If you frequent the online casinos or take your time to go most of the slot machine reviews online, you’ll agree with me that one of the most discussed words is the RTP. Just as you might know, this is just an acronym of Return to Player, which is often represented as a percentage.
Despite being mentioned countless times in different reviews, very few players understand quite the true meaning of it. If you are one of them, you are in luck! In this brief guide, we are not only going to explain what a game’s return to player percentage is, but we’ll take the liberty to explain the impact it has on different games as well as how you can get the most from the video slot you choose to play. We are also going to have a look at how a good it should be, and try to differentiate it from the house edge in a bid to help you enjoy video slots more!
What Exactly Is a Slot’s RTP?
As already mentioned above, RTP is just an acronym of Return to Player, and it’s an indicator of the rate at which you should be able to receive your cash back…sort of…if you continue playing at the casino.
In any slot, this figure is the percentage of your total win over the total stakes you shall be playing. However, these percentages are a theoretical value. This means that the figure is usually calculated after you’ve played for a certain period of time contrary to what players believe – it’s calculated every time the game is played.
For instance, according to NetEnt’s official website, their hit slot, Starburst, has an RTP percentage of 96.10%. This means that every time you play the game, you shouldn’t expect to win an average of £0.961 every time you wager a £1 bet.
The reason for this is in other instances, this £0.961 bet that you place could end up being somebody else’s win, or another player’s stake could end up contributing to the £100 win that you’ve just cashed in. It’s worth mentioning that this figure isn’t evenly distributed in any slot, as most people would think. If this was the case, then it will be the same as paying £0.04 to play the game rather than gambling. If this percentage was fixed on each spin of the reek, who would even bother playing knowing that they’d be losing?
The beauty and excitement of gambling lie in the uncertainty; the notion that for every £1 you spend on a video slot, you could be taking up other player’s £0.96 and end up winning £4. The RTP is the measure of the video slot played by all players, combined.
Therefore, if you manage to cash in £200 from a £10 bet, you can easily conclude that your personal RTP is 2,500%, which can also mean that other players enjoying the same game could have been playing with a much lower RTP than the one advertised.
Why Should You Pay Close Attention to the RTP Percentage?
From the outgoing section, you are probably thinking; If a slot’s RTP isn’t even a true representation of one’s gameplay, why should I even consider it?
Well, looking on the other side of the RTP, it’s a representation of the house edge. Every online casino website has the house edge, or if you like a house advantage in every game, they offer. This house edge is the casino’s profit. Naturally, casinos are like any other business, and without making any profits, they wouldn’t be able to stick around for much longer.
In relation to the RTP, the house edge is simply the complete opposite of this figure. Therefore, for a game such as IGT’s Cleopatra with an average RTP of 95%, the house edge is 5%. These two figures are very important in helping you determine whether or not the game is worth the while. While most of them won’t give a prediction of what is bound to happen in the short term, they can help you have a glimpse of the long-term consequences and in the long run indicate how fair and generous a game is.
On that note, it’s worth mentioning that a decent video slot shouldn’t have an RTP of less than 94%. If you come across a game with a lower value, it’s best, you avoid them. There are a few exceptions though – with the ever-increasing improvements in the video slots, and demand for many skilled games, slot manufacturers have now developed the skill based games, which offer different levels of play. The higher you progress in the game, the higher the return to player percentage goes.
Are the Games with a High RTP Value the Best?
With all that said, it would sound fair to say that you should always go for games with a low house edge and high return to player percentage. On the contrary, this isn’t always the case as you might sometimes be forced to consider other factors such as the variance or volatility. This simply refers to the risk involved in playing the game.
Slot machine with high volatility will pay out huge chunks of cash once in awhile, while the low volatility slots pay out frequently, but the amounts are usually small. High volatility games tend to have low return to player figures, but it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t give them a go, no! Yes, they might be high-risk slots, but the amount they offer in wins is much larger than your average game. By high risk, we mean that you might spin for a while before getting substantial wins.