Slot Machine RTP (Return to Player) Explained

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Written by FQMagazine

Computer-generated video slots you can play today at land-based and online casinos use frequently tested and highly sophisticated Random Number Generators (advanced mathematical algorithm software/programs) to produce the outcomes/results we see occur each time we hit the spin button.

This means that the results are pre-determined, and the reels only give us the illusion that they are randomly spinning. However, the RNGs used in online slot machines today from the iGaming industry’s most trusted game development studios/software providers will always produce results that are as fair and realistic as can be.

On this page, we will be taking a closer look at how the average Return To Player percentage (RTP%) payout rates in online slot machines are calculated.

What is the online slot machine RTP% payout rate?

The RTP% payout is the amount an online slot machine has paid out in winnings over a certain amount of time. This information is usually checked by the software providers that make the games and by one of several globally renowned, non-profit online casino testing agencies.

Their systems will spin the button of a particular online slot machine millions or even billions of times over, perhaps, a four-week period, and based on how much was spent and how much was returned as winnings, it tells us the average RTP% rate for that slot during this period.

Most online slots today have an average RTP% payout rate of between as low as 92.00% or 93.00% up to as high as 97.00% to 98.00% (sometimes higher).

Many players will only play online slots with an above-average RTP% payout rate and will avoid playing slots with below-average payout rates. This kind of information is generally always available inside each slot’s paytable, and it’s definitely worth getting used to looking at it before you make that initial deposit.

Of course, there are some variables at play here. For instance, increasing your winnings by using a bonus will impact the type of return you see. But, in those ceteris paribus scenarios, RTP percentage is the only figure you really need to understand the sorts of wins you can expect to see.

Examples of how RTP% rates are calculated

Here are a couple of examples of how RTP% rates are calculated. Let’s just say that ten thousand players spent a total of $/€/£100,000 (or equivalent currency value) over four weeks on one particular online slot machine, for example, the famous Starburst online slot machine from NetEnt.

If, during that time, those same ten thousand players received back a total of $/€/£92,130 in winnings, it means that over those four weeks, the Starburst slot had an average 92.13% payout rate (which some would say is relatively low). Don’t forget, this is just hypothetical.

The next month, if the same amount of people spent the same amount of money on the same game, but this time received a total of $/€/£98,150 in winnings, it means that for these four weeks, the same game had an average 98.15% payout rate (which some consider to be relatively high).

Don’t forget that because an online slot may have a fixed RTP% rate doesn’t always mean to say that you will always receive that amount back in winnings. The results are designed to pay out randomly.

The chance of winning remains the same, regardless of your previous wins or losses. It all still boils down to lady luck.

Online slot RTP% payout rates revealed

The following payout rates for certain famous online slot machines are accurate at the time of writing, and they were calculated by eCOGRA (eCommerce Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance) – one of the world’s most renowned online casino testing agencies.

  • John Hunter and the Book of Tut Respin online slot from Pragmatic Play – 94.47%
  • Fishin’ Pots of Gold online slot from Gameburger Studios and Games Global – 94.06%
  • Fishin’ Frenzy The Big Catch Megaways online slot from Reel Time Gaming and Blueprint Gaming – 94.95%
  • Ancient Disco online slot from Red Tiger Gaming – 93.13%
  • Razor Shark online slot from Push Gaming – 95.05%
  • Starburst XXXtreme online slot from NetEnt – 96.26%

Final note

When playing online slots, the best thing to do would be to stick to playing games from market-leading providers at fully licensed casinos controlled by reputable operators. Doing so ensures you can count on the results/outcomes being fair and that you aren’t being cheated in any way.

The best casinos practise transparency and honesty with players about elements like RTP. If a site is withholding that information or acting cagey about RTP, move along to the next one.

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