Slots RTP Explained

slots rtp

What do most players look for when picking their favourite slot games? Is it the theme? The graphics/animations? The jackpot size? The bonuses available? There are so many different variables to consider, but perhaps the most important is actually the RTP of the slot machine, or Return to Player as it is more commonly known.

Find the best paying slots in our RTP database

What is RTP?

The Return to Player ratio determines the payout percentage of each slot game. So, naturally, the higher the RTP is the more chance you will have of winning in the long run, or more to be more precise, the less you will lose. Knowing this figure for each slot game you play may well help you to decide which title is worth playing and which isn’t.

Most online games will publish the RTP stats for each slot machine, and the RTP may even be listed within the information section of the title in question. But, just so you know, it is calculated as follows:

RTP = (total amount returned to players) / (total amount bet by players)

The RTP figure doesn’t necessarily amount to each gaming session. So let’s say the slot game you are playing has an RTP of 96%, and you stake 100 of your currency in a session. There is nothing to suggest that you will return 96 of your currency as a result. The RTP is related to the long term average, rather than the short term likelihood. It would be rather boring to play a slot machine that paid excactly the stipulated RTP each session you played it as that would mean that you never could get ahead on a slot. This is why it is important to understand that the RTP is calculated over many millions of spins, and depending on the volatility of the slot, you would have to play a large amount of spins to come close to the stated RTP.

example of return to player on online slot machine

Understanding RTP

You might think that, quite simply, the higher the RTP ratio then the more money you will win, but this isn’t strictly true. While over an extended period of time your return will be close to the RTP specified, in short sessions it can vary wildly. Slot games are governed by a random number generator, and ultimately it is this that dictates if you will win or not, and how much.

But it would be fair to say that a game with an RTP of 96% would be more agreeable to play than one that returns 85% over a longer timeframe.

Around 96% is the industry average in online casinos, but the best paying slot machines can have an RTP as high as 99%. You are very unlikely to witness an RTP of 100% as this would ultimately obliterate the casino’s house edge.

Why RTP is Higher in Online Casinos

You may not know this but Return to Player ratios are different online than they are in land-based casinos. Remembering the principles outlined above, it is not unusual to see an RTP in excess of 95% for an online slot game, while back on land it can be down at 85% or even lower.

The reasons for this are numerous, but of course the online gaming landscape is a lot more competitive than offline, and so games developers need to entice players in with more favourable conditions.

High RTP slots

Conclusion on slot RTP

So what have we learnt about Return to Player ratios? Well, quite simply, the higher the number the more of your stake will be returned to you for continuous play.

But this isn’t a perfect world, and with any slot game – regardless of the RTP – you will experience sessions where you do well and sessions where you are less successful. Because of the way slot games are designed with a random number generator, this will always be the case.

Even so, do remember this piece of advice as you search for your next favourite slot game: the higher the RTP, the better your chances are in the long run.