6 Ways to Find the Best Slot Machine in a New Casino

Row of Slots on Left and Man Pointing Up On Right

When you go to a new casino, how do you find the best slot machines? How do you define a good slot machine? Does a good slot machine pay more often, or does it pay more overall than other slot machines?

Most slots players have favorite games they play, and some just sit at the first slot machine they find. And unless they get lucky, they lose money just like most other slots gamblers.

I’ve put together a list of six ways you can find the best slot machines in any casino.

1 – Hardest to Find Slot Machine

When you’re trying to find the slot machines with the best return to player percentages, it helps if you can think the way casinos think. Casinos want to make as much money as possible, so they want slots players to spend most of their time playing on machines with a lower return to player percentages.

If you were running a casino, would you put the best slot machines where most slots players play, or would you put the best machines in places where most slots players don’t play?

Look for slot machines that aren’t in popular areas of the casino. If you find a slot machine that’s out of the way, like behind a plant or against a wall far away from most of the other slot machines, sit down and try your luck.

It’s not a guarantee that a slot machine that’s hidden is the best in the casino, but this is where I’d put the best machine if I didn’t want most slots players to play it.

An argument can be made that the casino wants to draw more players to the slot machines, so they put one decent machine in with many bad machines. In the next two sections, you will learn how to find the best slot machines based on this idea.

2 – Middle of the Bank

Suppose I ran a casino and wanted to attract slot machine players to machines with poor percentage return to player. In that case, I might design the casino floor in a certain way and put a single machine with a good return to player percentage right in the middle of a bunch of slot machines with poor return percentages.

In most casinos, slot machines are arranged in rows or banks of slot machines. You might find five or seven slots games together. The most strategic spot for a single good-paying machine would be the middle machine in the bank.

Row of Casino Slot Machines

You’re close to a bank of slot machines and see a player winning, so you’re drawn to the same bank of machines. Casinos try to figure out how gamblers think, and then the casinos try to take advantage of the way gamblers think.

Slots players want to win, just like everyone else in the casino, and if a slots player sees another player winning at a slot machine, they want to win too.

And the casinos know that if they can get four or six players playing on slot machines with poor returns close to a slot machine with a decent return, the casino will make more money.

3 – End of the Bank

Sometimes, casinos can be too smart for their own good. But of course, people fall into this same trap.

If you owned a casino and planned to strategically place your slot machines, placing a good machine in the middle of many poor machines for players seems like a good idea.

But what if you thought about this more and decided that some slots players will figure this strategy out? Where’s the next best place to put a good slot machine?

Instead of placing a machine with a high return percentage in the middle of a bank of slot machines, the end of a row of slot machines or the end of a bank of slot machines might be a good place to put the best machine in the bank.

Of course, you could continue overthinking this and put the best machine somewhere between the middle and the end in a bank.

You can drive yourself crazy trying to outthink the casino. But it’s still not a bad strategy to try the middle slot machine and the end slot machines in a bank of games.

4 – Being a Vulture

Blackjack players who learn how to count cards often stand around a blackjack table counting. Then, when the count goes in their favor, they join the game to take advantage of the situation. Casinos put rules in place to counter this tactic at the blackjack table.

What does this have to do with finding the best slot machine in a casino?

You can watch other slots players and grab their seat when they stop playing. If you watch a slots player losing, you might want to try your luck at the same machine when they leave. Slot machines pay a set amount or percentage out, and if a machine hasn’t paid the correct percentage or amount out, it’s going to have to pay it out eventually.

Row of Casino Slot Machines

If you find a machine that’s been cold, it doesn’t guarantee that the machine is going to get hot when you start playing. But there are worse ways to find a good slot machine.

Pay attention when you’re in a casino to see if any slot machines seem to be cold. When you identify a cold machine, keep an eye on it. When the person playing the machine gives up, grab the seat and see if you can catch a hot streak.

5 – 5-Minute Hop Method

Playing slot machines is a hard way to make money. Even the machines with the best return to player percentages still make money for the casino. But you can get lucky and find a hot slot machine and win for a short period of time.

The problem is finding a hot machine. Of course, the best way to find a hot slot machine is to try many different machines. But how long do you need to play on a machine before you know if the machine is hot or cold?

I like to use something I call the five-minute hop method. I sit down and play a slot machine for five minutes. If I’m ahead, I keep playing. But if I’m losing, I cash out and sit at a different slot machine. I never spend more than five minutes playing a slot machine unless I’m winning.

The only exception to the five-minute rule when I play slot machines is if I’m playing on a progressive machine and I’m chasing the jackpot.

The other benefit of using the five-minute hop method when you play slot machines is that you get to try many different games. I’ve found a lot of fun slots games that I’d never have played otherwise by using the hop method.

The problem is that just because you find a slot machine where you win for five minutes doesn’t mean that you will continue winning. If you find a hot machine and start losing, eventually, you’re going to need to move to a new machine.

Try the five-minute hop slots strategy the next time you play in a casino.  Even if you don’t win, you’re going to play on a lot of different machines. You might even find your new favorite slot machine game.

6 – Ask a Slot Attendant

Asking someone who works for the casino where the best slot machines are located might not sound like a good idea, but slot machine attendants aren’t involved in deciding where slots games are placed. Instead, slot machine attendants simply work for the casino, and they get paid the same whether you win or lose.

Casino Slot Machines, Man Wearing Suit, Arms Folded

Of course, a slot attendant might not have any idea where the best slot machines are located, but you don’t know where they are either. So what do you have to lose by asking?

If a slot attendant points out a machine and you try it and don’t have any luck, just switch to one of the other methods listed in this post. But nobody spends more time watching other people play slot machines than the attendants. So they just might know where the best machines are located.


The fact is that some slot machines have a higher return to player percentage than other slot machines. But the casino industry doesn’t want you to know which machines have higher payouts. So the only thing you can do in most casinos is try to guess where the best machines are located.

You can try to think like a casino thinks or try many different slot machines to find a better machine than others. But, of course, you should try as many different strategies as you can.

Unless you know what the returns are for specific slot machines, all you can do is try as many of the strategies listed in this post as you can.

Posted in: Slots

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