If you’ve ever heard someone talking about RTP in slots and wondered what it is, you don’t have to wonder anymore. Here’s what RTP is and how you can use it to improve your slot experience.
What Does RTP Mean?
RTP stands for “Return to Player” or ‘theoretical payout percentage’. Expressed as a percentage, this figure simply represents the amount of money a player can win from their bets in a casino slot game or other games. If you play a game with an RTP of 95%, then for every £1 you bet, you can expect to get £0.95 back.
In fact, RTP represents the house edge of the game. In this example, the house edge is 5%. This means that an RTP will always be less than 100% – if it were higher, then the casino would lose money in the game.
Of course, RTP is calculated over a huge sample of simulated betting rounds. It doesn’t mean that you will lose exactly 5% of your bankroll if you play a game with an RTP of 95%. Even a long session of carefully managed play over several hours is unlikely to reflect the true RTP of a slot.
In practice, for a slot player, the possibility of winning more or losing less than what the RTP indicates is very high. That being said, there is a good chance you will be more likely to win in any given session if a game has an RTP of 98% instead of an RTP of 90%.
Is RTP The Same Thing As Volatility?
In one word: no. However, the concepts are closely related, so much so that, in the real world, it would not be legally allowed for them to marry.
What is volatility in slots?
The volatility of a casino slot game refers to the way in which the RTP is distributed. Therefore, there is no guarantee that you will win more on a slot with an RTP of 98% than on a slot with an RTP of 90% for a small sample size. To explain, let’s take two extreme examples of two different slots with an RTP of 95%.
In the first game, you bet £1 per spin for 1,000 spins and lose on 999 of them, winning £950 on one spin. In the second game, you bet the same £1 per spin for 1,000 spins and lose £1 on 300 spins, win £0.50 on 300 spins, win £3 on 300 spins, and win £5 on 100 spins.
In both games, you bet £1,000 and received back £950 for an RTP of 95%. The first game is a high-volatility slot: it does not pay out often, but when it does, it pays out consistently. The second game is a low-volatility slot, which pays out large wins infrequently, but offers more frequent smaller wins.
What is a normal RTP for slots?
Most online slots will have an RTP somewhere between 92% and 97%. However, you may find some that are slightly lower or higher than these. The game developer, not the casino, is the one who decides what the RTP value will be. If it is too high, the game will not be profitable for a casino to host; if it is too low, players will not enjoy the experience.
However, the developer also needs to balance the RTP with the game’s volatility, the number of winning lines, and the frequency of bonus features and mini-games to ensure that players have fun when spinning the reels.
A slot with a lower RTP, with a lower level of volatility and frequent bonus features, is likely to be a much more popular game than a slot with a high RTP and a very high level of volatility. After all, it’s not fun to play more than a few dozen spins without winning.