What is ‘Payout Percentage’?
Payout percentage is the percentage amount of winnings that a slot machine player can expect to win from the amount that is wagered. A typical slot machine will have a payout percentage of around 95% – meaning that for every $100 you stake, you can expect to get $95 back. The house will take the remaining $5.
Payout percentage explained
A payout percentage will be calculated and programmed into a slot machine in advance. Players will be unaware of the percentage, but typical payout percentages are between 82% and 98%. The machine may pay out a much higher or lower percentage over the first few rounds, but the longer a player plays, the closer they will come to the calculated payout figure.
Payout percentages are generally audited and verified by approved gambling monitoring boards. If a casino wants to change the payout percentage for a particular machine, they will normally need to first seek approval from their relevant authority. The required minimum payout percentage is different in different countries and even different states: In Nevada, the minimum payout percentage is as low as 75%.
A machine with a high payout percentage may be known as a ‘loose machine’ and offers greater odds of success. A machine with a low payout percentage should be avoided.
Payout percentage is also known as Theoretical Payout Percentage or Return to Player (RTP).
A slot machine’s payout percentage would be programmed on to a machine in the factory before installation. Machines are usually tamper-proof, which means that casinos cannot change the payout percentage once the machine is in situ. However, the Nevada Gaming Commission have experimented with technology that allows the casino’s management to remotely change the odds (and therefore the payout percentage) of a machine.
The payout percentage is not the only statistic that should be considered when playing a machine. The probability of a payout is also important. If the probability is very low on a machine, statistically, the player would have to play for longer to achieve the average payout percentage.