RTP as the Main Parameter of Online Slots: a Complete Guide

June 16, 2021

Times are changing: traditional one-armed bandits are being replaced by top-notch video slots. They acquire the form of ground-breaking software products that work in accordance with clear rules. However, there is one thing that doesn’t change. It lies not in the variety of bonus features and sky-high multipliers, but in one common parameter that is mentioned by every self-respecting developer of gaming software in the technical specifications – slot games’ RTP.

RTP: What is it?

RTP is basically the percentage of payments to a gambler, fixed by the game designer in a particular slot. This term is an acronym for Return to Player. The RTP shows a clear proportion indicating the percentage between a player's winnings and the casino's earnings. In this article, you will find out how this parameter works, what RTP is considered to be good, and how to identify a slot’s RTP. Without further ado, let’s get started!

How Does RTP Work on Online Slots?

The RTP works the following way: if the payout percentage indicated in the slot technical specifications is 95%, then this is exactly how much the gambler is guaranteed to win compared to the total amount of their bets in the long run. The casino gets the rest 5%. This does not mean that you will win 95 cents for each wagered dollar. You can hit the jackpot after 2 spins of the reels or spend a long time to get the desired prize, gambling away your bankroll. This is due to volatility – one of the objective parameters of an RNG algorithm. The RTP indicator takes it into account and works over the long term. You need to make thousands of spins to determine the correctness of the promised percentages.

The payback percentage in video slots is contingent on the requirements of a particular country regulator and the mathematical model used by the vendor. Any actions in the slot (bonus levels, free spins, jackpots, etc.) are subject to a certain scenario that takes into account the RTP. This indicator can vary from 80 to 95%, depending on the country. For instance, in Eastern Europe, the indicator should be 90% at the very least. In Australia, 85% is acceptable.

Companies creating gaming software for online casinos follow the established rules. Some developers produce slots with the same payout percentage, others calculate the RTP for each slot separately. For example, the products of Endorphina or Amatic Industries almost always have 96% of return payments, while for NetEnt or BetSoft, the indicator can range from 91 to 97% and higher.

The RTP can be somewhat disorienting. The payback percentage does not indicate how often a player can expect to win. Web-based slots with the same return-to-player of 96% can produce winning combinations with different frequencies. Some players believe that slots with a lower return ratio pay out more often but lower amounts, while games with a higher RTP pay out large amounts, but once in a blue moon. But it’s not exactly this way. The slots can pay the same, but one’s RTP is lower due to the size of the payments. For example, there are two video slots with the same types of combinations, but due to different RTP percentages, one pays $2 for a combo, and the other - $1.5 for the same combo. Consequently, players are better to make note of games with a high percentage of return. Slots with lower RTP (under 95%) should be avoided.

Why RTP is Always Negative for Players

The RTP can’t be absolutely positive for the player since the house always wins. There is a term that is completely opposite to the return-to-player of slot machines. It is the House Advantage (or house edge). It is very easy to calculate this: you need to subtract the RTP from 100%. For example, you can play the slot machine, the payback percentage of which is 98%. Thus, the advantage of the casino is 2%. That is, its profit in the long term is only 2% of all bets made by players in the slot, but the casino will surely get it, one way or another.

How to Find the RTP of an Online Slot?

In almost all modern slot games from leading manufacturers, the return to player rate is indicated in the official information sheet or on the page with the rules. RTP information for a particular slot is always available for gambling platform users. Check the next sections/tabs of your chosen casino: FAQ, Slots, or Info. In case you can’t find the RTP there, check our website. We provide details on all reputable software developers and their products. Just fill in the slot title in the search bar, and you will find the correspondent article.

What is Good, Average, and bad RTP?

The higher the RTP, the more money a gambler can win when playing the slot. The most profitable slot games have an RTP of 99%! The absolute record holder is the Moody Fruits video slot released in 2014 by Relax Gaming: its RTP reaches 99.908%. Among the machines with traditional rules, one can distinguish the classic Mega Joker from NetEnt with a 99% return.

The payback percentage over 98% is considered to be very high. A high rate of return is thought to be at the level of 97-98%. Most online slots provide the return-to-player between 95 and 96% (the average parameter). But if the slot returns less than 95%, then it is not worth playing. You will only damage your bankroll.

For the last few years, the RTP indicator has been constantly increasing. Before, it’s always been between 90 and 96% for modern slots. But now, most game developers tend to increase it to 96% and higher. That can be explained by the fact that gamblers are more non-judgemental towards casino platforms and are sure that most of their expenses will be returned.