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For slot machine enthusiasts, there’s no place on Earth quite like fabulous Las Vegas. Most of the 40 million tourists who flock there each and every year stay on the Strip, where corporate operators like MGM Resorts and Caesars Entertainment run mega-casino resorts.

But during its heyday, all the action was confined to Downtown Las Vegas, where iconic casinos like the El Cortez and Golden Gate lined fabulous Fremont Street. Over time, Las Vegas’ outlying areas—including the suburbs of Summerlin and Henderson, the “Boulder Strip,” and North Las Vegas—attracted mid-market operators like Station Casinos and Boyd Gaming.

If slots are your game of choice, ditching the Strip is best. This page presents the seven best off-Strip casinos in Las Vegas for slot players based on the venue’s average payback percentage.

A Quick Look at Las Vegas Slot Payback Percentages

According to the latest Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) survey of Las Vegas casino operators and their respective slot machine payback percentages, which are commonly referred to as return to player (RTP) rates, the Strip is home to the “tightest” slots in town.

Las Vegas Slot Machine Payback Percentage Rates (by Region)

RegionAverage Payback
The Strip91.47%
Downtown92.67%
Boulder Strip94.34%
North Las Vegas93.53%

The NGCB also provides data on regional slot machine payback averages broken down by the player’s preferred coin denomination.

Las Vegas Slot Machine Payback Percentage Rates (by Coin Denomination and Region)

1¢ Slot Machines

RegionAverage Payback
The Strip88.38%
Downtown89.15%
Boulder Strip90.38%
North Las Vegas90.88%

5¢ Slot Machines

RegionAverage Payback
The Strip91.64%
Downtown93.40%
North Las Vegas95.29%
Boulder Strip96.21%

25¢ Slot Machines

RegionAverage Payback
The Strip89.35%
Downtown94.25%
North Las Vegas96.41%
Boulder Strip96.13%

$1 Slot Machines

RegionAverage Payback
The Strip92.43%
Downtown94.63%
North Las Vegas95.39%
Boulder Strip96.13%

$1 Megabucks Machines

RegionAverage Payback
The Strip87.83%
North Las Vegas88.52%
Downtown89.07%
Boulder Strip91.35%

As you can see, the data reveals the Strip to be the worst place in Las Vegas to find “loose” slots, or machines which offer a higher than average payback percentage.

If you don’t mind ditching the fountain shows and $14 cocktails behind for a better bargain, taking your slot machine bankroll to an off-Strip casino offers the best bang for your gambling buck. Keep reading for the seven best off-Strip casinos to play loose slots in Las Vegas.

1 – Palms Casino Resort

The best slot machine selection in Las Vegas can be found at the Palms Casino Resort, home to more than 1,500 machines which combine for an average payback rate of 93.42%.

Given the 91.47% and 92.67% payback rates found on the Strip and Downtown, respectively, spinning slots at the Palms immediately provides an improvement of over 1% over the long run.

And fortunately for the folks who still like hitting the Strip for shopping or a show, the Palms is located just minutes from all the action.

Just head to Caesars Palace and turn westbound onto Flamingo Road, cross over the Interstate 15 bridge, and drive for another minute or so before looking to your left for the ultra-modern Palms tower.

You can’t miss it either, what with a recent remodeling project by new owner Station Casinos giving rise to a “floor to roof” video panel that advertises all of the Palms’ latest entertainment offerings in style.

Locals love the Palms for combining the look and feel of casinos on the Strip with perks like 3:2 blackjack, single-zero roulette, and of course, the loosest slots in Las Vegas.

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You’ll find all of the greatest slots here too, including Megabucks and its $10 million starting progressive jackpot award, Wheel of Fortune with its unique prize wheel waiting up top, and every major new release from designers like Aristocrat, Scientific Games, and International Game Technology (IGT).

2 – Gold Coast Hotel and Casino

If the loud music and pool parties that make the Palms so attractive for younger gamblers just aren’t your thing, don’t fret, because the nearby Gold Coast boasts a completely different vibe.

Located directly across Flamingo from the Palms, Gold Coast is a classic “old school” off-Strip casino. The same staff members have worked here for decades, so they know their regulars by name and treat them like royalty.

The odds are always the best available on table games and video poker, and the slot machine menu running 1,900+ machines strong sports a 92.84% average payback rate.

One of the iconic venues operated by Boyd Gaming, the Gold Coast supplements its casino with a massive bowling alley upstairs, and comfort food like Subway and TGI Fridays.

While the amenities lean towards the quaint and casual side, the Gold Coast offers one of the more modern slot machine menus in Las Vegas. Using the website’s convenient slot search tool, you can easily pull up complete listings for either reel-based or video slots that can be further sorted by coin denomination.

The reel-based lineup includes staples like 88 Fortunes, Blazing 7’s Progressive, Double Diamond, Megabucks, and Super Times Pay.

And over in the video slot section, you’ll find popular titles like 50 Dragons, Aztec Temple, Buffalo, Geisha, Mr. Cashman, Sex and the City, and White Orchid.

When you use the search tool, don’t forget to click the little “MAP” tab to the right of every game’s entry. This will pull up a color-coded map of the Gold Coast showing the section where your favorite slot machine games can be located.

3 – Ellis Island Hotel, Casino, and Brewery

You’ll only find a couple hundred slot machine installations at the independently owned Ellis Island Hotel, Casino and Brewery, but it’s the last part there that makes this place something special.

Well, all the cold suds you can drink and a 92.56% average slot payback rate, that is…

Located on Koval Lane, just east of Las Vegas Boulevard on Flamingo, Ellis Island is a tiny brewery and restaurant that happens to offer casino-style gaming in limited form.

The bulk of Ellis Island’s selection is devoted to slots and other machines, but you’ll also find a few blackjack, craps, and roulette tables, too.

It’s the slots that bring sharp spinners here though, as the overall payback percentage is better than any of the glitzier and more glamorous casinos towering overhead on the Strip. And whether you win or lose, you can always tip back a brew or two straight from the source.

4 – El Cortez Hotel and Casino

If you appreciate a sense of history to go along with your gambling, paying a pilgrimage to El Cortez downtown is a true “bucket list” item on the agenda.

After first opening its doors in 1941, El Cortez hasn’t closed them for 77 years and counting, making it the longest continuously operating casino in Las Vegas.

The joint was owned by legendary mobsters Bugsy Siegel, Meyer Lansky, Gus Greenbaum, and Moe Sedway in the early days, and with its exterior signage unchanged all this time, El Cortez is home to an unmistakable air of nostalgia writ large.

Fittingly, you can find over 200 coin-operated three-reel slots that still use nickels and quarters to grease the reels. That lineup is supplemented by hundreds of modern video slots as well, a combination providing the best of both worlds for players. And so does the 92.56% average payback rate, which makes El Cortez the loosest slot parlor found along famous Fremont Street.

5 – The Orleans Hotel and Casino

Another member of the Boyd Gaming family, the Orleans Hotel & Casino is like a slightly more hip, Mardi Gras-themed version of the Gold Coast.

To get there, take Tropicana Avenue westbound from the Strip, then hook a right on Arville Street. When you do, you’ll see the standard, mid-size off-Strip casino design, along with an attached arena where concerts, rodeos, and other events are held regularly.

In the casino, hundreds of slot machines ranging from traditional to modern will be running to the tune of 92.56% payback.

6 – Fiesta Rancho Hotel and Casino

The wilds of North Las Vegas are home to the best penny slot machines in Sin City at an average payback rate of 90.88%.

And of all the North Las Vegas casinos to choose from, the best of the bunch is Fiesta Rancho, which combines class-leading penny slots with higher denominations for a 92.53% overall payback average.

Getting here is a bit of a trek. Take the I-15 North to Highway 95, head west, then hit the 95 northbound for a while. But trust us, this Station Casino property is worth the extra mile.

Per the Las Vegas Review-Journal annual rankings, Fiesta Rancho regularly earns the “Best-Paying Slots” and “Best Slot Club” awards as judged by local players.

7 – Arizona Charlie’s (Decatur and Boulder)

The two Arizona Charlie’s casino locations in Las Vegas can be found on Decatur Boulevard and Boulder Highway.

Both offer a generous 92.50% payback rate on average for slot players, along with a long lineup of new games, including the exciting titles found below:

  • $1 Wheel of Fortune
  • Bally Quick Hits
  • Buffalo Legends
  • Buffalo Golds
  • Buffalo Grands
  • Dollar Mega Bucks
  • Downton Abbey
  • Elvira
  • Good Fortune
  • Konami Selexion
  • Lightning Link
  • Lock It Link
  • New Generation Megabucks
  • Space Invaders
  • Wacky Races
  • Walking Dead II
  • World of Wonka

Conclusion

Venturing away from Las Vegas Boulevard to score improved odds has been a time-honored tradition among savvy gamblers for decades now. Forced to compete with their corporate counterparts on the Strip just to survive, off-Strip gambling halls like the seven listed above do everything in their power to attract customers.

That means selecting slot machines that offer generous payback percentages across the board, while still providing the best in modern slot game design.

The first pit stop in Las Vegas for most visitors is usually a casino. Whether you are an experienced player on the casino floor or just starting, slot machines are the most profitable and entertaining games available.

Slot machines have proven to be popular among players time and time again. Casinos and other entertainment facilities are profiting tremendously from the revenues collected from slots.

The Nevada Gaming Control Board reports that the Las Vegas Strip contained over 160,000 slot machines in 40 different locations in 2019, generating revenues reaching almost $270 million per month.

While these numbers are beneficial to the establishments and their operators, slot machines are also known to be the most profitable game in a casino for the user.

Slot machines, on average, have an RTP, or return to player, between 75% and 98%; in other words, for every dollar a player spends, the slot machine will yield about 75 to 98 cents right into their pocket.

Even with the high RTP and revenue, Las Vegas and other cities famous for their casinos fill their halls with slot machines because anyone can press a button.

Commitment is never a priority; the player can put down a small individual bet. A poker face is never required, neither is real skill, to win big.

However, research is still encouraged to profit off of slot machines at the highest level, such as reading on user experience on specific games and reading the RTP at each Las Vegas casino.

Return to player is perhaps the most critical factor in picking the best slot to play in Vegas. The higher the RTP percentage, the more likely the slot will payout.

An amateur way to discover a slot’s RTP percentage is to test it with a bet. If a slot claims to have a 94% payout, then after a $100 bet, the payback would equate to about $94. While this may seem straightforward, this method does not fit every player.

Checking message boards and online threads, as well as comparison sites containing slots reviews, are a great way to find the best slots in Vegas. Notable websites encourage players to share their experiences with slot machines; most of their reviews focus on the amount of cash they get to keep after playing.

Another tip to finding one of the better slots offered in Las Vegas is to look for promotions. By signing up to the casino’s player’s club, customers can access unique games, receive free slot plays, and gain eligibility to have freebies on their next visit.

Benefits are significant, especially when the rounds on the slot machines are free, increasing the already high payout.

The most profitable slots are coined as “loose slots” because they pay out the most amount of money to the player and are thus very desirable among customers.

A feature of profitable slot machines called “progressive jackpots” has become a popular way to transform a couple of hundred bucks to millions.

Progressive jackpots offer prize money compared to the national lottery games, which can easily make a millionaire in a single evening.

According to the Nevada Gaming Control Board, the dollar slots pay back an average of 95% of receipts, 25 cent slots payout 93% on average, and 5 cent slots give back 90% to the players. Roulette black and red payout.

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The payout from slots at the downtown or other off-Strip locations is one or two percent higher than those on the Strip. Hotel-casinos frequented by locals, such as Sam’s Town, pay better than the tourist hotels in the city. Nevada residents well know that fact when they consider which facilities contain the best slots in Vegas.

Moreover, the newer and more luxurious hotels are known for having the overall poorest RTP percentages.

Some of those hotels include the Bellagio, Venetian, Mandalay Bay, and the new Wynn Las Vegas. Since the amenities of these hotels are off the charts, slot machines do not have to be the most profitable asset (at least to the player).

However, some of these lavish hotels offer great prizes and entertainment that makes a higher payout from the slot machine. The Bellagio, for example, provides a slot tournament with 2,300 games as options. From jackpots and progressive features, the Bellagio slot machines can grow small bets into millions.

Generally, the best slots in Vegas are located in the older properties of the North Strip.

Slot machines may look flashy and modern, especially themed slots, but that does not mean they have the highest payout. The more traditional and old-looking games may be a better money’s worth.

Much like the endorphin rush of a “win,” a good-looking slot machine can trick the brain chemistry into wagering more money than intended. With that in mind, a simple-looking slot should be considered to help players gamble responsibly and win big.

Rather than always playing Star Wars or Avengers slot machines, players should have an eye out for the more dated and less appealing slot machines available on the casino floor. Many of them have substantial RTP rates and have stood the test of time.

One of these seemingly unappreciated slots is housed in Slots-a-Fun at Circus Circus Casino in Las Vegas. The selection includes classics, such as “Double Diamond” and “Red, White, and Blue.” Although they are not the flashiest, they are the best slots in Vegas.

Slots-a-Fun is a classic and exclusive casino that incorporates slot machines paired with an arcade, pool tables, bowling, and other forms of entertainment. Their slots have been proven time and time again as the machines to make the next big Vegas winner.

As mentioned before, these slots are not located conveniently for the tourists on the Strip. A general rule of thumb to follow: the more touristy the casino, the lower the payback on the slot machines.

While the Las Vegas Strip has a win percentage of about 8%, the slots in Reno and Boulder have a more generous casino wins of around 5%.

Some of the casinos located in Reno, Boulder, and North Vegas include Eastside Cannery, Sunset Station, M Resort, Jerry’s Nugget, Texas Station, and Boulder Station.

Geographical location should not be the only consideration when looking for great slots. Some veteran gamblers and websites claim that corners within a specific casino itself have some of the better slot machines.

High traffic areas, such as near elevators, a front desk, aisles, showrooms, registration areas, etc., contain the loosest slots in the casino.

Some people do not even have to go to a casino to access a slot machine. An entertainment facility is perhaps the unrivaled source to use for the best slots in Vegas.

Airports, convenience stores, and grocery stores are the first locations to avoid playing slot machines. Even though the majority are in clean and well-run establishments, they do not offer significant returns with their slot machines.

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What these three different places have in common is that under Nevada law the slot machines in airports, convenience stores, and grocery stores are entirely controlled by large corporations.

With that in mind, it should not be surprising that the slot machines in these facilities provide a much lower payout percentage than the typical slot found in a Las Vegas casino.

Even though convenience store owners can obtain a lease or purchase of slot machines, the Nevada law changed in favor of larger corporations having control over the slots and their payouts.

Nevada grocery stores are the only place that can legally provide slot machines because they have leased the space through a larger company. Although they can offer marginally better odds than the former two, grocery stores should still be avoided when it comes to slot machines.

The loosest slot machines in the past 12 months have been Megabucks and penny slots. Megabucks had the tightest slots at over 11% casino win percentage. Penny slots are the most popular denomination, even though their win percentage is not the most generous.

Megabucks offers some of the best slots in Vegas with the highest winnings. In 2014, a man playing a Megabucks slot machine in Rampart Casino hit a $14 million jackpot after playing for five minutes on a $20 bill when the slot paid off.

This payout is not the only one from a Megabucks machine. Megabucks has produced life-changing jackpots for multiple players for over two decades.

Their slogan markets the casino’s accomplishments perfectly: “Dream big. Win big”. Even with players only spending a $1 for a spin, there is always a chance of the jackpot prize of $10 million.

In addition to Megabucks and Slots-a-Fun, there are plenty of casinos offering some of the best slots available in Las Vegas.

Many websites report O’Shea’s, Stardust, and older casinos located on the north side of the Strip as the places to visit for great and profitable slot machine winnings.

The casino nearest to offering the loosest slots in Las Vegas is Palms resort, which has an average game payout percentage of about 94%.

Lower payout slot machines also have distinct locations on the casino floor. Some of those include the leading slot machine on the floor, those near the table games, and close to the poker room. Since all of these areas have too much action, either from different games or other slots, the RTP does not have to be too high.

Furthermore, it is better to be aware of which specific slot machines should be avoided. The reason behind it is the exact opposite as to why the already mentioned slots are the best: the worst slots have a low percentage of payback.

Several slots have unfortunately been added to the universal list of worst slots found in Las Vegas, such as Wish Upon a Jackpot by Blueprint Gaming, Adventures in Wonderland by Ash Gaming, and King Kong by Cryptologic due to their low RTP.

Different software companies specializing in slot machines have reputations that reflect off of the RTP’s. While some developments have been mentioned before for their low percentage payback, others are renowned for their slots having high RTP rates.

Playtech is one of the more famous software companies that develop successful and popular slot machines located in Las Vegas casinos. Games created by this company include: Goblin’s Cave, Ugga Bugga, and Ocean Princess. All offer reputable and above-average percentage payouts.

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Other software companies known for distributing slots with high paybacks are Barcrest, WMS, and NetEnt.

In addition to Palms Casino and Resort, there are other casinos in Las Vegas that have multiple slots maintaining an above-average payout.

Fitzgerald’s Casino and Hotel has established a favorable reputation for offering the loosest slots in downtown Las Vegas. Ranked regularly, the machines in Fitzgerald’s that are given the best paybacks include reel, penny, and progressive slots.

Slot machines are incredibly entertaining, easy, and a great reason to visit a Las Vegas casino.

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Although research is essential, in-depth research is not necessary unless you are wagering a significant amount of money. Specific slot machines should be sought out to cash in millions, which has been proven to be possible within five minutes of playing.

The different themes, bonuses, promotions, and prizes, prevent slot machines from ever becoming boring. For some lucky few, a slot will transform a single $5 bill to $5 million or more than that colossal amount.

With the press of a button, a slot machine can make an average player into a millionaire, or give the customer an affordable and responsible amount of fun on the Las Vegas casino floor.

With some of these tips that differentiate the better slots in Las Vegas, slot machines can become more of a calculated game than intended.

Overall, Vegas is the numero uno destination to play slots in the United States. The key is to be wise and risk only as much as you can afford to lose.

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It is essential to ask around and try some old slots that have a proven track record of wins. Don’t just be impressed with design and wager money in the excitement!