RTP – Return to Player

Playing slots should be fun and it should be done responsibly, not as a way to make money. If you know how slots work, then you also know that the house has an edge and that the house always gets the better of you in the long run. Online Slots RTP, or Return To Player, is the mechanism that assures the casino of long term profit, and RTP is what we’re going to take a look at here.

Slots may be all about luck, but knowledge about slot machines can still come in handy. There are plentyful games on the market of varying quality, and while most are more or less fair, there are always going to be bad apples. We are going to try and help you identify those bad apples so you can stay away from all the pitfalls.

The chance of winning on a slot machine is specified by RTP, which simply put is a mathematical calculation of how much money in procent a given slot machine is going to return to the players. There are ways of increasing your chances further, by playing with deposit bonuses for example. This extends the play time on the machines, allows for more aggressive betting and thus giving the player a slight edge over the casino.

Online Slots RTP Advanced

The higher the Return To Player, the more money the slot is programmed to give back to the players. The numbers don’t say much about your individual chances however, instead it has been calculated over a great amount of spins, likely as many as tens of millions. To make things a bit more complicated, a high RTP doesn’t necessarily mean you’re guaranteed to hit a home run. No, there is yet another factor involved which is called variance. The variance makes sure anything can happen and a slot with high variance is designed to give back A LOT (most of it’s RTP) to FEWER players. A bit like a lottery machine.

Normally Online Slots RTP shouldn’t really be a factor when choosing what slot to play unless the RTP is extremely low. We would advise against playing online slots with an RTP lower than 94%, which is about 1-2% lower than standard these days. Generally speaking – well balanced slots with quality mechanics and math design is of much greater importance. Game developers may also advertise huge potential, mega multiple paylines and super volatility, but in reality you may be just as unlikely landing a jackpot on Mega Fortune than you are getting a max win on the slot in question. On the other hand, that is the nature of the beast playing high variance slots.

Practical Examples of RTP

Let’s say a slot has an RTP of 100% (which they never do). This means the casino will neither win or lose on this particular machine in the long run. It will basically give back all the money wagered to it’s players. Will it give all YOUR money back? Probably not. That’s important to remember. If you’re lucky however, it could give back your money AND someone else’s too. As we said before, the RTP doesn’t mean much over 1 or even 10 individual sessions. Your personal RTP can end up being 140% after you’re done playing for the day. Play enough spins and this number WILL even out.

Most Online Casinos offer slots with an RTP between 95-97%. This ensures that they will make a profit, something that is of course necessary if you want to be able to run a casino. The RTP of any given slot should be stated in the helpfile or in the info text of the slot, but there are some exceptions to this. Games licensed in Curacao for example won’t always disclose the RTP. More on this further down.

So if a slot has an RTP of 95% it will in theory pay back 95 out of 100 wagered. But we all know slots are not that predictable and that’s where variance comes in.


Variance is the spice that makes slot interesting to play. If variance works in your favor, you can hit a massive win on your very first time playing a particular machine, leaving the casino with a 150% RTP and the casino owner with red numbers for the day. But all the casino owner has to do is to sit back and wait, because in time, the maths will even out and what one player wins, others must lose.

Games to Avoid

When playing on a Malta or UK licensed casino with the games themselves being licensed in Malta (MGA) the RTP should (must) be stated in either the help file or the info text. In other instances the RTP won’t be disclosed, usually if the game is licensed in Curacao. Most slot providers ship their slots with a static RTP, but some providers do allow for casinos to choose between a set number of RTP settings to better adjust for a particular market. This can be necessary if for example a specific market has high taxes, meaning the casino has to have more headroom. It’s also possible of course for a casino to choose a lower setting out of pure greed.

The fact is however that the competition on the market is fierce and Online Casinos that don’t offer a reasonable chance of winning will start to lose customers. Most, if not all, reputable online casinos are going to want to show off having the highest RTP. On Bigwinboard.com we ensure you that the casinos listed here are all handpicked, tested and concidered the very finest in the industry.

And Finally…

  • Jackpot games usually have lower RTP since part of every bet has to go to the jackpot itself.
  • Games from NetEnt are always licensed in Malta och generally tends to offer a “healthy” RTP.
  • Keep in mind that variance itself has a greater impact on your individual sessions than a 1-2% difference in RTP.
  • RTP on land based casinos tend to be much lower than on Online Casinos. This is because land based casinos have greater expenses.