Casino RTP: Everything You Need to Know About Return To Player Odds

Apr 21, 2020 | Reading time: 10 Minutes

When talking about online casino games, it comes as no surprise that slots are the most popular ones as many users prefer them when it comes to gambling on the Internet. The main reason is that slots are straightforward and easy to understand. This makes them simple to play due to a lack of intricate rules like the ones you would encounter in the case of some table games, for example.

As a player, you’ve probably looked at an online slot review, which means that you might have come across the term RTP slots already. So, if you are curious to find out what it stands for and want to find even more interesting information on the topic of reading slot machines, keep on with this article.

Slots Return To Player Percentage Explained

What is RTP? In definition, RTP is short for Return to Player, a percentage that represents the amount the slot game pays back to the player through a certain number of spins. In order to exemplify more, a 95% RTP will give back $95 for every $100 spent. RTP basically helps you make an idea of how much you are going to lose or win while playing a certain online casino slot.

The RTP is usually projected through a very big number of turns that can get to a million spins. This makes everything more challenging, as you will never know what to expect from a short session of spinning a new online slot.

The more complex the slot, the harder it may seem to calculate the RTP for the developing team. All of this is due to factors like general features, slot machines’ lines, and even how often the Wilds show up on the reels.

An important aspect is to never take a slot’s variance as RTP, as these two are completely different principles. Variance is just a tool that defines how the RTP is being calculated. For example, slots with high variance have more of its RTP through bonus features, such as the free spins rounds and often-appearing Wild symbols. 

The variance will dictate if a slot is set up to give smaller wins, two big wins or three big wins, for example. The term is borrowed from the poker world, where it is also used as a statistical principle for winning. 

How Does RTP Work?

In definition, RTP is a statistic, which means that it is not always subjective and that it does not function the same in all the cases. The only thing you have to keep in mind is that the percentage is generally applied to an average point of view. It is not related to massive win or loss streaks that can occur, as slots rely on Random Number Generators and other fairness tools. 

The RTP can sometimes seem misleading, as being a winner relies on many factors. For example, two slots can have a Return to Player of 98%, but one will pay more often with smaller amounts, while the other one can be paying only a few times, but in larger amounts.

We at however recommend that you should not take peeks into slots with less than 95% RTP if you are a beginner. However, when it comes to gambling, it may be true that the bigger the risk, the bigger the win.
what is slots rtp

Detailed RTP Calculator

As the applied theory, a slot game’s payout is calculated with its own formula which implies the total amount returned to players divided by the total amount of bet for all players. The total amount of bet by players implies the bets placed in one month, per round and per player. The returned amount is the amount that a player wins in a round.

  • RTP = the total amount returned to player / the total amount of bet by players
  • the total amount of bet by players = the sum of all initials bet per round, per player (for a selected period of time.)

Careful, because RTP is not the same as house edge or hit frequency. Hit frequency represents the amount of wins you can get per spin. For example, if a hit frequency is 33%, you win every third spin, as a statistic. On the other hand, house edge is the ratio of the average loss to the initial bet. This may sound confusing, but it just means that games with a high percentage of house edge will pay you less on average, but over time. Sometimes this statistic is variable, depending on the game’s principles. 

Volatility is also mistaken for RTP pretty often, but it just represents a theoretical “risk” of a specific game. At most slots you can select the volatility (difficulty) level while playing. However, the higher the volatility, the bigger the win!

RTP in Land Based Terminals VS Online Casino Slots

It has been proven so many times that online casinos in fact pay better for slots. The visible difference is that, on the one hand, land-based slot terminals usually pay an average of around 80%, with a maximum of 92%. 

High payout online slots on the other hand  pay their players around 96%, but you will still find some that have an average RTP of 92%. Nonetheless, these tend to not be too favored by most players. Thus, it’s safe to say that, in the online casino world, games are designed to pay better. 
slots rtp

RTP - Tips for Slot Machines 

In order for you to win more and understand slot machines better, we will give you a listing of a few things that you can do:

  • Always Consult Game Reviews. You can find them easily by looking for slot reviews on the internet or just access them in the online casino of your choice, where the RTP is shown for each game.
  • Seek High Payout Games. Usually, the online casino games that go with at least 95-96% are considered to be the most lucrative, statistically and in the long run.
  • Read Through the Paytable. Read everything you can find  on a slot game, and this of course means reading the paytable, where you can find the slot machine lines explained. Study every detail, understand the game you are playing, and get familiar with its winning principle in order to win big at real money casinos.
  • Choose a Trusted Online Casino. Make sure to choose a trusted online casino to play in, because a good casino will usually give you a more detailed view on each game.

Best Paying Online Slots According to Their RTP

In theory, according to the RTP, we can make a short list of some online casino slots that offer the biggest payouts. These are also a good start for new players, as you don’t want to just start gambling and bet your first real money in a very complex game from the very beginning. Even if RTP is mostly a percentage that is not a must or a promise for any player, it really matters in terms of classifying online casino slots by their RTP game rate.

In the list below we at have come with some of the highest RTP slots for you. If you are a new gambler out there, these are a must-play if you want to get familiar with the best online slots per payout percentage: 

Ugga Bugga (Playtech) - 99.07%

With 10 rows, 10 paylines, and 3 reels, Ugga Bugga is one of the best RTP slots of all time. It features an iconic tiki-like theme, along with a low volatility. The often-appearing Wild is the game’s bonus feature. This slot’s layout is surely interesting and really makes any player willing to give the game a try!

Ugga Bugga slot

Mega Joker (NetEnt) - 99%

Mega Joker is a 5-lines 2x3-reel multiple coin slot with a classic gameplay. It also features a progressive jackpot and a multitude of features, such as the supermeter mode that can be played on all 5 bet lines and generate mystery wins. These are paid for jokers at bets of 100 and 200.
Mega Joker slot

1429 Uncharted Seas (Thunderkick) - 98.6%

The story of 1429 Uncharted Seas will surely put you in the mood for a seafaring adventure. With 5 reels and 25 win lines, you will choose one of 15 different total stakes for each spin depending on your currency of choice during gameplay.
1429 Uncharted Seas

Starmania (NextGen) - 97.87%

A 10-line 5-reel video slot, Starmania surely is definitely the cutest addition to the category of high paying video slots. Given its colorful design and profitable gameplay, it is easy to see why so many players choose it time after time. The video below will present this slot more for you:


Kings of Chicago (NetEnt) - 97.80%

Kings of Chicago is one of NetEnt's most uniquely themed games. With 5 reels and 5 paylines, this slot will present its noir and mysterious vintage atmosphere to you through its amazing graphics and gameplay. 
Kings of Chicago slot

Gypsy Rose (BetSoft) - 97.60%

How about some Gypsy Wilds along with a unique Crystal Ball symbol which activates four amazing bonuses? Spoiler alert: this all includes a second screen bonus round!  Take a journey in this awesome atmosphere with the Gypsy Rose video slot and its 3D graphics, all spread across 5 reels and 30 paylines.
Gipsy Rose

Retro Reels Extreme Heat (MicroGaming)- 97.50%

A part of MicroGaming’s Retro Reels series, Retro Reels Extreme Heat is another high-paying video slot on our list. It features 5 reels and 30 paylines and an amazing Las Vegas retro aesthetic. We especially like that the symbols feature the classic bells, sevens, and BARs for that authentic vintage feel.
Retro Reels Extreme Heat

Is RTP Decisive for Your Win?

Yes and no. It is clear that if you want to win big over a short period of time you should choose a high-paying slot, especially if you are a beginner. However, keep in mind that, at the end of the day, the winning principle of any slot is based on a Random Number Generator, which means that the outcome still depends on pure luck.

RTP is a purely statistics concept, but it also helps you see the median of a slot’s payouts. It’s up to you to choose the perfect game to try your luck in a real money casino. Just select a trusted online gambling operator, check the reviews in order to find what’s best for you, and start playing now. Best of luck!

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