Knowing all about RTPs in casino games

When choosing which game to play, RTP is one of the major factors usually considered by most players. But what is it really? Does it reveal how much you’re going to get back after playing for a while? Uncover all mysteries surrounding RTP and understand it better when you continue reading here at Slots Bonuses.

What is an RTP

Return to Player or RTP reveals the average bet amount a game will return to the player over a long period of time. It’s expressed as the percentage of the total bet that a game eventually returns. 

If a game with an RTP of 98% receives a total of $1,000 during its lifetime, it is guaranteed to return $980 back to the players. This assures the player that the game does not keep all the wagers to itself and even though they won’t be able to win in every round, it’s not impossible. 

In simpler terms, it’s the payout percentage of a game. Though it’s more commonly heard of in slot games, all casino games have their own RTPs. 

All games are programmed in a way to return a percentage of the total money placed into it. This is to ensure that players aren’t wasting their time playing a game where it is improbable to win.

However, it’s also important to note that the RTP represents the theoretical average return of bets over an infinite number of rounds. Since every outcome in a casino game is random, there is no guarantee that a player will receive exactly the same percentage of the bets they placed in a single round.

Computing the RTP

Finding out a game’s RTP is as complicated as it sounds. But players don’t have to worry themselves about doing any complex computations because software providers do the hard work for them. Game developers are responsible for determining a game’s RTP. To find out a game’s RTP, it goes through an extensive trial period during its creation. 

But there’s no one-size-fit-all formula for all casino games. The formula to get the RTP depends on what kind of game is tested.

For slot games, the game goes through a test period where it is played for thousands, millions or even trillions of times. Afterwards, the RTP is determined through the following formula:

RTP = total player wins/total player bets*100%

Today, the majority of slot games have an average RTP of 96%. Those with RTPs of 96% or higher are called ‘loose slots’ since they reward more often. On the other hand, slot games that have RTPs of 92% or lower are known as ‘tight slots’ because they are stingy when it comes to rewards.

For basic non-strategy games such as baccarat, there are no tests required to figure out their RTP. The formula is as simple as:

RTP = 100% – house edge

The house edge is the casino’s advantage in the game. So naturally, since casino games are basically house vs player, the advantage of one side is the disadvantage of the other.

However, these are all theoretical and do not apply in literal terms. Since the results of casino games are random, there are no guarantees that the exact percentage of the total bet will be returned in the long term. Additionally, ‘long term’ actually means a million rounds and not just a single round of game where you play 100 or more rounds.

RTP in relation to other game factors

Volatility and RTP 

A game’s RTP is sometimes confused with its volatility but they are two different things. While RTP refers to the payout percentage, volatility refers to the level of payouts you receive and their frequency. They are mostly divided into three levels, high, medium and low volatility.

Games with high volatility pay less frequently but when they do, they grant rewards in significant amounts. 

House edge and RTP

House edge and RTP are two parts of the same pie and they stand on opposite sides of casino games. In a general perspective, these two represent the percentages where the wagers go to: the players and the house. If the RTP means Return to Player, house edge pertains to the percentage of total bets taken by the casino as profit.

Hit frequency and RTP

RTP is commonly interchanged with hit frequency in slot games but the two terms mean two separate things. While the RTP refers to the payout percentage the player receives over a long period of time, hit frequency pertains to how often the reels land a winning spin. 

Casino games have different hit frequencies depending on their gameplay. Some slots have hit frequencies as low as 3% while other casino games such as video poker have a 45% hit frequency. 

In terms of definition, hit frequency is actually closer to volatility rather than RTP. What differentiates volatility and hit frequency is that the former also reveals how big a payout is aside from how often winning combinations hit the reels.

RTP of land-based slots vs RTP of online slots

Some players report hitting more wins at online casinos compared to land casinos. While this sounds like a conspiracy or a misconception, it’s actually true. Compared to slot machines in land-based casinos, slot games you can play on online casinos actually have higher RTPs and therefore reward more often.

Most slot machines in land-based casinos usually have RTPs between 70% to 90% with only a few games going beyond 92%. If you’re used to playing slots on online casinos, this is like a big change. 

In online casinos, slots with RTPs under 94% and 95% are already considered low-paying games but fortunately, there are only a few slots that fall under this category. Progressive slots are especially known for having low payout percentages compared to regular video slots.

Slots in brick and mortar casinos have lower payout percentages because they need to generate more profit. Land casinos need to make more money from physical slot machines to keep up with the expenses. Since they need to maintain the condition of actual slot machines, land casinos have higher expenses than online casinos. 

On the other hand, online casinos don’t have to worry about maintaining the pristine condition of their slot games since they are all virtual. Besides, the games are played from the server of gaming developers and not their own. Without the restrictions of huge costs and expenses, online casinos can afford to reward their players with more payouts.

RTPs of progressive jackpot slots

As mentioned earlier, progressive slot games with jackpots are known for having low RTPs. For example, the all-time fan-favourite slot Mega Moolah only has an RTP of 88.12%. But this only covers the base game, meaning that the jackpot feature isn’t included in the game’s officially listed RTP.

The reason behind progressive jackpot slots’ low RTP is the jackpot itself. To support their respective jackpot pools, slot games take a portion of every wager placed on the game and add it to the ever-growing jackpot pot.

In Mega Moolah’s case, there are four jackpots players can strive to win so wagers are split four ways. With that said, it makes sense why the base game’s RTP of the beloved slot game is way below the usual.

Despite that, Mega Moolah makes up for the low payout percentage with the RTP during its famous jackpot feature where the value climbs 8 points higher and becomes 96.92%. Now that’s a more common percentage value and a high one too for a jackpot feature.

Dispelling myths about RTPs

A number of myths about RTPs and how they work have developed over the years. It’s important to clarify these things before they lead to more misconceptions and result in frustration.

Casinos change the RTP of games

First, RTPs are believed to be set by online casinos and that they can change the RTP of games whenever they want. The truth is, only game developers have access to a game’s core settings and in the case of online casinos, the game is completely out of their hands since they are played directly from the provider’s servers. 

This misconception stemmed from land casinos since there are physical machines present. Some people believe that the mechanism behind the screen can be altered by a casino to generate more profit. However, the same thing applies here. Whether they are video slots played on online casinos or actual slot machines in land casinos, the casino has no control over a game’s settings and they cannot change the RTP.

Additionally, there are proper casino laws and gaming regulations that prohibit this. Even gaming providers are under strict regulations when it comes to proving that their games are provably fair.

The RTP doesn’t affect a single game round

Since RTPs are determined in the course of a million spins or more, some players believe it doesn’t have any significant impact on the gameplay. While this is true to some extent, RTP in games is still relevant in the way that it indicates the possibility of landing wins.

The RTP is especially handy when it comes to choosing which slot to play. It serves as a comparable element between games. When selecting which game to play, the one with an RTP of 96% has more appeal compared to the one with a 92% RTP since the former is more likely to land wins. 

RTPs translate to assured payouts

How great would it be if there’s a game that is sure to return the majority of your bets? While the definition of RTP sounds similar to that fantasy, it does not guarantee any wins. Remember that the RTP is generated after conducting tests consisting of an infinite amount of spins. Even if you play for a hundred rounds, the RTP will not indicate how much you will win.

Casino games with high RTPs

It seems obvious that the higher a game’s RTP is, the more popular it becomes among players. However, the RTP is only one out of many factors to consider when choosing which game to play. But if you’re looking for casino games with the highest RTP, you don’t have to look further. Here are some examples:

Monopoly Big Event

Up to 99% RTP

Created after the popular board game, Monopoly Big Event slot game by Barcrest amazes its players with 3 exciting bonuses and an RTP of 99%. Unlock the Big Bet Game or enter the Big Event Bonus to increase your chances of winning. Featuring bonus games with guaranteed wins, free spins and rewarding Wilds, Monopoly Big Event is a must-try game for all.

Mega Joker 

Up to 99% RTP

Among respected software providers in the gaming industry, NetEnt stands above the rest with its spectacular gameplay, state-of-the-art visuals and high-reaching RTPs. Mega Joker stands at the top of the list in terms of record-breaking RTPs. With an RTP that can climb up to 99%, it gives for a thrilling and rewarding gaming experience. 

Mega Joker is a classic slot that is unlike its peers because of its progressive jackpot. Trigger the Mega Meter to unlock the game’s maximum potential and get a chance to win as much as 3,000x your wager. 

Single Deck Blackjack

99.86% RTP

Table games naturally have a high RTP since the house edge remains low across all types. However, games with varying bet options also come with varying RTPs. Betsoft’s Single Deck Blackjack is a notable example. 

Played with a single deck instead of the usual 6, it’s easier for players to make informed decisions if they utilize basic strategy. To make it even better, Betsoft’s variant of blackjack has a multi-hand setup which lets you place up to three bets to maximize your winning potential.

Aces and Eights

99.09% RTP

If you’re in a hurry, video poker is a great way to practice your poker skills. It lets you form the best possible hand simply by choosing which among the five cards you want to hold. After two dealing phases, you’ll know if you win if you have a hand that is Jacks or better. Its simple gameplay is probably the reason why its RTP is so high. 


98.94% RTP

Out of all table games, baccarat has the highest RTP because of its 1.06% house edge. To win a round of baccarat, all you need to do is guess which between the player and the banker will have a hand that is closest to 9. That’s it! With only two options available, the chances of winning are evenly split fifty-fifty. All the more reason to play.