Coin Slot Machine – You may remember the melodious sound of the coins as they came out of the machine. Or maybe, like me, you’re just mesmerized by the nostalgia of these coin-ejecting slots. Well, you’ll be happy to know that there are a few places in Las Vegas where you can still play coin-operated slots.
Where can you play chip-operated slots in Las Vegas? Head to Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas to find coin-operated machines at California, El Cortez, Fremont, Main Street Station and the Plaza Hotel.
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Downtown Las Vegas is where old-school Vegas was born, so it’s no surprise that the best coin-operated slots can be found here. In this article, we’ll dive into the most popular locations to play these machines and what you need to know.
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The first slot machine was made in 1895 in San Francisco. Inventor Charles Fey was a mechanical engineer who named the original automaton the Liberty Bell. The machine itself was mechanical in nature and operated by a series of levers and rotating pulleys.
You simply pulled the lever which caused the wheel to spin. If three broken liberty bell symbols line up, you’ll win a jackpot of 50 cents! The game was extremely popular and the “one-armed bandit” or “fruit machine” as the mechanical machines were called began to appear everywhere.
If you want to see it, the original Liberty Bell slot machine is on display at the Nevada State Museum in Las Vegas. Vintage slot machines in Las Vegas
Vintage slot machines are getting harder and harder to find these days. Even in Las Vegas, where there are close to 200,000 slot machines throughout the city, coin-operated models are rare.
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The only part of town where you can still find a few casinos with slot machines is downtown Las Vegas. Fremont Street is the old part of Las Vegas. This is the street where Vegas began, and many of the casinos here are true vintage Las Vegas.
Casinos in Fremont know that visitors come downtown to experience old Vegas, and they cater to that. A handful of these casinos have coin-operated machines open for those who want to experience Las Vegas a little bit like it was in days gone by.
At El Cortez, you can enjoy the sweet, sweet sounds of hitting the jackpot on more than 200 coin-operated slots. El Cortez regularly wins “Best of Vegas” awards.
“Penny Lane” at the Fremont Hotel and Casino is a vast area of penny machines, including coin-operated machines. Located on the corner of Fremont Street Experience.
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You can still hear the jingle of coins as they are inserted into some of the machines at the Main Street Station Hotel & Casino. Also an excellent brewery.
California Hotel & Casino has slot machines and coin-operated poker. The payouts are better than you’ll find on The Strip.
Coin slots are an endangered species, but not at the Plaza Hotel and Casino. Old world Las Vegas with modern amenities. There is nothing better than hearing the sound of coins hitting the tray during the jackpot.
(These are also great places to stay when visiting Las Vegas. You can check hotel prices for downtown Vegas in our visitor’s guide here).
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Although The D does NOT offer coin machines, they do have an entire casino on the second floor filled with vintage slot machines. These machines were converted to the TITO system (see below). Ticket In Ticket Out (TITO)
Most slot machines in Las Vegas, including slots and video poker, have been upgraded to use the Ticket In Ticket Out (TITO) system. These machines accept bills and coins, but pay out using a paper ticket.
When you have cashed this ticket, you can insert it into another machine or take it to the cashier for payment. Although not as much fun, the TITO system is a little easier than walking around with a purse or pocket full of heavy coins.
There are several reasons why slot machines are dying out in Vegas and elsewhere. They are notoriously difficult to maintain. Mechanical machines break down much more often than digital ones.
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It’s much easier to fool them. People try to trick them all the time with magnets and fake coins.
Case in point, my wife and I were playing the coin machines on Fremont Street one night and my wife won a small jackpot (very small😆) and we took the coins (the machine paid out in chips) to the cashier and they wouldn’t accept half because they were not chips from that casino.
We finally had to take them to the machine we won on and let them open it. Inside we found dozens of chips from another casino mixed up. So they paid us in the end, but this illustrates some of the problems with slot machines for players and casinos. Slot Machines – Best Slot Machines in Vegas
With all that said, these vintage slots are still fun to play. While you can occasionally find a slot machine on the Strip here and there (it’s always changing), in my opinion, the antique coin machines downtown are the best slots in Vegas.
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I would recommend visiting El Cortez and the California Casinos downtown or Circus Circus on the Strip. Even those locations only have small areas dedicated to coin or token slots, so temper your expectations.
Does Vegas have penny slots? That! Every casino in Las Vegas has penny and nickel slots, including the big fancy casino resorts on the Strip.
How do you know if a slot machine is lost? Look out for slot machines at the end of the aisle or on the floor that can be seen from multiple sides. Casinos like to encourage other players by placing their worst slots where all the other players can see them win.
Is there a strategy for slot machines? The results of the slot machine are mathematically based and are completely random as intended. However, the machine odds are calculated so that the casino has an advantage. Therefore, slot machines would not be considered a strategy game.
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My name is Bryan Mullennix. I am a freelance travel photographer/videographer and local to Las Vegas. Hiking, biking and living the good life with my wife in Las Vegas, Nevada. Click here for more on Bryan.
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