The Worst Slots in Mississippi

Row of Slot Machines on Left Mississippi State Flag on Right

According to the most recent information provided by the Mississippi Gaming Commission, Mississippi, is home to just over 21,000 active slot machine games spread across three geographical gaming regions.

The worst slots in Mississippi can be found in the Northern region, in Tunica and Coahoma counties. The worst casinos for slots in the state are the Isle of Capri Casino Lula, Gold Strike Tunica, and Hollywood Casino Tunica.

Specifically, the worst slot games in those casinos are the $0.10 denomination slots, like Best Bet, Dragon Link Autumn Moon, Birds of Pay, and Buffalo Grand. These games have the lowest theoretical payback percentage of all Mississippi slots games.

Slots in Mississippi are offered in more than a dozen different denominations, each of which is set to pay a certain percentage back to bettors over time. For obvious reasons, the best-paying games tend to cost more per spin, while the cheaper games tend to pay back less of a player’s money over time.

Because the Mississippi Gaming Commission releases monthly payback percentage details on all the games in the state’s three regions, it’s easy enough to identify the worst slot machine games in The Magnolia State.

This post will identify and cover four specific bad slots in Mississippi and help visitors to the state identify the best-odds slot games.

The Worst Mississippi Slot Payback Percentages

Below is a look at the worst slot payback percentages in Mississippi broken down by region and denomination:

Worst Northern Region (Tunica and Coahoma Counties) Return to Player Percentage

  • Average for All Slots – 91.15%
  • $0.10 Standard – 88.76%
  • $0.01 Progressive – 89.49%
  • $0.25 Progressive – 89.94%

Though Tunica and Coahoma Counties represent the overall worst place to play slots in Mississippi (from a purely odds-based perspective), there are still some games better than others.

Avoiding penny slots in this region, and skipping any progressives below $0.50, is the easiest trick to keep you playing the best slots in this region.

Worst Central Region (Adams, Warren, and Washington Counties) Return to Player Percentage

  • Average for All Slots – 91.84%
  • $0.01 Standard – 91.09%
  • $0.01 Progressive – 90.74%
  • $0.25 Progressive – 90.59%

Technically, the Central Region is the best place to play slots in Mississippi overall, though there are good and bad machines here as well. Skip the penny slots and the cheap progressive games and you’ll keep to the best odds slots available.

Worst Coastal Region (Harrison and Hancock Counties) Return to Player Percentage

  • Average for All Slots – 91.21%
  • $25 Standard – 89.93%
  • $0.01 Standard – 90.32%
  • $0.01 Progressive – 90.15%

What’s true in the state’s other gaming regions holds true here as well: Don’t play penny slots in Mississippi if you prefer the best-odds games. One odd wrinkle here, though, why are $25 high-roller slots giving the worst odds in the region?

Harrah's Casino Slot Machines

It’s an odd quirk, probably down to the fact that there are very few of these games to be played—65 at last count. Lower numbers of total machines tend to skew the percentages. Either way, it’s probably best to skip those $25 per spin games when gambling in coastal Mississippi.

The Worst Overall Mississippi Slots

Based on theoretical return percentage alone, the games that should be avoided at all costs are $0.10 fixed jackpot machines in and around the Tunica area. They’re averaging a return percentage of 88.76%, more than four percentage points lower than you’d find just an hour or so south in the coastal area casinos.

For every $1,000 played into that dime machine in Tunica Casinos, you could be losing $40 more than you would at Harrah’s Gulf Coast a short drive south.

Penny progressives in Tunica are a close second-place finisher for the dubious honor of “worst slot game in Mississippi.” They’re averaging a payback percentage of 89.49%, more than a point lower than you’d get on $0.01 progressives in Natchez at Magnolia Bluffs Casino. For penny slot players, those small amounts of profit make a big difference.

Slot Games to Avoid in Tunica, Mississippi

Now that I’ve identified the basic template for a bad slot game in Mississippi, let’s take a look at a few of them and discuss their relative merits.

Best Bet Mississippi Slot Machine Review

This Aristocrat-designed horse racing themed slot is a 5-reel progressive video slot with 50 paylines. The horse racing theme is well-incorporated, with symbols, audio, video, and bonuses all tightly themed.

Best Bet’s four jackpots are called Grand, Major, Minor, and Mini, each of which grows in size as players in the network pay into them. Outside of the progressive top prizes, the biggest payouts are worth 100, 75, and 50 credits. Available denominations include the much-despised $0.25, which gives the house a theoretical win percentage of more than 10%.

Rows of Casino Slots

Best Bet is a fun game with four bonus rounds and lots of effects to keep things interesting. Players who also like horse racing will be particularly entertained. But as a $0.25 progressive game, it’s among the worst you can play in the entire state in terms of odds.

Dragon Link Autumn Moon Mississippi Slot Machine Review

Another Aristocrat game makes an appearance on the worst-of list, this time a vaguely China-themed 5-reel progressive video slot. The game’s top payouts are worth 2,500, 1,500, and 1,000 credits, and are available as part of standard symbol combinations. The game has a wild symbol, the game’s titular Autumn Moon character in full ceremonial garb.

When you play Dragon Link Autumn Moon as a standard penny slot in just about any Mississippi casino, you’re playing against the state’s longest odds slot games. You could be giving the casino as much as an 11% edge when you choose this game and others like it.

If you’re dying to play Dragon Link Autumn Moon, you should play in the Northern Region, where penny slots have been averaging just an 8.67%-win rate for the casinos.

Birds of Pay Mississippi Slot Machine Review

This is a vaguely Bald Eagle/America-themed video slot has 5 reels and offers up to 30 paylines. Max bet is 60 coins per line, for a total of 1,800 coins per spin. When played as a penny slot, that’s $0.01 x 60 coins x 30 paylines, or $18 a spin. That makes it a very expensive penny slot at a max bet play rate, which is how most Mississippi casino players like to play.

Row of Digital Slots

My big problem with playing Birds of Pay at a max bet in Mississippi is the really low payback percentage for these games. In Tunica, you’re facing a casino win rate of more than 11%. Given the quick spin rate of these penny slot games, you’re really handing big amounts of money over to the house for no reason.

If you absolutely must play Birds of Pay in Mississippi as a penny slot, play outside of Tunica, where the casino theoretically takes a slightly smaller chunk of your money.

Buffalo Grand Mississippi Slot Machine Review

A progressive five-reel slot with the popular 1,024 Ways to Win system in place, Buffalo Grand is a Wild West/North American Wildlife-themed game available all over Mississippi. The game has four progressive top prizes that grow over time as you watch. Those progressive jackpots are the real purpose of the game, with the other top payouts being a lot more middling, in the range of 100-200 coins.

As a penny or dime progressive, Buffalo Grand is one of the worst Mississippi slot games for people concerned with payback percentages. On average, this game is giving the casino an edge of more than 10%, several points more than the average Mississippi slot game returns to the house.

Unless you’re absolutely stuck on the idea of winning a progressive payout, there’s no real reason to play Buffalo Grand in Tunica or anywhere else in the state.


Mississippi is a major gaming destination, home to thousands of slots and table games spread over the entire state. Coastal tourism is already big in the southern portion of the state, and expansions in Mississippi gaming are on the horizon, as the state tries to leverage existing properties and entertainment options into an even bigger gaming industry.

If you’re going to play real money slots in the Magnolia State, and you want to avoid the longest-odds games on offer, this post should help you stick to the kinds of games you like. Avoid $0.10 denomination games state-wide, and keep away from most penny machines, even the penny progressives.

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