Return to Player

Always displayed as a percentage, but occasionally going by a different name, the Return to Player displays your chances of winning on any given slot machine. The higher the RTP is, the higher your chances are of getting a return. In all cases the RTP is calculated with all of the game’s paylines active, and if you reduce the amount of paylines that you play then you essentially void the default RTP, creating one that is often much lower.

Understanding

The Return to Player average is based on the amount of money that you gamble and the return you can expect from that money. If you gamble $100 over an extended session on a slot with an RTP of 96%, then you can expect a return of $96, with the remaining $4 going to the house. Of course, this won’t happen every time, or even the majority of times. This is just the average, and if we calculated millions of plays from thousands of players, then this is — roughly — the figure we would expect to arrive at.

RTPs can differ greatly, but they tend to be above 85% and below 98%. Developers understand how much of an emphasis players put on the RTP and so they do their best to increase it, even if it’s just by a fractional amount. However, it’s important to note that whilst an RTP of 96.20% is higher and therefore better than 96.0%, the difference isn’t enough to completely dismiss the second game in favour of the first. These differences are even less important to players who aim to spend small amounts and play for a short time, in which case the variance and the luck factor usually negates any slight improvements to the RTP.

Averages

Many modern slots have high RTPs, simply because modern players demand it. You will still find games with less than 90%, but these tend to offer something else in an effort to offset the low RTP. For instance, poor RTPs are fairly common on games with high progressive jackpots, as the increased house edge is used to ensure that even when the machine pays out millions of dollars, the casino is still on top at the end of the day.

Anything over 95% is a plus, and this is a common figure on the majority of modern bonus slots. In fact, most online slots are around this amount. Of course, no slots offer more than 100%, simply because all of them are there to make a profit for the house. Few of them offer more than 97% and you won’t find any with an RTP of 98% or greater.

House Edge

In casinos, and on games like roulette, blackjack and others, you will often see the words “House Edge” used in place of “Return to Player”, but these are essentially the same thing. The difference is that whilst the House Edge describes the casino’s edge, the RTP describes yours. To get a House Edge from an RTP you just need to deduct the remaining amount. Therefore, an RTP of 96% will return a House Edge of 4%, whilst a House Edge of 3% will return an RTP of 97% and so on.