Las Vegas Slots

When you look at the casinos in Las Vegas, you will find a slot fans paradise. More than 70% of the casino floor space is given over to slot games. These range from traditional 3-reel slots through to the most up to date multi-player games with interactive feature rounds. Jackpots are being hit every single day, with 5, 6 and 7 and even 8 figure payouts all possible.

This article gives you a complete overview of slots in Las Vegas. First I have explained the payback percentages and why the casinos are so keen to promote their slot games. After that the jackpots you can find in Vegas are covered. Next you will find information on the different type of slots games, with a note on the importance of comps and players cards at the end.

Why So Many Slots?

Slots are one of the most profitable games on the casino floor, making more money than the table games and poker rooms. Individually, the percentage payout from slots is reasonably high. This can be anything from 95% to 98% or even higher. The reason the games make so much money is that you can rapidly put a lot of money through them.

Say you started with $100 on a 98% payback machine. You might expect to win an average of $98 for your gaming session. What happens in reality is that you are not gambling just the $100. The smaller wins go back onto your bankroll – meaning you are turning over more like $400 in a session. This means the real cost is $8 and not $2. Of course, this is an average – the real appeal of the slot halls is not the smaller cumulative wins but the jackpots and windfalls that come along the way.

Vegas Slot Jackpots

Vegas was the first place to have a linked jackpot between different casinos this came via a game from IGT. The biggest jackpot ever won came from this game, a staggering $39 million. This is now so popular than the prize pool is reset to $10 million every time it is won.

This is just one of hundreds of jackpots, some of these are progressive, taking a part of each coin when your spin and generating huge prize pools. Others are fixed amounts, and still significant money, with 4 and 5 figures being won every week. The longest running jackpot, which lasted from 1993, was recently won, when the Lion’s Share slot finally paid out in 2014.

Types of Slot in Vegas

The slot games you will find are always changing as new innovations and fashions occur. The original slot games in Vegas were 3-reel mechanical devices. This type of game is still well represented (and still very popular). You can choose how many coins to bet, and sit and wait to hit on the single win-line. Many more modern versions of these original 3-reel slots have levers which you can pull to start the spins as well as buttons.

Video slots took over from the 3-reel games as technology improved during the 1980’s. These games generally have 5 reels instead of 3. Multiple win-lines was the new innovation, as well as special symbols including ‘wilds’ which are able to substitute for any of the other symbols. The first versions of these games were incredibly simple compared to today’s games. It can be hard to believe that there was a time when a simple free spins round was a brand new innovation which people got excited about.

Over the years video slots have gotten more and more complex. Scatter symbols were added and break-out games on second screens became part of the game-play. This innovation continues, with ever more complex ideas being put into play. These include Wilds which can cover entire reels, cascading wins which allow you to multiply your payouts, sticky wild symbols and so many other ideas. The feature rounds now include video clips from popular movies and TV shows, these are made to feel like games of skill, though the outcomes are still determined by randomly generated numbers.

There are still innovations occurring. Multi-player slots with huge 103 inch screens and shared bonus rounds are now available to play in most Vegas casinos. You will also find slots where you can register a name and save your progress through the bonus features. TV and movie tie-ins now sit side-by-side with games focused on music stars.

Whenever you play slots in Las Vegas, you need to make sure you get a players card. These are inserted into the slot while you play, and will track your spend. You are awarded points which can later be turned into prizes like free entry to the buffet or even comped accommodation. This is as close as you’ll ever get to something for nothing in Vegas.

Associate Writer: Suzie has extensive experience writing on a number of different topics, but writing on slots remains her first love, and it really shows.