In this article we are going to take a look at an acronym that not enough casino players pay attention to. What exactly does ‘RTP’ mean, and why should you care?
If you enjoy a little action at the casino, playing the slots, or any other online casino games, it’s important to understand what RTP – Return To Player – means and why it varies so much from game to game.
The RTP is basically the amount of money you can expect to get back when playing a casino game. It’s usually given as a percentage. The Return to Player on a typical land-based slot normally ranges between 70% to 90%. At an online casino, that average number would be considerably higher; usually, at least 94%.
The Fee to Play
Let’s use a slot RTP of 94% as an example. For every £100 you wager on the game, you can expect a return of £94. The house will keep £6 of your money. In simple terms, it’s the fee you pay for playing the game.
Of course: this is an average of payout percentages, calculated in the long term. You could play a slot machine and win a jackpot on your first spin. Alternatively, you could roll the reels for hours and win nothing.
Under the rules and regulations of the Gambling Commission, online casino game suppliers must monitor the performance of their games to ensure they meet the performance requirements. The games are subject to an annual audit and businesses face sanctions if they break the rules.
If you are playing at a reputable online casino, operating to the stringent Gambling Commission rules, you can rest assured that the RTP is accurate. The performance RTP must match the theoretical RTP. After a million plays, the margin of RTP error must be 1.09760% or less.
Seek Out a High RTP
There is a basic lesson here: if you want to increase your chance of walking away from the casino with some chips in your pocket, choose a game with a high RTP. It’s that simple.
Roulette is the perfect game to highlight how the casino business model works.
There are 36 numbers on a Roulette table but there are 37 slots on the wheel. If you bet a single number, and it wins, you get 35 to 1. A winning £10 bet would net you £350 plus your initial stake back: a total of £360. If you bet odd/even or red/black, the odds are 50/50.
Of course, we must not forget the green zero.
This single number represents the house profit on a Roulette table. When it hits, all bets lose – excluding bets on the zero. Without the zero, a Roulette table would never make either a profit or a loss. The same pool of money would simply ebb and flow between the casino and the players.
Romancing Roulette – Stay Single
For the record: a single zero Roulette table RTP is 97.3%. If you are in Las Vegas, and playing an American double zero table, the RTP is 94.74%. So why would you play on an American table if you are playing online? Seek out European Roulette instead for much better value!
So… the simple question is, what online casino games offer players the best RTP? The short answer is Blackjack. However, there are a few online slots that come very close. Ugga Bugga from Playtech, has an RTP of 99.07% making it one of the highest paying games out there. Also, contenders are Rainbow Riches (98%) and Mega Joker (99%).
If you play single deck Blackjack, using basic strategy, you can enjoy a RTP of about 99.5%. But – be careful, lots of micro rules within the game can shift the RTP both for and against the player. If the dealer stands on a soft 17, the player RTP increases by 0.22%. The key is to know the game and stick to the rules.
It is important to remember that gambling is a form of recreation that comes at a cost. The RTP is a reminder that – in the long run – it’s impossible to beat the house. You must play to your limits, accept the cost, enjoy those winners, and walk away when the time is right.