The infamous gambling capital, Las Vegas, is home to more than 100,000 slot machines. The old one-armed bandits have been around for nearly a century now, and over all that time, they’ve evolved to say the least.
Las Vegas reigns supreme when it comes to the slots. The city’s epicenter shifted from Downtown to present-day Las Vegas Boulevard, and the Strip is home to over 30 casino resorts. If your main focus is finding the best places on the Strip to play slots, this page is for you.
Using the latest payback percentage rates, which are also known as return to player (RTP) rates, a team of gambling researchers from the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) recently conducted a survey of every Las Vegas casino’s slot machine inventory.
Based on that payback percentage data, the list below presents the seven best places to play “loose” slots, or machines which offer a higher than average payback percentage, whenever you visit the heart of Las Vegas.
1 – Circus Circus Hotel and Resort
So, let’s start with the glass half empty side of the Circus Circus to get it out of the way… This place is kind of a dump.
The big top theme hasn’t been interesting in 20 years, and nothing else inside of the Circus Circus has been updated either. Renovations were announced in the latter half of 2019, but the décor at the time of this writing is significantly dated.
On the other hand, if you don’t mind “slumming it” for a spell, playing slots at the Circus Circus scoresan average payback percentage of 92.56%, the highest offered by any casino on the Las Vegas Strip. And if you happen to have the family in town, Circus Circus is still the best casino in town in terms of non-gambling entertainment for the kids to enjoy.
The aptly named Slots A Fun has been a staple of old-school Las Vegas gambling for generations now, and this gritty gambling hall is home to a diverse collection of “Classic Coin Machines.” These are the big iron boxes of old, which still take quarters and use a pull-lever to send the reels spinning. You’ll also find Classic Coin Machines for $1 a spin over at the Main casino.
Circus Circus’ sterling 92.56% payback rate, which outdoes the Strip’s overall average of 91.47% by more than a full percentage point, is bolstered by the popular Magnificent 7 slot machine. This three-reel design classic produces an average payback rate of 97.4%, good for some of the most favorable slot machine odds out there.
The Magnificent 7’s machine uses a $1 coin denomination, and because it pays out the $1,000 jackpot with such regularity, many slot fans exclusively play this game.
If you’re in the mood for a something a little different, take a whirl on the Carousel, a spinning platform outfitted with penny slot machines and offers a great view of the daily Circus performance.
2 – Luxor Hotel and Casino
Even if you didn’t know its name, the Luxor is likely the first casino resort on the Strip to catch your eye during the initial after-hours excursion in Sin City.
A gleaming black pyramid seemingly taken straight out of the Egyptian sands and relocated to the Mojave Desert, the Luxor Hotel & Casino is best known for shining a bright beam of light straight from its peak into the skies above. This obelisk of light can be seen from miles away, making it one of the dominant features of the Strip’s skyline.
Head inside, and you’ll find more than 1,100 slot machines at the Luxor, one of Las Vegas’ largest inventories. They collectively offer an average payback rate of 91.92%. The massive selection covers everything, from classic three-reel machines to modern video slots equipped with movable seats and sound effects, so slot players of all stripes will feel at home.
Coin denominations here range from $0.01 to $100, and those bets put players in the mix for jackpots that can eclipse the eight-figure plateau. As an MGM Resorts operated casino, the Luxor makes sure to spread all of the best progressive jackpot slot games, including Megabucks, Wheel of Fortune, and Millionaire 777’s.
3 – Paris Las Vegas
If you’re loyal to Caesars Entertainment properties and their Total Rewards program, rather than MGM Resorts and the M life card, you can head across Las Vegas Boulevard to Paris and find the exact same 91.92% overall payback rate.
The slot selection at Paris is impeccable, with more than 1,700 different machines dotting the well-appointed casino floor.
Playing slots at Paris is a treat in more ways than one, thanks to the property’s world-class dining, shopping, and entertainment options.
4 – Excalibur Hotel and Casino
A step up from Circus Circus if you’re visiting Las Vegas with little ones, Excalibur is famous for its medieval castle theme.
You’ll be greeted at the entrance by “town criers” dressed in traditional medieval garb, complete with Old English dialogue all the rest. Every night sees the white and black knights battle it out in a full-on jousting tournament, while audience members munch on oversized turkey legs and swill wine from a goblet.
Indeed, the ambiance at Excalibur is certainly unique to say the least…
As for the slot lineup, you’ll find hundreds of slots at Excalibur, running the gamut from $0.01 to $100 stakes. All of the most popular machines are here too, including 88 Fortunes, Buffalo Grand, Dancing Drums, Monopoly Hot Shot, and so much more. All told, Excalibur’s slot menu offers a 91.84% payback rate on average, good enough to beat the baseline for casinos along the Strip.
One of the coolest things about playing slots at the MGM-owned Excalibur is the seasonal tournaments that run once every month or so. Tournaments like the “Excaliventure” or the “Riptide Reels” offer $25,000 prize pools in a unique format, as players try to spin their way to the highest profits over a given period of time.
5 – Bally’s Las Vegas Hotel and Casino
The Caesars-owned Bally’s makes up for its worn-down appearance and generally uninspired interior with a long lineup of high-paying slots.
All told, the hundreds of slot machine games spread by Bally’s combine for an average payback rate of 91.82%.
Bally’s is the definition of a “no-frills” casino at this point, so expect to find all of the slot industry’s staple titles and jackpots without much in the way of cutting-edge technology.
But while the machines here might be dated, the players grinding them have a much higher chance to win than across the street at Bellagio, where the luxurious surroundings and fancy amenities mask one of the Strip’s worst payback rates at 87.42%.
6 – O’Sheas Casino
If the vibe at Bally’s is a no-frills affair, playing slots at O’Sheas is like stepping into another world altogether.
This Irish-themed casino within a casino is technically part of the LINQ, a relatively new addition to the Strip’s landscape which was rebranded in 2014 by Caesars Entertainment. If you visited Las Vegas before that, you probably know The LINQ as The Quad or Imperial Palace.
As for O’Sheas, it previously occupied a location of its own near the Flamingo before relocating to the LINQ in 2013. But moving didn’t do a thing to change O’Sheas famous Irish pub-inspired ambiance, which is best known for $1 drinks, beer pong tables, and an intimate setting.
The slots at O’Sheas average a 91.48% payback rate, so even though the selection might be a bit limited compared to other venues on this list, you’ll still be above the Strip average.
7 – New York-New York Hotel and Casino
Coming full circle, the New York-New York casino is what Circus Circus could be if the latter had any ambition.
This MGM Resorts property boasts all of the “extras” gamblers today have come to expect, complete with cafes and restaurants, retail shopping outlets, a variety of bars, and in-house shows. Kids are welcome here too, what with a full-scale video game arcade, carnival games, and the famous roller coaster twisting and turning outside.
New York-New York is also home to more than 1,500 slot machines covering all the bases, including the ubiquitous brands shown below:
- Wheel of Fortune
- Jackpot Party
- Blazing 7’s
- Top Dollar
- Sex and the City
- Wizard of Oz
Add them all up and you’ll find an average payback rate of 90.99%. That’s only 1.57% lower than the Circus Circus, making New York-New York the perfect alternative for sharp gamblers who know the value of a family-friendly casino that’s also safe and clean.
Playing the slots is a time-honored ritual among recreational gamblers, and for many visitors to Las Vegas, it’s the only game they’ll ever play. Knowing that any spin can potentially produce a life-changing jackpot sets the slots apart from more modest table games like blackjack and baccarat, and the thousands of themes ensure one session will seldom sound, look, and feel like the next.
Naturally, the slot scene along Las Vegas Boulevard is just as eclectic as its multicultural-inspired skyline and carnival-like sidewalks. The games, stakes, themes, and jackpots span the spectrum from traditional to postmodern, but armed with this list of the seven best slot machine venues found on the Strip, you’ll always enjoy the best odds around.