Players Unable To Detect Pokies Payout Ratios

Tisha Walden | 19 Jul 2019

pokiesThe casino industry has long lived under an interesting perception. Namely that pokies players are put off by titles that do not have high payout percentages. But this notion was recently tackled by two researchers, and their results showed conclusively that the perception is false. The study, which took place over nine months, demonstrated categorically that two games with very different payout percentages performed on almost identical levels.

The investigation was performed by academics at the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV), and the results were recently published on the respected Phys.org website. In the publication the method of the study was explained. Two popular pokies, Dragon’s X Fortune and Tokyo Rose, were placed in a casino in Sydney frequented by locals, rather than tourists. Then the recorded statistics of each machine were analysed daily.  

But importantly, the percentage of money retained by each game was altered over the nine months, regularly shifted between 14.93% and 7.98%.

Understanding T-win And Par

In pokies there are two terms commonly used, par and T-win. Par is the amount that a game will earn over a given period of time. But T-win takes into account how much money was put into the game in order for the par to be achieved. Organisations such as casinos are most interested in the T-win assessment, given that it is essential to understand how long players must be engaged in order to make a certain amount of profit. Hence it is of great importance to casinos that players not be put off by a pokies’ payout rate too soon.

Anthony Lucas and William F Harrah, from UNLV and the College of Hospitality respectively, were in charge of the research. Mister Lucas expressed that gambling venues have long been deeply cautious about experimenting with payout rates, firmly rooted in the perception that altering that them will spell disaster. But according to him, this is nothing more than myth.

Earning Optimisation

Mister Lucas stressed that his research was the proof everyone had been waiting for. In elaborating, he pointed out that the standing cautious approach was simply a case of so called ‘Moneyball syndrome.’ This is in reference to sweeping changes that occurred in the Baseball industry, but had been resisted for decades due to long standing previous assumptions. In other words, Lucas is suggesting that gambling venues will not hear any information that contradicts long held beliefs.

Experimenting with par and T-win percentages is, naturally, key to optimising profits in gambling venues. The results of the study seem to have proven without any doubt that this experimentation can now be undertaken without resulting in enormous losses.