RTP Explained and the Maths Behind It

New players always ask what is RTP? Understand the maths behind RTP and if you should give it a priority when choosing a new online slot, right here.

What Is RTP on slot games?

RTP stands for Return to Player and is given as a percentage. This percentage shows the amount of money that the slot machine will pay back to a gambler on average. In the main this value is between 95%, but some of the most generous titles can have a rating of up to 99%. The remaining percentage is what the machine keeps as profit.

The RTP in online slots is a prime example of what to look out for when choosing the best games. Whereas some people may prioritise the specific theme, bonuses and design, nearly everyone takes note of what the game’s Return to Player is because this helps them understand their chances of beating the casino.

The Maths

The maths behind this value is straightforward. Let’s say an online slot machine has an RTP of 95%. This means for every £100 that is wagered; the machine will pay back £95 and keep the remaining 5% (£5 in this case).

But this percentage isn’t realised for every £100. If it was, then nobody would play slot games as they know their chances of winning would be pretty much zero. The RTP percentage is accurate over millions of spins, giving everyone the opportunity to win.

And that brings us to the topic of RTP vs volatility…

What Is Volatility in Games?

Volatility refers to how the Return to Player value plays out in reality. If a title has a score of 95%, it could work in different ways with different levels of volatility. This is best explained by showing polar opposite scenarios (the volatility could also be somewhere in between, and they usually are):

1. Lots of small wins over the course of millions of spins, equalling a slot machine profit of 5%.
2. Pay out big wins much less frequently, also equalling a slot machine profit of 5%.

In option one where the volatility is low, players win more often, but those wins are smaller. As a result, the number of times they lose is less frequent. In option two, where the volatility is high, players lose often, but when they do win – they win bigger.

This shows how the RTP of two slot games can be the same, but how they really play can be very different experiences.

Yes, it would be best if you still considered RTP when you are choosing your games. But don’t rely on it entirely when analysing which titles have the best chance of winning. You should also find information on the slot’s volatility and variance, which can often be found on casino review sites.

But whatever you do, don’t choose online slots as a way to try and get out of debt. It can make the situation worse!