Slots Guide: The Return To Player (RTP)

What is Return To Player (RTP)? As the name states, it means how much percentage the slot machine pays its users after millions or billions of spins. For example, In a 96%-RTP slots machine, we can expect the machine will pay a total of $96 billion after a total of $100 billion wagered, and the $4 billion goes to the house. Thus, the house will always win in the long run because of this 4% house edge. In other words, it’s like when you bet one dollar, four cents will automatically go to the house, and 96 cents will be put in the prize pot.

So why play slots if you will lose money in the long run because the RTP will always less than 100%? Because in the short run, you still can win money. Let’s say Player A wagers $1000 and only gets $500 in return (50% live RTP), and Player B wagers $10 and earns $460 in return (4,600% live RTP). From Player B’s perspective, he won a lot!

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Live RTP vs. Theoretical RTP

Theoretical RTP is the built-in or programmed RTP, so the machine won’t give more than 96% to the players in the long run. However, it doesn’t mean the slot machine will always give you 96 cents for every dollar you put in there. As mentioned in the earlier example, Player A can have 50% live RTP while Player B can have 4,600% live RTP. It depends on your luck! Therefore, live RTP is like the snapshot, the state of a machine in some period. It can be last 24 hours, one week, or one month. Anyway, since whenever we mention RTP is almost always about theoretical RTP, let’s keep it short by saying (just) RTP.

Same Game, Different RTP Settings

Always check RTP even if you play the exact same game, but in a different casino. The game you play on Casino A may have a different version or a different RTP setting on Casino B. For example, several providers implement two or three RTP versions, as follows:

  • Play’n GO: typically ~94% and ~96%
  • Pragmatic Play: typically ~94% and ~96%
  • NoLimit City: typically ~94% (DX version) and ~96%

So better play on casinos that have the best RTP version.

RTP for Extremely High Volatility Slots

Monka Giga difficult slots may have high theoretical RTPs, but it doesn’t mean those are an excellent game to play. There is a way to “manipulate” RTP to look good on paper but garbage on reality. For example, I can set my hypothetical machine to pay $ 1 million in a 1/1 millionth chance of winning while outputting “LOL” to other 999,999 spins. Guess how much is the RTP? Yes, 100%. A fantastic slot game is the one with intermediate wins (or buffer), so players will keep entertained and won’t see their balance drained too fast.

RTP, Paylines, and Feature Buy

The RTP that is written on the info (i) or help (?) is the RTP on a normal spin mode with maximum pay lines (for games where users can vary pay lines). If you decrease the pay lines, the chance is, the RTP will decrease. You can see this phenomenon in the Book of Shadows, Hotline, etc. Meanwhile, feature buy (or bonus buy) usually has a higher RTP compared to normal play.