and up machines, they have a lot of smaller, frequent jackpots that make them more fun.

Are slot machines set up to hit quick when they have been idle for a while?

The amount of play a machine gets has little impact on the odds—-in most cases. Any machine can hit on any pull. I have seen back-to-back jackpots on the same game many times in my career, just like I noticed that once a game hits, it might not hit for a few weeks. Honestly, it’s about 50/50. It’s just the fickle whims of Lady Luck. (in case you are wondering about exceptions — the odds improve on single progressive machines as they get more play —since the jackpot meter grows. For us here at Pechanga, the payouts are the same, but a player will win more and his/her individual odds will be better. In other words, look for a machine with the highest meter reading in a group of similar machines.

How frequent do progressive slots hit?

We have hundreds of progressives and they are growing in popularity each day. I don’t recall a single day when at least a hundred progressive didn’t hit. However, if you’re are talking about the really big ones ($100,000 and more), they hit here every few months and seem to come in waves. We had $113,093 on July 4th - $447,655 in June and a $1,061,225 in October. However, we’ve had a flurry of $50,000 jackpots recently with over a dozen hits in the last 30 days. Yes, Christina, the best odds are still video poker if you are a skilled player.


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