RTP Explained

RTP Explained

Throughout the gaming industry, there is one thing that has been a constant for players and operators alike, and that is the RTP (Return To Player) of slots. Operators want to offer a high RTP to attract players and, obviously, players want a high RTP so they stand more chance of winning.

But the RTP of slots has always been theoretical, and in reality, the chances of using the RTP to the advantage of the player has remained almost impossible. This is not because the RTP is a lie, it is just that it is a single factor when playing a slot machine and hoping to win.

There are 3 main factors to look at when playing a slot:

  • RTP (Return To Player)
  • Volatility
  • RNG (Random Number Generator)


The RTP can be thought of as the house edge. So, if we take a popular slot such as Starburst from NetEnt – which has been a player favourite since it’s launch in 2012, the RTP is listed as 96%. This means that for every 100 EURO wagered the house gets to hold on to 4%. Although this might not sound too much if you have 50,000 players all betting 5 EURO, 240,000 EURO goes back to the players and the house gets 10,000 EURO. But, like any business, the house has costs to pay, so they don’t see all of that 10,000 EURO.


Just before everyone starts playing Starburst because they are going to get 96% of their money back, there is the factor of volatility. Volatility, in a nutshell, is the risk. So, a slot that is listed as high volatility will pay out big wins but these are few and far between. Low volatility, on the other hand, means the slot will pay out lots of wins but they will be smaller. Sticking with the example of Starburst from NetEnt, this is listed as “Low Volatility” so there is a good chance of a win but chances are the wins will be smaller. In the online casino world, the volatility typically has three levels – High, Medium, and Low.


RNG stands for Random Number Generator. This is the part of the slot that makes everything as random as possible. And it does exactly what it says it does – it generates random numbers. These numbers determine the position fo the symbols. But, before you get too excited and start thinking about the possibility of beating the RNG be aware it does compute billions of possibilities each time the spin button is pressed. But, while you might not be able to beat the RNG you can take comfort that a string of losses on a slot is nothing personal.