What is RTP in Slots?

Return to Player or RTP is a concept that follows you everywhere you go at online casinos, yet many players are not familiar with it and do not understand the impact it has on their experience.
Bogdi

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Bogdan Lunkan

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Jan 26, 2024

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But don’t worry, we are going to address this today, as I’ll go through all the main details about RTP in different games. We will elaborate on what the Return to Player percentage means with some examples, learn how it is calculated, and discuss whether this metric matters at all.

Return to Player Meaning at Online Casino Sites

To put things simply, the Return to Player percentage of a game is the exact opposite of its house edge. It represents the average share of funds paid out to the players as winnings.

Much like every casino game has a house edge, they all have RTP values that may vary significantly across the board.

RTP and house edge are always linked to each other too. In case a game’s RTP percentage is 90, it means that its house edge is ten percent.

Table games create their house edges by slightly tweaking the rules in favor of the online casino, where the most obvious example is the zero section on the roulette wheel.

RTP percentages in slots, in contrast, are achieved by the software providers who are mechanically configuring the winning chances and payout multipliers for the online casino to have a house edge.

RTP in Slots Examples

As I’ve mentioned, all online slot games have an RTP percentage assigned to them, and it is different for every title. The value is usually somewhere between 90% and 99%, and here are some examples of casino slots and their RTP values:

  • Big Bass Bonanza – 96.71%
  • Mega Moolah – 88.12%
  • Book of Dead – 96.21%
  • Starburst – 96.10%
  • Book of Ra – 92.13%
  • Divine Fortune – 96.59%

Generally, games with Return to Player values that exceed 96% are considered high RTP slots. But if you’re really chasing the numbers, you should look for the highest RTP slots like Ugga Bugga by Playtech or Mega Joker by NetEnt, where the house edge is only one percent. The highest RTP slot I’ve seen at US sweeps casinos is Book of 99 by Relax, with an RTP of 99%.

How the RTP of a Slot Game is Calculated

Slot game developers always know the game’s RTP value, since they have to calculate it and implement it to the title.

The good news is that we don’t need to ask the developers, as we can have the RTP calculated by simply analyzing the payouts of the game over a long series of spins.

Of course, this is not done manually, since it usually requires dozens of thousands of spins for the slot game to average its payouts according to its RTP value. The procedure is performed by bots that log the results of numerous spins and calculate every slot’s RTP.

The approach with table games like American Roulette is easier, as you only need to take the probabilities of different in-game outcomes and factor in the payout multipliers for different bets. It is also very common for table games to have different RTP percentages for different betting options and strategies.

Average RTP Across Casino Games

Even though each particular game has its own RTP percentage, it is still interesting to analyze average house edges of different genres of titles at modern online casinos.

🎲Game / Genre💯Average RTP
Slot machines94%
American Roulette94.74%
European Roulette97.30%
Blackjack99.60%
Baccarat98.76%

As I’ve mentioned, the data for table games should not be taken at face value, as the percentages only refer to playing them efficiently or sticking to the most beneficial types of bets.

Finding the RTP of Online Slot Games

Thankfully, we as players don’t need to set up bots and analyze data from millions of spins to find out the Return to Player percentage of an online slot.

This information is publicly available for almost all slot machines, as it is normally disclosed by licensed software providers like Pragmatic Play, NetEnt, and many others. The data is later verified by independent platforms that test the slot games to see whether their theoretical RTP matches their actual RTP value.

The best online casinos publish the actual RTP of their online slots right in the lobby, while in some cases, it is available in the Information menu built into the slot machine. Even if you cannot find the slots RTP anywhere at the online casino, you can still look it up online – there are many platforms that aggregate this info for all online slots they can find.

Online Slots with Highest RTP at Sweepstakes Casinos

Sweepstakes online casinos usually feature slot machines by the same providers as traditional online gambling sites, meaning you will easily be able to play high RTP slots there.

There are hundreds of online slots with Return to Player values that exceed 96%, but I’ll only list the twenty highest RTP games for you.

🎰Best RTP Casino Slots🧑‍💻Software Provider🔟Reels🔢Paylines💯RTP📅Release Year
Goblin’s CavePlaytech3399.32%2007
Ugga BuggaPlaytech31099.17%2006
Mega JokerNetEnt3599.00%2013
Tropic ReelsPlaytech3598.95%2009
CineramaPlaytech5598.94%2009
Cosmic Quest: Mystery PlanetsRival Gaming52098.90%2009
Pixies of the Forest 2IGT59998.83%2019
The CatfatherPragmatic Play5998.10%2016
Rock on!Rival Gaming52098.00%2016
Blood SuckersNetEnt52598.00%2009
Kings of ChicagoNetEnt5597.80%2011
Devil’s DelightNetEnt52097.60%2013
Triple TigersPragmatic Play3197.52%2017
888 GoldPragmatic Play3597.52%2017
SimsalabimNetEnt52597.50%2012
Cleopatra’s GoldRTG52097.50%2009
Paydirt!RTG52597.50%2009
Couch PotatoMicrogaming3197.43%2013
Texas TeaIGT5997.35%2009
Gold TrainPragmatic Play3397.16%2017

Does the RTP Really Matter?

To answer the question simply – yes, RTP matters, but not for you.

It surely matters a lot to online casinos and software providers, as their revenue directly depends on it. Yet, they have to carefully balance the RTP of their games to remain competitive, as a game with a huge house edge and no players will not be profitable for them.

You and I as individual players are hardly affected by Return to Player percentages of the games we play, which is especially true for online slots. These games will reach their average payout percentages after dozens or even hundreds of thousands of spins, meaning our results will be different.

But I guess, if you’re planning to grind the same slot for months and really want an edge no matter how small it is, it might be reasonable for you to play high RTP slots. It never hurts to have the numbers on your side, but I personally would choose a slot game that I find entertaining rather than a primitive high RTP slot released a decade ago.

Table games are a slightly different matter, as they allow you to make decisions that might affect the average payouts you get. Even if you’re not changing the bet size, it is important to understand which betting options or decisions are more beneficial than others.

Conclusion

Summing up, not knowing what RTP means is not as critical for most users. They will unknowingly play games with return percentages of more than 85%, since there are very few games that have higher house edges. For reference, the MGA doesn’t allow companies to power games with less than 88% RTP unless we are talking progressive jackpot slots.

Nevertheless, it is useful to acknowledge the existence of the house edge in different games. When playing slots, you will hardly experience the effect, but when it comes to table games, the average returns from your betting strategy will have a much more noticeable impact.

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Bogdi

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Old school sweepstakes casino player who has been redeeming sweeps coins since Chumba Casino launched back in 2012. Bogdan keeps up to date with the latest game releases, and when he isn’t pumping out exciting guides for SweepstakesGurus.com, he is tinkering with a strategy. Don’t get him started about the power of the Paroli betting system.

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