What is a Penny Slot Machine Game?

At the risk of stating the obvious, a penny slot machine game accepts bets beginning at $0.01, or 1 penny per coin. It's important not to be misled by the nomenclature, since penny slot games do not actually allow you to play real money slots for just 1 penny. The lowest coin denomination is $0.01, but players are required to bet substantially more than that on each spin of a penny slot machine game. The minimum bet per coin is 1 penny, but players are required to bet multiple coins and lines per spin on a penny slot game. This could be 5 coins on 20 lines, 50 lines, or 100 lines. Regardless, these venerable games are the pride and joy of Las Vegas casinos, since so many players actively seek out the inimitable penny slots game.

From a player's perspective, penny slots appear to be the cheapest slot machine games available. It's hard to argue with that logic. As you're about to find out, the reality is somewhat different. The minimum spend value for penny slots games typically ranges between $0.50 and $1.00. That's because you have to play up to 100 credits per spin with these games. It is for precisely this reason that penny slots games generate a substantial portion of casino revenue in Las Vegas. The typical penny slot game requires players to deposit multiple credits per payline. Think of credits like spokes in a bicycle wheel – you need all of them attached before the wheel turns around. 

If the penny slot game you are interested in playing states that you must bet 5 credits per line and play maximum paylines per spin, you could be looking at 100 pennies a.k.a. $1 per spin, or more on a 5 credit, 20 payline penny slot game. Las Vegas casinos are pretty savvy when it comes to placement and promotion of penny slot machine games. These marvelous spinning machines are often placed front and center where everyone can see them. Advertised as ‘penny slots’, who wouldn't want to bet a little to win a lot? It's important not to unfairly disparage penny slots machines, since many big winners have been crowned over the years.

Big Wins on Penny Slots Games in Nevada

Las Vegas and Reno are home to thousands of exciting slot machine games. There are also plenty of fun-filled penny slots available to players. In late January 2020, a woman from Roseville, CA flew into Las Vegas and decided to try her luck at McCarran International Airport. Lo and behold, she scooped up an incredible $11,761 playing penny slot machine games at the airport. The lucky player, Ulla T. chose Smokin’ Hot Stuff Wicked Wheel slot game at Concourse A. The rest is history. McCarran International Airport is packed chock-a-block with slot machine games for legal-age players awaiting flights, arriving in Las Vegas, or departing from America's adult entertainment capital.

Even more amazing was the recent big win of a struggling landscaper in Reno, Nevada. The man, Lawrence Fuller has been in and out of work for the past 15 years, and he decided to head over to Atlantis Casino Resort Spa in Reno to try his luck. It was 1:52 AM on a Sunday morning when the jingling-jangling sound of jackpot bells started ringing at the casino. He was playing Super Lucky Times Pay slot machine game – a penny slot game. For a $1.80 bet, he managed to hit jackpot gold – $888,585.03. Mr. Fuller has actually won multiple jackpots since his January 5, 2020 payday. He scooped up 8 other jackpots worth an estimated $15,000 in total since then, all of them 100% legitimate, and all of them with low bet the denominations. He plans to keep all of the money in his bank account until he has a plan in mind.

Back in September 2017, a Texan woman – Janet Redwine - managed to hit a massive payday while playing Willy Wonka: World of Wonka slot machine game. This penny slot machine paid out $787,842 at Harrah’s Casino in Las Vegas. A few months prior to that, this same slot machine paid out $944,337 to 2 lucky winners on June 22, 2017. Clearly, there is big money in penny slot machine games, but what games are right for you? Evidently, the magic of Willy Wonka’s golden tickets is alive and well and players are wasting no time making their play for these big-money paydays. 

How Easy is it to Win on Penny Slots Games?

Slot machine games are based purely on RNGs – random number generators. These algorithmic-based computer chips randomize the outcomes of every slot spin. Their functionalityis completely independent of a casino’s influence. However, slot machine manufacturers program different payback percentages on every slot game and casinos pick the payback percentage they want.  Penny slots are the highest holding games in the casino by a long margin. Dollar slots have a 95% or 96% hold. Quarter games are 92%, and penny slots are 88% or 89% which is among the lowest in the casino industry. In fact, in Nevada the minimum that the casinos are legally allowed to offer players is 75%.

Manufacturers set 7 to 8 payback percentages per machine and casinos pick the payback that they want to use. But, with penny slots it’s always much lower than other slot machine games so there is a huge house advantage in these games. Players choose these games because they want a low buy-in, and they want to play for as long as possible, but they typically spend maximum credits on a penny slot and give much more advantage to the house than they would with the equivalent plays on high buy-in slot machine games. 

What Types of Penny Slots Games Are There?

Penny slots, like classic slots, or video slots span the full spectrum of options. These games are attractive by dint of their low-cost, and the potential for big jackpots. However, it is worth emphasizing that the RTP (return to player) of penny slots games is significantly less than the RTP of higher-denomination slot machine games. As a rule, the lower the cost of playing a slot machine game, the lower the RTP. 

The higher the cost of playing a slot machine game such as $5, $10, or $100 slots, the more generous the return to player.Players can expect much higher RTPs at online casinos. Since the fixed costs of operations are substantially lower at an online casino, these venues can afford to offer players much higher payout percentages.

Online casinos are renowned for the variety of penny slots games available to players. Penny slots games include superhero favorites like Wonder Woman, and The Dark Knight, as well as fantasy-themed attractions such as the Wizard of Oz, and inimitable Wheel of Fortune. Other top selections include Mustang Money, Cash Cave, Family Guy, Flying Horse, Fire Opals, Eagle Bucks, OMG Kittens, and Rumble Rumble. Be advised that the vast majority of penny slot machine games today require players to wager at least $0.25, $0.50, or $1.00 per spin. 

Back in the day, you could get away with playing a single penny on a slot machine game at a Las Vegas casino, while enjoying complimentary drinks from the cocktail waitresses. It appears that the floorspace/money ratio is more important now than ever before and that's precisely why Las Vegas casinos require a minimum number of coins and paylines per play. Even if you are betting up to $1 per spin on a penny slots game, this is still considered cheap by today's standards.

Picking Penny Slots the Smart Way

Many online casinos allow players to practice penny slots games online for free – no deposit required. This is a great way for budget-conscious players to carefully pick their preferred penny slots games before depositing and playing for real money. From time to time, players may be able to benefit from no deposit bonuses, match deposit bonuses, or free spin bonuses which can be used for playing penny slot machine games. Be advised that every promotional offer provided to players is subject to wagering terms and conditions, which state that players typically have to meet a certain threshold before they can cash out any of the winnings generated from the penny slots bonus. That’s the way the penny drops – enjoy the games!