How to win at the slots (maybe)!

Thu, Nov 18, 2010


The Colorado Division of Gaming issued its monthly stat pack yesterday, which tracks revenue, tax payments and adjusted gross proceeds(AGP) for the three mountain towns where gambling is legal.

The bad news (at least for casino owners): revenue for October is down slightly in Central City and Cripple Creek, and up slightly in Blackhawk.

Blackhawk has effectively become Colorado’s mini-Vegas, with big, glitzy casinos, including the new 32 – story Ameristar casino-hotel, and most of what passes for action in our casino-deprived state.

Blackhawk AGP for October: $47.5 million

Cripple Creek: $11.3 million

Central City: $5.9 million

Blackhawk may be the big dog, but that doesn’t mean you’re more likely to go home a winner.

While the “hold” percentage, or the house share of the total play on various games and machines, doesn’t mean much for any given day, it makes a difference over a longer period. If you go up into the mountains to try your luck once or twice a year, a percentage point or two on the hold isn’t significant – but for those of us who go a little more frequently, any reduction in the house’s edge is good.

Quarter slots: Black Hawk, at 6.25 percent is fractionally worse than Central City’s 5.83 percent, and substantially above Cripple Creek’s 4.60 percent. Edge: Cripple Creek.

Dollar slots: Black Hawk 5.52 percent, Cripple Creek 4.74 percent, Central City 4.16 percent. Edge: Central City.

Five dollar slots: Black Hawk 3.16 percent, Cripple Creek 4.55 percent, Central City 3.65 percent. Edge: Blackhawk.

Multi-denom slots: Black Hawk 4.63 percent, Cripple Creek 4.55 percent, Central City 3.99 percent. Edge: Central City.

Conclusion: high rollers, head for Black Hawk and play the $5 slots. Quarter players: take advantage of low overhead and a short drive to support your local dens of iniquity in Cripple Creek!

The weather’s supposed to be great this weekend, perfect for a jaunt up to the Creek. Alas, payday’s not until next Friday, so you won’t be seeing me there…

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