Understanding RTP and how it works

Whether you’ve been playing casino games for years or just starting out, it takes no time at all to pick up on lingo that can seem baffling at first. Return to Player or RTP may seem tricky to understand at first, however, once you get to grips with the basics, selecting a game based on its RTP offers you all the best experiences when it comes to playing casino games.

Slot games tend to have the RTP most clearly displayed and you can pick a fantastic game that has the highest return to player at the click of a button.

Table games indicate the casino advantage using the house edge. Even land-based casinos have theoretical RTPs which are not nearly as high as the online equivalents.

What is the difference between land-based and online casino RTP?

Online casinos have the benefit of an extensive game catalogue which is hosted on a virtual platform.

Gambling at land-based casinos is super safe and secure, however, the higher RTP is yet another reason to play casino games online.

While online casino RTPs hover around 96%, land-based casinos have an RTP of between 88-92%.

What makes an outstanding casino game RTP?

Award-winning casino game software providers like Microgaming, NetENT, Play’n GO, Evolution and more all release games that have been comprehensively tested by independent 3rd party agencies.

After many rounds, an RTP is confirmed and offered as an incentive to encourage players to give the game a try.

The easiest way to understand this concept is to look at an example. Simply place bets to the value of €100 on a game of chance with a theoretical RTP of 95% and, in theory, walk away with €95. The house always wins however, whether it wins €5 or €15 will make a significant difference to your online casino game experience.

The RTP is also based on the total number of bets over the lifetime of the game.

Learn more about jackpot wins

Many progressive jackpot slot games are high volatility which means that when you land a win, it’s a big one.

Due to the large payouts which are made up of a percentage of the stakes of other players, jackpot slot players weigh up the lower return with the possibility of winning a life-changing sum of money.

Slot games not only have an RTP but are also categorized as low, medium and high volatility. Low volatility slots will pay out small wins frequently. High volatility slots pay out less frequently but with more noteworthy cash prizes.

The hit frequency indicates how often a game will pay out a win – big or small. In the instance of an online video slot that has a hit frequency of 6%, you can expect to land a win 6 times out of every 100 spins.

What is the difference between Theoretical and Actual RTP?

The best way to test the RTP to see how accurate the theoretical percentage is, would be to look at the amount won on a particular game divided by the game turnover received by the casino.

●            An online slot has an RTP of 96%.

●            It has paid out a total of €175,000.

●            It has received a total €200,000 in bets.

●            The actual RTP is 87.5%.

After that comprehensive look at RTPs in slot games, let’s dive into what this means for other casino games. Finding out the details of the casino game takes a very simple trip to the paytable of games like Baccarat, Blackjack, Craps or Roulette to discover the game house edge.

The house edge refers to the advantage the casino has on each game, while the RTP relates to the advantage of the player.

As table games offer a wider range of variables depending on the decision made by the player, the house edge is slightly more complex.

What’s the RTP of popular casino games?

Baccarat – This fantastic game of chance asks punters to place bets as to whether the Banker or Player will receive the stronger hand, or whether they will tie. With a house edge of around 1.01% for Banker Bets, 1.24% for player bets and a whopping 14% for Tie bets, experienced players know what the best strategy is.

A banker bet has an RTP of around 99%, while Player bets yield returns approximately 98% of the time.

Blackjack – Whether you’re a high roller or more of the play it safe variety, receiving cards that total the value of 21 is a popular choice at land-based and online casinos.

Depending on the strategy used in Blackjack, you can expect an RTP of around 99.5% which relies on you making the best use of the basic blackjack strategy. The RTP can vary as it is dependent on the variation of the game, the number of decks used, the house edge and the length of time played. However, wins are more frequent when compared to a game of chance like online slots.

Craps – The game of Craps is known as being a fast-paced, excitement fueled game where lingo is everything and superstition is rife.

Similar to Roulette with its myriad of bet choice options, playing it safe and placing your bets on the Pass Line will yield an RTP of around 98.5% while other bet options will alter the RTP accordingly.

Roulette – By accurately predicting where the ball will land as the spinning wheel comes to rest, this high volatility game can pay out in a big way if you place your bets strategically.

The theoretical RTP of a bet type can be calculated by making use of the house edge. Using an example of American Roulette, a straight-up bet has a probability of 2.63%. Should the house edge of that game be 5.26%, this gives that bet type an RTP of 94.75%.

A bet placement on red/black on the other hand offers you the probability of 46.37% with the same house edge.

Video Poker – Video poker has the highest RTP of all. With some variations offering over 100% return to player, you can hone your skills as you play games like Deuces Wild (100.76%), Jokers Wild (100.65%), Double Bonus (100.17%), Loose Deuces Wild (100.15%) and Double Double Bonus (100.07%).

As with slot machines, the longer you play, the more likely you are to see this theoretical RTP in action.

What are the benefits of RTP?

Knowledge is power and now that you understand the impact of RTP and the most popular casino games, it is possible to use this information to ensure a better gambling experience. The higher the RTP, the more theoretical chance there is for a win.

While slot games may take some time for you to see those wins, table games give players more opportunities to influence that win but strategic bets. House edge is the flipside to RTP. Just minus the house edge from 100% to calculate the theoretical RTP.

Games like Baccarat even offer happy hour discounts on the house edge so, keep a lookout for opportunities to increase your chance of a win.

What are the best games to play with great RTP?

Outside of table games, slot games are the most popular choice for players looking for high returns on their investments. As new video slots appear on the horizon every month, you have a wide range of games to choose from. Here are just a few of the favourites:

●            Book of the Dead by Play n GO: RTP 94.2%

●            Eye of Hour by Mekur: RTP 97.2%

●            The Dark Knight by Microgaming: RTP 97.6%

●            Starburst by NetENT: RTP 98.5%

●            Cosmic Quest – Mystery Planet by Rival: RTP 98.95%

What are 3 of the best bankroll strategies?

The careful management of your bankroll will ensure that you have hours of fun as you unwind after a long day. By implementing the following strategies, gambling will be a rewarding pastime and an excellent way to relax.

Bet what you can afford – Take a look at your budget and set aside an amount that can be used for playing games of chance.

Select games with good RTP – Even though slot games are popular, many other games can offer players a great deal of entertainment and the chance to win some money.

Play the field – By learning and playing a wide range of games, you can find which games bring the most joy and pleasure as you explore what online casinos have on offer.

Can I trust theoretical RTP?

Yes, as long as you visit reputable online casinos that have been licensed and audited by independent 3rd party agencies, what you see is what you get.

Look out for casino operators who are licensed by:

●  United Kingdom Gambling Commission

●  Malta Gaming Authority

●  Curacao Gaming Authority

These are the gambling boards with the most stringent requirements and are considered marks of exceptional quality.

What should I look for when signing up at a new online casino?

In addition to licensing, look for a casino that has been verified by an independent 3rd party agency. The most popular of these is the eCommerce and Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance (ECOGRA).

This stamp of excellence offers you the confidence that a company has assessed the business practices and payout history of the online casino and approved of what they discovered.

Gambling should always be a fun and entertaining experience. By putting all this information into practice, you stand the best chance at success when it comes to playing casino games.

Even though the Return to Player percentage is theoretical, it gives you a good indication of what to expect. When Lady Luck is on your side, those big wins will be effortless.

Check out some of the other resources we have on offer and arm yourself with all the information available to gamble responsibly. The online casino market can be incredibly daunting which is why we have put together a toolbox which can be used to break down barriers and start building big wins.


What is the difference between land-based and online casino RTP?

What makes an outstanding casino game RTP?

Learn more about jackpot wins

What is the difference between Theoretical and Actual RTP?

What’s the RTP of popular casino games?

What are the benefits of RTP?

What are the best games to play with great RTP?

What are 3 of the best bankroll strategies?

Can I trust theoretical RTP?

What should I look for when signing up at a new online casino?