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Slot RTP – What Does It Mean?

Slots are games of chance. You push a button, pull a lever, spin a slot and hope to get lucky. However, there is some math going on behind the scenes that ultimately guarantees someone is going to get lucky playing that slot eventually. The casino industry calls this a slot’s return-to-player rate, or RTP for short. Here’s what’s important to know about RTP.

What does RTP stand for in slots?

RTP is basically the percentage of money that players put into a slot that the slot will ultimately pay back out. If a slot has an RTP of 98.5%, that means it’ll ultimately pay back 98.5 cents of every dollar put into it.

It doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to get 98.5 cents out of every dollar you put into it. This is a theoretical number that considers the return to players over the life of a slot. However, with a 98.5% RTP, 98.5 cents out of every dollar everyone puts into this slot is eventually going to come back in prizes, over time.

The flip side of RTP is the house edge for the casino on that slot. If a slot has an RTP of 98.5%, its house edge is 1.5%, and that’s the profit the casino hopes to realize on that slot. That’s just 1.5 cents out of every dollar that goes into the slot, but it adds up fast when you consider how many dollars go into each one of the hundreds of real money slots at your typical online casino every single day.

What is casino RTP?

Add up the RTP for every game in an online casino. Then, divide that number by the exact number of games. That’ll give you the overall RTP for that online casino. Do the same for every slot, and it’ll tell the slot RTP at that casino, or the average RTP for every slot the online casino hosts.

The average slot RTP at most online casinos hovers around 96%. For table games, the average RTP is higher at 98%, and for blackjack specifically, it can be even higher at closer to 99%. Of course, there are more slots than anything else at most online casinos, which puts the average online casino’s overall RTP at around 96.5%. Free slots can also help you get acquainted with the concept of RTP.

That doesn’t mean you’re going to win 96.5% of the time you play at an online casino. Nor does it mean you’ll get exactly 96.5 cents back from every dollar you gamble with at that online casino. However, it does mean that some 96.5% of every dollar that everyone gambles at the typical online casino goes out to players in prizes over the long haul.

How do you find the RTP of a slot machine?

The RTP info for slots should be easy enough to find at most online casinos in the US. Look under the “Slots” tab, and you’ll see a game tile for every title. There should be an info tab on each one telling you more about the game, including its RTP. It’ll typically be a clickable “i” button. If not, there will be a page dedicated to each game that contains all that info.

Best RTP slots online

Here are a few of the highest RTP casino slot machines available online in the US:

SlotDeveloperRTPOnline at
Mega JokerNetEnt99%Golden Nugget
Monopoly Big EventBarcrest99%BetMGM Casino
Blood SuckersNetEnt98%Virgin Casino
White Rabbit MegawaysBig Time Gaming97.77%Caesars Casino

Using high RTP slots for bonus clearing

Most US online casino bonuses come with some kind of wagering or playthrough requirement. Meeting these requirements is the key to getting your hands on the bonus cash. Playing high-RTP slots can be the secret to meeting these requirements easily and unlocking the bonus fast:

  • It makes sense to play the games with the highest return possible to try to meet the requirements as quickly as possible.
  • You almost always get 100% credit for slot play in meeting the requirements.

What you should know about RTP

We know these RTP numbers can be confusing. It almost sounds as if they guarantee a return on what you wager on a slot. The truth is they do not guarantee anything except perhaps for the house edge a casino will realize on a slot over its lifespan, consisting of millions of spins. Just remember the following:

  • RTPs are theoretical.
  • RTPs suggest returns over a slot’s entire lifespan, consisting of millions of spins, not each session.
  • A slot’s RTP is rarely, if ever, something that you will realize in a single session playing the game.
  • RTPs are not a guarantee of how much you’ll win playing that slot.
  • You can get lucky and win or unlucky and lose in the short term. However, a slot will eventually pay out at its RTP over the long term.
  • Land on the wrong side of variance, and you can still lose a lot more than the house edge playing high RTP slot machines.

Regulated casino gambling and RTPs

State gambling regulators make sure the games that online casinos host give you a fair chance to win and offer decent RTPs by mandating RTP minimums.

Different states have different RTP mandates for games. For example, Pennsylvania requires all online casino games and slots to have an RTP of at least 85%. It’s 83% in New Jersey and 80% in Michigan. However, most online slots and table games have a much higher RTP. They have to in order to attract savvy players.

What is the difference between house edge and RTP?

As we mentioned up top, house edge is the flip side of RTP. It tells you what casinos expect to earn on a game. Once again, if a slot has an RTP of 98.5%, its house edge is 1.5%, and that’s the profit the casino expects to realize on that slot.

RTP and house edge are two sides of the same coin. However, people tend to use them differently in different game discussions. RTP mainly comes up when we talk about slots and the particular volatility of a slot, while casino house edge discussions are for when we talk about table games and how beatable or unbeatable they are.

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