Most slot players want to know which machines they should play to get the best return on their money, usually termed “loose machines,” and which machines they should avoid, usually termed “tight machines.” Of course, some slot players don’t care about loose or tight machines because they have one focus and one focus only: to play machines such as Megabucks that can change their lives in dramatic ways. Winning millions is their dream.
Not all machines in all denominations return the above averages. Progressive machines are tighter than nonprogressive machines on all denominations, and linked progressives are tighter still. For example, the abovementioned $1 Megabucks machine probably has a house edge of between 12 and 15 percent (give or take a little) because it needs to bring in enough money to pay off the giant jackpots it offers and for the casinos to pay for the licensing of these machines. So your expectation on Megabucks is pretty poor in the slotmachine scheme of things.
Stand-alone machines that are not progressive will be looser because they do not have to generate an escalating jackpot. Stand-alone machines that offer no reward for multiple coins played are far better than progressive machines. Such machines might offer a $400 jackpot on one coin, an $800 jackpot for two coins, and a $1,200 jackpot for three coins (or a $1,199 jackpot to avoid paying taxes). Note that you get absolutely no benefit from playing extra coins. A three-coin player is merely tripling his losses per spin
It is also possible that in the normal course of slot play, winning jackpot symbols will appear on the lines you aren’t playing. In a random game, such results will happen, but that is far different from a slot machine being deliberately programmed to sucker the player into playing more by consistently landing winning symbols just above the actual decision line.