Michael Shackleford, (the Wizard of Odds) latest study was released in February of this year. The study looks at video poker and video keno machines throughout Las Vegas. The charts he produced show the payback percentages for video keno and video poker for casino resorts on the Strip. The aim of the charts is to provide anyone looking to play these games, with the best places to play.
As with any study, certain parameters were set. The main criteria were that he only played in a casino with a hotel. Only quarter games were played, and all machines were chosen at random. No games with signs stating loose payouts were played, and for video poker, he chose to play machines with a 5-coin maximum bet. The results were interesting, to say the least.
Larger properties with massive overheads are often thought to have tighter machines, and while a few did rank well, the majority did not. Places such as the Wynn, Bellagio and MGM Grand scored well, all in the top 10 for Video Keno. However they didn’t fare so well for Video Poker. In general, the larger resort and casinos scored lower in video poker, near the bottom of the list.
The scoring system used was based on average return. A list was then compiled rating each casino using a grade system, along with their average returns. For each study, 69 casinos were chosen.
If you’re wondering what places had the highest payout’s we’ll tell you. Wynn Encore scored the highest payback percentage for video casino at 93.52%, and South Point Casino had the highest payouts for Video Poker at a stout 99.38%
If you want to see the full list which we recommend, take a look at the studies on the Wizards sites:
It is interesting to note that in April 2013, the Wizard actual went to court in an attempt to get the gaming commission to release these payback percentages from individual casinos, but was denied despite the fact that the casinos often try to lure players in based on payback percentages of the machines. Here is a link to that video from 2013.
There is also a good interview on LCB with Mr. Shackleford regarding this study which we used in researching this article. The interview can be found here.