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If you have ever played online casino, you have come across several technical game terms. Some examples includes bonus amount, wagering requirements, payouts, promotions, and lots more. RTP is one such word that you might can encounter in nearly all types of slot games. If you have no or less knowledge of this widely used term, then you are going to learn a lot about RTP and its basics here.

What Do You Mean By RTP?

RTP, an acronym of Return To Player, is often considered as a percentage from a casino game or slot. The percentage value of this term describes how much you can get from all the money bet on a particular casino game or slot over a specified time frame. The higher the RTP percentage is, the more you will earn over a certain period and the more winning potential you will have in the long run. The most important thing to note is the fact that all slots can have different RTPs no matter which casino you choose for playing the slot games. In simpler terms, the same slot machine can have a varying percentage of RTP at a different casino site.

How RTP Works?

The very important thing that you must remember is that RTP is just a theoretical statistical calculation. It should not be considered fully guaranteed in all cases. The declared RTP percentage would not be applied for the large random wins or a big line of losses. It is based on real people placing wagers on online casino games and provides only the average estimate for a particular game.

RTP is an acronym of Return To Player

Theoretically, the higher the percentage of RTP is, the better payout a player receives from the slot. If any game has a 7% of house advantage, then its RTP would be 93% (100%-7% = 93%). It means a player has 93% chances to win. For example, Blackjack has a house advantage or house edge of 0.5%. That shows players have an RTP of getting 99.5% of their betting amount back. If RTP is 100%, it shows that a casino has a loss for a specific game or a slot over the time frame concerned.

How RTP Can Be Calculated By Players?

Calculating the RTP is quite easier for players, who want to find out how much they will earn from all the betting amount over the period concerned. This number can be calculated by using the following formula:

RTP = Total amount returned to gamers (total winning amount) / total amount players bet (amount wagered)

The total amount returned to a player/gamer can be defined as the net amount a player wins in a round based on the game’s paytable.

The total amount players bet is the sum of each round’s first bet over the auditing period of a particular game, generally one calendar month.

High RTP Slots

Knowing the percentage of RTP is significantly important in slot strategy. It helps in determining how big of a total percentage a specific slot payback to its players. In the table given below, you can find the exhaustive list of top RTP slots from leading software providers of the gaming industry.

Game RTP Software
Mega Joker Slot 99.1% NetEnt
Cosmic Quest – Mystery Planet 98.95% Rival
Jackpot 6000 98.86% NetEnt
Chess Mate 98.70% MultiSlot
Starburst Slot 98.5% NetEnt
Rainbow Riches Slot 98.1% Barcrest
Immortal Romance 98.1% Microgaming
Blood Suckers 98.00% NetEnt
Bonanza Slot 97.8% Big Time Gaming
Amazonia Slot 97.7% Merkur
The Dark Knight Slot 97.6% Microgaming
Blood Bank 97.32% 1×2 Gaming
Eyes of Horus 97.2% Merkur
Double Bubble Slot 96.1% Realistic Games
Book of Dead Slot 94.2% Play’n GO

When looking for slot machines to play, consider top RTP slots that have impressive graphics, the highest payout rates, excellent bonus features, attractive themes, and all important factors.

RTP And RNG (Random Number Generator)

RNG is used by slot machines with every spin. RNG signifies that result of the spin is generated randomly. Random number generators govern the entire gameplay mechanics of web-based slots. Hence, there would be no benefit of using the outcomes of the past games to determine the result of the future spins. Since everything is performed randomly, the RTP of a slot machine cannot be used to predict the payout frequency.

Relationship Between RTP & House Edge

RTP is truly the inverse (opposite) of House Edge. RTP describes the winning potential for the player, while House Edge shows the casino’s percentage advantage. House edge can be defined as a certain percentage of stakes or wagers an online casino is taking itself. As already discussed above you don’t need any calculator or tough formula to determine the edge of a casino. You can simply deduct the RTP percentage from 100%. For example, a casino with RTP 92% will have an 8% edge.

RTP & Winning Frequency: How These Are Linked?

How often you will win cannot be determined by the RTP value. The percentage of Return To Players cannot alone describe the complete winning story. One slot with 94% RTP may payout every 8 spins and another slot with the same RTP will payout every 4 spins. This is called variance. Slots with infrequent payout generally offer larger winnings and are called high variance slots.

How To Determine The Accuracy Of RTP?

In the past years, the RTP of video slots is tested before release, as demanded by the regulators. But, this process gets changed in September 2016 when the United Kingdom (UK) Gambling Commission informed gaming operators to regularly analyze the slot performance. The commission supposed that it is possible that slot developers could have developed games with reduced RTP over time through techniques, hidden code, or any error in the slot’s execution process.

To find out the accurate RTP, there comes a new concept of the Actual RTP which is described below

Actual RTP can be calculated as:

  • Actual RTP = (Total amount players won) / (total amount a casino accrued in particular slot’s turnover from player bets) x 100

There is a huge difference between theoretically declared RTP and actual RTP calculated.

Let’s take an example of a Double Bubble Slot having a theoretical RTP of 96.1%. After testing the performance of this slot for a specific month, it has been found that players won a total amount of £175,000. And, a casino accrued £200,000 in slot turnover from player bets. The actual RTP of this slot can be calculated by the following equation –

(175,000)/(200,000) x (100) = 87.5%

As you can see there is a difference of 8.6% between theoretical RTP declared and actual RTP. This will provide a particular casino with about 8.6% more profit.

Why Progressive Slots With Large Jackpots Have Lower RTP?

Do you know that progressive slots offering large jackpots generally have comparatively lower RTP? If you notice, then you will find that its RTP value mainly lies between the 80s to 90s percentage. The reason for this is that a large amount of money is paid out to jackpot-winning players. Whenever a player triggers the jackpot with a large winning amount (thousands or millions of dollars), the slot developer takes out some money aside by lowering the RTP to pay for some other player’s jackpots. Thus, if you want to enjoy more spinning, then choose non-progressive slots with higher RTP. While, if you wish to become a millionaire, then give life-changing progressive slots a perfect go.

How Does Volatility Influences RTP?

Just like house edge and frequency, volatility or variance is also related to Return to Player. It is expressed by the words – low, medium, and high or between 1-10. It is believed that two slots may have the same RTP at 96.1%, but their volatility would be different from each other. One of them may have low variance, while another one has high volatility. Low volatility slots will give frequent, but small wins. On the other side of the coin, high volatility slots will not pay out most often even for many rounds. But, in any case, when it gives a win, that will be much bigger. Slots with medium volatility offer an effective and satisfying balance between winning frequency and the amount.

Final Thoughts On RTP

When selecting the slot to play based on of RTP, don’t ignore other important factors. This is because Return to Player, no matter low or high, cannot guarantee the exact value. Therefore, when it comes to choosing slot machines, you must give high preferences to the amount you can afford to bet, types of available bonuses or offers, and most importantly the fun features. Find a slot you are having great fun while you are playing without losing your budget.

Sean Byrne
Sean Byrne

Sean is a talented sports and casino content editor who was born and raised in England. He has always had a love for sports, particularly football (soccer) and cricket, and has been an avid sports bettor for many years. Sean's passion for sports and gambling led him to pursue a career as a writer, and he has since become an expert in creating engaging and informative content for sports and casino websites.