You have no doubt come across RTP percentages many times when browsing through online slots. If this doesn’t mean anything to you, read on… We will explain all the basics you need to know!
What is RTP?
RTP, or Return to Player, refers to how much of the total amount bet on a slot or other casino game will be paid back to players over a certain time period. As mentioned, this amount is expressed as a percentage, and the higher the percentage shown, the more often you can win playing that game over a longer period of time. Each slot game has its own RTP and so does every online casino – based on the average value of the accumulated RTP percentages of all the games in its library.
How does it work?
First off, it’s important to note that RTP is a theoretical statistical calculation that shouldn’t be taken as gospel. It doesn’t apply to massive random wins and longer streaks of losses for example. The RTP will only tell you the average estimation for the game in question. Think of RTP as the flip side of the house edge. If you know the house advantage for a particular game is 5%, then the RTP could be seen as 95% (100%-5%) – in theory. So, if the RTP is 100%, it means the player has the same chances of winning as the casino. Should the RTP go over 100%, it shows that the casino is actually running at a loss for that game over the given time period.
How the RTP for a casino game is calculated
The formula to calculate the RTP for a casino game = the total amount returned to players divided by the total amount bet by players.
- The total amount bet by players = the sum of each initial bet per round per player for the audited period for a specific game (typically one calendar month).
- Amount returned to player = the net amount won by a player in a round.
In table games, the amount bet is not counted in the return, only the net amount won. For slots / video poker returns, the original wager is forfeited once it is made. Therefore, the amount returned to the player is the amount won based solely on the pay table for the game plus the result of the round.
Is RTP and winning frequency connected?
The RTP for a game can be a little misleading as it doesn’t indicate how often you can expect to win. With slots for example, a game with a higher win frequency pays out more often but in lesser amounts, while a slot with a lower win frequency pays out larger sums only once in a while – yet both can indicate an RTP of 97%.
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Does RTP matter?
Return to Player percentages should be made publicly available on a regular basis by online casinos. It not only illustrates a level of trustworthiness, but considering that rates between casinos differ, it empowers players to choose casinos that offer the best value.
Remember: Chance rules!
When coming to grips with RTP’s it’s important to understand that ultimately, they are subject to chance thanks to Random Number Generators that govern them to make sure the results are always random and fair. Every single spin on a slot machine is independent, even if you’ve just hit a jackpot, you could still get another big hit on the next spin. Thanks to RNGs, your chances of winning are exactly the same every time you play.