RTP in Slots: Comprehensive Guide

What is RTP guideline

Discover the meaning of RTP in slots with this guide. Learn all you need to know about Return-to-Player, including:

  1. Slots RTP definition
  2. Calculating slots RTP
  3. Distinguishing winning frequency from RTP
  4. Variances vs Return to Player differences
  5. Comparison of land-based and online slots
  6. Variable RTP in slots
  7. Dispelling myths about slots RTP
  8. Top slots to play

Let’s dive in!

Understanding RTP in Gambling

RTP, or Return to Player Percentage, signifies the anticipated payouts in online slots. In essence, it’s a straightforward term representing the amount a casino game gives back to players over an extended period.

For instance

Consider a slot machine boasting a 96% RTP. This game theoretically returns $96 for every $100 wagered on it. This rate informs you about the expected losses while betting on a specific casino game.

Every real-money casino game includes an RTP rate. Explore our list of free slots games to find various RTP rates for games available in demo mode.

Given the individuality of each game, comprehending the meaning of RTP in slots is crucial. It provides insight into what to anticipate from a particular game over time.

Keep in mind

The concept is straightforward. The higher the RTP value, the better your odds of winning in the game. Most top-payout slots on ReallyBestSlots have an RTP value equal to or exceeding 97%.

How Do You Calculate RTP?

Now that you grasp the significance of RTP in gambling, understanding how the casino’s RTP rate is computed is essential. The game’s RTP casino rate is derived by dividing the total winnings by the overall amount wagered.

For instance

After a month of betting on a casino game, with a turnover of $1,050,000 and wins totaling $985,000, the RTP calculates to 94.81%:

Explore the official UKGC page for additional insights into how casinos calculate RTP.

It’s straightforward for players in games like Blackjack, where they anticipate winning about half the bets. However, RTP for online video slots can be misleading, offering no indication of how frequently players can expect to win. Over time, RTP will always be less than the amount wagered.

To gauge your expected frequency of wins, delve into the concept of volatility.

Correlation Between Winning Frequency and RTP

The winning frequency and RTP rate are distinct aspects in online slots. Winning frequency indicates how often a winning combination forms on the reels, while the RTP rate reveals the portion of the player’s wagered money returned over a specific period.

In online video slots, winning frequency is a crucial factor to consider alongside the highest RTP rate when selecting a slot.

Winning frequency signifies how frequently a winning combination appears on the reels, contrasting with the RTP rate indicating the player’s money returned over time.

Hit frequency, synonymous with winning frequency, measures how often a player lands a winning combination on an online video slot’s reels. Game providers represent this as a percentage per 100 slot spins.

For instance

An online video slot boasting an 8% hit frequency implies an 8-in-100 probability of landing a winning combination.

Keep in mind

Hit frequency details are often available in the slot’s paytable, but it serves as a generalized figure rather than precise statistics. Many software providers do not disclose information about winning odds on individual paylines or ways.

Variance & RTP: Distinct Concepts

Players often confuse the terms “variance” and “RTP” when discussing slots. Despite their close relationship, it’s crucial to understand that these terms are not interchangeable. While we’ve already clarified what RTP is in slots, let’s now delve into the meaning of variance.


Variance defines how a slot game behaves in terms of winning prizes, payout frequency, and overall risk level over the long term. It indicates whether a video slot is of high, medium, or low risk, with corresponding potential rewards.

In lower variance slots, winning combinations occur more frequently, but the prizes are considerably smaller over an extended period. High variance slots, on the other hand, are designed to yield less frequent hits, but the resulting winning combinations offer substantially larger prizes.

Furthermore, higher variance slot games typically feature a fluctuating RTP rate tailored to bonus features. This design can lead to significant prizes when bonus features activate in a video slot game.

As explained in this volatility guide, there is a correlation between variance, volatility, and RTP, but they signify distinct aspects. Players should be aware of all these factors when selecting a slot game.

Land-Based vs. Online Slots RTP

Despite the similarities between land-based and online slot games, it’s crucial to recognize that online video slots generally boast a higher RTP rate compared to the highest RTP casino slot machines.

Even the same slot machine game can vary from one casino to another. Typically, the slot provider grants the casino the flexibility to select the RTP range (e.g., 90.2% – 94.5%). The casino operator usually makes this choice based on their operational costs and player preferences.

Be aware

The volatility and hit frequency of a slot will also vary depending on the RTP rate chosen by the casino operator.

If you’re curious about the slot machines with the best payouts, online slot games tend to offer superior payouts. Additionally, online casinos are transparent about their RTP, prominently displaying it in the game menu.

It’s important to note that land-based casinos often keep this information concealed.

How Online Casinos Implement RTP in Games

For online casinos, the RTP rate is a crucial factor as it determines their long-term profitability. It serves as a profit margin for them, distinct from the odds percentage employed by bookmakers.

It’s important to note

Software providers supply casino games with predetermined RTP rates, but online casinos retain the flexibility to adjust these rates. Typically, most online casinos refrain from altering the RTP of games to maintain their popularity.

However, for those online casinos that choose to modify the RTP of their games, they do so strategically to ensure a solid profit while still providing value for players.

Minor adjustments in the RTP rates made by online casinos generally do not result in significant disadvantages for players.

4 Truths and Myths About Slots RTP

You may have encountered some myths about slots RTPs that appear too good to be true. Below, we will debunk the top five myths about slots RTP:

Online video slots are not as fair as land-based slot machines. Both types of slot games use a random number generator (RNG) and an RTP rate to determine payouts, making them equally fair.
All slot games pay out the same amount to the players. No. Each slot pays according to its RTP rate, set by the operator and the provider.
Casinos tend to hide slot games with the highest RTP rate from players. Although partially true for land-based casinos, online casinos are transparent about the RTP rate, providing players with this information. Hiding it offers no benefit for them.
The RTP rate of a slot game is totally irrelevant for a single gambling session. As slot game outcomes are random, the RTP rate is generally important. An online video slot with a 96% RTP is preferable to one with an 86% RTP for a gambling session.

Bonus: Top 5 Highest RTP Casino Slot Machines

To aid you in your quest for the best slot game, we present the top five highest RTP slots for 2024:

  1. Mega Joker (NetEnt) – up to 99% RTP. Mega Joker is a retro-styled video slot game by NetEnt featuring three reels and five paylines. It incorporates classic fruit symbols commonly found on slot machines.
  2. Jackpot 6000 (NetEnt) – up to 98.86% RTP. Jackpot 6000, another fruit-themed video slot by NetEnt, is played on 3 reels with 5 paylines. Players have the chance to win a maximum of 6,000 coins while enjoying this slot game.
  3. The Catfather (Pragmatic Play) – up to 98.10% RTP. The Catfather, an exciting video slot by Pragmatic Play, boasts 5 reels and 9 paylines. With a cat theme, the highest paying symbol rewards players with up to 1,000 coins.
  4. ChessMate (Multislot) – up to 98.72% RTP. ChessMate, a video slot by Multislot, is a colorful game with 5 reels and 15 paylines. It features captivating animations, offering a unique experience from a relatively unknown provider.
  5. 1429 Uncharted Seas (Thunderkick) – up to 98.50% RTP. 1429 Uncharted Seas, an extraordinary video slot by Thunderkick, is played on 5 reels with 25 paylines. Players have the opportunity to win up to 670 times the bet while enjoying this captivating slot.

Final Thoughts

The RTP rate stands as one of the most crucial factors in a slot game, as it discloses the anticipated returns over an extended gambling session.

Every player should assess the RTP rate of a slot game before deciding to wager real money.

Pro Tip

Opting for a slot game with a higher RTP rate promises more substantial returns compared to a game with a lower RTP rate.

Now that you’ve gained comprehensive knowledge about the RTP rate in slot games, feel free to explore our collection of slot guides, tutorials, and tips.

Have fun!

Jack Barens, ReallyBestSlots writer
Jack Barens iGaming Writer
Last Updated: January 7, 2024

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