What Does RTP Mean in Online Slots and Casinos?

You may have seen the abbreviation RTP if you're new to online casinos. This number represents the Return To Player ratio of any game that you play.

The RTP of any online casino game also reflects the house edge. (The house edge of any game represents the odds in favor of the casino.)

These percentages are two sides of the same coin.

Let's take a closer look at what these numbers mean — and why they're important.

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RTP (Return To Player) vs. House Edge

You don't need to get too technical when it comes to RTP and house edge. If an online slot offers an RTP of 95%, then the house edge is 5%. It's that simple.

You'll need to use strategies for most online casino games. For that reason, RTP is most commonly applied to slots.

The RTP comes from testing the game's software. Hundreds of thousands of spins—or even millions—determine the slot's RTP.

Say you choose an online slot game with an RTP of 95%. That is the average ratio of how much money you put into the machine and what it might return to you.

  • A slot with an RTP of 95% pays out an average of $95 for every $100 played in the game.
  • The house edge of 5% means the game takes an average of 5% from every $100.

These percentages vary depending on free spins, bonuses, progressive jackpots, and bet amounts.

Understanding these numbers is essential. That way you can pick a slot with the lowest house edge and highest RTP.

From there, you can also develop betting strategies for other online casino games.

RTP at Online Slots: Random Number Generator (RNG)

Online slots offer anywhere from 85% - 99% RTP. Most of them show their RTP under the game's information tab.

The software developer uses words like "average" or "theoretical." There's no guarantee that those payout percentages represent exact figures.

That's because they use random number generators (RNGs) in their programming. An RNG is the basis of a slot's RTP.

This is how slot machines stay fair for players. Each spin offers the same chances for a "hit" or a loss.

Legal online casinos get audited by corresponding gaming authorities depending on their jurisdiction. That's the whole point of regulating this industry—to keep things fair and legit for customers.

Online casinos don't share the same overhead costs as their brick-and-mortar counterparts. For that reason, they offer slots with an RTP of greater than 95%.

They also provide hundreds of games with varying degrees of RTP and volatility.

What is Volatility?

To keep it simple, the volatility of an online slot represents payouts for each spin. Games with lower volatility hit more often. But the payouts are smaller.

There are games with medium volatility, too. They offer a balance between low and high volatility.

High volatility slots pay out less frequently. But they offer better chances for big wins and jackpots.

Some games show their volatility under their information or rules tab. You can also search online for any slot game's RTP -- and you may find the volatility.

Choosing an Online Slot Game

It comes down to your bankroll and personal preference when choosing an online slot game. If you're starting off small, you might want to go with a game with low volatility.

For gamblers with money to burn, high volatility slots may be your best option. In fact, some games boost their RTP for max bets.

Again, this is all in theory. You can get the gist of how certain games function by testing them out in demo or free play.

See which games work best for your bankroll and betting style. You can get a better understanding of a slot's RTP by tracking your spins. Remember how often you hit—and adjust your bet amounts, accordingly.

Keep an eye on the jackpots, too. You never know—you might be lucky enough to win!

Here are some online slots with the highest RTP:

  • Mega Joker (NetEnt): 85.25% - 99.00%
  • Steam Tower 98 (NetEnt): 98.02%
  • Gonzo's Quest Megaways (Red Tiger): 98%
  • White Rabbit Megaways (Big Time Gaming): 97.24% - 97.77%
  • Bloodsuckers (NetEnt): 96.94%

If you enjoy online slots, Unibet offers over 2,000 games. Also, when you hover over any of the titles, it shows the RTP and volatility.

RTP for American and European Roulette

You'll also get high RTP percentages when playing American and European roulette. With only one zero (0) pocket—the European version offers an RTP of 97.3%. That means the house edge is 2.7%.

The RTP in American roulette is 94.7% — with a house edge of 5.3%. There's an extra double-zero (00) pocket.

RTP and house edge remain the same for any bets in American and European roulette. Bets in European roulette offer slightly better odds and probabilities.

If you prefer to play online roulette, you should choose the European version.

Conclusion

The RTP in online slots and casinos is an average of the game's payout percentages. Some slots offer a better RTP with max bets or other in-game features.

Each game comes programmed with an RNG to keep things fair for gamblers. Online casinos may not have access to the settings of a slot's RTP, either.

Showing the RTP for every slot is a part of letting players know how the game works. Advanced gamblers may understand the house edge comes with the price of entertainment.

That makes winning all the more fun and worthwhile.

Slots Resources

Online Slots is a game of chance, but we've compiled a list of resources to help you become a successful and informed player: 

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