How the world’s poker machine manufacturers and gaming regulators set the average payout percentages of pokies based on intake (cost of play).
Pokies payout percentages are often advertised at high rates. A statement of “up to 91%” isn’t uncommon. Even online casinos sites will boast up to “98%” or even “99%” payout percentages for pokies. But the key phrase here is “up to”. You have to be able to discern between high paying and lower paying games.
Simply walking up to the front desk, or a casino hostess, and asking which machines have the highest payouts isn’t going to get you far. You’d be better off asking other patrons—the type who play very regularly—which ones have the highest pokies payout percentages. But even then, you may not be able to trust the information.
Fortunately, there is one easy way to increase your odds of finding the highest payout percentages for pokies. Unfortunately, it requires spending more than your bankroll might desire.
Pokies Payout Percentages Vary by Cost of Play
Industry insiders have confirmed that payout percentages for pokies will fluctuate pretty evenly based on how much a user is spending to play them. As you surely surmised by now, the higher the cost per play, the higher the payout percentage will be.
This isn’t a golden rule, and not one that every manufacturer or house (pub, club, hotel, casino, etc.) abides by. They are free to set their payouts at any rate that falls within their jurisdiction’s regulatory guidelines.
In Australia, the average minimum payout percentage is 87.5%, meaning pokies cannot have an average payout of below 87.5%. But in order to compete with other operators, they will usually set them just high enough to keep lucky players coming back.
Payout Percentages for Pokies by Cost
One of the largest internet gambling operations in the world, 888 Casino actually provides an info-graphics depicting the typical house edge of poker machines all over the world. According to this, a “penny game” will carry a payout percentage of 84-87%, a “five cent game” will be set at 88-90%, a “twenty-five cent game” at 90-93%, and a “dollar game” at 93-95%.
These statistics apply only to land-based poker machines, though.
Online Pokies Payout Percentages Are Higher
Payout percentages for pokies found online will always be higher than those of land-based destinations. Their operational costs are much lower, therefore they can afford to pass on the savings to their players. However, the same general rule of “higher cost = higher payouts” still applies.
Online pokies payout percentages typically range anywhere from 94% up to 99%. With these games, however, it’s not always the minimum stake that tends to effect the payout percentages, but rather how much you’re willing to bet on any game.
A good example is progressive jackpot games. Take Microgaming‘s Mega Moolah series for instance. The game’s creators have no qualms about informing players that a higher bet will give them a higher chance of unleashing the millionaire jackpot (although the exact extend of those odds is not disclosed).
The Mega Moolah has 25 paylines and a minimum coin size of $0.01, equating to a minimum bet of $0.25 per play. At this rate, the chances of triggering the bonus wheel and spinning your way to a life-altering prize are at their lowest. The highest bet of $6.25 is said to have a better chance of awarding the mega jackpot.
You Can Still Win Big With A Low Bet
Don’t assume that you won’t win it if you choose to play for $0.25, though. Jon Heywood of the UK made his way into the Guinness Book of World Records on a 25p Mega Moolah bet that netted him €17,879,645, the largest online progressive pokies jackpot in history.
While pokies payout percentages can get better with higher wagers, the entertainment factor should always come first. Unless you have a substantial bankroll to spare, it’s rarely worth stretching your bankroll beyond its means just to get slightly higher payout percentage for pokies.