RTP or Return To Player Percentage: What Is It and How Does It Work at Online Casinos?

RTP or Return To Player Percentage: What Is It and How Does It Work at Online Casinos?

If you have ever played an online slot game, perhaps you have come across the acronym RTP on the paytable. It stands for Return To Player and refers to the percentage of all money that a slot machine will eventually pay back to its players. Every slot game has its own preprogrammed RTP, typically ranging from 82% to 98%. The higher the RTP figure is, the greater the long-term return to players will be. 

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How to Find a Game with a Great RTP

Look at the Game’s Page 

While visiting your favorite online casino, check out a slot game’s paytable and look for the RTP acronym. If the percentage isn’t there, it might instead be in the information section that is outside of the actual game. 

Stick to Certain Developers

While you could look up every single slot game’s RTP individually, this seems like it would be a waste of time. A more efficient way to determine which slot games are worth it is to familiarize yourself with game developers who commonly release games with a high RTP. For instance, one such game developer is Playtech. Playtech’s Goblin’s Cave, Ocean Princess, Ugga Bugga slot games, among others, offer higher-than-average RTP figures. Some other software developers to keep an eye out for are NetEnt, Barcrest, and WMS Gaming. 

Hit the Subreddit or Slot Review Sites

Check out the online gambling subreddit for insights into which online slot machines offer the best RTP. This subreddit also offers lots more valuable information, such as reviews, recommendations, success stories, and more.  

There are also entire blogs dedicated to online slot reviews, such as Bob Casino’s Slot Reviews. You can use this website to get detailed information on nearly every slot game in existence. 

Theoretical vs. Actual RTP

Theoretical RTP is the amount of money that a developer expects the online slot game to pay back over time. This figure is what is displayed in the game’s paytable. On the other hand, Actual RTP is the amount of money that the slot machine really pays back. So, let’s say that a game is designed to return 96% of winnings to players over time. Its theoretical RTP figure would be 96%. However, in an individual gaming session, your RTP figure could vary wildly. If you do poorly, it could be under 50%. If you have a lucky streak, your RTP figure might end up over 100%.

Win Frequency vs. RTP

While RTP is an average percentage that is calculated over an extended period of time, win frequency is more closely related to the short run. If a game provides frequent payouts, then it has a high win frequency. However, the value of those prizes will likely be lower than in a slot game that has a lower hit frequency. 

You can’t necessarily estimate a slot game’s win frequency based on its RTP. Let’s say that there are two slot games with a 97% RTP. One of the slot games lands a winning combo on the reels once per every three spins, while the other only gets a winning combo every ten spins. Even though both slot games have the same RTP, the former has a high win frequency, and the latter has a lower win frequency.

 

Volatility vs. RTP

Volatility refers to the amount of risk inherent to a slot game. It is divided into three categories: low, medium, and high. However, sometimes slot manufacturers assign slot volatility numbers from 1 – 10. Two slots can have the same RTP but different volatilities. Highly volatile slot games will rarely give prizes, but the winnings will be larger. With a low volatility slot game, smaller prizes are awarded more frequently.

Are Results Really Random?

When you first learn about RTP, you might be tempted to believe that slot games are not as random as you originally thought. However, Random Number Generators (RNG) ensure fairness. An RNG is an algorithm that spits out numbers at an extreme speed. Some RNGs reach billions of numbers per second. The great thing about RNGs is that each number generated is completely independent. This means that you have the exact same chance of hitting a winning combo every time you give the reels a spin. 

Progressive Slots RTP

Online progressive slot games, such as Mega Moolah, are linked to a huge network of other machines. This allows the jackpot to grow to extremely high amounts. However, due to the need to account for these large wins, progressive slots typically have RTPs ranging from 80% – 90%. If you want to get lots of small wins, then progressive slots would not be your best bet. 

mega moolah slot rtp percentage

Are Online Slot Games Audited?

How do you know that an online slot game actually has the RTP that it lists on its paytable? Some online casinos and slot providers are audited by independent third-party organizations, such as eCOGRA. Auditors test the slot games extensively, and, if all is found to be fair, the organization awards the online casino with a certification of compliance. 

eCOGRA audit online casino games for RTP and volatility

In addition to this, online casinos are often audited by government authorities, depending on which country’s jurisdiction they fall under. 

If you want to be sure that you are playing a fair online slot game, check the bottom of the casino’s homepage and see if it holds a license. 

Pro-Tip

Let’s say you come across an online slot game that fulfills certain conditions (keep in mind that these are mutually exclusive, so it would be a rare case): 

  • High RTP
  • Low Volatility
  • High Random Jackpot (with the same chance to trigger for each spin)

This would be a great online slot game to play! The high RTP and low volatility mean that you will be earning small wins frequently, thus allowing you to extend your bankroll (check out our other tips for managing your bankroll at a mobile casino). And, the longer you play, the greater your chances of winning the random jackpot will become. A game with lower returns wouldn’t let you cycle through your bankroll as much as this type of game does.

Summary

Now that you know the relationship between RTP, win frequency, and volatility, you can search for games that meet your needs. Do you prefer the thrill of riskier games that have the chance of paying big? Or do you want to play casino games where you win small rewards regularly? At CasinoChan, we have all kinds of slot games, so you’ll be sure to find one that will suit your preference.