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Do Higher Denomination Machines Hit More Often?

25 August 2007

By John Robison

First I must say that I appreciate your insightful posts.

I have a question for you. I have heard that higher denomination machines have better chances of hitting. I was wondering is this also true with the machines where you can select the denomination you want to play it for? I play in Atlantic City and I can choose $1, $2, $5, or $10. Can one machine have different payouts for each denomination or are the chances the same no matter which denomination you choose?

Hopefully I have made my question clear. Keep up the great work!


Dear Robert,

Thanks for the kind words about my columns.

It's not true that higher denomination machines have better chances of hitting. What is true is that higher denomination machines tend to have higher long-term paybacks than lower-denomination machines. Your chances of hitting something on any given spin may or may not be better than on lower-denomination machines. The chances of hitting something is called hit frequency.

On a machine on which you can change denominations, the reel layouts (and therefore the long-term paybacks) may or may not be the same for the different denominations. The video poker paytables usually get better when you increase denomination, so the slot paybacks may also get better. We can tell the long-term paybacks of different video poker paytables, but unfortunately we can't tell a thing about slot paybacks.

Best of luck in and out of the casinos,

Send your slot and video poker questions to John Robison, Slot Expert, at Because of the volume of mail I receive, I regret that I can't reply to every question.

John Robison
John Robison is an expert on slot machines and how to play them. John is a slot and video poker columnist and has written for many of gaming’s leading publications. He holds a master's degree in computer science from the prestigious Stevens Institute of Technology.

You may hear John give his slot and video poker tips live on The Good Times Show, hosted by Rudi Schiffer and Mike Schiffer, which is broadcast from Memphis on KXIQ 1180AM Friday afternoon from from 2PM to 5PM Central Time. John is on the show from 4:30 to 5. You can listen to archives of the show on the web anytime.

Books by John Robison:

The Slot Expert's Guide to Playing Slots