Understanding RTP

There’s a lot of specialised terminology that flies around the Internet when you first get started playing casino games. You need to know about odds, bets, aggregates and blinds, to name just a few. So when you first come across RTP or Return to Player you may be a little confused and wonder what you need to learn about next. However, this term is important and one you should learn the meaning of right at the beginning.

The Return to Player (RTP) of every casino game is the percentage of money played that is given back to players as winnings. For example, if players over a period of a week spend $100 on a game, and the RTP is 90%, then over that week the game will pay out $90. This is also referred to as the House Advantage. You often hear people saying something like “the house always wins”. This is not strictly true, but for the house to make money and profit as a business, they do need to ensure that they are making more than they pay out. They do this by ensuring that the RTP is fair, but leaves them at least a small percentage of profit, or House Advantage. If the RTP is 90% then the House Advantage is 10%.

Of course, the RTP is calculated over a period of time, not on any given session of a player. So over a month, for example, a slots game will pay out the 90% it’s programmed to pay, to random players. However, it’s unlikely to pay one player 90% in one sitting. Instead it may pay that player 10% or even 200%, but over a month or so it averages out.

So, why do you need what RTP is? For two reasons.

Firstly, you should always be as informed as possible about anything you are going to spend money on, and that includes your entertainment. You wouldn’t buy a set of golf clubs unless you know all the details, and you should treat your gaming at casinos the same way.

Secondly, different games have different RTPs. For example, slots at a land-based casino usually have an RTP of around 80%. Online casinos have a lot more competition, so they usually have a RTP of 90% or even higher. Generally, the house advantage is lower for online games, increasing your chances of winning as the RTP is boosted accordingly!