Return to player

Return to player

The Return to Player value has a number of different names. The most common are RTP or house edge. It is usually most associated with video slots, but the RTP can also be applied to other casino games. With other casino games it is usually called the house edge and is expressed in a different way.

Reading time: 4 minutes.

Difference between RTP and house edge?

The RTP is expressed as a large percentage. So for example, if a video slot game had an RTP of 97% this would mean that the game returns 97% of the money that players put into it on average. So if you played 100 units on a video slot, then on average you would get back 97 units over the course of the game. Obviously, this doesn’t always work out exactly and some players will lose more and some players will win.

The house edge is expressed as a small percentage. For example a Blackjack game that you’re playing might have a house edge of 1%. This would mean that for every 100 units that you wagered, you would lose 1 unit. So on average you would be left with 99 units. Again, this doesn’t work out that way in general as some players will lose more and others will win, but the average across everyone would be 1%.

How do video slots work out the RTP?

There is a lot of highly technical math behind how a video slot works. This is through both the actual game itself and the amount that is returned to players through the game. While the RTP can actually vary from the declared amount over the course of the games lifespan, it will change both up and down to make sure that the average amount that is returned is in line with the RTP that is listed on the machine.

Are the variance and the RTP the same?

The simple answer is no. As already covered, the RTP is the amount that the machine will return to players over the course of an average game.The variance is different, although it does impact on how the game is played. The variance decides how often the game will pay out to players and what the value of those payouts is. So, a low variance title will pay out regularly, but the payouts will be relatively low. A medium variance title will pay out a medium amount and the payouts will be average. A high variance title will pay out rarely but the payouts will be of a high value.

Do all games have the same RTP or house edge?

No they don’t. Almost every video slot title on the market will have a different RTP that it offers to players. The RTP can vary massively between video slot games. On top of this the location of the video slot can also impact the RTP. For example, a video slot in a brick and mortar casino can have an RTP as low as 75% and as high as 92%. Online video slots will have an RTP that is set between 93.5% and 97.5%. This is a significantly better return than there is available in land based casinos. The main reason behind land based slots having lower RTP values is that it costs a lot more to run a video slot in a brick and mortar casino. There is also a lot less space available. This means that the RTP is cut into by outside features in order to allow for these costs.

Table games will also have similar differences. Depending on the rules that are in force for the game that’s being played, the RTP that’s on offer to players can vary by around 6% in some cases. Blackjack and Roulette both have a wide range of rules that can be on offer to players, all of which will impact on the house edge. This is why it’s important to check over the table that you’re playing at, whether in a land based or online casino, before you start to make sure that you give yourself the best chance of winning.

What lies are there about RTP?

Casinos will not change the RTP of a video slot based on how well they are performing. This is a lie that has been around since casinos have been a thing. The only thing that impacts on how often a video slot pays out, is how often it’s played.

Do progressive jackpots count towards the RTP?

Put simply, yes they do. So when you are playing a video slot that has a progressive jackpot, it’s important to look at the RTP and know that part of that RTP is related to the jackpot. This means that the actual game itself has a lower RTP than the one that is displayed on the machine.