Return to player (RTP) represents the average “payback” percentage of a specific casino game. The term applies to games housed at both online casinos and brick-and-mortar casinos, and it applies to both slot machines and table games like blackjack and roulette. Knowing a game’s RTP can be hugely advantageous when trying to maximize win potential, so sharp casino players always check the RTP before playing a new game.
What Is RTP?
The RTP of a casino game is the percentage the game pays back to the player. For example, an RTP of 97% means the game has an average payback of $97 for every $100 wagered. Note that no casino game offers a 100% RTP; the House always has a slight edge over the player (known as the house edge).
In fact, the house edge is how much an online casino keeps on average, so it’s the opposite of RTP. If a game has an RTP of 97%, that means the house edge is 3%. We get more into that in a section below.
Important Things To Know About RTP
The RTP is simply the average and does not guarantee success or failure on a casino game. The average is a calculated payback rate based on a huge number of spins and plays. There’s complex math going on behind the scenes, but the number is usually based on thousands or even millions of rounds of gameplay.
Quick facts about RTP at an online casino:
- The RTP shows a specific game’s average payback rate.
- Usually displayed as a percentage of how much players keep on average.
- Average is calculated from a high number of spins or plays.
- A good RTP is above 90%, a great RTP is 97% for slots and 99% for table games.
Most players are not going to play a million spins on one game (although you could try over a lifetime). So, the excitement of spinning at a slot machine still leaves a lot up to chance. For example, players could lose ten spins in a row or win the jackpot on the first spin no matter the slot’s RTP.
RTP vs. House Edge: What’s The Difference?
RTP and house edge are two sides of the same coin. The house edge is the average amount that’s paid to the casino while the RTP is the average amount paid to the player. For example, if a game has a house edge of 2%, it has an RTP of 98%.
House edge is more commonly referred to for table games. This is because slight variations on the rules of games like blackjack and roulette can change the house edge from something like 0.55% to 0.455%. Those numbers are a lot easier to manage without the 99% getting in the way.
But a specific slot usually has a fixed RTP. In that case, it makes more sense to display it as a higher percentile, if for no other reason than a higher number looks better than a lower number.
Does RTP Matter For Online Casinos?
In a word, yes. Especially for longer-term players looking for their favorite slots or a new game to play. The higher the RTP, the higher a player’s chances of winning and getting a payout. Long-term gamblers can significantly boost their win rate by looking at the RTP.
You’re better off playing with an online casino if you want a higher chance of winning. In fact, the RTP at an online casino is usually better than a land-based one.
This is due to brick-and-mortar casinos needing to invest a lot of money into running their buildings. Plus, they only have to compete with casinos in their immediate vicinity, which is no competition at all in some areas. So, while a player can expect 70% to 90% RTP at a physical slot machine, online slots usually have RTPs between 93% and 97%.
Turn Bonus Money Into Cash Using RTP
Most online casino bonus codes offer the best playthrough requirements for slots players. But you still have to bet the bonus amount on those slots multiple times before you can withdraw the winnings. Your best chance of doing so? Playing slots with the highest RTP. Based on the percentage, you can better rely on at least having some money remaining at the end of the playthrough requirements. It’s no guarantee, but it’s a viable strategy.
Click your state for the best online casino bonuses available to you:
- Best Michigan online casinos
- Best New Jersey online casinos
- Best Pennsylvania online casinos
- Best West Virginia online casinos
- Best Connecticut online casinos
How To Find A Game’s RTP
The easiest way to find an online casino game’s RTP is to check the game’s info. At most online casinos, the RTP is presented in the game’s info. If it’s not there, you can also Google the name of the game, which usually brings up pretty reliable results. For example, if you wanted to know the RTP of the Cleopatra slot, you could search, “Cleopatra Slot RTP,” and see that it has an RTP of around 95.2%.
But the regulations governing the licensing of online casino sites mean that most online casinos have to publish the payout percentages for all their casino games. So, one of the best US online casinos should be your first stop if you want to find out how much each casino game will return to you.
Most Online Casino Games Display The RTP
Take for example Golden Nugget Casino. When you visit its website, a carousel of games is displayed. To find out more information about any game, all you need to do is click the “i” for “information” on the game’s display.
Clicking on a popular game like 88 Fortunes brings up all of the game information so you can see it at first glance. Among other things, the RTP is displayed and for this game, it is 96%. This information screen also displays the number of lines and reels, the maximum payout, and the minimum bet.
If you can’t seem to find where the casino lists its RTP percentages, another option is to check the help section. For example, the help section at Caesars Casino states: “You can see the RTP of games in the information section of that game on the Caesars Sportsbook app or desktop site.”
Online Slots With The Highest RTP
The best online casinos feature hundreds of slots. That gives players the option to choose games with great RTP or go for the big jackpots on games with lower RTP.
But here are some slots available at most legal US online casinos with high RTP rates:
- Mega Joker by NetEnt: RTP 99%
- Jackpot 6000 by NetEnt: RTP 98.9%
- The Catfather by Pragmatic Play: RTP 98.1%
- Rainbow Riches by Barcrest: RTP 98%
- White Rabbit Megaways by Big Time Gaming: RTP 97.72%
- Ugga Bugga by Playtech: RTP 99.07%
- Starmania by NextGen: RTP 97.87%
If you’re finding it hard to find the particular game you’re looking for, just choose an online casino with a high RTP average. These include online casinos like Golden Nugget, BetRivers, Caesars, and BetMGM.
Keep Learning: Discover the online casino games with the best odds.