Unpacking What Return To Player (RTP) Means

June 20, 2024 by

Understanding Return to Player (RTP) is crucial for online pokies real money players. RTP represents the theoretical payout percentage over millions of spins, influencing long-term winnings. Monitoring ensures fairness, but players must grasp the interplay of RTP and volatility when choosing games. Let’s explore how RTP guides strategic game selection and tips for maximizing returns.

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How Does Return To Player Work

Return to Player (RTP) is a theoretical percentage of money that online pokies real money machines pay back to players over time. It is calculated based on the average payout of the machine over millions of spins. The game rules and mechanics also play a role in determining the RTP, which varies from game to game.

Pokies with an RTP of 95% theoretically will pay out $95 for every $100 played through the game. On reading this, most players are likely to protest that online casino games don’t work like this, as some may get much less out while others win big. The important thing to remember when it comes to RTP is that this percentage is theoretical. The idea is that if you keep playing the game over time, your average payout should work out to that amount. After all, the RTP of any game is based on millions, if not billions, of game rounds.

The RTP is the opposite of the house edge, which is the casino advantage built into all pokies (and all other casino games). Sticking with the example of pokies with a 95% RTP, if the RTP is 95%, the house edge is 5%. In theory, the casino receives $5 of every $100 played through the game over time.

Rather than being left to chance, pokies RTPs are monitored by casino regulators and are rested for fairness regularly. According to most gambling commissions’ rules, the performance RTP must match the theoretical RTP. The margin of RTP error must be 1.09760% or less after a million plays.

RTP is important because it can influence a player’s long-term winnings with online pokies real money. In general, the higher the RTP of a pokie machine, the better the player’s chances of winning money over the long term.

The theoretical impact of RTP makes it an important factor influencing player experience, especially when it comes to making informed decisions. Looking at pokies’ RTPs allows players to find games with a more favourable payout structure, assess the fairness of games, identify trust and transparency in online casinos, and determine potential risks and rewards associated with games as a means to manage their bankrolls better.

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How RTP Can Influence Game Selection:

When choosing an online pokies real money game to play, it is important to consider the RTP. Players who are looking to maximise their chances of winning money over the long term should choose pokie machines with high RTPs.

While this is a good rule of thumb to follow when deciding which real money online pokies to play, players should also consider volatility when looking at RTP. Volatility is an indication of the risk involved in playing a specific game. Most pokies fall into one of three categories, namely high volatility, medium volatility, or low volatility. It’s important to remember that RTP is not necessarily an indicator of volatility.

Let’s take a closer look at this.

High volatility games pay out less frequently, but when they do pay out, the payouts tend to be bigger. Low volatility games offer frequent smaller payouts. Medium volatility games are somewhere between the two.

As you can see, volatility is more about the pattern of the payouts. Players who don’t mind waiting patiently for larger wins tend to favour high volatility online pokies, while players who prefer a steadier gaming experience with less risk tend to prefer low volatility games. To make things a little more complex, you can find pokies with a high RTP and a high volatility, games with a low RTP and high volatility, online pokies with a low RTP and a low volatility, and games with a high RTP and a low volatility.

Let’s explore how players can factor in RTP and volatility when deciding which pokie to play:

A player is faced with a choice of three pokies, A, B, and C. Game A has a 97% RTP and high volatility, game B has a 96% RTP and medium volatility, and game C has a 94% RTP and low volatility. The player likes the idea of standing chances to win big payouts but doesn’t want to risk potentially not landing any winnings during their gaming session due to stringent bankroll management or time constraints. After considering RTP and volatility, they choose game B, as the RTP is high enough to offer generous payouts, while the medium volatility means that, even if they don’t land big wins, they still stand relatively good chances of making some winnings while playing the pokie.

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Tips for choosing pokie machines with high RTPs:

  • Look for online real money pokies machines with RTPs of 96% or higher.
  • Avoid online real money pokies machines with progressive jackpots, as these machines typically have lower RTPs.
  • Read online reviews of pokie machines to learn about their RTPs.

In gambling games, the Return to Player (RTP) rate is an important number that shows what percentage of bet money a player can expect to get back over time. It is the opposite of the house edge, which shows how much the casino wins in a game. The player could get more money back if the RTP is higher. The RTP is shown as a percentage.

This is how the idea works:

  • 100% RTP: A game with a 100% RTP would, in theory, give back all the money that was bet over time. This can’t happen, though, because casinos need a profit gap to cover their costs and make a profit.
  • Not quite 100% RTP:

The truth is that most gambling games have an RTP below 100%.

The amount that the RTP does not cover is known as the house edge. It shows how much money the casino thinks it will make on average from each bet over time. It’s important to remember that RTP is just an average based on statistics and doesn’t promise certain results for any one player. Due to the random nature of casino games, short-term results can change a lot.

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Examples of normal RTP rates for well-known casino games:


RTP can be very different from one slot machine to the next, but a lot of online slots have RTP numbers between 95% and 98%. Some games with a progressive jackpot may have a lower RTP because some of the bets go towards the jackpot.


Compared to other gambling games, blackjack has one of the lowest house edges. The RTP for blackjack can be around 99%, but it depends on the rules and strategy that players use.


Because European roulette only has one zero instead of two, it usually has a higher RTP than American roulette. The RTP for European roulette is around 97.3%, and the RTP for American roulette is around 94.74%.

Video Poker

The RTP for video poker games can be high, often going over 99%. The type of game and the player’s strategy, on the other hand, are very important.

To get the best possible returns, players should look for games with better RTPs. However, it’s important to weigh this against other things, like personal preferences, game features, and entertainment value. Also, people who gamble should always be smart about it and know that all gambling games are based, at least partly, on luck.

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Take Advantage of RTP in Games

In the realm of real money pokies, RTP is a guiding light for players seeking sustainable winnings. By considering volatility alongside RTP, players can align their preferences and risk tolerance. Opting for high RTP games and avoiding progressive jackpots enhances the odds of favorable outcomes. Smart decisions based on RTP empower players in navigating the dynamic world of online pokies.

Josh Williams

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With over 15 years of experience in the online casino world, Josh has been writing iGaming guides and tips for well over a decade. He’s always happy to share his incredible expertise and insights into the online gambling and mobile gaming industry, and prides himself on keeping readers informed and up to date with the latest developments. From finding the hottest bonuses and promotions to reviewing casino sites and games, Josh knows what makes the industry tick and keeps players coming back for more.

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