Gambling related articles

Understanding the RTP Rating attached to Slots

From Tony Samboras.
October 2016.


For decades, brick and mortar casinos have been posting signs that tell slots players about the percentage of return they can expect to get from a particular bank of slots machines. This percentage is referred to as the "Return to Player" (RTP) percentage.

In most cases, these signs have been used as a marketing ploy because patrons interpret them to mean how often the associated machines payoff. In fact, the number refers to the percentage of each dollar spent that the player can expect to receive back with the rest being the predetermined loss amount. Simply put, a 95% RTP indicates the player can expect to lose 5% of every dollar they put into the machine over an extended period of time.

RTP and Online Slots
In recent years, online gambling has exploded across the globe. Millions of people have taken to their computers and mobile devices for the opportunity to play casinos games right from their own living room. By far, online video slots are the most popular form of online gambling. There are dozens of software developers that now create software platforms that power online casinos. Many of the larger software providers also develop video slots supported by the company's own software platform or platforms developed by third parties.

In most jurisdictions, governing bodies require that all games be tested for fairness. As part of the auditing process, auditing firms like eCOGRA and iTech Labs will test a software's "random number generator" (RNG) to determine a particular game's RTP. Based on jurisdictional regulations, the RTP number is then supposed to be made available for players to see somewhere online.

The Random Number Generator
When an online software platform is developed, programmers are required to embed a computational software tool that assures all gaming results will be random and fair at all times. This RNG is managed by mathematical algorithms that take into account the entire population of possible outcomes and makes sure that each roll of the dice flips of a card or spin of a reel results in a random outcome. When a RNG is determined to be fair and random, the testing company issues a certification that states all appropriate tests were performed and the results were reasonable.

How to Select Slots Based on the RTP Percentage
Of all the games made available to casino patrons in both land-based casinos and online, slots are the most lucrative games for the casino. While table games typically offer the house an advantage of 2-3%, slots usually range somewhere between 4-7%. Note: casino operators do like have the ability to customize the RTP on specific slots without violating RNG protocol.

As a responsible slots player, you should always seek out a game's RTP percentage before playing it. The lower the percentage, the higher your loss will be over a long period of time. That doesn't mean you can't defy the odds and hit a big jackpot, you can. That's why it's called gambling. In all cases, you can extend the value of each of your wagering dollars by selecting the slots that have the highest RTP rating.


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