Slot machines are nothing new in Michigan. There have been slot games at the state’s various casinos for decades.
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Between the 26 casinos in the state, there are more than 31,000 slot machines available for play. Standard reel games, progressive jackpot machines, and immersive 3D experiences are all available within the borders of the Great Lakes State.
That number is set to explode, however, as online casinos join the party. Thanks to a bundle of laws passed in late 2019, Michigan casinos can open virtual versions of their gaming floors to appeal to Michiganders in both peninsulas.
In the sections below, you will find the most relevant resources about slot machines in Michigan. We have all the latest news, information, and bonus offers for how best to attack the one-armed bandits, both live and online.
Free to play slots in Michigan
Michigan casinos expected to offer real money slots
Online slots vs. live slot machines
You may be wondering why you should play online slots when you can spend your money on the live versions just fine. As it turns out, there are several key reasons why you may want to give the virtual iterations a look.
Except for dedicated cardrooms, every gambling establishment in the country has slot machines. Furthermore, many of these locations are open 24 hours a day. So, to claim there is greater availability online might seem to strain credibility.
However, online slots cannot break down and unless the site itself crashes, you can always access your favorite game.
Online slots are unhindered by weather, time, or location. Michigan snowstorms can easily make the trip to the land-based casino treacherous and foolhardy, but there is no travel restriction online.
You also never have to wait for your turn to play. Even if a single game has hundreds of people playing it, there will always be a seat for you.
Everyone has a different financial situation and tolerance for risk. Some people have no problem betting significant portions of their disposable income on gambling games. Others, like the former world’s richest man, Bill Gates, are uncomfortable with the thought of losing much at all.
However, land-based slots are usually not available on a tight budget. Even so-called penny slots typically require bets of 50 cents or more on each spin.
Virtual slots have no such limitations. You can truly play for pennies online, and there are usually several options for doing so.
On the flip side, there is generally no issue with playing high-limit slots online, either. The range of available bet sizes is quite large and accommodating.
In gambling parlance, a slot machine may be described in terms of its “tightness” or “looseness” from time to time. A tight slot machine is one that is reluctant to pay out, while a loose machine does the opposite. The slot machines at McCarran Airport, for example, have been known to be some of the tightest in Las Vegas for many years.
However, as a general rule, online slots tend to be looser than their real-world counterparts. It is common for online slots to publish their return to player (RTP) percentages, and those figures usually exceed the percentages from an average land-based slot.
A typical online slot machine will pay out 95% of its wagers or more. In other words, for every dollar wagered, a player can expect to receive 95 cents back.
By contrast, it isn’t uncommon for land-based casinos to have percentages below 90%. Though it may not seem as though 5 to 10 cents will make that much difference, it’s a huge discrepancy when multiplied by the aggregate total amount of wagers.
Playing free online slots In Michigan
Another feature of online slots is the ability to try them out for free. You’d be hard-pressed to find a live casino allowing you to play for fun on one of their machines.
However, most online casinos have both demo and real versions of their slots available. Players who enter the game’s demo mode will find they have been supplied with a quantity of play money to use for betting.
Now, in most cases, this play money resets every time you visit a new game. So, there’s no sense in trying to hoard your winnings.
The big advantage of playing for free is you can try out slot games before you invest any of your funds. Most people have their favorite slot games based upon themes, features, and layouts, so free play can be a terrific way to find the one for you.
It is also possible to play slots on sweepstakes sites for play money. Sites like Chumba Social Casino and Luckyland Slots have specific currencies, called gold coins, that are designed only for entertainment purposes.
Like the demo versions on true online casinos, the play money sides of sweepstakes sites allow you to try things out without any risk to you. However, unlike the demo versions, you can stockpile the gold coins in your account. Though it’s relatively easy to secure more gold coins in a pinch, it can be a way to keep score about which games are worth your time.
Playing real-money slot games in Michigan
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You may not be accustomed to gambling online, so it’s key to understand how playing on a real-money slot in Michigan works. Playing for real money is usually a superior experience to playing for free because there are elements of danger, excitement, and possibility involved.
No deposit bonuses
Before you do anything else, check this page for any no deposit options at your site of choice. Many online casinos offer free bonus dollars or site credits to new players as a way to welcome them to the site.
If any of these types of bonuses exist, we will have the details here. Also, we may be able to inform you about some offers you can’t find elsewhere.
All that is usually required is your sign-up for the site through our secure link. Occasionally, the site may also require that you enter a promotional code in a specified box while you are registering.
Once you’ve completed registration, you will find the funds waiting for you in your newly-created account. Generally speaking, casinos will offer amounts between $10 – $25.
It is usually not possible to withdraw this money directly, however. You will usually have to wager through it and get returns from the machines first, but that’s probably not an issue, since you came here to play, anyway.
Depositing and playing
Once you’ve completed the use of the bonus money (if any), you will need to deposit funds into your casino account to continue playing. As you did for no-deposit bonuses, please check our site for any deposit matches too.
For bonuses of this type, the online casino pledges to match a portion or all of your deposit amount, effectively doubling your money (or some of it, anyway). The simple entry of a promotional code while you deposit could be worth hundreds of extra dollars.
Since the casino depends on your contributions to survive, it will certainly have several different methods of depositing available.
Typically, an online casino in Michigan will have the following deposit options:
- Credit or debit card
- Electronic check
- Electronic wallet (PayPal, Skrill, etc.)
- Play+ Prepaid Card
- Bank transfer or wire transfer
- PayNearMe vouchers
- Cash at the land-based casino cage
Of course, every site’s offerings are different, so check with the cashier before you fall in love with any particular site.
In general, you should be able to withdraw your funds with many of the same options. However, some of the methods (like PayPal) might require you to use them for your initial deposit before you can withdraw to your account.
Once you have your cash on site, you are ready to go. Please be aware that the speed of play associated with online games is much faster than real life. Although this difference is not as dramatic as for table games or poker, online slots can put you into the hole quite quickly.
Take your time, and practice good money management to prolong your experience and give yourself a chance to win. Otherwise, playing your favorite online slot might be a rather short chapter in your online gambling experience.
Progressive jackpots in Michigan
A progressive jackpot slot is one of the most exciting types of slot games in Michigan. One spin of the reels could net you enough money to live comfortably for the rest of your days.
Some progressive jackpots on slot machines rise into the millions of dollars. However, a typical progressive jackpot prize is usually between $10,000 and $20,000. It’s not enough to retire, but winning a five-digit score will brighten anyone’s day.
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Some progressive machines are linked with each other in terms of feeding the jackpot pool. So, players in multiple locations and on multiple games could be contributing to the same kitty.
On the one hand, this fact increases the number of people “competing” for the same prize that you want. However, the sharing of pools causes them to grow faster since they have more sources of income.
Machines don’t always come with a single progressive jackpot, either. Some slots have several of them, and they are classified according to their prize levels.
Typical strata for these kinds of situations are mini, minor, major, and grand prizes. The chances of winning each jackpot also reflect their prestige levels. It is much more likely to grab a mini or minor jackpot than one of the higher prizes.
There are a couple of things to keep in mind when you’re playing a progressive jackpot game, however. The first is the jackpots and regular payouts come from the same source: the cash players stick into the games. You won’t be able to win as much on “typical” payouts if the game has to hold some payouts back for the jackpot.
Second of all, some non-progressive jackpot games can come with extremely high prize opportunities. Even if they’re not feeding into a central system, you can win jackpots many thousands of times the value of your bet.
What kinds of slot machines are available in Michigan?
Slot machines have come a long way from the days of clunky reels. Today’s machines have a variety of shapes, sizes, layouts, features, colors, and modes of play that make any trip to the casino or online casino in Michigan a diversified experience.
However, most slot machines can be categorized in terms of their mechanics. These are the types of games that you’re likely to encounter:
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- Three-reel: These are the most basic and traditional style of game and have mechanical reels that actually spin.
- Three-reel with bonus: Simple games with an obvious focus on an ancillary game feature, such as Wheel of Fortune.
- Five-reel: Although the extra reels add complexity, these machines are very similar to their three-reeled cousins and still use actual reels.
- Five-reel with video: This type of slot is the first to do away with actual reels by electing to display them as computer-based graphics. These games can also come with bonus features that appear as a new screen on the game.
- Multimedia: The most advanced type of slot that functions with touchscreens, 3D visuals, and a fluid reel structure. Multimedia slots are often the most highly-featured games in casinos due to their visual and auditory appeal.
Few slot machines, particularly as they grow more sophisticated, come without a theme these days. Most of the games you’ll see will have full dressing to reflect their themes, from Greek mythology to popular bands, and will seek to immerse you in their worlds as completely as possible.
Taking advantage of rewards programs
Most casinos, whether they are live, online, or both, feature rewards programs. These schemes seek to reward customers for their loyalty and play through the awarding of points, perks, and otherbenefits.
Slot players are almost always going to be able to participate in these programs. Frankly, the long-term profitability of a slot player leads many casinos to roll out the red carpet for them.
Whether you plan to play seriously or not, you should always investigate the reward program at a new casino, both live and online. Most of them come with extremelygenerousoffers for first-time applicants, and you can put yourself in line for some delightful benefits. Common reward perks include comped hospitality, increased levels of service, or exclusive gameplay opportunities like tournaments and free play.
Rewards programs should never come at any extra cost to you. It’s not advisable to make reward program status a goal, but there’s no reason not to be earning points in the background if you were planning to play, anyway.
Michigan slot machine laws
Michiganders have been able to play slot machines in some capacity for several decades now. The first machines began to show up in 1984, and the state has never been without the devices since.
Part of the movement towards slot machines across the Great Lakes State came from some of Michigan’s many Native American tribes. After opening their first locations in 1984, seven of Michigan’s tribes operated under the radar until gaining their compacts with the state government nine years later.
After it became clear Michigan was to be a gambling state, state lawmakers authorized the introduction of three casino properties in Detroit. The 1996 Michigan Gaming Control and Revenue Act paved the way for the commercial properties that occupy the Motor City today. All three properties have slot machines.
The list of casino properties with slot machines swelled over two dozen in the next 20 years. Then, in 2019, Michigan passed a series of gambling expansion bills related to online gambling.
One of those bills set up the possibility of online casino gambling in the state. Needless to say, slot machines are part of that authorization.
Can I own a slot machine legally in Michigan?
Slot machines are fun pieces of machinery. For homeowners, they can be a centerpiece of quirky interior design, a point of pride in the man cave, or simply another option in the game room.
However, because slot machines are associated with an activity as strictly regulated as gambling, their ownership is also subject to a heavy legal burden. Some states outright ban citizens from owning them.
Thankfully, Michigan is not one of them. According to Michigan Compiled Statute 750.303, a person may own a slot machine under two conditions:
- The machine is 25 years old or older
- The machine is not used for any gambling purposes
While the time restriction invalidates the purchase of flashier slot machines for now, the statute of limitations will run out soon enough. If you already have an older slot machine in mind that you want to purchase, there are numerous suppliers more than happy to accommodate you.
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Michigan casinos with slot machines
Michigan is home to 26 land-based casinos. Three of them are commercial locations in Detroit, and the rest are tribal casinos spread across the state. Every one of them has slot machines onsite.
These machines are top-of-the-line devices, too. There are plenty of Class III machines from developers like IGT, Bally, and Aristocrat.
You can win big, too. Slot titles like Wheel of Fortune and Lightning Link offer the chance at tens of thousands of dollars or more on a single spin.
Most casinos feature a range of bet sizes on their machines. There are options for spinning from 1 cent to $100 per lever pull or button push.
With so many opportunities, it can be difficult to keep them all straight. So, here are all the casinos with slot machines in Michigan.
List of casinos in Michigan with slot machines
|Name of Casino||Address||Number of Slot Machines (est.)|
|Greektown Casino Hotel||555 E Lafayette St, Detroit, MI 48226||3,000|
|MGM Grand Detroit||1777 3rd Ave, Detroit, MI 48226||3,500|
|MotorCity Casino Hotel||2901 Grand River Ave, Detroit, MI 48201||2,700|
|Firekeepers Casino and Hotel||11177 E Michigan Ave, Battle Creek, MI 49014||2,700|
|Four Winds Dowagiac||58700 M-51, Dowagiac, MI 49047||400|
|Four Winds Hartford||68600 Red Arrow Hwy, Hartford, MI 49057||500|
|Four Winds New Buffalo||11111 Wilson Rd, New Buffalo, MI 49117||2,600|
|Gun Lake Casino||1123 129th Ave, Wayland, MI 49348||2,000|
|NE Michigan/Eastern Upper Peninsula|
|Bay Mills Resort & Casino||11386 W Lakeshore Dr, Brimley, MI 49715||900|
|Kewadin Casino - Christmas||N7761 Candy Cane Ln, Christmas, MI 49862||250|
|Kewadin Casino - Hessel||N 3 Mile Rd, Hessel, MI 49745||150|
|Kewadin Casino - Manistique||5630 W, US-2, Manistique, MI 49854||250|
|Kewadin Casino, Hotel and Convention Center||2186 Shunk Rd, Sault Ste. Marie, MI 49783||800|
|Kewadin Shores Casino & Hotel||3015 Mackinac Trail, St Ignace, MI 49781||700|
|Kings Club Casino||12140 W Lakeshore Dr, Brimley, MI 49715||280|
|Leelanau Sands Casino||2521 N West Bay Shore Dr, Peshawbestown, MI 49682||350|
|Little River Casino Resort||Government Center Dr, Manistee, MI 49660||1,400|
|Odawa Casino - Mackinaw||1080 S Nicolet St, Mackinaw City, MI 49701||200|
|Odawa Casino - Petoskey||1760 Lears Rd, Petoskey, MI 49770||1,000|
|Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel||7741 M-72, Williamsburg, MI 49690||1,300|
|Western Upper Peninsula|
|Ojibwa Casino||16449 Michigan Ave, Baraga, MI 49908||350|
|Ojibwa Casino||105 Acre Trail, Marquette, MI 49855||500|
|Island Resort & Casino||W 399 US-2, Harris, MI 49845||1,200|
|Northern Waters Casino||N5384 US-45, Watersmeet, MI 49969||510|
|Saganing Eagles Landing Casino||2690 Worth Rd, Standish, MI 48658||800|
|Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort||6800 Soaring Eagle Blvd, Mt Pleasant, MI 48858||4,000|
The ultimate goal for a slot player is finding a loose machine amidst the vast sea of machines on the casino floor. Some equate the task equal to finding the proverbial needle in a haystack while others concede it is more like looking for a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. Players dream of finding a loose slot machine but few achieve their goal. One reason for this is that the term “loose” when describing a slot machine is relative to the location and casino.
A player from Las Vegas who plays slots at a local’s casino getting 98 percent payback would not consider a slot machine in Atlantic City that is set to payback 94 percent as a loose machine. However the player from Atlantic City where the average slot return is 91 percent would consider this same machine a loose one. Older slot machines were set at a higher house percentage than new machines are.
First, we should define the term loose slot machine. Payback is the overall percentage that a machine will return to the player in the long run. A loose machine is one that is set to pay back a higher percentage than other machines so the term loose would be relative to the other machines in the same casino.
Fact or Myth
Over the years there has been much speculation and conjecture amongst slot players as to where the loose slot machines are located. There are many myths that have been circulating associated with the placement these loose slot machines on the casino floor. Here are a few to consider and some reasoning behind the myth.
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- Loose machines are surrounded by tight machines. The reasoning behind this myth is that many players like to play more than one machine at a time. If a loose machine is surrounded by a tight machine a player will give back the winnings from the loose machine if they simultaneously play the machines on either side.
- Loose machines are placed by the entrance. The reasoning behind this myth is that people will see players winning and this will entice them to come into the casino and play. The basis for this myth can probably be traced back to downtown Las Vegas where the casinos were in walking distance of each other. People walking down the street could see the players winning at the slots and walk into the casino. Most of the new mega-resorts have multiple entrances so I would doubt the validity of this myth.
- Machines near the table games are tight. The reasoning behind this myth is that the noise of the machines will distract the table game players. Another reason is that a table game player will be tempted to play any coins they have when they leave the table on their way to the cashier’s cage.
- Machines near the end of the row are loose. The reasoning behind this myth is that players seeing other players win will be likely to go down into the row to play the machines.
- Machines near the showroom and buffet are tight. The reasoning behind this myth is that players waiting in line for a show or for the buffet are a captive audience. They may be tempted to play a few coins to kill time while they wait. The machines are tight because they can’t leave the area to play other machines.
- Machines near the casino cage are loose. The reasoning behind this myth is that the casino wants you to see people winning while you are waiting in line. This will entice you to play more.
- Round Carousals of machines are looser that rows of machines. The reasoning behind this myth is that the carousels can bee seen from any direction in the casino. They want to put the loose machines where they winners are highly visible.
Think Like a Casino Executive
One of the problems with the myths is that no two casinos are the same. Each casino has a VP of slots who makes the decision about the placement of the machines. Try to think like a casino executive. Where would you put the loose machines?
Casino executives have heard all the myths concerning the placement of loose machines that the players have. If I were the manager I would not put a loose machine on the aisle. I would bury it further down the row. Think of this as reverse psychology. If I know where the players think the loose machines are I would want to put tight machines there instead.
Unless you play an exorbitant amount of slots, the chances of really identifying a loose slot machine will be slim. You could just as easily have a very lucky winning session on a low payback machines as a losing session on a machine with a high payback percentage. You might never play enough to be sure.
This does not mean you should give up your quest to find loose slot machines. Playing different machines in search of a loose one will add some variety to your slot play. You might not find a loose slot but you might find a new game that you enjoy playing. The hunt for a loose slot machine can be fun and that’s what casino gambling should be.