For slot machine enthusiasts, there’s no place on Earth quite like fabulous Las Vegas. Most of the 40 million tourists who flock there each and every year stay on the Strip, where corporate operators like MGM Resorts and Caesars Entertainment run mega-casino resorts.
But during its heyday, all the action was confined to Downtown Las Vegas, where iconic casinos like the El Cortez and Golden Gate lined fabulous Fremont Street. Over time, Las Vegas’ outlying areas—including the suburbs of Summerlin and Henderson, the “Boulder Strip,” and North Las Vegas—attracted mid-market operators like Station Casinos and Boyd Gaming.
If slots are your game of choice, ditching the Strip is best. This page presents the seven best off-Strip casinos in Las Vegas for slot players based on the venue’s average payback percentage.
A Quick Look at Las Vegas Slot Payback Percentages
According to the latest Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) survey of Las Vegas casino operators and their respective slot machine payback percentages, which are commonly referred to as return to player (RTP) rates, the Strip is home to the “tightest” slots in town.
Las Vegas Slot Machine Payback Percentage Rates (by Region)
|North Las Vegas||93.53%|
The NGCB also provides data on regional slot machine payback averages broken down by the player’s preferred coin denomination.
Las Vegas Slot Machine Payback Percentage Rates (by Coin Denomination and Region)
1¢ Slot Machines
|North Las Vegas||90.88%|
5¢ Slot Machines
|North Las Vegas||95.29%|
25¢ Slot Machines
|North Las Vegas||96.41%|
$1 Slot Machines
|North Las Vegas||95.39%|
$1 Megabucks Machines
|North Las Vegas||88.52%|
As you can see, the data reveals the Strip to be the worst place in Las Vegas to find “loose” slots, or machines which offer a higher than average payback percentage.
If you don’t mind ditching the fountain shows and $14 cocktails behind for a better bargain, taking your slot machine bankroll to an off-Strip casino offers the best bang for your gambling buck. Keep reading for the seven best off-Strip casinos to play loose slots in Las Vegas.
1 – Palms Casino Resort
The best slot machine selection in Las Vegas can be found at the Palms Casino Resort, home to more than 1,500 machines which combine for an average payback rate of 93.42%.
Given the 91.47% and 92.67% payback rates found on the Strip and Downtown, respectively, spinning slots at the Palms immediately provides an improvement of over 1% over the long run.
And fortunately for the folks who still like hitting the Strip for shopping or a show, the Palms is located just minutes from all the action.
Just head to Caesars Palace and turn westbound onto Flamingo Road, cross over the Interstate 15 bridge, and drive for another minute or so before looking to your left for the ultra-modern Palms tower.
Locals love the Palms for combining the look and feel of casinos on the Strip with perks like 3:2 blackjack, single-zero roulette, and of course, the loosest slots in Las Vegas.
You’ll find all of the greatest slots here too, including Megabucks and its $10 million starting progressive jackpot award, Wheel of Fortune with its unique prize wheel waiting up top, and every major new release from designers like Aristocrat, Scientific Games, and International Game Technology (IGT).
2 – Gold Coast Hotel and Casino
If the loud music and pool parties that make the Palms so attractive for younger gamblers just aren’t your thing, don’t fret, because the nearby Gold Coast boasts a completely different vibe.
Located directly across Flamingo from the Palms, Gold Coast is a classic “old school” off-Strip casino. The same staff members have worked here for decades, so they know their regulars by name and treat them like royalty.
The odds are always the best available on table games and video poker, and the slot machine menu running 1,900+ machines strong sports a 92.84% average payback rate.
One of the iconic venues operated by Boyd Gaming, the Gold Coast supplements its casino with a massive bowling alley upstairs, and comfort food like Subway and TGI Fridays.
While the amenities lean towards the quaint and casual side, the Gold Coast offers one of the more modern slot machine menus in Las Vegas. Using the website’s convenient slot search tool, you can easily pull up complete listings for either reel-based or video slots that can be further sorted by coin denomination.
The reel-based lineup includes staples like 88 Fortunes, Blazing 7’s Progressive, Double Diamond, Megabucks, and Super Times Pay.
And over in the video slot section, you’ll find popular titles like 50 Dragons, Aztec Temple, Buffalo, Geisha, Mr. Cashman, Sex and the City, and White Orchid.
When you use the search tool, don’t forget to click the little “MAP” tab to the right of every game’s entry. This will pull up a color-coded map of the Gold Coast showing the section where your favorite slot machine games can be located.
3 – Ellis Island Hotel, Casino, and Brewery
You’ll only find a couple hundred slot machine installations at the independently owned Ellis Island Hotel, Casino and Brewery, but it’s the last part there that makes this place something special.
Well, all the cold suds you can drink and a 92.56% average slot payback rate, that is…
The bulk of Ellis Island’s selection is devoted to slots and other machines, but you’ll also find a few blackjack, craps, and roulette tables, too.
It’s the slots that bring sharp spinners here though, as the overall payback percentage is better than any of the glitzier and more glamorous casinos towering overhead on the Strip. And whether you win or lose, you can always tip back a brew or two straight from the source.
4 – El Cortez Hotel and Casino
If you appreciate a sense of history to go along with your gambling, paying a pilgrimage to El Cortez downtown is a true “bucket list” item on the agenda.
After first opening its doors in 1941, El Cortez hasn’t closed them for 77 years and counting, making it the longest continuously operating casino in Las Vegas.
The joint was owned by legendary mobsters Bugsy Siegel, Meyer Lansky, Gus Greenbaum, and Moe Sedway in the early days, and with its exterior signage unchanged all this time, El Cortez is home to an unmistakable air of nostalgia writ large.
Fittingly, you can find over 200 coin-operated three-reel slots that still use nickels and quarters to grease the reels. That lineup is supplemented by hundreds of modern video slots as well, a combination providing the best of both worlds for players. And so does the 92.56% average payback rate, which makes El Cortez the loosest slot parlor found along famous Fremont Street.
5 – The Orleans Hotel and Casino
Another member of the Boyd Gaming family, the Orleans Hotel & Casino is like a slightly more hip, Mardi Gras-themed version of the Gold Coast.
In the casino, hundreds of slot machines ranging from traditional to modern will be running to the tune of 92.56% payback.
6 – Fiesta Rancho Hotel and Casino
The wilds of North Las Vegas are home to the best penny slot machines in Sin City at an average payback rate of 90.88%.
And of all the North Las Vegas casinos to choose from, the best of the bunch is Fiesta Rancho, which combines class-leading penny slots with higher denominations for a 92.53% overall payback average.
Getting here is a bit of a trek. Take the I-15 North to Highway 95, head west, then hit the 95 northbound for a while. But trust us, this Station Casino property is worth the extra mile.
Per the Las Vegas Review-Journal annual rankings, Fiesta Rancho regularly earns the “Best-Paying Slots” and “Best Slot Club” awards as judged by local players.
7 – Arizona Charlie’s (Decatur and Boulder)
The two Arizona Charlie’s casino locations in Las Vegas can be found on Decatur Boulevard and Boulder Highway.
Both offer a generous 92.50% payback rate on average for slot players, along with a long lineup of new games, including the exciting titles found below:
- $1 Wheel of Fortune
- Bally Quick Hits
- Buffalo Legends
- Buffalo Golds
- Buffalo Grands
- Dollar Mega Bucks
- Downton Abbey
- Good Fortune
- Konami Selexion
- Lightning Link
- Lock It Link
- New Generation Megabucks
- Space Invaders
- Wacky Races
- Walking Dead II
- World of Wonka
Venturing away from Las Vegas Boulevard to score improved odds has been a time-honored tradition among savvy gamblers for decades now. Forced to compete with their corporate counterparts on the Strip just to survive, off-Strip gambling halls like the seven listed above do everything in their power to attract customers.
That means selecting slot machines that offer generous payback percentages across the board, while still providing the best in modern slot game design.