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How and What: Winning on Slot Machines – RTP Percentages and What They Mean

Published on 3 October 2014 by Rhi


Winning on Slot Machines: RTP Percentages and What it MeansTo make sure that playing slots on online casinos stays fun, you should play purely for enjoyment and not for the sole purpose of winning. The nature of gambling means that you might lose and it’s best to always assume you’ll lose, any time you make a deposit. That said, it’s always nice to win and we’re all looking for ways to at least understand what our chances are.

That’s where RTP comes in.

What is RTP?

RTP stands for ‘Return to Player’ and is usually displayed as a percentage. In very basic terms, the RTP indicates how often a player can expect to win, ergo, the higher the percentage, the more likely and more often the player will win. We’re not talking per minute or even per day here, but in the long run, over time. Almost anything can happen in the short term, so for most players the RTP shouldn’t even be a big factor when selecting a game.

What do the RTP Percentages Mean?

Take a 100% RTP as an example. This indicates that the chances of you winning are equal to the chances of the casino, so in the long run, you’ll most probably end up breaking even. If the RTP is ever over 100%, it means the casino is losing money on that game over time. It’s incredibly unlikely that a game will give over 100% RTP as it would make no sense for the casino to continue offering that game. With an RTP of less than 100% there is still a chance that you, the player, will have big wins, but over all, over time, across all players, the casino will ultimately make money from the video slot.

However it goes without saying that the higher the percentage, the better for the player. Generally, in an online casino, the RTP should be 90% and higher. In a land based casino you can expect to see a much lower RTP, but online, you should always play games that are 90% and more. There is so much competition and choice with online casinos that there is no need and no reason, for a player to settle for anything less.

How is the RTP Calculated?

The return to player on a video slot machine is calculated with the following, very simple, formula;

RTP = (total amount returned to players) / (total amount bet by players)

How do I know a Slot Games RTP?

Reputable software providers will always have this information accessible to players. Netent games, for example, display the return to player percent information in with the game rules. You should be able to see a question mark “?” icon somewhere about the game (lower left usually) which will open a popup with the game rules, and will somewhere display the RTP. This example is for popular Netent slot, Starburst.

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RTP should not be relied upon, as in reality, anything at all can happen, but hopefully now you better understand this often used casino term.


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