What Is A Loose Slot Machine?

Let us preempt the story a bit by telling you that a loose slot machine is a most desirable thing for the online (or offline, for that matter) video slots player. At first, it may sound like the kind of thing you should avoid - but the opposite is actually true, since these type of slots actually pay out more often than average. To truly understand this, we will have to delve into the very essence of slot payouts.

Understanding the Term Looseness for Slots

There’s a reason why no one can actually agree on the delineation of “looseness” when it comes to slots; fact is, the definition is not static. It changes depending on who is speaking. For example, if you’ve got two people who want to play two different slots, each with a 93% pay-back rating. One of the gamers might call their own 93% machine loose, whereas the other player might call his own 93% slot machine definitely NOT loose. What gives? The coin denomination that the machine gives out. If the first one pays out dimes and the other one pays out dollars, then the first one might be considered “loose”, whereas the dollar slot machine is not at all a good deal at a 93% payback rating. The opposite word for loose is tight, for reference.

Fact is, machines with the same payback percentage are simply not worthwhile to play if the coin denomination is higher; it’s a losing proposition. The following rings true at the average casino: at a 93% payback rating, a dime machine will almost always end being the best in the casino House. On the other hand, a 93% payback machine in a casino with multiple dollar and higher-denomination machines will definitely be among the worst. As such, the term “loose slot machine” really only makes sense when used comparatively.

In It For the Long Term

Ultimately, a loose slot machine is one that provides a higher win percentage than the others in its class - but this win percentage is only apparent in the intermediate to long term. Basically, the effective payback percentage is actually higher than the listed one when you observe the wins as they have occurred in the long run. Thus, not only do these reward you at a higher rate in the long term, they also take a tinier bite out of your bankroll.

So, you might ask yourself “why would a casino even use a loose slot machine?” This is an excellent question, and so we will provide an excellent answer. The loose slots are often place at or near the entrance of a brick-and-mortar (physical) casino, so that any incoming traffic can see that the people who are rooted to their seats there are winning! This entices newcomers to play the slots in the general area, as well, since they’d otherwise have to wait their turn. And, as you might have guesses, the video slots in the general area are often tight machines.

Another common tactic is to have loose machines standing underneath a light, or even at the back of the casino. To either side of the single loose machine are tight machines. Why this tactic? Well if you’re a committed casino gamer, then you’ve certainly seen how some people dominate slot machines - often playing two and three at a time. Any business worth its salt would observe such a tactic and adapt, right? Well - that is precisely what casinos have done. So multi-slot players are essentially winning with the central loose slot, and then pouring their money right back into the unforgiving probabilities of the adjacent tight slots.

There are all manner of psychological ploys that casinos use in the offline space that do not manifest in the virtual arena, which is why online slots can be an advantage in favor of the gamer and not the House. Loose slot machines can be placed near buffet lines, for example, enticing more people to pay for the overpriced menu items - after all gamblers rarely want to leave a casino mid-streak to get food, so why not pay three times more for a sandwich right inside the establishment? Drinks can be free, after all, which can make you hungry and reckless after a time. Keep your wits about you, basically.

How to Find Loose Slot Machines

Basically, you will want to look at banner headlines that display recent winners. If certain slots are coming up time and time again, then chances are they are loose slots. Another option is the messageboard; there are plenty of these - especially in the online sportsbook. Players will readily gloat and talk about their winnings on certain slot machines at certain online casinos. If you happen to visit a physical location, then you can rest assured that casino floor managers will not place a loose, high-paying slot in a location that is hard to see or access. Thus, look for the ones that are being frequented, and slide into your spot when tim permits.

Your best bet is probably impractical for most people: if you are friends with a casino floor director, then she can tell you where the loose slot machines are located! Of course, you could also just have some discernment and find the high visibility areas, since they do want those slots to be played, after all. Remember; most people in casino, when they win, will play that slot for awhile and then remain inside to play another one that day or the next - or double and triple play several different slots at once. Since most of those slots will be tight; all they are doing is putting the money they won - and more - right back into the casino. Since there is an RTP value for each slot, the casino makes money automatically just by having you play; they make extra money by having you lose.

Generally, you won’t find loose slot machines near table games that garner a lot of traffic, since players don’t want the constant noise of wins to interrupt their poker or blackjack games. Alternatively, roulette and craps do not require peace and quiet, so there’s a chance you’ll find loose slot machines near those areas. All of these tips will not help you online, though, since there’s no discernible way to entice players to pick one slot over another based on the same criteria. Thus, look for other attributes to slot-picking online.