Slots RTP – through the eyes of a player

Monday, 21 February 2022

RTP seems like a technical term, not so easy to understand. For the newer players it is confusing and for the more experienced it remains quite mysterious, with many questions unanswered. Otherwise, it is preferable to understand how RTP can affect your style of play, slot behavior but also your general opinion about fun. Because the most important thing is to have fun.

When turns into disappointment or anger, it’s best to take a break and reconsider your alternatives. Because the experience of any player is subjective, the feelings and experiences of the game are influenced and perceived differently by each of us. In the end, it’s useless to talk with a specialist in RNG, RTP, BTC or other abbreviations, if you don’t understand much of what he says. And the mathematical drawings and calculations added just to impress show me that I’m wasting my time with the mischief he presents.

About RTP from a player’s point of view

RTP stands for Return To Player and describes the amount paid by a slot to players for a large number of spins, usually expressed as a percentage. A vague definition that leaves many questions open. What is the number of spins? Under what conditions and for what period of time? How is the percentage calculated and adjusted by the producers?

As an example, a 94% RTP slot will return 9400 Lei for every 10000 Lei that goes into it. An information that practically explains how much you can expect to lose by playing a certain slot game. Beware, you expect to lose, you don’t expect to win! The percentage explanation of RTP confirms that you will lose but does not guarantee that the loss will be the percentage difference. In the example above, you have no guarantee that you will lose 600 Lei when you run 10000 Lei. You can very well earn a substantial amount after a certain number of spins and stop.

RTP = Return To Player = is the expected percentage of winnings that a certain game will return to the player in the long run. %RTP can be calculated either by a theoretical approach or by a simulated approach, with a method that depends on the type of game. You notice that the expression is used to explain the amount of money that a game pays to its customers, under ideal conditions. It is displayed as a percentage and is calculated based on the game over a long period of time. In essence, RTP is seen as a term opposite to “bookmaker margin” – the mathematical advantage for Casino/ Games Room/Betting Agencies in any of their games. I can’t ignore the two expressions used above: long-term and ideal conditions. Going beyond the fact that “in the long run we will all be dead” (John M. Keynes), I am still waiting to see these notions better defined. If I mean about 1000 bets on “long term” sports betting, what would be the number of slots spins? And I would quickly avoid ideal conditions because even the Martingale is viable just in a perfect universe.

Read also “GG 3+, the bet of the optimists”.

Volatility and RTP – easy to understand, hard to believe

Volatility and RTP: RTP is often confused with the volatility of a game (and vice versa). Although these two concepts are usually closely related, they are not the same thing. I have already briefly explained the concept of RTP and what it means above. Volatility basically defines how the game’s RTP is performed.


Low volatility slots are programmed in a way that will give smaller but frequent gains, which shows that you can have more fun with them. Higher volatility games usually have a large share of jackpot-based RTP and can offer big winnings but at a slow pace. And to compensate for these big gains, they will charge as much as possible to the detriment of small or medium payments.


This means that not all high RTP slots are budget friendly. In general, games with a higher RTP are considered a better choice than those with a lower percentage, but if the game you choose is very volatile, you can end up playing thousands of spins to get closer to the declared RTP.


Truths and untruths about slot RTP


Over the years, a number of ideas have developed about how RTP works and what can and cannot be done. Conspiracy theory will always be in vogue, and some players will tend to exaggerate while others will avoid sharing their impressions.


RTP is a theoretical concept that a player can hardly verify in practice. At the same time, there are competent bodies that verify and certify RTP.


Online casinos can manipulate the RTPs of their slots


That’s not true. Online casinos do not have the slots they offer for gambling. They only rent “devices” from game developers, and the games are usually stored on the developers’ servers, which means that casinos do not have the kind of access needed to change basic settings, such as RTP. Some vendors offer games with multiple RTP variants (such as Play’n GO), but casinos cannot change a random game at will. In addition, the RTP is declared, verified from the , metrological point of view and certified by third parties. To think that “it is possible to rig the slot machine” is a nonsense.


RTP is completely irrelevant for a single session


This is partly true. Although anything can happen in a single game session, and the actual RTP of the game is unlikely to be reached in any way, this information is not essential. However, on average, a slot with 98% RTP will offer more payouts than the one with 87% RTP. So, although you can win and lose in both, you will win more often in the game with higher RTP, so it would be better to play that one.


Progressive jackpots influence the actual RTP of a slot


This is true in most cases. Progressive jackpot slots may advertise 97% RTP, for example, but some of that RTP is usually done through progressive jackpots. This means that unless you win the jackpot, you will be playing the game with a significantly lower RTP than announced.



Top 7 Games with the Highest RTP

You don’t have to play all the known games to get information about them. There are plenty of discussion forums, social media applications or dedicated sites where you can find details, explanations and opinions from the players.

I noticed that most of the discussions are about the games with the highest payout percentage. Some are more accessible, some are not, but you can try them in the demo version.

Mega Joker – up to 99% RTP

Mega Joker is a classic NetEnt slot with three reels and fruity symbols. The RTP of the game changes depending on the level of the stake you gamble and, in order to get the best payout, you will need to bet at least 10 chips. In addition, this game has a skill element, because you need to know when to collect Supermeter winnings.

Mega Joker

Jackpot 6000 – up to 98.8% RTP

Jackpot 6000 is another classic NetEnt slot, quite similar to Mega Joker. You will also need to play this game with a maximum stake of 10 chips and study the Supermeter strategy a bit to get the best possible returns. Considered a good game for those players who like to be involved and able to influence their result with skill.

Chess Mate – up to 98.7% RTP

Chess Mate is a game from a relatively unknown developer, Multi Slot. This colorful and beautifully animated slot offers 15 paylines, a few bonus features (including free spins with a payout multiplier of up to 9x) and a very high RTP of 98.7%. It is a game that is quite difficult to find, not very accessible and less known. If you find it, the game experience is well worth the effort.

1429 Uncharted Seas – up to 98.6%

Developed by Thunderkick, the 1429 Uncharted Seas slot is one of the oldest games from this manufacturer. Although this slot does not bring anything spectacular in terms of graphics or functions, its RTP is very high – 98.6% and this makes it attractive for many players.

Monopoly on the Money – up to 98.1%

Developed by Barcrest, Monopoly on the Money is a themed slot after one of the most popular board games ever invented. In basic mode, this slot has an RTP of only 94%, but in Big Bet mode it can reach up to 98.1%. Benefiting from the popularity of the game, the slot brings the known motifs and symbols and creates a remarkable atmosphere.


Bloodsuckers – up to 98% RTP

Bloodsuckers slot is another game developed by NetEnt, but unlike the ones mentioned above, it is focused on traditional concepts, with two different “special” types, 25 5-reel paylines and very low volatility. If you like vampire-themed slots, it’s worth spending your time playing it.

Big Bad Wolf – up to 97.4% RTP

Personally, I really like Quickspin’s Big Bad Wolf and I find it really relaxing. Based on a well-known fairy tale, this game can be quite addictive, with the piglets turning into wilds and the symbols falling in a cascade on the reels. Of course, with a high RTP of 97.4% and low volatility, this game is a great choice to play and have as much fun as possible.

Big Bad Wolf

Land based vs. online

According to, in the year 2021, at the level of the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA), there were discussions to reduce the minimum value of return to player (RTP) for games generating random numbers, such as slot machine games, from 92% to 85%, just to align the two sectors.

All respondents welcomed the MGA’s proposal to lower the RTP [threshold], declared the organization, adding that some respondents said the ideal RTP threshold was still around 92%, while others set it at 75% and two argued that it should not be a minimum.

The trend seems quite clear, the increase in the payout percentage benefits the players, while the operators will make efforts to stay profitable. At the same time, discussions remain open because there are still many unknowns at stake.

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Author: Editor

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