Category Archives: Slot Machines

Lucky Player Snags Million-Dollar Jackpot at Cannery Casino

There’s been a spate of big wins in Las Vegas casinos in recent weeks. This, despite the fact we’re only partially sure “spate” means what we think it means.

Eh, we’ll go with “plethora” just to be on the safe side.

The local’s win was a whopping $1,024,065.45, rounded down to $1,024,065 because there’s a coin shortage.

The wager? A mere $3.75.

Poor Ryan probably got carpal tunnel writing out that number!

This big hit happened in the wee hours (2:19 a.m.) of Sep. 10, 2021 at Cannery in north Las Vegas. The win was officially announced Sep. 13. Our Twitter followers heard about the humongous jackpot on Sep. 12, mainly because we omniscient. Or possibly because our Twitter tipsters are are bad-asses, but mostly that first thing.

The million-dollar-plus jackpot was hit on a Buffalo Grand slot machine. That was a big relief to Cannery, owned by Boyd Gaming, as those jackpots are paid by the machine manufacturer, not the casino.

How much does the player actually get out of that million-dollar prize? Generally, The Man holds onto 27% for federal tax purposes, or about $276,000. Government do take a bite, don’t she?

That leaves about $748,000, or the equivalent of 57,582 Chili Stuffed Idaho Baked Potatoes at the casino’s cafe.

As we always say, the next best thing to hitting a monster jackpot is being able to pretend we’re happy for someone else hitting one!

Big wins keep the Vegas dream alive, so congrats to the lucky winner, complete lack of resentmentwise.

Player Hits $1 Million Video Poker Jackpot at Cosmo

The next best thing to hitting a million-dollar jackpot in Las Vegas is hearing about somebody else hitting one.

Distant second, but still.

A lucky high limit video poker player snagged a $1 million jackpot at Cosmopolitan on Labor Day, Sep. 6, 2021.

So many zeroes, it’s like the gratuity line on a Raiders restaurant tab.

The jackpot was hit on a Ten Play Draw Poker machine. The game was Triple Double Bonus Poker.

The winning hand was four aces with a “kicker.” (That’s four aces with a 2,3 or 4). Making the win even sweeter, the hand was dealt.

The jackpot was won with a $1,250 spin.

At the time of the win, the player only had $35,000 in credits left, so they were cutting it close!

Seriously, though, high rollers live in an alternate reality the rest of us can only imagine.

Cosmopolitan high limit slots

If you’re looking for the high limit room at Cosmo, just follow the sparkle.

According to Cosmo, the win marks a new record for the largest, non-wide-area progressive at the Strip resort.

A “wide-area progressive” (shortened to WAP in the casino industry), is a system that links slot machines across many casinos to generate large jackpots. Wheel of Fortune and Megabucks are examples of WAPs.

WAP jackpots are paid by the machine manufacturer, while “local” progressives (sometimes called a “bank”) are paid by the casino. Local progressives are usually tied to an individual game.

There are probably more magical words than “jackpot handpay,” but we can’t think of any.

While a million-dollar win is great, it’s not really the best perk of playing in Cosmo’s high limit room.

That would be the free cookies. The pandemic messed with the high limit cookies for a bit, but they’re back, individually wrapped now for greater sensitivity and protection.

The real jackpot.

No word yet on what the player tipped for their million-dollar win, but we trust it was more than $200. Ahem.

The prospect of winning a big jackpot is why Las Vegas exists. Sin City was built upon two things: Optimism and short memories.

Congrats to Cosmopolitan’s big winner, and we are in no way resentful for their good fortune! At all.

Go Go Claw Slot Machines Grab Attention at The D Las Vegas

There’s a new slot machine at The D casino, and it’s grabbing the attention of guests.

The D has two Go Go Claw slot machines, and they’re the first and only such machines in Las Vegas. And possibly the world. We would find out, but that would require “exerting effort,” so
you know that’s not happening.

We’ve got all the scoop about this new slot machine.

Just like the arcade game, except you can actually win occasionally.

The Go Go Claw slot machine comes from Aruze Gaming, the same folks behind the Roll to Win Craps game cropping up across town.

The claw slot machine was inspired by the old-school arcade game. The game is also referred to as a “toy crane” or “skill crane.”

There are lots of claw game hacks online, literally none of them work with Go Go Claw.

The Go Go Claw slot machine is getting quite a bit of play at The D, probably because it appears to be skill-based.

We say “appears,” because a slot machine can’t really be skill-based. If it were, people would learn to beat the machine and the casino would lose money. Casinos aren’t charities.

Still, even the illusion of skill makes a game more enticing to some, and here’s how the Go Go Claw game works.

Players first select a denomination to wager. Bets can range from $5 a try to $100.

Go Go Claw slot machine

Greater risk, greater potential reward. It’s like the stock market, but with a big-ass claw.

The balls in the machine have no intrinsic value (they contain generic paper bills).

Go Go Claw slot machine

Shout-out to Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill.

The machine determines the “Ball Prize” value and the prizes increase based upon your denomination.

For example, for a $5 bet, the prize can be worth $10 to $1,000, or even more if it’s the progressive jackpot. The numbers get quite big at the $100 bet level.

Go Go Claw slot machine

These are some valuable balls.

Once play is initiated, the player moves the claw with a joystick.

The claw drops, and if it retrieves a ball, the player wins the prize.

Here’s a look at Go Go Claw in action.

It seems fairly straightforward, but of course it’s not. That’s why you have us!

While the game has some built-in suspense, the skill of the player has pretty much nothing to do with winning a prize.

The rules of the game provide some insights into how it all works.

The rules state: “If a first attempt to deposit a prize ball in the win box is unsuccessful, it is possible that an additional attempt may be presented twice only.”

That’s right. Even if you don’t retrieve a ball, you could get another shot at it. Possibly two.

The rules continue, “If a prize ball is not deposited into the win box on a third attempt only, it is possible that the determined ball prize is still awarded via an onscreen notification.”

In some ways, this is entirely awesome. Even if you screw up, the machine forces you to get a prize.

Alternatively, it’s pretty clear what the player is doing has little if anything to do with winning a prize.

On a traditional slot machine, a random number generator decides who wins and when, and the reels are just for show.

Similarly, on the Go Go Claw slot machine, the outcome of your attempt is predetermined. If you are going to win, you’ll win no matter what. If you’re a highly-skilled ball-grabber, but
the machine decides you’re not winning, your ball’s going to drop, sorry.

Amidst the game’s “Notices,” it says, “The physical components of the game are used to exhibit the game result randomly determined by the software.”

Another “Notice” says, “The average payout of the game is not affected by the player’s operation of the claw.”

In layperson’s terms, it’s theater.

Sorry to burst your bubble.

As with the traditional arcade game, claw strength is critical to snagging and holding onto a ball, and claw strength is adjustable to ensure the proper payout on the machine.

In other good news, slot machines are highly-regulated, so you can rest assured the claw slot machine will be much more generous than the game at your local carnival midway.

In truth, you could sort of just play the game with a blindfold and the results would be the same.

Our top tip is to watch until the progressives are maxed out, then take a turn. We have no idea if that will work, but we needed a photo caption.

That said, knowing more about how slot machines operate doesn’t really add to the fun, and gambling is all about fun.

Everyone knows the random number generator (RNG) decides a player’s fate on slot machines, but it’s the spinning of the reels that makes slots so amusing.

Same with Go Go Claw. The game gives players something more interesting to do than hit buttons.

Unlike traditional slot machines, the game also attracts a crowd. It’s a great group experience, as you can see in our video.

A downside for the casino is most players drop $20, try the game four times (at $5 a pop), and move on. This hit-and-run customer isn’t the most lucrative for casinos.

Another issue for casinos is there are relatively few “decisions” with this game. There’s a 30-second countdown timer for each attempt to keep things moving, but decisions are critical to the profitability of a slot machine or any casino game. That’s why blackjack dealers who deal quickly are more valuable to casinos than slow dealers. More hand, more results, more revenue. It’s just math.

No pressure.

The players tend to be younger than the average casino customer, so there’s that. Casinos and game manufacturers have tried for years to attract younger players, but most “skill-based” games have failed miserably.

Go Go Claw is familiar to many people, so there’s no real learning curve.

It also taps into a competitive part of the brain, which could theoretically lead to longer play.

We definitely observed a pattern of guys trying to impress female companions, just as many do at carnivals when they attempt to win stuffed animals with the ultimate goal of having sex. With their companions. Don’t make it weird.

Anyway, Go Go Claw is a hoot to play and watch, even knowing the outcome is preordained.

We didn’t personally see anyone win a big jackpot, but we’ve seen such wins shared in social media, so hope reigns.

As mentioned, if you’re looking for Go Go Claw, they’re only at The D for the moment. It’s sort of a field test to see if the machine’s are viable.

There’s one on each floor of The D’s casino, one by Longbar and another at the top of the escalators.

Fun fact: When claw machines were introduced in 1951, they were considered “gambling devices.” Regulations we relaxed in 1974, and their popularity took off. Now, they’re gambling devices again. Ah, the circularity of the universe.

Let us know what you think of the new claw slot machine at The D and we’d be curious to hear if you think such machines have staying power, or if they’re just another case of slot machine makers dropping the ball.

Do you know this blog at all?

Big-Ass Slot Jackpots Kick-Start Las Vegas Recovery

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority spends millions of dollars marketing Las Vegas, but lately, the town has been promoting itself with a flurry of massive slot jackpots.

Things kicked off with a $2.1 million jackpot on a Monopoly Millionaire machine at Cosmo, and the hits just keep on coming.

The jackpot was $2,101,093.50, actually, but who’s counting?

There was another big win at Venetian on a Wheel of Fortune machine for $2.9 million ($2,946,335.63, to be exact).

Roger is a noted physician or dentist or popcorn ceiling installer, probably.

Yet another mind-boggling jackpot hit at The D a short time later. The lucky winner snagged $1.2 million (for posterity, $1,222,784.35) on a Buffalo Grand machine.

Please don’t write on slot machines. Somebody has to clean that up.

Just when the euphoria was about to subside momentarily, South Point dropped a bombshell.

Two words: Mega. Bucks.

Which, technically, is one word, but when you win 10-freaking-million, you can slice Megabucks up into as many pieces are your heart desires.

Money can’t buy you love, but it can pay for a limo to the Bunny Ranch.

While Vegas is no stranger to multi-million dollar slot jackpots, they do seem to be happening with a much greater frequency just as Las Vegas is opening up again fully following a year of challenges related to the pandemic.

So, why are these big jackpots hitting so often? We’re pretty sure it’s related to how much play the machines are getting.

There was a lot of pent-up demand for Vegas, and visitors have come back in large numbers, fueled by a need to party, as well as stimulus checks, unemployment checks and tax refunds.

The more play machines get, the more frequent the payouts. It’s the law.


When Megabucks hit, machines across Las Vegas reset to $10 million. Oh, like you’d turn that down.

No, actually, it is sort of the law. Las Vegas casinos have to adhere to strict guidelines about slot machine payback minimums. (Machines can’t pay back less than 75 percent. The vast majority pay much more, with some approaching 100 percent payback.)

Beyond the regulations, though, it feels like the machines are collaborating to spark excitement about Las Vegas at a critical time.

So, come get yours.

We look forward to sharing our own million-dollar jackpot soon! Because, you know, good things come in, well, fives.

New High Limit Room Adds Flair to Downtown’s El Cortez Casino

Downtown’s El Cortez recently opened a new high limit room, and it adds a fresh burst of color to the classic casino.

A highlight of the new high limit room is a wall-sized, eye-catching photo of the El Cortez neon sign.

El Cortez

El Cortez cleverly used an image that looks like neon, but without the cost or trouble. Because, frankly, neon is a huge pain in the ass.

The high limit room is next to the casino’s cage. The space formerly held high limit slot machines, several of which we spent more time with than our own family.

Also worth nothing in the new high limit area is the fancy new El Cortez carpet.

The carpet was recently upgraded from one that (how do we put this delicately?) had been around awhile. About 13 years to be exact. Here’s the new carpeting.

El Cortez carpeting

It’s a myth casino carpets are designed to keep customers looking up at slot machines. They are designed to camouflage stains while making you feel like you’re hunting big game.

The previous carpet was so well-known and beloved, the casino actually sold sections of it in the gift shop. The supply of carpet pieces sold out quickly. Only in Vegas!

At the moment, the modest high limit room has two blackjack tables and four slots.

It’s expected a baccarat table will be added soon.

There are four slot machines.

El Cortez

The slot selection in high limit isn’t expansive, but you only need one. Just be sure to pick the right one.

In the past, El Cortez didn’t exactly scream “high roller,” but casino management has seen more interest in higher table limits, apparently.

Currently, the El Cortez high limit room tables have limited hours of operation, offering blackjack on Fridays and Saturdays only. Guests can also reserve a table.

EL Cortez

No matter how much you’d like to, please do not make out with this wall.

El Cortez is one of our favorite places to play downtown. The value is undeniable, and it’s on a shortlist of casinos that still have a throwback vibe.

While we were at El Cortez, we said goodbye to Naked City Pizza. The restaurant space has been walled off.

El Cortez

Naked City wasn’t just closed, it was erased.

El Cortez opened in 1941, and was the former stomping ground of casino legend Jackie Gaughan.

Another claim to fame (if you can call it that) for El Cortez is it was once owned by a gaggle of mobsters: Bugsy Siegel, Meyer Lansky, Gus Greenbaum and Moe Sedway.

Moe Sedway later went on to invent two-wheeled, self-balancing transportation devices.

Now that we think of it, “gaggle” may not be the best collective noun for a group of mobsters. Maybe a “family” of mobsters? Or better yet, a “whack” of mobsters?

El Cortez

We love it and we hate everything.

El Cortez is a great jumping off point for the Fremont East entertainment district and quirky Downtown Container Park. It’s a two-minute walk east from downtown’s Fremont Street Experience.

Cheers to El Cortez for evolving, and for inspiring us to seriously consider putting up a wall-sized El Cortez sign in our home. Let’s get those bad boys in the gift shop, already.

Little Casino, Big Money: Ellis Island Guest Nabs $905,000 Buffalo Jackpot

Ellis Island might be a little casino, but that doesn’t mean players don’t win big there.

On Feb. 2, 2021, an Ellis Island regular won $905,754.63 on a Buffalo Grand slot.

Ellis Island jackpot

Judge not a casino by its size, but by its jackpots.

The player, David Frys, said, “I’ve been playing at Ellis Island for years now and am absolutely in shock with this win. It’s not every Tuesday that you walk into your favorite local spot and leave with almost $1 million.”

We’re also fairly sure the lucky winner also said, “HOLY SHIT!” But that’s unconfirmed.

Ellis jackpot

Don’t spend it all in one place, David. Unless it’s on Ellis Island barbecue, then we totally get it. Thanks to Ellis Island for the pics.

While it didn’t make headlines, the winning spin also paid another $7 of “normal win,” whatever that is.

Normal win

There are lots of days gambling when we’d be happy getting a $7 win.

Whenever a giant jackpot hits at one of our favorite casinos, we are overcome with a wide range of emotions.

We are overjoyed with happiness for the winner.


In addition, we are jealous as hell.

We want giant tax burdens, hours of paperwork, a new home theater and photo ops with the Ellis sisters!

Oh, well, there’s always video poker and pizza at the Front Yard.

Every gambler knows there’s a jackpot out there waiting, somewhere. We just have to play until we find it, or it finds us.