Is there such a thing as "Loose Machines"?

July 24, 2003, 6:30 pm EST

You'd heard the stories. "In such and such a casino, there is a slot machine that is very loose, and I win every time." You may be wondering; is there really such a thing as loose machines, or it is just urban legend, like how everyone who goes to Las Vegas "breaks even" when they actually lose?

"Loose machines" do exist for sure, but you aren't going to get rich off of playing them, unless you are very lucky and hit a big jackpot of course. But the idea that these machines pay big and pay often isn't quite true; they may pay out often, but smaller amounts just to get the patrons excited.

Why would a casino make a machine loose? It's a lot like a big department store putting the new, hot CD on sale for half the price they paid for it. Sure, they are going to lose money on the sale of the CD, but just the fact that someone has entered the store to buy the CD probably means they are going to buy other stuff, which the store will make a profit on. Same type of idea with the loose machines; the idea is to lure people into the casino, where hopefully they stay. A casino's number one priority is getting people to stay and then come back.

Casinos will usually put their loose machines in the outer ring of the casino, so that people walking by can see that people are winning, and hopefully play themselves.

Loose machines are still carefully monitored by the casinos. It will never get to the point that the casinos are taking a loss overall on the slot machines; if the machines are paying out too much, they will simply recalibrate the machines so that they pay out less.

So in conclusion, loose machines do exist, and they exist for the express purpose of drawing you into the casino, and telling your friends about the loose machine that you should play in Vegas.