Max Bet On Slot Machines


Or change the coin size of the slot you wish to play, go from dollar slots to quarter games and max bet is less than one coin on the dollar game. Always look around and find a slot that suits. Just in case you are new to playing slots Max Bet or Maximum Bet is the highest amount of coins or credits you can play in a single spin. For example most classic slots let you play up to three.

Forget the old rule of always betting max coins

By John Grochowski

Playing Max Bet On Penny Slot Machines

There is no magic formula for winning on the slots. No betting pattern, no duration of play before moving to a new machine, no pauses between spins, no using or withholding your players club card can sway the random number generator from making its appointed rounds.

However, there is one rule that’s been drilled into slot players’ heads for generations: To get the highest payback percentage, you have to bet maximum coins.

That’s a message I received the first time I spoke with a slot attendant in the 1980s, and it was in every book I read when I first got serious about casino games at the beginning of the 1990s. The Trump casinos long have used a character named “Max Coins” to deliver that very message: If you want the most a game has to offer, you have to bet the max.

But the slot world has undergone a complete transformation since I started play. And one of the things that has changed is this: Betting the max doesn’t always increase your payback percentage. On many machines, betting one coin per line yields the same percentage as betting the max.

There are exceptions in the cases of mystery bonuses and some progressives. But before getting into all that, let’s recap some of the ways slots have changed.

Before the video age, slots all had three mechanical reels, most had a single payline and maximum bets were either two or three coins. Nearly all progressive jackpots were one tier, with only the top-paying combination having a progressive payoff. Bonus events? Nobody had even heard of such a thing. They were still a few years in the future.

You can still find such games today, but the large majority of slots are on video today, usually with five reels instead of three. Bonus events are a given, often with several possibilities in the same game, including free spins, wheel spins, pick’em bonuses and more. Progressives usually are multiple tiers, and sometimes require a side bet.

And we’re not dealing with single paylines. We’re dealing with 20, 30, 40 and more lines, along with Reel Power-style no-payline games with 243 ways to win – and more with reels that are four symbols deep instead of the usual three.

To top that off, we’re presented with options of betting not one, two or three coins, but sometimes five, 10 or even 20 coins per line. A three-reel quarter game might take wagers of 25, 50 or 75 cents. A penny slot with 30 paylines and a max bet of 10 coins per line tops out at a $3 wager – that penny machine has a max bet four times the max bet on an old-style quarter game.

Many newer video slots are “forced bet” machines in which playing fewer lines is not an option. On a 40-line penny game, you might find buttons for bets of 40 cents, 80 cents, $1.20, $1.60 and $2, with no way to play just one line, a penny at a time.

With the potential for wagers that large, players naturally wonder if the old “bet the max” adage still applies. Check out a couple of recent emails to land in my inbox:

MARIE: “I don’t make max bets anymore. I can’t afford it! So I cover all the paylines and bet one or two coins per line. Still, it nags at me because we always were told to bet the max on slots. How badly am I missing out by not betting max?”

KARLA: “My mom is a slot player from way back. She’s in her 80s, and I’ll bet she’s been playing slots for at least 40 years. She told me to always bet the max on the slots, but even she doesn’t do it now. When I look around, nobody is betting the max. Should you?”

In most cases, no, there’s no advantage to it. To see the reason, let’s look at why max bets were recommended in the first place.

Larger bets do not make winning combinations occur more often. The random number generator works with the same number set no matter how many coins you bet, and the proportion of reel combinations you see will remain the same regardless of your bet size.

However, most slots with three mechanical reels have incentives to bet the max in the form of disproportionate top jackpots. On a hypothetical three-reel game with a three-coin maximum wager, you might find a top jackpot of 1,000 coins for a one-coin wager and have that doubled to 2,000 coins if you bet two coins instead.

If you bet the three-coin max, the jackpot on our hypothetical game doesn’t jump just another 1,000-coin increment to 3,000. It leaps to 5,000.

Instead of a jackpot being worth 1,000 credits per coin wagered, the max-coins bettor gets 1,666.7 credits per coin wagered. That higher per-coin payoff means the payback percentage is higher when you bet max coins.

Most video slots aren’t like that. Touch the screen to call up the pay table, and you’ll see the payoffs are proportionate throughout. If the top jackpot is 1,000 credits for a one-coin wager, it’ll be 2,000 for two, 3,000 for three and so on.

With no disproportionate jump, your average return per coin is the same at any bet size. The payback percentage remains the same, and betting the max will not increase the payback percentage. But that does not mean video slots have no incentives to make larger bets.

Here are a few reasons to play more than the minimum: Hollywood mobile betting pa.


If you play progressive machines, it’s important to make sure you’re eligible for the jackpots.

On three-reel games with a single jackpot, progressives give a ramped up version of the usual incentive to bet the max. The hypothetical game that has a top jackpot of 1,000 coins with a one-coin wager, 2,000 for two coins and a leap to 5,000 with three instead pays 1,000, 2000 and then jumps to the progressive pot if you bet the max. If you don’t bet the max, you can’t win the progressive.

That was tried in the early days of video slots. It didn’t work very well. The difference between the minimum bet and maximum is so large most players didn’t see a progressive jackpot as reason enough to bet out of their comfort zone. Nickel slots drew most of the play early in the rise of video slots, and players who had no qualms about betting 75 cents on a 25-cent progressive weren’t about to bet $3.75 on a 15-line video slot with a max bet of five coins per line.

Today, you’re much more likely to see a penny game with multitiered progressive jackpots that require separate bets to be eligible. Players who bet the minimum per line are eligible for the same jackpots as those who bet the max, as long as they make the side bet. The side bet could be 10 coins, 15 coins or more depending on game and manufacturer.

If you’re going to play these games, you’re going to want to be eligible for the progressives. Make the side bet. If you don’t want to bet that much, choose a different game.


When all players at a bank of machines can play for the same jackpots, regardless of bet size, you’re looking at mystery jackpots. Jackpots and bonus events leading to jackpots aren’t won by lining up matching symbols; they just come as a surprise.

Usually, mystery jackpots are triggered when a player makes a bet that pushes the jackpot total to one that matches a target set by a random number generator. As on all progressives, a percentage of all wagers are added to the jackpot. If the RNG sets the target at $124.37, then the player whose wager pushes the pot to $124.37 wins it.

Players who bet more contribute more per play to the jackpot growth, and therefore have more chances per play for their bet to push the pot to the target. If you play mystery progressives, then betting more per spin does give you a better chance at winning a jackpot.


Even some non-progressive games incorporate mystery elements, where a bonus launches without landing trigger symbols on the reels. One way to set that up is to have an RNG set a target amount of play since the last mystery bonus. The more you bet, the less time it takes to push that wagering total to the target amount and launch a bonus.

On some games, that requires a separate bet. The base game carries the same payback percentage regardless of how many coins you wager, but you’re not eligible for the main attraction if you don’t make the extra bet.

But progressives and mystery payouts aside, the reason to bet more than the minimum on most games starts and stops with a desire for bigger payoffs, with a recognition that betting more also means risk of bigger losses. For the majority, payback percentages do not increase with bigger bets and there’s no reason for even a small twinge at betting less than the max.

Betting the max on slots is not always the right move

By John Grochowski

For decades, players have been told that, when it comes to slots, they should always bet the max to get the best payback percentage. That’s still the case on most three-reel stepper slots, and on a small percentage of video slots.

But getting the highest payback percentage isn’t the only goal of slot play. It’s also important to protect your bankroll and avoid betting money you can’t afford to lose. Like other casino games, slot machines have house edges built in through math, and bigger bets bring bigger average losses.

That’s no different than in blackjack, where the vast majority of us who are not card counters will lose more money if we bet $25 than if we bet $15, and more if we bet $10 than $5. It’s the same deal on craps, baccarat, roulette, three card poker or anything else – average losses are lower when you bet less, and lowest if you don’t bet at all.

Does Betting Max On Slot Machines

Of course, we’re not going to skip betting altogether. The winning times make it all worthwhile, and the fun built into modern machines at least gives us a day’s entertainment when the wins don’t come.

Instead of asking “Should you bet the max?” it’s usually better to come at it from a different angle. The question can be, “When your bankroll can’t stretch to the max, should you choose a different machine?”

The answer to that question depends on the type of game.


The reason you get a higher payback percentage for betting the max on such games is that a max-coins bet brings a disproportionate jump in the top jackpot.

For example, a one-coin bet might bring a top jackpot of 1,000 coins, which rises to 2,000 with a two-coin bet. Instead of a proportionate rise to 3,000, the payoff jumps to 5,000 with a three-coin bet.

Betting only one or two coins will lead to a lower overall payback percentage. How much lower depends on both size and frequency of jackpots.

There’s no way for a player to know the jackpot frequency designed into the odds of the game. However, we can make up an example to show you the effect.

Our hypothetical game has the paybacks listed above, and the jack- pot occurs an average of once per 20,000 spins. Assuming a three-coin bet, then per 20,000 spins you wager 60,000 credits. At 95 percent return – on the high end for dollar machines – your return is 57,000 credits, with 5,000 coming from the jackpot and 52,000 coming from other spins.

Now assume a one-coin bet, making the total risk 20,000 credits. Your average return is 1,000 credits for the jackpot and 17,333 credits on smaller pays – one third of the 52,000 you get on small pays with max bet.

That’s a total return of 18,333 credits. Divide that by your 20,000- credit risk and multiply by 100 to convert to percent, and you get a 91.3 percent return. A two-coin bettor also gets that payback percentage.

That 95-percent game becomes a 91.3-percenter when you bet less than the max. However, your average total loss of 3,000 credits when you bet max drops to 1,167 credits when you bet one credit at a time.

Max Bet Slots On Youtube

A player on a limited bankroll may find it worthwhile to accept the lower payback percentage and bet less than the max on three-reel step- pers. However, note that the 91.3-percent return takes the payback into normal range for quarter machines. Betting the max on a quarter machine usually will be as good a play on a percentage basis and a better play on a dollars-and-cents basis than betting one coin on a dollar game.

The bottom line is for players on a budget, betting less than the max isn’t the worst thing in the world, but it’s even better to drop to a lower coin denomination.


The situation is similar to three-reel non-progressives, except that a big- ger share of the overall return is concentrated in the progressive jackpot. Let’s take the dollar machine above and make it progressive. Now lining up three jackpot symbols brings you 1,000 credits if you bet one credit, 2,000 if you bet two and a progressive pot if you bet three.

The money to fund that progressive pot has to come from somewhere, and where it comes from is you. A portion of each bet is added to the pot. The tradeoff is that you get less in smaller pays.

Let’s say you get one percent less in smaller pays and that money goes to the progressive pot instead. Then instead of the one-coin bettor getting 17,333 credits in smaller returns, he gets 17,160.The overall payback for a one- or two-coin bettor drops to 90.8 percent. If smaller pays are reduced by two percent, the overall return drops to 89.9 percent, and so on.

On a dollar game, the return to a one-coin bettor quickly drops below the normal return for betting the max on a quarter machine.

In a nutshell, if you have a big enough bankroll and want to chase the big jackpots, go ahead and bet the max. But players on a budget should avoid short-coin play on three-reel progressives. If you can’t afford to bet the max, change machines and pick either a non-progressive machine or a game at a lower coin denomination.


It’s always worth checking the pay tables to make sure, but video slots in the usual five-reel configuration almost always have proportionate pay all the way up the pay table. There is no bonus for betting the max. The payback percentage is the same regardless of whether you bet one coin per line or bet the max.

The situation gets a little trickier if side bets are required to activate game features such as pick’em bonuses or free spins. If you don’t make the side bet, you’re left with a game with no bonuses. We have no way of knowing the payback percentage on such games if the bonuses are not in play, but aren’t the bonuses why most of us play video slots in the first place?

On most non-progressive video slots, there is no penalty for betting minimum coins. One-coin-per-line customers can enjoy to their hearts content, while those who want to take a shot at multiplying winnings can bet more if they wish. However, if a side bet is required to activate bonus features, players whose budgets won’t stretch to the extra bet should choose a different game.


There have been video slots with progressives that give a big jump in the top jackpot with a max bet, just like three-reel progressives. However, these are rare. Should you find one, the situation is the same as on three-reel games: If you don’t want to make the required bet to be jackpot-eligible, choose a different game.

The most common video slot progressive formats have multi-tiered jackpots, with levels named mini, minor, major or grand, or bronze, silver, gold, platinum, or some other combination with names corresponding to jackpot sizes.

The smallest are designed to occur frequently and might be only a few dollars. These are rapid-hit jackpots, there to hold your interest and keep you involved in the game. The top level can be hundreds, thousands or tens of thousands of dollars.

Two common formats for multi-tiered progressives are mystery jack- pots and separate-bet jackpots.


In mystery jackpots, all players are eligible for the same jackpots, regardless of how much they bet. Those who bet more will win more frequent jackpots, because the bigger bets give them more chances to push the jackpot up to the mystery trigger. However, that’s offset by the bigger risk of bigger bets.

Should You Max Bet On Slot Machines

On video progressives with side bets, you must make the extra bet to be eligible for the progressives. With the frequent-hit small pays being an important part of keeping you in the game, you want to be eligible for the progressives.

Max Bet Slot Machine Wins

If you’re playing video progressives with mystery triggers, there is nothing wrong with making minimum bets per line. However, if a side bet is required, you should either make the extra bet or choose a different game. Too much of the game’s fun and payback is tied up in the progressives to play without jackpot eligibility. If you need to conserve bankroll, choose a game where the extra bet is not required.