Facts you need to know about rtp and slots

A key aspect of making money from online slots is knowing how they work. Of course, part of that includes elements like paylines, reels, rows, wild symbols, scatters, multipliers, bonus rounds, and free spins. However, there's another element that you mightn’t be across - RTP. This term is used widely when it comes to discussing slot machines and gamblers need to understand its meaning if they hope to make money. So with this being the case, we've put together an online slots real-time perception guide that will explain all you need to know about RTP. And if you're a visual learner, you can watch our .

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What Does RTP Mean?

RTP is an acronym that stands for Return to Player. Put simply, it's a percentage that represents the amount of cash players should expect to win back over a long period of play. It's one of the most important terms to get to grips with if you intend playing real money slots at some point.

When when we say 'over a long period of play', casinos test their games over one million spins before they can legally determine a game's RTP. Moreover, these tests are carried out with the maximum bet size, as this reflects the highest house edge. This is why you'll often see references to "at max bet" when reading RTP information.

It's also worth knowing that RTP is a theoretical measure. In other words, it represents the expected returns based on numerous trials. When playing a slot machine with an RTP rate of 97%, for example, there is no guarantee that you will get 97% of your wagers back if you play for an hour. You could win more, or you could lose more.

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Why Do We Have Negative Numbers?

If you've done any research into RTP and slots, you will have noticed that the percentages are negative when expressed in some countries. For example, in the United Kingdom, all gaming licenses must state the 'House Edge'. This term is simply the opposite of RTP. To clarify, the House Edge is the casino's average advantage over each bet. To calculate the HE, you subtract the RTP from 100%. Confusingly, higher HE % means a more favorable game for the player (or a higher RTP%).

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How is RTP Calculated?

We've already touched upon the fact that RTP is a percentage that represents the amount of money players should expect to get back over a long period of time. To be more precise, it's the percentage of winnings paid out to players compared with the total amount of wagers.

Let's imagine you're playing a slot with a 95% RTP. Over an extended period of time, the slot machine will pay out 95c for every $1 wagered. Please note that this is a very general overview of the concept. There are many different factors that influence RTP, such as betting patterns and progressive jackpots.

Another way of looking at RTP is by considering variance. 

Low Variance = High RTP = Better

High Variance = Low RTP = Worse

Slots with low volatility tend to feature small wins that appear regularly. They usually have high RTP percentages and are better for the player. Games with large swings offer big wins but few and far between. These slots typically have lower RTP rates and are worse for the player.

What is a Good RTP?

In general terms, an RTP of 95% or higher is considered good. Anything above 92% is great, while slots that dip below 80% should be avoided at all costs. Online slot games often come with RTP rates exceeding 95%, which is better than land-based alternatives.

It's important to remember that the higher the RTP, the more profitable the game should be. Of course, other factors come into play when actually playing a slot, so don't think that you will make money as long as you play a high RTP game. Luck will always play a role, and bankroll management is vital if you hope to increase your chances of winning cash.

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Who Sets RTP Rates?

Game developers create slots but it's the individual states/jurisdictions/countries that set the RTP rates. The provider simply has to ensure that their game meets the legal requirements before gaining certification to operate in a certain market. Each region has its own rules when it comes to slot volatility.

For instance, a developer creating a slot game for America and Europe will have two slightly different versions. Both games will meet the local regulations, but the European variant might have an increased RTP percentage to appeal to that market.

Where is RTP Located on a Slot Machine?

The RTP for each game can generally be found on the casino or gaming provider's website. If you're playing online, there should also be a badge of audit safety that you can click on inl to access all sorts of information regarding the game.

It's worth noting that RTP is set for each jurisdiction/state/country, so operators are required to publish this information. Failure to do so would mean they are hiding the fact that some of their games have very poor RTP percentages.

Of course, websites can omit this information if they are illegally offering games that haven't been certified. This is why it's so important to only play at licensed and regulated casinos – the relevant authority carries out regular checks to ensure everything is above board.

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How to Find Slots with Best RTP Percentage

All online casinos have slots with high RTP. The trick is knowing which ones to choose! Here are four top tips to help you find games with strong return to player percentages:

  1. Do your homework - Before joining a gaming site, search its library for a specific game with a known high RTP. If the operator doesn't have said game, there's little chance it has a strong selection when it comes to RTP percentages. However, most top sites have plenty of titles with solid RTP rates, giving you lots of choice.
  2. Use online databases - There are various online resources that allow users to search games by RTP percentage. You can even filter results to show the best performing options. We highly recommend using these tools in conjunction with trusted casino sites.
  3. Read the game info - All good online slots should contain a lot of useful information. This usually takes the form of a question and answer section or help/info button. Check out the game info to see if the title boasts a high RTP. If it doesn't fit your criteria, move on and find one that does.
  4. Look beyond RTP - While RTP is obviously very important, it’s not the only factor to consider. Other features to look out for include high volatility, multiple bonus features, free spins, low minimum deposit amounts, and demo modes.
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Common RTP Mistakes to Avoid

Even the most seasoned slot players can fall into these traps from time to time. So if you don't want to find yourself comparing RTA to RTP and wondering why you're not making money, read this section carefully:

  1.  only looks at the RTP percentage and ignores variance. As covered above, it’s important to consider both elements when choosing a slot. Low volatility equals small wins but more frequent payments, while high variability offers larger wins but fewer and further between.
  2. Thinking RTP applies on a per-spin basis. Never forget that RTP is a calculated percentage over thousands of spins. There are simply too many variables on a per-spin basis for you to definitely win a certain percentage of your stake.
  3. Believing RTP is the only statistic that matters. It’s important, but other factors come into play when choosing a slot. Features such as wild symbols, scatter pays, multipliers, bonus games, and free spins rounds can greatly enhance your chances of winning cash. Always check the paytable before discounting a game with a seemingly low RTP.
  4. Assuming old slots have poor RTP percentages. Some classic titles from the early days of online gambling may not have advanced visuals or features, but that doesn't mean they don't have strong RTP rates. Indeed, many older slots offer generous returns.
  5. Ignoring the RTP of progressive jackpot slots. Some progressive games can offer returns in excess of 95%, especially if the jackpot has yet to be won. Of course, a growing pot means the base game RTP will be lower. You can generally find details of the RTP/RAA when the jackpot is over a certain amount (this varies from game to game.) Otherwise, the slot will combine popular jackpot networks where you can find the RTP at each online casino.

How to Improve Your Chances of Winning

You can improve your odds of winning by following these simple tips:

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  1. Look for slots with high RTP and low variance – This formula will give you lots of wins during your session. Granted, your balance won’t grow massively with each spin, but it should not go down too much either.
  2. Set a budget and stick to it – Bankroll management is essential if you hope to be a successful slots player. Work out how much money you can afford to lose and divide it into units. For example, if you have $200, you could break it down in to 20 units of $10. This will stop you chasing losses and going bust.
  3. Take advantage of bonus spins – Free spins are a great way to enjoy a slot without risking your own cash. You can win real money when playing bonus spins, allowing you to boost your balance. Be sure to check the wagering requirements before accepting a bonus.
  4. Play maximum coins – If you're playing to win a progressive jackpot, you must play maximum coins. This will only be affordable if you take advantage of casino bonuses, such as welcome packages and reload bonuses.
  5. Choose games with a high RTP and lots of bonus features – The more opportunities you have to win, the more likely you are to make a profit.
  6. Use the demo mode version of a slot - Before you start spinning for real money, play the demo mode game and log as many spins as possible. This will give you a good idea of how the features work and whether the slot is right for you.

Popular Slot Providers and Their Average RTP

There are hundreds of gaming providers in the world, but just six standout when it comes to the number of top slots available online. In this section, we will look at three leading developers from around the world and three top European studios.

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Top 3 US Slot Developers and Their RTPs

Every US slot developer mentioned below holds several state licenses. All RTP data is taken from, which only lists audited and verified data.

IGT RTP Review

IGT (WLA) is one of the world's largest slots developers. It holds licenses in more than 100 countries, and its games can be found in every continent aside from Antarctica.

The company offers a broad range of titles, including classic slots, themed games and titles linked to progressive jackpots. Overall, the RTP rates for IGT slots are pretty healthy and sit somewhere between 92-96%. Some of its highest RTP games are MegaJackpots Cleopatra (96.01%) and Family Guy (95.97%).

Bally RTP Review

Bally is famous for its land-based slots, but the firm has shifted gears in recent years and now offers a host of online titles. The best RTP Bally Tech slots are Buffalo Moon (96.01%), Hot Shot Progressive (96%), and Blazing 7’s (95.4 RTP).


SHFL focuses on physical slots, but the company has transferred some land-based games to the online realm. The returns for SHFL’s digital titles are pretty average, with an RTP averaging 93-95%. The best RTP SHFFL slots are Duck Dynasty (95.01%) and Wonder 4 (95%).

Top 3 Global Slot Studios and Their RTPs

These three companies supply regulated gaming sites around the world. Again, all RTP figures are taken from Payout Report Cards.

NetEnt RTP Review

NetEnt creates immersive video slots that boast detailed graphics and sound effects. Blood Suckers leads the way in terms of RTP, with a return of 98%. Other top options include Guns N’ Roses (96.06%), Motörhead (96.00%) and Deuces Wild Multihand (96.00%).

Play’n GO RTP Review

Play’n GO offers a variety of slots, from classic titles to innovative games with unique features. The provider’s best RTP offering is Gift Rap (96.42%), while Book of Dead (96.21% RTP), Sea Hunter (96.20%), Sticky Joker (96.18%) and Legacy of Egypt (96.18%) are not too far behind.

Yggdrasil RTP Review

Yggdrasil specializes in visually stunning video slots. The provider offers a range of titles with varying RTP percentages. The lowest returns come in at 94.65%, whilst the best option is Vikings Go Berzerk (96.00% RTP), which also features free spins and other fun features.

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European Slot Developers with Greatest RTP

Europe is home to dozens of great iGaming developers. The table below covers three leading firms and three up-and-coming studios.

Novomatic/Astra Games RTP Review

Novomatic is an Austrian gaming giant that owns several development studios, including Astra Games. Book of Ra stands as the best RTP Novomatic slot (95.92-96.00%), just shading Lucky Lady’s Charm Deluxe (95.32-95.35%). Reel King OMG! (96.19-96.22%) isn’t too far behind.

EGT Interactive RTP Review

Euro Games Technology (EGT) was founded in 2002 and has since gone onto become one of Eastern Europe’s largest suppliers of gaming products. The company’s best RTP offering is 100 Super Hot (96.01%), just pipping 40 Super Hot (95.84% RTP). Other solid choices include Flaming Hot (95.1%) and Burning hot (95.04%).

Playson RTP Review

Playson creates slots for the global market. Their best RTP offering is Buffalo Hunters Dropping Symbles (96.15%), just ahead of SE Riga (96.11%). Vikings Fortune: From Asgard (95.98%) isn’t far behind.

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Up-and-Coming European Slot Game Developers

This section covers three rising stars in the European gaming development scene.

Relax Gaming Group RTP Review

Finland’s Relax Gaming Group was founded in 2010. The provider offers a range of slots based on ancient myths and legends. The highest RTP Relax Gaming slots are Twisted Tales - Little Red (98.00%), Snake Arena (97.74%), Tofta Fair (97.71%), Erik the Red (97.60%), and Midas Golden Touch (97.50%).

Push Gaming RTP Review

Push Gaming produces mobile-friendly slots full of interactive features. The Tiny Rebels Slots boasts an impressive RTP of 97.00%. Other strong options include Blaze of Ra (97%), Wild Swarm (97%), Feather (96.50%), Night Out (96.50%), and Hockey League (96.40%).

Yggdrasil Gaming RTP Review

Yggdrasil was founded in 2013 and has since created hundreds of slots for leading gaming sites across Europe. The provider’s best RTP offering is Vikings Go Berzerk (96.00%), just edging Baron Samedi™ Brewing Free Spins (96.00%), Chicken Magnet (96.00%), Holy Diver (96.00%), and Seasons (96.00%).

Are There Slots with 100% RTP?

Some players believe that certain slots offer 100% RTP, but this is impossible. Think about it logically – if a slot offered a 100% return, everyone would win back double their money. The industry wouldn’t survive for long if that was the case!

As we’ve covered elsewhere in this guide, RTP represents the amount of money that goes back to players over a long period of time. It does not apply to individual sessions. Even the best online slots RTP cannot offer 100% returns.

So, what is the highest RTP on slots? That depends on what a slot contributes to its jackpot network. If a title feeds 98% into the communal prize pool, and just 2% stays with the operator, it would not be unreasonable to suggest that the base game RTP percentage hovers around 96%. Meanwhile, the jackpot network RTP rate would be closer to 98%.

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It’s also worth noting that an online slot’s RTP can differ depending on where you play. This is because each jurisdiction has its own rules and regulations surrounding gaming products. 

By Type

The best RTP slots vary depending on the genre you enjoy playing. The table shows the top RTP percentages for different types of online slots.


What does RTP mean in slots?

Is slot RTP calculatable per spin?

What is a good slot RTP percentage?

Can I find slots with highest RTP at any casino?

Which online slot has the highest RTP?

Does RTP change at different stake levels?

Does RTP apply to free spins?

Should I prioritize RTP over other factors?

Do all casinos offer slots with same RTP percentages?

Can RTP affect my chances of winning?

What is the relationship between RTP and variance?