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Essentially, RTP refers to the Return to Player from a particular slot or casino game. In some ways, it’s the opposite of the House Edge. For example, the slot game Starburst has an RTP of 96.1%. This means that the House Edge will be 3.9%. Overall, the RTP is connected to the amount a player is expected to receive back from what they bet.
Don’t take this literally and believe that, for every $/€10 you stake, you are therefore going to win back $/€9.61. If this were the case, then the entire practice of gambling would be so predictable – and lose you money over the long run – that people would never bother playing. In reality, a player could stake $/€10, then receive a huge win. Or they could lose everything. This means that RTP isn’t as black and white as it seems. Let’s take a closer look.
|Top Video RTP Slots||RTP %||Free Spins||Paylines||Reels||Play Now|
|Starburst Slot||98.5%||Up to 100||10||5||Play Now|
|Mega Joker Slot||99.1%||N/A||5||3||Play Now|
|Rainbow Riches Slot||98.1%||Up to 999||20||5||Play Now|
|Immortal Romance||98.1%||Up to 30||243||5||Play Now|
|Bonanza Slot||97.8%||Unlimited||117649||6||Play Now|
|Amazonia Slot||97.7%||20||10||5||Play Now|
|The Dark Knight Slot||97.6%||7||243||5||Play Now|
|Eye of Horus||97.2%||12||10||5||Play Now|
|Double Bubble Slot||96.1%||30||20||5||Play Now|
|Book of Dead Slot||94.2%||10||10||5||Play Now|
|Ted Slot||96.7%||10||20||5||Play Now|
|Aloha Slot||96.7%||Up to 60||10||5||Play Now|
|Steam Tower Slot||97.1%||Up to 42||15||5||Play Now|
|Fruit Warp Slot||97.0%||Yes||N/A||5||Play Now|
|Big Bad Wolf Slot||97.4%||Up to 20||25||5||Play Now|
|Monopoly on the Money||98.1%||Up to 50||10||5||Play Now|
|Kings Of Chicago Slot||97.8%||Up to 30||5||5||Play Now|
|Blood Sucker Slot||98.0%||10||25||5||Play Now|
|1429 Uncharted Seas Slot||98.6%||25||50||5||Play Now|
|Chess Mate Slot||98.7%||10||25||5||Play Now|
Whenever you see an RTP percentage displayed on a game, such as a video slot, this refers to something commonly known as the theoretical RTP. When a slot is being created, the developers will make this figure part of the essence of the game. Every time the reels spin, the results will be determined by an RNG, or Random Number Generator. These results are completely random, and cannot be rigged or guessed. A better description of an RNG, however, would be to call it a Pseudo Random Number Generator. If the results were completely random, this would mean that a casino operator would have no way of ensuring they would make money from the enterprise. Consequently, a code is built into this pseudo random sequence of number generations, which will ensure that a house edge is part of an unlimited number of spins. To put this concept into practice, it’s best to go back to the Starburst slot example. Whenever you spin the reels, you will know there is a variance every time. You could land a big win, or lose everything. But if you keep spinning, and do so for a very long time – in fact, if you never stop – the average RTP will edge closer and closer to that figure of 96.1%.
The performance of slots was previously only required to be tested before their release, as before September 2016, regulators would only demand the RTP be examined once in the run-up to being released to the public. However, since this date, the regulators have required operators to monitor the ongoing performance of their slots. This is because the Commission stated it was possible that developers could have created games which had an RTP that went down over time, which would in turn benefit the operator by providing an increasing house edge. To achieve this, developers could include a hidden code or similar during the creation of the slot game. As a result, this leads to the concept of Actual RTP, and how this can be combined with Theoretical RTP.
The best way to demonstrate Actual RTP is to use an example, such as a casino overseeing the RTP for the Starburst slot. The Theoretical RTP is 96.1%, and the operator wishes to test this figure against the end of the month which has just concluded. When the site looks at the numbers, they will see that they built up $/€200,000 in turnover for this game from player bets. Players won a total of $/€189,00, meaning that the site made $/€11,000 in profit. To do the maths and work out the Actual RTP, you would need to divide 189,000 by 200,000. The answer is 0.945, which translates to 94.5% RTP. While this is beneficial for the casino, as they have gained over 1.5% more profit than usual, it means the players are not getting the return that the Theoretical RTP said they would. This form of variation is not unusual by any stretch of the imagination, and the more time that goes by, the closer to the Theoretical RTP this game will get.
It isn’t just the RTP that affects a player’s experience with slot games – it’s the volatility, or variance, too. In essence, two slots may have the same RTP, but one could be high variance while the other is low. High variance means that the slot will pay out huge amounts occasionally, while low variance means that smaller wins are gained more often. When a casino operator oversees how a slot is performing, they will take the volatility into consideration as well as the RTP. If you know how often payouts occur, and how big they are, this helps to explain the overall performance in terms of RTP. If it’s a high volatility slot, the results will be more drastic, and vice versa. This means that an operator can create a scale which factors in this variance in results. If the RTP is within a high threshold and a low threshold of the slot’s Theoretical RTP, it can be deemed a permissible result. The threshold will be looser for higher thresholds and tighter for low variance slots. That being said, the longer the monitoring period lasts, the closer its expected that these parameters will get smaller, edging further and further towards the Theoretical RTP.
If you’ve spent a fair amount of time browsing progressive slots to play, you may have noticed that lots of them offer large jackpots that don’t have as high an RTP. In fact, the figure may be in the low 90s or the high 80s. What’s behind this? Well, when a player triggers the jackpot, the slot will have to pay out a huge amount of money. This cash therefore has to be put aside over a long period of time in order to pay for that one lucky player’s huge win. As a result, the slot developer will achieve this by lowering the RTP so the money can be divided up in this way. In some ways, playing a progressive slot is like playing the lottery – and if you want to get more involved in the actual gameplay behind slots, it may be better to look for a non-progressive with a higher RTP.
Bear in mind that choosing a slot with a higher RTP is not a strategy that will guarantee larger wins. If you want to benefit from a long term gambling strategy, then the higher RTP games are definitely advised. Other factors can of course go into a decision, such as choosing a video slot because it appeals to you visually, or because it’s a branded theme of a movie or TV series you love. Overall, though, if you want to win back as much money as possible while also being in with the chance of landing that big win, go for as high an RTP as possible.
It’s often the case that a casino bonus will involve playing on slot machines, and the wagering requirements are often lowest for this type of game if you encounter a bonus which has different requirements for different kinds. What many people may not know is that the value of a casino bonus can be impacted by the slots you choose to play, along with their RTP. If you want to improve your chances of winning and completing the bonus wagering requirements, your best bet is to go with slots that have a higher RTP percentage. Whenever you go to claim a casino bonus, make sure you read the terms and conditions included in the small print. This is especially useful when it comes to evaluating the value of your bonus in relation to slots. Some operators will lessen the value of, or even ban, play on certain slots, with the reasoning being that they have an RTP which is higher than average. There is a way to work out how to gain an advantage over the casino, though – essentially, you would need to follow a formula whereby the wagering requirements are balanced against the RTP. If you have a bonus with a wagering requirement of 30x, your advantage can be obtained by playing slots which have an RTP of roughly 96.7% or higher. If the wagering requirement is 40x, then the RTP will need to be higher to compensate – in other words, around 97.5% or higher if you want to maintain this advantage.
Don’t forget that, when you’re considering an RTP percentage, this is connected to the portion of money which is paid back to players over a long period of time. It isn’t an instantly applicable number, and won’t work over a single bet. This may result in slot RTP rates not looking as attractive, but remember that anything can happen in the short term, so you need to focus on this possibility as well as the long term return average.
If you want to decide which slots are the most playable based on their RTP rate and no other factors, then it’s important to think in the long term. To keep playing over a more extensive timeframe, a good balance must be maintained. However, other criteria will affect a player’s likelihood of winning. For example, Hit Frequencies are often considered, and these are frequently confused with RTP rates.
It’s likely that the term Hit Frequencies isn’t new to you. Some people will mix them up with RTP rates, but this is incorrect as they are only a part of RTP rates. Many players will tell you that a slots game which displays its hit frequency is far more appealing than those which don’t. The difference between these two terms is as follows: RTP rates provide a theoretical percentage when it comes to the number of wagered stakes which will be paid out to players over the long term. Hit frequencies, on the other hand, will tell a player how often a winning spin will take place. As far as comparing the two, hit frequencies can be seen as more accurate when it comes to finding a game which will pay out on a regular basis.
On average, a slot machine will have a hit frequency rate between 9% and 25%. In other words, up to a quarter of spins will give you a win. This is part of the calculation behind RTP rate, but the hit frequency does not detail the size of these wins. To be more precise, they do not specify whether this win is a 1p win from a $/€1 bet, or a $/€500 win on a $/€1 bet. Both the likelihood of winning, and the amount you’re set to win each time, is subject to variance.
It’s common for people to consider slot variance and volatility to be the same as RTP rates. However, they aren’t, and they are more similar to hit frequencies in that they are merely part of the calculation behind the slot RTP rate. In essence, variance or volatility refers to the likelihood of a player winning, and how much those winnings will be worth compared to your stakes.
This is where more in-depth analysis comes into play. At first glance, a slot machine with an RTP rate of 85% may seem less lucrative than one with 95%. However, add variance and volatility to the equation and you may just get a different result. A slot with a lower RTP rate may actually result in bigger wins for players.
The three types of variance are low, medium and high. With low variance slots, these will often have high RTP rates. Players will win more often over the long term, but the game will not pay out large sums of cash very often. While you can win on many spins – because the hit frequency rates are high – the amount you actually take away after each win isn’t that big. You may have guessed that high variance slots have the opposite effect. These slot machines have low RTP rates, and wins are not paid out often due to the hit frequencies being low. That being said, when a player does land a win, it’s well worth the wait. The strategy players typically attempt to follow is sustaining a large enough balance that they can deal with continually losing until that patch is over and they land a big win. With medium variant slots, these are the most common games you’ll find on online casino sites. The hit frequencies, RTP rates and prizes are mid-range, so there isn’t too much volatility either way. As these are a safe option, they are popular with gamblers across the globe.
A similar term is slot volatility, and this refers to the amount of risk there is involved with a slot. All this means is that low variance slots have low volatility, medium variance slots are subject to medium volatility and high variance slots are highly volatile. Another phrase which may have come out is ‘high paying slots’. However, this concept doesn’t exist. A player may be lucky enough to win a good amount of money on a slot game and recommend it to a friend, but it doesn’t then follow that the friend will have a similar experience. The best strategy is to avoid any slots which are described as high paying, and instead seek out those which have low or high variance and volatility, according to your playing preferences.
RTP refers to the amount of money a player will get back from a slots game over time. However, there is a difference between theoretical and actual RTP. Furthermore, this term isn’t to be confused with hit frequencies or slot variance and volatility. These terms only form part of the overall RTP calculation. Hit frequencies are used more often by players as an indicator of how likely they are to win, but this figure doesn’t go into specifics.
Casino sites have a duty to constantly monitor the performance of their game RTP rates to ensure the house edge doesn’t gradually increase too much in their advantage. Due to factors such as volatility, the margin may vary slightly month on month, but should slowly edge towards the original RTP stated to be within the blueprint of the game. Progressive jackpots will have a lower RTP than non progressives, but there are particular circumstances where they can be well worth playing.
NetEnt has been providing some of the best slots for years and Starburst Slot is no different. Bearing a return to player rate of 96.1% it’s one of the slots with big jackpots. The game feels like playing in an arcade but its amazing earning potential and high RTP will make you take it very seriously.
In Starburst, when you hit a wild it may give you up to three re-spins and with a little luck, over $/€50,000! The design is beautiful, the soundtrack is mesmerizing but in the end, with an RTP that high, it rarely matters.
It has two modes – regular, and super mode. Mega Joker’s super mode has an RTP of 99%, which is incredibly high. It can seem to have complicated rules, but it does reflect a traditional slot machine, and is quite easy to pick up, being one of the best return to player slots available.
It also features a progressive jackpot, so with everything taken into consideration it is a very popular title.
Rainbow Riches Slot is another classic Barcrest game that will allow you to leave with a smile on your face. This game has an incredibly high RTP, sitting at 95%. Adding to that, the game has a number of wild and scatter symbols, as well as bonuses to increase your winnings. Some symbols trigger a 500x bonus!
So, if you want to make some big bucks, head for the Emerald Isle and find the leprechaun to help you on your quest for winnings!
Microgaming has taken the market by surprise by launching their big bet machines for one simple reason – when you play the famous Immortal Romance Slot in big bet mode, your RPT comes in at 98%. This is where the best RPT slots are.
Of course, bringing a change to the market comes with its own new rules, so the game mechanics are a little bit different than the ones used in traditional slots. Experienced players will be able to adjust very quickly, but new players might want to practice before they hit the casinos.
Bonanza Slot was created by Big Time Gaming and it’s one of the more popular slots because of its high RTP at 96%. The slot has a wild symbol and mine carts, which spices up the gameplay and lets players fully enjoy their time. Also, Bonanza has four scatters which generate free spins – if you hit them all, you get 12 spins and every scatter during free spins will give you another five. So, whether you prefer Megaways or Mount Cashmore, Bonanza will provide a great playing experience.
Amazonia Slot is one of Merkur’s gems – a game with so many features and bonuses, of course the RTP is so high! Standing at 96.95%, Amazonia excels at making your money count, so they instituted bonus rounds, wild symbols, multipliers, scatters and most of all, free spins!
As you may have guessed from the name, Amazonia is an Amazon-themed game, so strap in and head to the temple to seek out the Black Panther and together, hunt for the Golden Idols!
The Dark Knight Slot from DC Comics is a leading title from from Microgaming and is certainly “must play”. It was released in 2011, and has the original Batman theme.
The Batman theme lends itself well to interesting gameplay. Colourful graphics, and entertaining animations have made this slot very popular. It’s a five reel slot, with 17 paylines. It also has bonus features, such as exploding wilds, dropping symbols, and incredible multipliers. You can get up to 32x multipliers.
It’s a fast paced slot game, and the wins can soon build up, especially as the multipliers build up quickly. It has a high RTP of 97.6%, and it one of the best online slots available.
Yet another Egyptian-themed game enters our sights. Merkur keeps making them great so we’ll keep having them. Eye of Horus Slot is a slot game released in 2016 which has an incredibly high RTP. This influenced its popularity, and despite the rudimentary graphics and sounds, it became one of the household games in online casinos.
You can win a lot of free spins and bonuses by using the wild and scatter symbols, as well as a large number of other bonuses.
Double Bubble Slot isn’t one of the most popular games, granted, but it has an impressive RTP that just can’t be ignored. It’s a fish-themed game and has normal slot mechanics so it’s just as easy to play as the rest of them.
This slot has scatters and a wild, as well as multipliers and bonus games. Players find it interesting to play because every new spin could mean a lot as this is one of the best slots with high winnings. Just watch your variance.
Everyone loves Egyptian-themed games. They’ve been popular for decades and the classics are not going away, but most people would still rather try something new. Well, Book of Dead Slot is one of those new games – Play’n GO knew what they were doing when they released it.
Book of Dead has a characteristic symbol (The Book) which is both a scatter and a wild, but our eyes are on the former because when it’s acting as a scatter, it gives you 10 free spins! It has a great RTP of 94.17% and you can generally leave it on auto play.
Everyone knows Ted Slot, the insufferable little teddy bear that came to life, and the same should apply for this game. Ted is a slot by Blueprint Gaming that has one of the highest RTPs in the industry, at 96.7% and lately this has been attracting large numbers of players.
Ted has a number of features, making it a bit more complicated than your average game, but that makes it even more fun to play! It has six base-game features and five bonus features that can give you free spins and cash prizes.
There’s a reason Aloha Slot has such a high RTP – with so many free spins and features that make your gameplay much more exciting, it feels like all you’re doing is winning! Of course, you’ll still need your strategy but substitutions and stacked symbols are on your side, as well as up to 60 free spins.
The game is beautifully designed as a tiki game, but don’t let that fool you – you can make a lot of money from it!
Steam Tower is from NetEnt, and features a new take on a familiar story. It’s set in the Victorian age, but with a steampunk twist. The storyline features the player as a bit of an unlikely hero, and you need to climb up the steam tower to rescue the princess from the dragon.
The slot has a bonus free spins feature. During this, the aim is to climb the tower. If you reach the top floor, you’re rewarded with a 1000x multiplier. The free spins triggers pretty regularly, and you initially get ten free spins.
Steam Tower has a return to player of 97%, and wins are very likely. It also has the smooth graphics, and easy gameplay that players have come to expect from NetEnt.
Fruit Warp is a slot title from Thunderkick. It was released in 2014, and it’s really quite unique.
Fruit Warp is not like many slots you will have played before. Thunderkick, the developer, is one of the more creative game studios.
It doesn’t have the classic reel gameplay. Instead, you need to match three or more of the floating fruits. New fruits fly onto the screen every time you spin. If you match five fruits, then you trigger the bonus Fruit Mode round. In this round, you have free spins, and multipliers.
It can take a little bit of time to get used to the style of gameplay, but the visual 3D graphics, and animations are fun, and enticing. This game also has a high RTP of 97%, so it’s definitely worth trying out.
Big Bad Wolf Slot is based on the story of the three little pigs. Except, you’re not one of the more favoured little pigs, it’s actually the Big Bad Wolf who brings you good things. Quickspin developed this title to be full of exciting gameplay, and a new take on a very familiar story.
The title has exploding symbols, wilds, and free spins. It also has a Blowing Down The House feature. If you find three moon symbols, you blow down the wooden house. You get two free spins. If you find six moon symbols, you blow down the brick house, and get a 2x multipler, doubling your winning paylines.
Big Bad Wolf has an RTP of 97.35%, and it is one of the best slots with high winnings. There’s a high RTP, with good multipliers, and a very appealing jackpot.
There are a million variants of Monopoly Slots, in a million different platforms, but with the appearance of Barcrest’s Monopoly on the Money, players were still happy to have yet another similar game. But, this time it’s different – there are enough scatters and wilds to give you a pleasant gaming experience. The RTP for lower bets starts at 94% while the big bets can take you all the way to 97.75% which makes this one of the best RTP slots on the market.
NetEnt is one of the most popular slot software developers, and many of their titles are immediate successes. Between the stunning graphics, fluid gameplay, and high returns, many players have become very loyal to the developer. Kings Of Chicago Slot is no different.
Kings of Chicago combines classic slots with elements of poker. It’s themed around a poker game in 1930’s Chicago, so think mob bosses and speakeasys. While in most classic slots, you’re trying to match symbols, in this game, you’re trying to get a winning poker hand. Look out for full house, flushes, 4 of a kinds, and straight flushes.
Each hand has its own payout. 3 of a kind is the lowest win at 0.4 times your stake, and a royal flush without a joker can land you 2000 times your stake. There’s also free spins and bonus features.
Kings of Chicago may be one of NetEnt’s lesser known titles, but it does have a loyal legion of fans. It’s one of the best RTP slots, with a very high rate of 97.8%.
Blood Suckers Slot is one of the really well known NetEnt titles. It’s incredibly popular among experienced casino players because it has a high RTP, and low volatility. It’s a vampire themed slot, with five reels, and 25 paylines.
It has bonus features, such as free spins, and it also has a pick me style feature. If you land three or more stake and hammer symbols, you trigger this feature. You end up in a burial chamber, with a number of coffins. You choose a coffin, and slay the vampire inside. If the coffin doesn’t have a vampire inside, then the game is ended. You can win up to 178 times your stake in this game.
The free spins feature is also highly appealing. It’s triggered when you land three or more of the vampire bride symbol. However, if you get four symbols, you win 25 times your stake, and if you get five symbols, you win 100 times your stake. You get ten free spins, and if you land three or more symbols, you get ten more free spins.
With the two enticing bonus features, and a high RTP of 98%, it’s no wonder why this title has been so popular for so many years.
1429 Uncharted Seas is a little unlike other sea-faring titles. This slot is based more on the early years of sea exploration, so you can sea old style maps, mermaids, ships and sea creatures. The background to the game gives the impression of rolling seas. For some reason, this slot isn’t as popular as other titles, but it does have a dedicated fan base.
It’s a five reel slot, with 25 paylines. It has a wild symbol, and a free spins feature. The wild symbol is the ship, and if it lands on any of the three middle reels, in a winning payline, it becomes an expanding wild.
The free spins feature is triggered if you land three, or more, of the compass symbol. Three compasses gets you 10 free spins, four compasses gets you 20 free spins, but five gets you 50. You can get more free spins during the free spins feature if you land the symbols again.
It’s also worth noting that the highest paying symbol is the mermaid. This symbol can payout 50 times your stake. With these features, and an RTP of 97.6%, this title possibly isn’t getting the attention it deserves.
Chess Mate Slot by MultiSlot is a relatively unknown game, but it is an interesting one. It has a chess theme, which doesn’t appeal to everyone, but the fun, quirky graphics do make it more colourful.
It is a five reel slot with nine paylines. It also has two bonus features. The first is the free spins feature. If you get three or more scatter symbols, you get between thee and nine free spins. The second is a bonus round.
The bonus round opens a screen with 10 squares. You pick three squares, and win prize. You will get whichever highest value prize is revealed.
MultiSlot haven’t actually revealed the RTP, however, most of the sites where ChessMate is available say that the RTP is 98.7%. This slot is a great title for novice slot gamers, as it has an extremely high return to player, and gives players a chance to learn how they prefer to play, and place their bets.
|Rank||Slot Game||Software||RTP Rate||Best Casino|
|1st||Mega Joker Slot||NetEnt||99.1%||Bet365 Casino|
|2nd||Starburst Slot||NetEnt||98.5%||888 Casino|
|3rd||Rainbow Riches Slot||Barcrest||98.1%||Mr Play Casino|
|4th||Immortal Romance Slot||Microgaming||98.1%||32 Red Casino|
|5th||Bonanza Slot||Big Time Gaming||97.8%||Leo Vegas Casino|
|6th||Merkur||97.7%||Lucky VIP Casino|
|7th||The Dark Knight Rises Slot||Microgaming||97.6%||32 Red Casino|
|8th||Eye of Horus Slot||Merkur||97.2%||888 Casino|
|9th||Double Bubble Slot||Realistic Games||96.1%||Virgin Games Casino|
|10th||Book of Dead Slot||Play'n Go||94.2%||Play OJO Casino|