RTP is a phrase that you will come across frequently when you look at casino games, but what does it mean?
This is a number that lets you see how much a game pays out to its players, so let’s take a look at how this affects you.
Return to Player Explained
RTP stands for return to player, which is a phrase that neatly sums up what it is all about. It is expressed as a percentage that tells you how much of the money wagered on it is returned to the bettors.
The number is calculated to take into account all of the players and thousands of spins, so it isn’t an exact figure telling you how much you will get back if you play. Rather, it is a general overview that lets us see the overall approach of the developers to paying out wins.
Blackjack, baccarat, and video poker tend to be the games with the best RTPs, usually getting close to 100% on these titles. Roulette comes a bit further back, although in this table game the exact RTP depends upon the bets you make.
Slots usually have a poorer RTP than table games, but they vary widely from one game to the next as well. If the RTP is relatively low, this doesn’t mean that you need to avoid these games. It simply means that you can be more realistic about your chances of getting regular wins on them.
It Doesn’t Take Out the Random Element
You might think that having a defined RTP figure takes away the random element of casino games since you know how much you will win before you start, but this isn’t the case at all. You still don’t know how much you will win and whether you will end up in profit or at a loss.
We can see how this works by looking at an example of a game with a 90% RTP that 3 players each wager $100 on over a series of hands or spins. The first may end up with a balance of $80 once their session is over, the second with $120, and the other with $70. This gives us a total of 90% over the three players despite them each getting very different results.
In fact, this simplified version with just 3 players doesn’t give us the full story. With thousands of players wagering on the same game, the random element is even more pronounced. You simply can’t work out how much you personally get back when you play.
Volatility Is a Different Matter
Another term you will come across is volatility, which is different from RTP but needs to also be considered when you are looking at different casinos to choose one. Similar to the way volatility is discussed in investing, the level of volatility tells us how often the game pays out and whether the wins are generally modest or for big amounts.
Let’s look at the example of a high volatility slot to better explain this matter. On a game of this type, you might have fairly long losing streaks to go through. However, when you get a win then it could be for a sizeable sum.
On the other hand, a low volatility slot will generally keep paying out regularly but for small amounts. A slot with a progressive jackpot will generally be classed as high volatility because it is weighted toward a huge payout.
Should You Take the RTP into Account?
This leaves us with just one final question, should you take the time to investigate the RTP of each casino game you play? Or does it not really matter enough to spend time doing this? Well, it really just comes down to how serious you are about winning and how long you plan to play for.
The effect of the RTP isn’t immediately obvious at first. Play any casino games for a few rounds and you have a chance of either winning or losing. However, the longer you play the more effect the RTP will have.
If you play for hours, then you would expect to have a better balance after choosing a game with a high RTP than with one that has a lower figure. The number stated is still not a guarantee of your return, but the more games you play the closer your return should edge to the theoretical RTP number.
Therefore, someone who is serious about trying to win money over a long playing session will feel more comfortable looking for a game with a high RTP, while another player who just wants some fun might not think that it’s worth the time looking into this matter.
If you want to see the RTP of a game before playing, check the information or help section and look for it there.