What is RTP?

Gambling games are not just made for all lovers of entertainment, but especially for professional players. If you want to one of them, you will need to learn the basic terminology used in this world in order to maximize your chances of winning. One of the most important of these terms is the RTP, which you will encounter in most gambling games. What is it?

What is RTP and how does it work?

RTP, or Return to Player, indicates the return of slot machines and other games in online casinos, and is always stated as a percentage - you will most often come across an RTP between 92% to 99%.

For most players, it therefore represents one of the key indicators that helps them manage their game strategy better. The RTP calculation depends on the long-term average of game results, not the short-term results of individual games.

Therefore, if the machine offers an RTP of 95%, for every bet of 100 CZK the players will theoretically get a return of CZK 95 in the event of a win. But as already said, this is only an average calculation, so in the short term the actual return will be lower.

The meaning of RTP for online casino players

If you really delve into the world of online casino games, you will come across the term RTP quite often. It is important to note that RTP is not completely accurate and is only an average indicator that is calculated from the total volume of bets and not from individual games.

Even so, with its help, you can easily estimate the winnings you can collect in case of success. We will show you how this works on a simple example with a slot that offers an RTP of 96%.

In practice, this indicator tells you that, in the long run, the given slot should pay out 96% of the bet amount. However, this does not mean that if you bet CZK 1,000 and win, you will get CZK 960. In reality, the real amount will be lower, but it should always be higher than, for example, a slot with an RTP of 92% - so higher returns will only be noticeable after playing for a longer period of time.

So, for simplicity’s sake, RTP should only be approached as an indicator that will help you choose the slot or game with the highest return. However, the average value given cannot be expected to apply to any particular win.

RTP and volatility of slots

In addition to RTP, you will come across another concept during the selection of suitable gambling games, namely volatility. While RTP will give you an insight into the approximate return of the given slot, the volatility will inform on its level of risk. Volatility is therefore used to measure the average frequency and amount of wins. Although the two indicators are not dependent on each other, they are worth taking note of them while playing.

Overall, low volatility slots offer frequent wins and low payouts. High volatility slots are known for high wins, but they only come from time to time. While playing such a slot, you have a very small chance of winning. Normally you can choose between:

  • Low volatility – suitable for players who want to avoid high risk and prefer a predictable and stable frequency of winnings, even if it involves lower amounts;
  • Medium volatility – it will be used by seasoned players who are interested in higher amounts and a more dynamic style of play;
  • High volatility - a suitable choice for experienced players who are not afraid of risk. With a bit of luck, they are rewarded with a high win, which, however, is rare.

Fortunately, RTP and higher volatility are not mutually exclusive, so you can come across slots with low volatility and RTP around 92%, but also variants with high volatility and RTP above 98%. You can see specific examples in the table below.

Type of slot machine RTP Volatility
Starburst 96 Low
Gonzo's Quest 95 Medium
Book of Ra 93 High

When choosing slot games, first pay attention to the volatility, so that you know in advance what level of risk you are subjecting your placed a bet to. Then focus on the RTP, which should ideally be as high as possible.

RTP in online vs physical casinos

You should also take RTP into account when choosing between playing in online casinos and physical casinos. Online casinos usually offer a higher RTP, with their average value often ranging between 92% to 98%.

One of the reasons is the lower operating costs of running an online casino, as there are no expenses associated with renting premises or employee salaries. In addition, online casinos face much more competition, which forces them to offer higher RTPs to attract more players. On the contrary, classic physical casinos offer a lower RTP, which usually ranges between 75% and 90%.

A higher RTP will be more of an exception, as the casino must keep enough funds to run the establishment. So if you want to achieve higher winnings, an online casino will be a better choice for you. If, on the other hand, you want to experience an authentic gambling atmosphere, you will have to sacrifice part of your potential winnings.

What regulations is RTP subject to?

RTP is one of the regulated components of gambling. Specific parameters vary depending on the country in which the casino operates the slot machines. In the Czech Republic, the Ministry of Finance oversees regulation, subjecting all casinos to a thorough inspection.

One of the criteria is the fair setting of the conditions of the individual games, including the RTP, which must always be higher than 75%. In other countries, the minimum RTP ranges from 70% to 90%. Adherence to the rules is regularly checked, and testing is no exception. Dissatisfied players also have the option to file a complaint with the casino.

Myths about RTP

Like many other indicators, RTP is also victim to various myths that often lead to bad decisions by players. That's why it's important to really understand all the game terms. Let’s bust some of these myths now.

  1. Higher RTP guarantees a win

One of the most common and probably the most widespread myths is the notion that slots with a higher RTP automatically guarantee a win. However, this is nonsense. In fact, a high RTP only indicates that the slot in question offers a specific average return.

The only thing that the RTP can guarantee you in this case is a possible higher win, especially in the long term - for higher wins you must spend more time on the given machine.

  1. Slots with low RTP are pointless

Another myth is that slots with a low RTP are pointless and therefore not worth playing. The opposite is true, however. Slots with a lower RTP are not pointless, but they do offer lower winning amounts. If you also choose a machine with low volatility, you can count on the fact that wins will be more frequent.

  1. RTPs are customized by casinos

Many players believe that the RTP for slots is set by the online casinos themselves. Online casinos don't own slot machines, and it is therefore not possible for them to determine their RTP. It is the online slot developers who are in fact in charge of the various settings.

RTP is undoubtedly an important parameter that is important to take into account when choosing a suitable slot, but also other online gambling games. For beginners, it is enough to simply choose slots with a higher RTP. In addition, pay attention to the volatility, which should correspond to the level of risk you are willing to take during betting.