Penny Slots vs. Dollar Slots

by Gayle Mitchell

Some time ago, I wrote, "Penny Slots--one cent, two cent and more are everywhere." This small brown coin has reached jackpot proportions with new bonus game offerings.
Usually found with larger denominations, the newer bonus machines offer many an opportunity through bonus credits, multipliers and free spins for all slot players to enter the 'big bucks' kingdom of slots. 

Shortly afterwards, there was this email from a reader.
Gayle: Have you formed an opinion of the penny slots that are becoming so popular?
I was amazed at the congestion at the pennies section at Borgata in AC. It was by far the most popular part of the whole casino.
Bettors are not just wagering pennies either. Many bet $1 each time. The only time you can be sure of a seat is 8 in the morning. I speak from experience and as one who enjoys them greatly. Just wondering what you think. Thanks for your good work. Martha

Yes, Martha, I have formed an opinion, but first let’s look at a few facts to compare.
Penny Slots have at least 20-25 lines and some 50 lines and as most slot players know, the wise wager is to activate all lines on every spin.
Betting: For a 20-line penny version, if you bet 1 coin/line=20 cents/spin, 5 coins/line=$1 or 10 coins/line for a maximum spin=$2.
Thus, 25 lines=$2.50 for max spin and 50 lines=$5.00 for a max spin!
There are several other configurations. For example, you can bet 25 coins/line and now we are over $5.00 for a max spin!
Top jackpots are usually less than $1000, moving higher up to $1million for Hyperlink progressive versions. 
Payouts: Some casino/gaming areas are now reporting payouts for pennies and while a few report 90-91%, the majority of payouts are in the 88-89% range.
Other: Pennies offer many more multipliers and free spin opportunities than dollar slots.

Dollar Slots are generally single payline with 2-3 coin max., however multi-line and 5 reels are in the mix.
Betting: $2-3 for max spins on single payline, $5 for five reels and over $10 for multi-lines!
Top jackpots are at least $1000, often $2500 up to $10,000 for basic slots. Progressive dollar jackpots reset for at least $1 million and Megabucks resets at 7 million.
Payouts: At least 93% and often as high as 95%.
Other: When playing $2/spin, two cherry symbols on the payline will return your bet.

Online Slots offer pennies up to $1 for each of their multi-line versions and quarters to $5 for single payline slots.
Betting: You can change your betting easily at these multi-denominations slots.
Note: some land-based slots are multi-denominational, but not all.
To increase your bets at most penny slots, your option is max. spin.
Top jackpots vary from less than $1000 for pennies to progressive slot million$ payouts depending on denomination.
Payouts: According to published payouts for online casinos, they range from a high of 98% to a low of 95% for all slots.
Other: Generous bonus cash promotions.

In conclusion utilizing the comparison above, your bankroll will go further IF you play less than max coin but activating all paylines, albeit with lower payouts.
Lower payouts translate into lower returns; therefore, often you do not receive even a return of your original bet per spin.
Single payline dollar slots provide higher payouts and jackpots for often less than a max coin spin at penny multi-line slots.
Higher payouts translate into more frequent return of your original bet per spin and often additional credits.
Online slots provide both options of pennies and dollars at one slot with higher payouts than land-based casinos.

As to my personal opinion, I prefer dollar slots, however I can understand a bankroll-conscious slot player who wants to play and have some casino fun with $20.
I did this test recently.
1)  I played $20 at a 20-line penny slot activating all lines at a cent per line=20cents/spin. Playing time=38 minutes.
2)  I played $20 at the same 20-line slot playing 10cents/line—max spin=$2.00/spin. Playing time=11 minutes.

For those players considering the best slot play choices for them, I suggest three alternatives.
1) Take an equal amount of money, ($100.) and play two separate slots: penny slots vs. single payline dollars and compare the results.
2) Try the same comparison test above online and take advantage of the bonus promotions.
3) I like to play QuarterMillion$ progressive slots where the max bet is only 75 cents offering a jackpot that resets at $250,000.

The Slots Playground offers a multitude of choices in penny slots and dollar versions.
I hope this lesson assists with those choices by providing an enjoyable and profitable casino experience.

Penny Slots is followed by Strategies & Tips
Return to Learn Slots, Play Slots 1

Gambling Teachers Home
Return to Top of Page

GT is attentive about getting the word out about our free programs, lessons and add-ons offered, however, we ask your assistance and consideration in promoting us.
Click link below that reads, "Enjoy this page? Please pay it forward. Here's how..." to add a link to your site, blog or personal page.

good luck from gambling pros

Tips, Terms & Wins

Onward to Reno
Joyce Nakasone, 62, of Kealakekua, HI chose Reno as the destination during a visit with family and friends to San Francisco. A small investment of only $20. playing a Wheel of Fortune quarter slot brought not only a big smile, but also a big payday of $659,594.
“When we come to Reno, Wheel of Fortune is the only game I play,” said the shocked retiree who plans to simply enjoy life.

GT Series add-ons

gambling quiz series

25 Gambling Quiz

fast track game tips series

10 Fast Track Game Tips

casino terms lingo

12 Casino Terms-Lingo