Playing High Limit Slots in Vegas and Online

As the name implies, high limit slots allow players to play normal slot machines with larger betting sizes which can make them a pricey pastime. They do however have many advantages to their low limit counterparts including an overall higher payout rate, and when played at Las Vegas casinos, a dedicated, exclusive area where you can enjoy playing them. And of course, there are the perks that you'll receive by playing as a high roller.

Here we'll take a look at playing high limit slots at Las Casinos and online so that you know how to choose your machines and how to select the denomination to play so that you get the most out of your high limit slots experience.

Choosing your machine

When it comes to choosing your slot machine in Las Vegas, you'll find all of the high limit slots in a designated area, this makes them easy to spot and from there it's simply about picking the one that appeals to you and offers the features you enjoy in a game.

The same applies online, only you'll have to examine the slots that you like to ascertain whether or not they allow for high limit game play. If you want to save yourself time, simply contact customer support and ask them to send you a list of their high limit games.

Selecting a Denomination

Once you've chosen your machine, you'll need to decide what denomination to play. This is not a guestimate of what you think you can afford ‐ exercising a little wisdom and basic mathematics will make your decision considerably easier.

In general, the payout rate will increase with the size of the denomination. Obviously casinos are trying to maximise their profits and in land based venues, penny slots take up as much space $25 machine, so the best way for them to make a profit off both is to lower the payout percentage on lower limit slots, which are generally played by the majority of players, and allowing the higher profit earning high limit slots to award larger payout rates. This may seem confusing but remember, the casino always has an edge, even when payout rates are higher on some machines, so over the long term the house always makes a profit.

Anyway, back to denomination selection ‐ exercise wisdom in that you should never play above the limit you can afford just to maximise your payouts. In practice, your aim should be to minimise your losses while maximising your entertainment value. So if you only have a $500 budget for your entire Las Vegas trip and you play $25 per spin slots, you'll end up blowing your entire casino bankroll faster than you anticipate and believe us when we say, this can really put a damper on your trip which is no fun at all.

Now for the math ‐ the majority of slots players place around 600 wagers per hour ‐ so you can easily work out how much money you'd lose by playing at a certain denomination with a little multiplication.

In Nevada, the maximum house advantage on slots is 25% (yes you read that right) ‐ so let's assume the absolute worst and work on that. If you play for an hour placing 600 bets at $25 per spin and lose 25% of each bet that you make your figures will look like this:

600 wagers x $25 per spin X 25% = $3750 in losses per hour.

Now not all games have such bad odds, you can find slots with way better payout rates and you should look for them before you sit down to play with your hard earned cash. So let's say that you find machines with a 90% payout rate and you apply the same $25 bet per spin and the same number of spins in an hour, then you'll be looking at the following:

600 x $25 X 10% = $1500 in losses per hour

If you're a low roller and reading this, your eyes are probably popping out of your head (we know the feeling) as your game play on penny slots even with a 25% edge will still amount to losses of only $1.50 per hour but that said, this illustration does show the difference payout percentages make and also why you should only play at a denomination that you're comfortable with losing or you'll end up broke and miserable having no fun at all.

For most people, the trick to enjoying high limit games is to find a denomination that is somewhere in between the two. The aim is to play for stakes that are high enough to make the game exciting but also low enough for you to afford. Determine your bankroll by figuring out what amount would make you feel a little ill if you lost it ‐ then aim slightly lower and NEVER go over it.

Once you've decided on the size of your bankroll, you can think about how much time you want to spend at the casinos and reverse engineer the formula above to find out your denomination.

Budgeting for your Slots Play

When visiting Las Vegas, always determine your budget beforehand and ensure that you practice sound budget management techniques while you are there. So if you're only visiting Vegas for the week-end and want to spend around four hours per day playing slots, you'll need eight hours of game play time (given a two day week-end). If you're playing penny slots, you'll likely need a maximum of $40 dollars but if you're looking to live large and play like a high roller on the $25 slots, you'll need to be able to afford to lose around $12k in just two days. Here are the suggested bankrolls for the types of machines you may want to play over the week-end.

  • Penny Slots: budget to spend around $10-$20
  • Nickel Slots: You'll need $50-$100
  • Quarter Slots: Take around $250-$500
  • Dollar Slots: Budget between $1000 and $2000
  • Five Dollar Slots: be prepared to spend between $5000 and $10,000

While these are rough guidelines, the objective is not to spend (and by spend we mean lose) that amount of money. The goal is to determine how much game play time and fun you can have on your designated budget.

High Limit Online Slots

As we mentioned previously, some online casinos do offer high limit slots, but generally their betting ranges are lower than Las Vegas Casinos. Still it's worth asking the customer support team whether or not they offer high limit games and to send you the list.

Depending on their software, some online casinos can accommodate higher limit betting for certain players so it's worth asking if you'd prefer to play for higher stakes.

That said though, many online slots offer relatively high limit betting, especially when they are multi-line games where you are betting on numerous paylines in a single spin, pushing the values upward to around $45 or more per spin which is still a decent amount of action for most players.

Another thing to consider is that online casinos generally offer higher payout rates than their land based counterparts as their operating costs are lower. They also offer convenience and privacy and players can access their games on their desktops, laptops, tablets or mobile devices from anywhere in the world, cutting down on accommodation and travel costs, while still enjoying the excitement of playing.