Do New Players Really Need to Worry About RTP?

RTP (Return to Player) is a common term used to describe roughly how much an online casino game is likely to pay back in the form of percentages. Let’s see an example of how it works.

For instance, most online slot machines today have a 93.00% (sometimes slightly lower) to 98.00% (sometimes slightly higher) RTP% payout rate, but what exactly does this mean, and why is it important to some online casino players? Let’s dive in to find out.

What does RTP mean in online casino games, and how is it calculated?

The RTP rate is the percentage value or amounts an online casino game pays out based on how much money is spent on that game. RTP% payout rates can be calculated in this way or by globally renowned, third-party online casino testing agencies, such as:

  • Gaming Laboratory International
  • Technical Systems Testing (TST)
  • iTech Global Pty Limited
  • Quinel Ltd
  • BMM Testlabs
  • Global Lab Limited
  • eCOGRA (eCommerce Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance)

The most famous of these internationally accredited online casino testing agencies that many players have heard of is eCOGRA.

Some testing agencies only test games and monitor the day-to-day operations of casinos in certain jurisdictions. In contrast, others are multi-jurisdictional, testing thousands of games at hundreds of fully licensed and regulated online casinos.

The aim of testing and then publicly publishing their results is to protect the players and ensure they are getting a fair service and not being tricked in any way.

Frequent testing also helps to uphold the integrity of the iGaming industry, as well as the software providers that make the games, the licensing and regulatory authorities, and the operators of today’s most trusted real-money gambling sites.

eCOGRA’s highly tuned testing system might, for example, play millions or billions of spins on one particular slot over a certain testing period (say four to six weeks or less) using the same stake per spin for more accurate results.

At the end of the testing period, we can see which spins were winners and which ones were losers.

Let’s just say that 100,000 players spent around $/€/£3,000,000 on the famous Thunderstruck II: Wild Lightning online slot from Stormcraft Studios and Games Global over four weeks, and in that time, the total winnings combined for those same players was $/€/£2,936,400.

This basic information tells us that this particular online slot machine had an average 97.88% RTP (Return to Player) payout rate, which is considered relatively high. Don’t forget, mathematically speaking, the higher the RTP% payout rate, the better it is for you as a player.

However, you should also be aware that playing high RTP slots doesn’t guarantee that you will win more because winning is still random and as realistic as it can be. The results are pre-determined and produced by highly sophisticated Random Number Generators spin after spin.

Do new players need to worry about RTP?

I used to only play online slot machines with a 98.00% or higher RTP payout rate and would steer clear of low RTP slots with lower than a 93.00% payout rate, but I stopped doing that long ago.

Some players still only play the highest RTP slots and avoid playing low RTP slots, but at the end of the day, there isn’t that much difference, and there’s no guarantee you will win more in a high RTP slot. It’s a great strategy but not a foolproof one.

It’s up to you. You might want to play high RTP slots instead of low RTP slots, but there’s not too much of a difference between them in the grand scheme of things, and as mentioned, you aren’t guaranteed to win more on high RTP slots,

In other words, new players don’t need to worry about RTP payout rates. However, if you want to know the RTP rate for the game you have just loaded, go to the paytable (usually at the back of the paytable), and you should be able to find what you’re looking for.

Are there any online slots with a 98.00% or higher RTP payout rate right now?

I decided to have a look at RTP payout rates for some of the slots I recently played, and I found several with a 98.00% or higher payout rate.

The next time you play at your favourite online casino, remember to keep an eye out for games like Barcrest’s Rainbow Riches Pick ‘N Mix slot (98.00%), IGT’s Maya Gold slot (98.44%), and Relax Gaming’s Money Cart slot (98.00%).

There are countless others, too, such as the 1429 Uncharted Sea online slot from Thunderkick (98.06%) and NetEnt’s Blood Suckers online slot (98.00%).

Final thoughts

Now that you know how RNGs produce the outcomes and what RTP means in online slot machines, it might help you choose which games to play next time you log into your favourite online casino account.

For me, instead of tracking down high RTP payout slots, if I like the look of a game, I will play it, regardless of whether it’s a low or high RTP slot. You might be different and would rather avoid playing low RTP slots.

The best thing about online casinos is that you have the choice. You can use this information to choose which games to play, which helps foster a sense of trust in online casinos and enhances the transparency of the iGaming industry.

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