What is RTP and Why Is It Important for Casino Players?

Bojana Grozdanic 1 year ago
What is RTP and Why Is It Important for Casino Players?

You’ve probably heard the term RTP thrown around. RTP, or return to player, is an important concept to grasp if you want to improve your chances of winning and make the most of your gambling experience.

In this article, we’ll explain what it is, how it affects your winning potential, and why it’s necessary to understand it when playing games at your favorite online or land-based casinos.

RTP Explained in Simple Terms

In the gambling industry, RTP is a term used to describe the percentage of all wagered money that a casino game or slot machine will pay back to players over time. In other words, it’s a measure of how much money you can expect to win back from a game in the long term. 

Every casino game has a different RTP percentage, which is typically determined by the game’s rules and mechanics. It’s important to note that RTP is not a guarantee of success and doesn’t predict individual outcomes. Even a high RTP slot machine can result in a long losing streak or a large win on a single spin.

A slot machine with an RTP of 96%, for example, will pay out $96 for every $100 wagered on average. This doesn’t imply that you’ll always win $96 for every $100 wagered, as actual payouts can vary greatly. However, over a large number of spins, you can expect to win 96% of your bets back.

Keep in mind that the theoretical RTP is only one aspect to consider when selecting a slot machine. Other features, such as volatility, jackpot size, and gameplay, can all impact your chances of winning and overall experience.

House Edge vs. Return to Player

If RTP displays the returns a player can expect, the house edge is the opposite. In other words, House Edge displays the percentage of returns the casino can expect on any given game. The house edge can be inferred from the RTP, ranging from 5-20%. If a slot has a return to player of 96% (which is more or less the industry standard), the house edge is 4%. Needless to say, this percentage indicates the casino’s expected return over time and not on a single spin.

The Role of RNGs in Slot RTP

We’ve discussed RNGs (random number generators) extensively in other posts, so here our focus is on explaining the relationship between RNGs and RTP with online slots. Random number generators ensure that the outcome of any online casino game, including online slots, is completely random and fair. So, in addition to checking a game’s theoretical RTP percentage, to determine the fairness of games, the prevalence of random number generators in games assures fair game outcomes.

RTP vs. Hit Frequency in Online Slots

Another variable worth taking into account is a game’s hit frequency. This will not necessarily be displayed, but it is fairly easy to calculate by dividing the slot’s total winning combinations by the total number of outcomes. But what does it mean? In simple terms, hit frequency indicates how frequently a player will hit winning combinations. Let’s look at a real example. 

If a slot has a RTP percentage of 96%, the house edge is 4%, meaning that if you spend $100, you could win $96 over time, and the casino will earn $4. If the slot has 3125 ways to win and 10 winning combinations, the hit frequency would be 0.0032, or 0.32%. The higher the hit frequency, the more wins you can expect. We need to mention that this calculation alone cannot determine a player’s final call, as the RTP, house edge and volatility also plays a significant role.

The Value of High RTP for Player Wins

Knowing the RTP of a game is crucial for players to have an idea of what their potential wins or losses could be over an extended time. This not only helps players manage their bankroll but also aids in being selective when finding a game to play. Ultimately, games with higher RTPs indicate a bigger chance of winning while affording more time to play. This results in players being able to make the most of their online gambling activities.

The Difference Between Volatility and RTP

While RTP and volatility are both important factors to consider when playing slots, they aren’t the same thing, and understanding the difference between the two can help you choose the right slot game. For example, RTP doesn’t account for the frequency or size of payouts, which is where volatility comes into play.

Volatility in slots refers to the level of risk or uncertainty involved in playing a slot game. High-volatility games usually offer larger payouts less frequently, while low-volatility games offer smaller payouts more often. Knowing how volatility works is crucial if you want to manage your bankroll effectively and avoid losing money quickly.

Failing to understand these two concepts can have a significant impact on a player’s experience and possibly, bankroll. It is of utmost importance to come to grips with the fact that the higher the RTP, the higher the possibility of winning while playing for longer.

6 Steps to Pick a Slot Based on RTP

Analyzing a game’s RTP is but one factor that is crucial to consider when trying to determine your odds of winning. We’ve set up a handy step-by-step guide below that will help you in fine-tuning your hunt for the best game to play, and how to go about it.

#1: Opt for a Game With a Higher RTP

One of the first things to check when analyzing a slot game is its RTP. If you’re wondering how to find the RTP on a slot machine, you can usually see it in its paytable or rules. If you’re considering high RTP vs. low RTP slots, always go for higher RTPs.

#2: Choose Volatility That Suits Your Needs

As mentioned earlier, the volatility of a slot game can greatly impact your chances of winning and the frequency and size of payouts. High-volatility games tend to be more appealing to those looking for big wins, while low-volatility games are more suitable for players with a smaller bankroll who seek longer sessions.

#3: Examine the Payout Amounts

It’s also important to check the payout amounts of a slot game to see how much you can win for each combination of symbols. Payout amounts can vary significantly between different games and symbol combinations, so it’s important to understand how they work.

#4: Pick a Game With Bonus Rounds

Bonus rounds are special features in slot games that can offer additional chances to win or increase payouts. Checking if a game has bonus rounds and what they entail can help you evaluate the overall value.

#5: Look for Extra Features

Finally, it’s worth checking out any additional features, such as wild and scatter symbols. Wild symbols can substitute for other symbols to create winning combinations, while scatter symbols can trigger bonus rounds or free spins. Understanding these features can help you take advantage of the game’s mechanics and increase your chances of winning.

#6: Try the Demo Version

Many online casinos offer demo versions of slot games, which allow you to play for free with virtual credits. Trying the demo version can help you get a feel for the game’s mechanics and features and determine whether it’s a good fit.

Leverage RTP and Increase you Winning Chances

Understanding the concept of RTP and its importance when playing slots and other online casino games is crucial for any gambler looking to increase their chances of winning.

However, RTP is just one piece of the puzzle. Other factors such as volatility, bonus rounds, payout amounts, and additional features can all impact the outcome. 

To make the most of your gambling experience, always remember to play responsibly, set a budget, and choose games that offer a balance of high RTP and low volatility. Doing so lets you enjoy the thrill of playing slots while minimizing your risks and maximizing your rewards.


Is higher or lower RTP better?

Generally speaking, a higher RTP is better for players, as it means that the machine will pay back a larger percentage of all bets placed over time.

Do online slots have different RTPs compared to physical slot machines?

Online slot games often have higher RTPs compared to slots in physical casinos. This discrepancy is mainly due to the reduced overhead costs online platforms have, such as staffing and facility maintenance.

What is a good RTP for slots?

A good RTP for slots is generally considered to be 96% or higher, which is around the industry average.

How do you calculate RTP in a game?

If a slot machine receives $500,000 in bets and pays out $450,000 in wins, the RTP is calculated as the total amount of payouts to players divided by the total amount of wagers: 450,000/500,000=0.90. This calculation shows that the RTP is 90%.

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