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All You Need to Know About RTP in Video Slots

Find out what's RTP and how it can affect your slots gameplay!

RTP is something you’ve probably come across dozens of times if you’re a slot player. It’s there on the stats for every slot and even streamers talk about it. So what is it that makes the RTP (Return-to-player) rate so important?

The House Edge and Fair Randomness

It is the standard for every online video slot nowadays to have certified fair randomness. This means that the result of every spin is completely and truly random. However, the casino can still make money because of the house edge.

playing slot on mobile phone

The standard RTP for online slots is around 96%, which means that the casino has a 4% house edge. In the long run, therefore, 4% of all wagers go into the casino’s pocket.

RTP in Slot Games

The RTP, also known as return to player rate, dictates how much money goes back to the players after a long period of time. For example, a 96% RTP slot will return $96 for every $100 players put in. That being said, this rate is calculated over millions of spins so when a normal player puts in $1000 playing for an hour, they can very well lose $800 or come out with $2000 - thus the point of gambling.

Can The RTP Be Over 100%?

The answer is never, simple as that. RTP over 100% leads to a loss for the casino. However, any player can enjoy a return of over 100% in the short term. To better understand this, let’s say you put one single bet on Red at the roulette table and the ball lands on red, you’ve walked away with a 200% return rate. But if you stick around long enough, the rate will move closer and closer to the actual RTP of roulette: 97.30%.

Should You Rely On RTP?

Yes, especially if you’re a frequent player. Although the number of spins you play in one sitting won’t follow the RTP, when you combine all the sittings from months/years of playing that same slot, the RTP becomes more and more telling.

black slot reels with golden 7 symbols

On the other hand, if you don’t plan to stick around playing slots for long, it doesn’t matter what the RTP is. In one sitting or two, literally anything can happen so don’t expect to come in with $100 and come out with $96.

Does Volatility Affect RTP?

No, volatility is entirely unrelated to RTP. Volatility affects how often a slot pays out and how much those payouts are:​

  • High volatility: Less frequent wins, but the wins are of bigger value.
  • Low volatility: More frequent wins, but the wins are of smaller value.

If a low-volatility slot and a high-volatility slot has the same RTP, they will pay out roughly the same amount over a long period of time.

How Important is RTP When Choosing Slots?

If you plan to play a million spins on a slot, RTP is the number one factor to consider. If you’re not going to play a million spins on a slot (which most people aren’t), there are many other things to consider rather than strictly sticking to RTP. 

If you fantasize about winning a ridiculously big amount of money, look at progressive jackpot slots or slots with high max win. Check out the gameplay and features of the games to make sure you have a fun time playing. There are Megaways, cluster pays, respin, gamble mini-games, extending reels, branded slots and many more options to choose from.

Land-based Slots vs Online slots: Which One Has Higher RTP?

Online slots have better RTP than land-based ones - this sounds like a conspiracy theory but it’s actually 100% true. It’s because physical casinos only have space for a limited number of slot machines so they lower the RTP of them to make profit. In contrast, online casinos can house a virtually unlimited number of slots.

To be specific, the standard of RTP for online video slots is 96%. Any slot game under 94% is considered bad and some slots go up to 99% in RTP. However, the RTP rate for land-based slot machines is only around 70% to 90%.


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