RTP is an acronym that stands for Return to Player and is one of the most important concepts that online casino players need to understand. The term describes the percentage at which players are paid, based on the amount they wager when gambling. This applies to both land-based and online casinos, so once you understand the concept, you can use the information to make accurate assessments. Since slots are the most popular games online, it pays off to understand how RTP works on online slots.

RTP is calculated over long-term

The return to player is a concept that applies to the long-term winnings, rather than the outcome of individual sessions. In the short-term pretty much anything can happen and there is no guarantee that the percentage will apply to gambling outcomes. The purpose is to give players an accurate idea of how much the game pays in the long run, without stripping them of the chance of winning big giving individual sessions. To be more accurate in short-term predictions, punters must pay attention to the game volatility.

At online casinos and new UK slot sites — the top slots have an RTP of more than 90%, with the best-paying ones going beyond 97%. The closer the percentages come to 100, the better it is for players because it means that the house edge is decreased. Back in the day, land-based casinos and local gaming parlours would only post an RTP of barely 80% which implies a crushing house edge. The percentage indicates the money you get back, so a return to player of 97% means that you lose $3 for every $100 wagered.

RTP doesn’t work in a vacuum

Looking at the numbers and understanding the concept of RTP can have a deterring effect on prospective players. Even a high return to player of 99% implies that you will end up losing $1 for every $100 you bet. In theory, it is only a matter of time until you lose the entire bankroll, so the RTP only determines how fast this happens.

The thing is that these percentages are used to estimate the house edge and the profit that the casino makes from each game. The calculations are made over a long period and they apply to all the participating players. Individuals spinning the reels of slots should know that the hit frequency is just as important in predicting short-term results. A high hit frequency indicates the fact that the slot will produce a winning combination more often, regardless of how high the potential profits are.

Just like the RTP, a high hit frequency is desirable especially for casual and recreational punters. What usually happens is that a game that pays less often usually produces bigger winnings when players finally complete a pay line. Understanding volatility helps with bankroll management and allows punters to choose a game that is more suitable to their play style.