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What Is Return to Player (RTP) in Online Casinos?

If you’ve ever tried your luck at online casinos, you’ve probably come across the term RTP. The term is crucial when picking online slots and can be the difference maker when devising your long-term betting strategy. But what exactly is it, and why is it important in online gambling? Keep reading to learn more.

What Does Return to Player Mean?

Return to Player (RTP) is a number that tells players the percentage of wagered money expected to be paid back to players over time.

RTP is often used in online slots, with blackjack, poker, and other skill games more likely to use house hedge. While it doesn’t show guaranteed returns, it can help you choose which games to play and help reduce risk.

Online casinos are required to display the RTP of games in some countries, with regulators imposing a minimum number to protect players.

How to Calculate RTP for Casino Games?

RTP is obtained by dividing the total amounts paid out on a specific slot game by the total number of bets wagered on the game over a similar period. 

For example, if a slot has an RTP of 97%, you can expect, on average, to win back $97 for every $100 wagered on that game.  On the other hand, the online casino can expect, on average, to make a 3% profit per bet. That doesn’t mean you can’t win more than you wager, but that there will be more players losing than winning.

However, you should keep in mind that the RTP is purely theoretical. When calculating it, the game providers use hypothetical numbers, not the bets you or the other players place on the platform. How are these numbers obtained? Well, through millions of simulated spins.

The simulations are run using the slot game rules, payout table, and all available lines. After that, the total winnings from these simulated bets are used alongside the total number of simulations to give the RTP.

Different slot games have different RTPs, and you can choose between high RTP and low RTP games depending on your strategy.

RTP vs. Player Winning Variance

When checking the RTP of an online casino game, you should consider volatility and variance. This is because since RTP doesn’t show short-term predictability, you can experience significant fluctuations during short gaming sessions.

A slot game with a high RTP but also high variance will offer infrequent but sizable winnings. If you are not aware, it can end up affecting your bankroll management and ruining your gaming strategy due to prolonged periods of losses.

If you’re not ready to experience dramatic swings in your bankroll, opt for low-variance slots. They may not have the excitement of high-variance games or betting on big events like the T20 World Cup 2024, but it will likely give you smaller, more frequent wins.

Why Is RTP Important to Players?

As much as the RTP isn’t a factual indicator of how frequently you will win, it can help you in more ways than one.

Informed Decision Making

RTP can help you manage risk when betting in online casinos. If you’re doing it long-term, going with slots with high RTP can increase your chances of staying profitable in the long term. There is a reason online casinos prefer low RTP games. High RTP or “loose” slots allow you to minimize risk and increase the chances of returning most of your money in the long term. You should go for slots with around 97% RTP if that’s you.

On the other hand, if you want a higher but not immediate payout, then low RTP or “tight” games are the best bet. But keep in mind, with high rewards comes high risk.

Transparency and Trust

If your online casino shows the RTP of their slots, it improves transparency and confidence in the fairness of the games. This can give you the calmness and peace of mind to ensure you follow your winning strategy.

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