Daily News Poker News Online Gaming News Investor News Vegas News Featured Articles
Strategies & Tips Books & Movies
Gaming Life Gaming Tips Comps & Promos
HOME > > Ask the Slot Expert: Slot payouts in dollars or credits

Ask the Slot Expert: Slot payouts in dollars or credits

25 January 2023

By John Robison, Slot Expert™

A few months ago, I received an email asking for my help in a slot payment dispute. Here are some key details from the email:

  • It was a penny slot machine.
  • I was playing $.10 (ten cents) so 10 Xs the denomination.
  • I won $94 in a free games bonus round.
  • The payout should have been $940.
  • I have a photo of the total payout along with my bet.
  • The gaming commission employee took photos and my information and was supposed to investigate. I never heard back (surprise)

I replied asking the writer to send me a copy of the photo. I never heard back.

At first I thought that maybe the player thought that the amount won display was for pennies and should be adjusted for denomination when it is added to the credit meter (10 Xs the denomination, $940 versus $94). If a payout is displayed with a dollar sign, then that is how much you will win regardless of the denomination you are playing.

I found a video online of someone getting the free games bonus round at the dime denomination on this machine. The winnings from the free games is displayed in credits.

Let's say the player was playing the penny denomination, betting 10 cents per spin. Maybe the player thought the bonus winnings should be multiplied by the line bet. I hesitate to say that I've never seen a machine in which a bonus is multiplied by the line bet, but I can't think of one off the top of my head. In any case, this scenario is a non-starter because the minimum bet is higher than 10 cents on this machine.

So we have to assume that the player changed the denomination to 10 cents. At the end of the free games bonus, the amount won display should have said 940. There's no dollar sign, so the figure is in credits not dollars. Converting dime credits to dollars, 940 credits is $94. Maybe it is credits versus dollars confusion after all.

Figuring out how much payouts are worth can be very confusing when you play something other than pennies or dollars. I think this player thought that a win meter that displayed in credits was actually displaying dollars.

The writer said it was not surprising to hear nothing from the gaming commission. It's not right that the gaming commission never sent a final report to the player. It's also not right to assume that the commission is biased in favor of the casino.

Even the news media can further this supposed bias. How many times have you seen a report saying something like you shouldn't count on being paid the next time you hit a jackpot at a casino and that the gaming commission supported the casino's refusal to pay?

Casinos pay jackpots every day. Suncoast used to announce some jackpots over the PA system. Now jackpot announcements appear on the card reader screens. Casinos even pay big jackpots (2 jackpots worth $503K hit at same Strip casino). If there's nothing unusual or suspicious about how jackpots are hit, casinos pay them regardless of the size.

Even there is something unusual, the player may get paid. Even though I think players shouldn't be penalized because a button on a video poker machine is sticky and didn't hold a card the player wanted held, it is the player's responsibility to ensure that the held cards are correct before hitting the Deal button.

A man was playing a video poker machine a few machines down from me. He called over a slot floorperson because a button malfunctioned and didn't hold a card he wanted held. He missed out on a pat hand.

Long story short, the slot supervisor filled out some paperwork and paid him for the hand. He was playing nickels, so the amount was small. But I've heard of casinos paying public-relations jackpots of a few thousand dollars figuring that it was better to pay money a player didn't really win than deal with bad publicity.

Gaming commissions rarely find in favor of players not because they're biased in favor of the casinos, but because the players can't make a case that they deserve what they're trying to get.


Question: Interesting that someone agreed with my previous comment about much higher table minimums from my August trip. This November trip was similar, so again, I chose not to play table stakes that I am uncomfortable playing.

Birthday bonuses: nothing from Harrah's, MGM, Coast, or even Boyd although they sent very nice (sarcasm) emailed birthday wishes! Funny thing though -- my son gave us some money to try the 'Silver Strike' machine at 4 Queens casino. I registered at the slot club, where the very nice associate wished me a 'Happy Birthday', also gave me a voucher for a free meal (BOGO). Nice touch, and we went on to 'win' several Silver Strike collector tokens. [Note: the original tokens had actual silver content in the tokens, these newer reissues do not.]

You mentioned being dissed by your fav machines. This last trip literally every casino I visited dissed me. I don't have the patience to count how many times I hit the 'play button'. I tabulate my won/lose of beginning of the day to the end, then wake up the next day, rinse and retry. I go with a fairly good attitude, knowing the 'house' always has the edge, but simply put, this was NOT one of the memorable journeys.

As an aside: ate at two very good buffets: Makino's for sushi lunch, and South Point's buffet for dinner. It is nice to know some establishments recognize this niche can be profitable, have quality, be accessible. We have found this to be a nice 'money management' tactic; you cannot lose money while you are eating!

My last observation: while I have used my charge cards almost exclusively since Covid, for most purchases, groceries, restaurants, gas, etc., where I used to use cash, I am not comfortable to go Gaming via the Cashless route. You have a very good understanding of the nuances of the APPs to get your coffee, etc., I've struggled to load a Burger King APP on my phone (I see all those 'eye-rolls' and general thoughts of 'Who is this person?'). Easiest to say, I work too hard for my greenbacks, to make them too easy to access, (or potentially hacked) NOT the way I choose to allocate my vacation stash.

Final thoughts: thank you for posting the Covid statistics. Seems I'm fortunate that most of my trips are at the lowest incidents of cases. Looking forward to the next adventure, probably in March.

Answer: In terms of high table minimums and vanishing buffets, casinos are reporting record profits quarter after quarter. I don't see anything changing in the near future. As the responsible gaming signs say, "Bet with your head. Not over it."

I had forgotten that the old Silver Strike tokens had real silver in them. I'm sure I have a bunch of the old tokens with the silver insert in my casino collectibles box.

Most people stop playing Silver Strike once they have a complete set of tokens. I wonder whether Silver Strike might be one of the better machines to play.

The machines seem to pay the tokens frequently. The casino wants you to walk away with a souvenir and a pleasant memory of winning it. The casino doesn't want you to leave grumbling about how much money you spent trying to complete your set. It seems like I always get a few tokens for not a lot of play.

Maybe the casinos treat these machines as loss leaders and they're close to breakeven, assuming you redeem the tokens.

Don't feel bad about having problems with an app. Every app has a bunch of negative reviews from people who have problems with it no matter how many five-star reviews it also has. Sometimes your phone or its operating system is just too old. Maybe you have some setting or other software that is interfering with the app.

I'm still figuring out the best way for me to use cashless. I think I'm going to settle on funding the account right before a visit and emptying the account back into my checking account at the end. In other words, I'm not going to keep a balance in the cashless accounts.

If there is a fee going in or coming out, I don't know what I'll do. I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.

Even though Covid-19 rarely gets mentioned on the news now, it's still the third leading cause of death in the United States. I have been meaning to mention that reporting has gotten a bit haphazard over the past few months. Many jurisdictions are reporting their data less frequently now. The date I list is still the date that I retrieved the data, but the data is not necessarily current as of that date or the date before.

Don't be overly concerned if there is a spike one week and don't be relieved if you see a drop. The peaks and valleys might be a result of inconsistent data reporting.


Here are the latest Covid data. There is a difference in the hospitalization data for US versus NV. The CDC reports total number of Covid hospital admissions. Nevada reports current hospitalizations, not total admissions.

All data comes from the CDC (https://www.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#cases_totalcases, https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#new-hospital-admissions), except for Nevada current hospitalizations (https://nvhealthresponse.nv.gov/).


Totals Weekly Changes
US NV US NV
Date Cases  Hosp. Adm.  Deaths  Cases  Curr. Hosp.  Deaths  Cases  Hosp. Adm.  Deaths  Cases  Curr. Hosp.  Deaths 
 01/24/23   101,873,730   5,862,059   1,099,866   881,498   219   11,834   355,501   34,382   4,717   1,263   (73)   11 
 01/17/23   101,518,229   5,827,677   1,095,149   880,235   292   11,823   423,559   34,014   3,965   4,117   (18)   45 
 01/10/23   101,094,670   5,793,663   1,091,184   876,118   310   11,778   472,614   47,332   2,703   0   6   27 
 01/03/23   100,622,056   5,746,331   1,088,481   876,118   304   11,751   405,073   43,313   2,284   2,001   (23)   46 
 12/27/22   100,216,983   5,703,018   1,086,197   874,117   327   11,705   511,888   35,600   2,918   2,473   (18)   28 
 12/20/22   99,705,095   5,667,418   1,083,279   871,644   345   11,677   463,446   42,585   2,807   3,014   (14)   20 
 12/13/22   99,241,649   5,624,833   1,080,472   868,630   359   11,657   464,429   28,934   3,169   4,224   19   27 
 12/06/22   98,777,220   5,595,899   1,077,303   864,406   340   11,630   295,669   34,108   1,524   2,660   55   6 
 11/29/22   98,481,551   5,561,791   1,075,779   861,746   285   11,624   307,187   27,584   2,664   2,209   31   24 
 11/22/22   98,174,364   5,534,207   1,073,115   859,537   254   11,600   284,712   24,272   2,168   2,064   (2)   20 
 11/15/22   97,889,652   5,509,935   1,070,947   857,473   256   11,580   284,889   22,561   2,280   2,771   92   10 
 11/08/22   97,604,763   5,487,374   1,068,667   854,702   164   11,570   274,976   24,829   2,316   1,741   23   15 
 11/01/22   97,329,787   5,462,545   1,066,351   852,961   141   11,555   266,430   23,562   1,199   1,661   15   11 
 10/25/22   97,063,357   5,438,983   1,065,152   851,300   126   11,544   260,881   22,914   5,111   1,096   (12)   8 
 10/18/22   96,802,476   5,416,069   1,060,041   850,204   138   11,536   267,788   22,644   2,537   1,005   6   6 
 10/11/22   96,534,688   5,393,425   1,057,504   849,199   132   11,530   285,222   23,034   3,061   1,322   14   21 
 10/04/22   96,249,466   5,370,391   1,054,443   847,877   118   11,509   330,300   24,415   3,054   702   3   15 
 09/27/22   95,919,166   5,345,976   1,051,389   847,175   115   11,494   366,858   26,055   2,857   1,042   (28)   48 
 09/20/22   95,552,308   5,319,921   1,048,532   846,133   143   11,446   400,929   29,165   2,973   1,839   0   19 
 09/13/22   95,151,379   5,290,756   1,045,559   844,294   143   11,427   506,189   34,540   2,978   1,758   (40)   16 
 09/06/22   94,645,190   5,256,216   1,042,581   842,536   183   11,411   534,380   30,772   3,526   1,762   (8)   20 
 08/31/22   94,110,810   5,225,444   1,039,055   840,774   191   11,391   600,148   35,692   3,297   2,434   (44)   32 
 08/23/22   93,510,662   5,189,752   1,035,758   838,340   235   11,359   655,186   38,778   3,198   2,550   (51)   20 
 08/16/22   92,855,476   5,150,974   1,032,560   835,790   286   11,339   719,100   40,762   3,375   3,561   (92)   77 
 08/09/22   92,136,376   5,110,212   1,029,185   832,229   378   11,262   937,985   42,621   3,822   5,729   (69)   41 
 08/01/22   91,198,391   5,067,591   1,025,363   826,500   447   11,221   828,560   43,943   2,695   28,360   (5)   16 
 07/26/22   90,369,831   5,023,648   1,022,668   798,140   452   11,205   905,096   45,024   3,072   5,468   (61)   41 
 07/19/22   89,464,735   4,978,624   1,019,596   792,672   513   11,164   890,226   42,620   3,035   7,077   (20)   37 
 07/12/22   88,574,509   4,936,004   1,016,561   785,595   533   11,127   912,596   44,750   2,575   8,611   78   67 
 07/05/22   87,661,913   4,891,254   1,013,986   776,984   455   11,060   683,630   30,500   2,476   8,713   53   34 
 06/28/22   86,978,283   4,860,754   1,011,510   768,271   402   11,026   809,381   33,856   2,580   6,189   (8)   36 
 06/21/22   86,168,902   4,826,898   1,008,930   762,082   410   10,990   648,857   30,459   2,040   8,081   95   41 
 06/14/22   85,520,045   4,796,439   1,006,890   754,001   315   10,949   757,093   29,971   2,630   9,809   42   40 
 06/07/22   84,762,952   4,766,468   1,004,260   744,192   273   10,909   813,916   30,146   2,190   6,818   55   26 
 05/31/22   83,949,036   4,736,322   1,002,070   737,374   218   10,883   670,041   24,555   2,285   5,738   16   41 
 05/24/22   83,278,995   4,711,767   999,785   731,636   202   10,842   756,047   25,027   2,317   5,324   37   28 
 05/17/22   82,522,948   4,686,740   997,488   726,312   165   10,814   680,888   21,183   2,097   3,693   35   26 
 05/10/22   81,842,060   4,665,557   995,371   722,619   130   10,788   534,465   17,934   3,932   2,802   32   11 
 05/03/22   81,307,595   4,647,623   991,439   719,817   98   10,777   432,666   14,755   2,448   2,213   (6)   49 
 04/26/22   80,874,929   4,632,868   988,991   717,604   104   10,728   348,507   12,597   2,446   1,447   (22)   46 
 04/19/22   80,526,422   4,620,271   986,545   716,157   126   10,682   266,330   10,525   3,308   1,232   (37)   497 
 04/12/22   80,260,092   4,609,746   983,237   714,925   163   10,185   228,465   10,343   3,627   1,228   23   53 
 04/05/22   80,031,627   4,599,403   979,610   713,697   140   10,132   203,709   10,312   4,105   1,059   (52)   76 
 03/29/22   79,827,918   4,589,091   975,505   712,638   192   10,056   206,914   9,572   4,083   1,187   5   40 
 03/22/22   79,621,004   4,579,519   971,422   711,451   187   10,016   200,627   8,502   8,178   742   (71)   83 
 03/15/22   79,418,377   4,571,017   963,244   710,709   258   9,933   253,069   17,393   5,492   24,844   (20)   113 
 03/08/22   79,165,308   4,553,624   957,752   685,865   278   9,820   310,308   24,471   9,870   2,099   (101)   116 
 03/01/22   78,855,000   4,529,153   947,882   683,766   379   9,704   465,845   33,261   14,988   6,421   (189)   196 
 02/22/22   78,389,155   4,495,892   932,894   677,345   568   9,508   551,462   46,726   12,797   4,023   (297)   173 
 02/15/22   77,837,693   4,449,166   920,097   673,322   865   9,335   1,005,691   67,963   17,059   5,280   (375)   149 
 02/08/22   76,782,002   4,381,203   903,038   668,042   1,240   9,186   1,769,556   92,750   18,185   11,144   (387)   235 
 02/01/22   75,012,446   4,288,453   884,853   656,898   1,627   8,951   3,193,570   121,420   17,885   26,555   (344)   191 
 01/25/22   71,818,876   4,167,033   866,968   630,343   1,971   8,760   5,102,999   143,329   16,393   57,574   99   133 
 01/18/22   66,715,937   4,023,704   850,575   572,769   1,872   8,627   4,983,654   147,105   13,301   25,927   (1,787)   99 
 01/11/22   61,732,283   3,876,599   837,274   546,842   3,659   8,528   5,421,565   139,572   12,168   32,486   2,594   100 
 01/05/22   56,310,718   3,737,027   825,106   514,344   1,065   8,428   3,501,427   104,272   8,867   20,966   276   61 
 12/28/21   52,809,291   3,362,755   816,239   493,378   789   8,367   1,693,987   63,185   11,127   7,977   89   56 
 12/21   51,115,304   3,569,570   805,112   485,401   700   8,311   1,063,296   55,734   9,102   5,639   9   110 
 12/14   50,052,008   3,513,836   796,010   479,762   691   8,201   853,262   57,885   8,946   5,008   17   91 
 12/07   49,198,746   3,455,951   787,064   474,754   674   8,110   821,215   66,191   8,575   5,011   23   125 
 11/30   48,377,531   3,389,760   778,489   469,743   651   7,985   563,746   28,426   6,309   3,343   (50)   55 
 11/23   47,813,785   3,361,334   772,180   466,400   701   7,930   667,924   41,145   10,754   4,784   (24)   86 
 11/16   47,145,861   3,320,189   761,426   461,616   725   7,844   604,748   63,164   7,862   4,577   22   85 
 11/09   46,541,113   3,257,025   753,564   457,039   703   7,759   516,764   33,219   8,290   5,539   34   103 
 11/02   46,024,349   3,223,806   745,274   451,500   669   7,656   555,915   38,028   9,226   4,327   45   109 


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

Copyright © John Robison. Slot Expert and Ask the Slot Expert are trademarks of John Robison.

 
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. Hear John on "The Good Times Radio Gaming Show," broadcast from Memphis on KXIQ 1180AM Friday afternoons. You can listen to archives of the show online anytime.

More about John Robison
More articles by John Robison

Books by John Robison:


The Slot Expert's Guide to Playing Slots
More books by John Robison
FREE NEWSLETTER
Sign up for Casino City's Newsletter and a Chance to Win an exciting Casino City Prize
CONTACT RGT ONLINE  |  EDITORIAL STAFF  |  SITE MAP  |  CASINO CITY  |  AUDIOVEGAS