Good Odds

The odds are always against you when you gamble, which is an excellent argument for not gambling in the first place.  If you're gonna gamble anyway, then it pays to play at a casino that offers good odds.  That's one reason I chose Bovada as the advertiser.  Let me first tell you about the competition, though.

Many online casinos are stingy when setting the odds on their games.  They think they'll make more money by setting the games tighter, so the player has less chance of winning, but they're wrong.  When players lose at a tight casino too quickly, those players much less likely to return.  Contrast that with a casino with good odds: Players get to play longer, which is a good experience, so they're more likely to return and become long-term customers.

Bovada has always offered games with good odds, knowing that if your money lasts longer, you'll be a happier, loyal customer.  They've got:

  • Two blackjack games returning over 99.8%
  • Single-0 roulette
  • Full-pay Jacks or Better (99.54%)
  • Nine other video poker games returning over 99%

Bovada's not perfect, but at least they offer decent odds.

Try their blackjack for free.
One click and you're in.


Gambling problem?

  1. Call the 800-522-4700 hotline or get online help
  2. See these horror stories.
  3. Know that Parkinson's drugs encourage gambling.

The domain name GamblingAds.com is for sale now on Sedo for $6,000 Buy It Now.
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Play 777 Deluxe slot machine Play Koi Garden slot machine

Gambling problem?

  1. Call the 800-522-4700 hotline or get online help
  2. See these horror stories.
  3. Know that Parkinson's drugs encourage gambling.

Slot Machine Par Sheets

Last update: March 2020

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My article on how slots work explains how the probabilities result in a specific payback.  In brief, the frequency of the various symbols dictates how likely you are to line up the various winning combinations, and those probabilities married to the paytable determines the payback of the machine.

Every slot maker creates a "par sheet" that lists the symbol frequency and the paytable.  This allows the payback to be calculated, and a programmer to write the computer code.  Slot manufacturers guard these par sheets religiously, for no good reason.  (We can analyze games like craps, roulette, and blackjack because we know how those games work, and people still play them anyway.)  However, with some sleuthing I've been able to track some down several par sheets, and they're all listed here below.

While this data has largely been secret before my investigative efforts, it's not really a useful secret, from a player perspective.  Knowing the reel stripping for any particular slot doesn't give you any kind of edge or help you develop any kind of strategy.  If you're flipping a coin, you know the only possible outcomes are heads or tails, but that knowledge doesn't allow you to predict what comes next.  The real value of these is for those who are creating their own slot machines.

List of Par sheets

  1. In the Money.  A Bally game from 2000.  First published in the 2005 edition of Casino Operations Management.
  2. Blazing 7s
  3. Red White & Blue.  A 94.675% payback flavor.
  4. Red White & Blue.  An 87.47% payback flavor.
  5. Double Diamond
  6. Phantom of the Opera
  7. Lucky Larry's Lobstermania 
  8. Money Storm 
  9. Generic 1987 IGT slot.  This is from the 1998 edition of the book Casino Operations Management.
  10. Vamos a Las Vegas (VLV).  A slot by the Wizard of Odds.  This is a fake-money, online version (not a real-money slot).
  11. Bluejay Bonanza.  This is the fictional machine I created to explain how slot paybacks are calculated.  The article doesn't contain a par sheet per se, but the tables in the article contain the same kind of data that would go into a par sheet.


Play slots online

I suggest you play something other than slots because the slot odds are so bad.  You could also play online with fake money, because then it doesn't matter if you lose.  A good casino for free-play is Bovada, since it requires no download and no registration.  (If you see a registration box, you can close it and continue without registering.)  You can play with real money too, though I hope you won't (or at least won't bet more than you can comfortably afford to lose). (advertisement)


The domain name GamblingAds.com is for sale now on Sedo for $6,000 Buy It Now.
(bid now)

Play these
free slots now

Play 777 Deluxe slot machine Play Koi Garden slot machine

Gambling problem?

  1. Call the 800-522-4700 hotline or get online help
  2. See these horror stories.
  3. Know that Parkinson's drugs encourage gambling.

All my slot machine articles

  • Slot machine basics.  How much it costs to play, how much you can win, expected loss, why they're a bad bet, why they're popular, how you can limit your losses, speed of play
  • How to play slot machines
  • Slot returns.  How much they pay back.
  • The Randomness Principle.  Slots don't continually get looser and tighter as they're played.  They don't have to.
  • How they work. Explains the randomness principle, and runs through the math to show how a game returns a particular payback percentage.  There's a companion page on Par sheets.
  • Slot Machine Myths
  • Slot Machine B.S.  Wrong info that's published elsewhere.
  • Strategies. Tips for increasing your chances of winning, and saving money.
  • Slot Jackpots.  Odds of hitting the jackpot, progressive jackpots, and other jackpot topics.
  • Biggest Jackpots.  The largest slot and table game jackpot wins in Vegas.
  • Skill-Based Slots.  The scoop on the new games in which your results aren't entirely determined by chance.
  • Slot Machine malfunctions. How and why slot machines screw up, causing players to think they've won the jackpot when they really haven't.
  • Slot Machine Simulator.  I programmed an exact replica of the Blazing 7s slot (odds-wise).  Click it to play thousands of spins in one second and see how you do.


Practice gambling with play money

Before you throw down your hard-earned cash in a casino, PRACTICE FIRST!  Learn the games with play money where it doesn't cost you anything if you lose.  Seriously.

You can play Bovada's games (below) right away without registering for an account.  Most every other online casino makes you give up your email address just to play the fake-money games — ugh.  That's the mean reason Bovada is the only online casino that gets advertising space on my site.  I hope other casinos will eventually start treating their visitors like human beings rather than walking wallets, but until they do, there's Bovada.  One click and you're in.

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