How Game Features Contribute to RTP

Daniel White

Last updated 14.12.2023

How game features contribute to RTP

The Return to Player (RTP) is a core element in online casino gaming, particularly in slot games. It represents a theoretical estimation of the winning potential for players over time.

A higher RTP indicates a greater likelihood of winning, while a lower RTP suggests reduced chances of winning. Slot games with an RTP under 94% are generally considered unfavorable to gamblers.

RTP calculation involves dividing the amount returned to players by the total bet amount, and while it provides a theoretical guide, it does not guarantee individual game outcomes due to the inherent variability in each game.

RTP Ranges and Game Types

Game TypeTypical RTP RangeNotes on Variability
Slot Machines94% – 99.32%RTP varies widely among slots, with some offering exceptionally high RTPs, like “Goblin’s Cave” at 99.32%.
Blackjack99.5% – 99.92%The RTP can increase with strategy and favorable game rules. For example, “Blackjack Switch” has an RTP of 99.92%.
Roulette94.74% – 98.65%European Roulette typically offers an RTP of 97.3%, while the American version is lower at 94.74% due to an additional double zero. French Roulette can have an RTP as high as 98.65%.
Baccarat98.76% – 98.99%Variants like Baccarat Pro have an RTP of 98.96%. The RTP can vary slightly depending on specific game rules.
Poker Variants97.14% – 100%Games like Deuces Wild Poker can reach up to 100% RTP, while others like Pai Gow Poker range between 97.14% and 99.31%.
Craps and Sic Bo84.00% – 99.15%Craps can range significantly in RTP, depending on the type of bet placed. Sic Bo offers an RTP between 95.50% and 97.30%.

Game Design and RTP

The design of a game is a fundamental factor influencing its RTP. Developers use complex mathematical models and algorithms to create slots with varying payout ratios, considering elements like reels, paylines, symbols, and bonus features.

Mathematics and statistics play a foundational role in establishing RTP, as developers use statistical models to determine the frequency of specific events occurring in the game.

The popularity of a game can also influence its RTP, with developers potentially adjusting a game’s returns based on its popularity and overall player revenue.

Influence of Game Design on RTP

This table succinctly outlines the impact of various game design elements like reels, paylines, and different symbols on the RTP of slot games, providing a clear and quick reference.

Design ElementImpact on RTPExample Games
Wild SymbolsCan increase RTP.Slots with various wild types
Scatter SymbolsTrigger bonus features, may increase RTP.Slots with scatter bonuses
Bonus SymbolsActivate special features, potentially enhancing RTP.Slots with interactive bonuses
Bonus RoundsOften have higher RTP, varies with game design.Slots with frequent bonus rounds

Game Features Impacting RTP

Several game features significantly influence RTP. For example, bonus rounds, free spins, and other special features can enhance the overall RTP of slot games.

These features provide additional opportunities for players to win, potentially increasing the game’s overall payout percentage. The presence of such features is a key consideration in assessing a game’s RTP.

Comparison of RTP in Popular Slot Games

This table showcases a range of popular slot games along with their respective developers and RTP percentages, providing a clear comparison for readers interested in understanding the payout potential of these games

Slot GameSlot DeveloperRTP
Ugga BuggaPlaytech99.07%
OOH AAH DraculaBarcrest & SG Gaming99%
Mega JokerNetEnt99%
Jackpot 6000NetEnt98.8%
The CatfatherPragmatic Play98.10%
Rainbow Riches Pick N MixBarcrest & SG Gaming98%
Blood SuckersNetEnt98%
JokerizerYggdrasil Gaming98%
StarmaniaNextGen Gaming97.87%
White Rabbit MegawaysBig Time Gaming97.77%

The Volatility in RTP

Volatility, also known as variance, complements RTP by providing insights into the gaming experience’s short-term fluctuations and win frequency.

Low-volatility games offer more frequent but smaller wins, ideal for players seeking a steady gaming experience. High-volatility games may offer fewer but larger wins, appealing to players seeking substantial payouts.

The balance between RTP and volatility is key in selecting casino games that align with a player’s risk tolerance and gameplay preferences.

RTP and Volatility

Slot GameRTPVolatility Level
Gonzo’s Quest96.00%Medium
Book of Dead96.21%High
Mega Moolah88.12%High
Blood Suckers98%Low
Dead or Alive 296.82%High
Thunderstruck II96.65%Medium
Immortal Romance96.86%Medium-High
Rainbow Riches95%Medium
Bonanza Megaways96%High

RTP is a fundamental metric in online casino gaming, significantly influenced by game design, features, and volatility.

Understanding how these elements interact provides players with a clearer picture of their winning chances and helps them make better betting decisions when selecting games.

Players need to consider not only the RTP but also the game’s volatility and specific features to tailor their gaming experience to their preferences and risk tolerance.

Defining RTP in Casino Games

Return to Player (RTP) is a fundamental metric in casino gaming, particularly in online slots. It denotes the percentage of the total bet amount that a player can expect to be returned over time.

RTP is a statistical average, not a guarantee for each game session. For example, a slot game with a 94% RTP implies that for every $100 wagered, the player can anticipate a return of $94 on average.

This percentage is a theoretical calculation, serving as an indicator of a game’s long-term payout potential. It’s important to note that actual gaming experiences can vary widely from this theoretical average.

The Theoretical and Calculable Nature of RTP

RTP is a theoretical concept, representing an average derived from extensive simulations and calculations. Regulated online casinos ensure their games’ performance RTP closely aligns with the theoretical RTP.

This is verified through rigorous testing and auditing processes, with a permissible margin of error established to maintain fairness and transparency. The performance RTP should match the theoretical RTP within a margin of error of 1.09760% or less after a million plays.

This rigorous standard ensures that players can trust the RTP as a reliable indicator of a game’s payout propensity over time.

The Significance of RTP from a Player’s Perspective

From a player’s standpoint, choosing games with a high RTP is a strategic approach to enhance the likelihood of favorable outcomes.

Games with higher RTP percentages generally offer better chances of winning in the long run. For example, Single Deck Blackjack, when played with a basic strategy, offers an RTP of around 99.5%.

Players must understand each game’s rules and nuances, as they can significantly impact the RTP. The objective for players is to select games with high RTPs, which increases their chances of accumulating winnings over time.

Defining RTP in casino games

Game Features That Influence RTP

This table highlights the relationship between specific game features and their potential impact on a game’s RTP. Each feature, from free spins to cascading reels, contributes in its own way to the overall likelihood of a player achieving a return in the game.

Game FeatureImpact on RTPExample Games
Free SpinsOften increases RTP due to additional win opportunities without extra betsStarburst, Gonzo’s Quest
MultipliersCan increase RTP by boosting payout valuesMega Moolah, Cleopatra
Bonus RoundsTypically enhances RTP through extra winning scenariosBook of Dead, Immortal Romance
Progressive JackpotsMay lower RTP due to infrequent but large payoutsMega Fortune, Arabian Nights
Wild SymbolsCan improve RTP by substituting for winning combinationsDead or Alive, Thunderstruck II
Scatter SymbolsTrigger bonus games or free spins, potentially increasing RTPBonanza, Rainbow Riches
Expanding SymbolsIncrease winning combinations, potentially boosting RTPBook of Ra, Merlin’s Millions
Sticky Symbols/Re-SpinsEnhances RTP by holding winning symbols in place for re-spinsSticky Bandits, Fishin’ Frenzy
Cascading/Tumbling ReelsCan lead to multiple wins from a single spin, increasing RTPGonzo’s Quest, Reactoonz
Pay Both WaysImproves RTP by awarding wins for symbol combinations from both directionsStarburst, The Invisible Man

Note: It’s important to note that while these features can influence RTP, they do not guarantee wins, as the outcome of casino games is still largely dependent on chance.

Impact of Paylines on RTP

Paylines are a core feature in online slots, determining the patterns on the reels that lead to wins.

Contrary to common perception, the number of paylines, whether fixed or adjustable, does not directly influence the game’s RTP (Return to Player). The RTP remains constant regardless of how many paylines are active.

While the number of active paylines can increase the likelihood of hitting a winning combination, it also raises the cost per spin proportionally, leaving the return on investment (ROI) unchanged. The player’s decision to adjust paylines does not affect the overall RTP of the slot game.

Bonus Features in Enhancing RTP

Bonus features in slot games, such as bonus rounds, free spins, and multipliers, play a significant role in influencing the game’s RTP.

These features offer additional opportunities for players to win, potentially boosting the game’s overall payout percentage. For example, a game with bonus rounds or free spins allows players to achieve wins without placing additional bets, which can positively impact the overall RTP.

These features enhance the player experience by offering extra chances to accumulate winnings, making the game more attractive and potentially more lucrative.

Influence of Multipliers on RTP

Multipliers are another game feature that can significantly affect the payout dynamics of a slot game. They work by multiplying winnings either per line or during the whole bonus round.

While multipliers increase the potential payout for a player, it’s essential to note that they do not directly correlate with the RTP. Slots with high multipliers can have varied RTPs.

Multipliers can impact the game’s volatility and hit frequency. Higher multipliers generally result in lower hit frequencies, as the game must compensate for the potential of large payouts.

Understanding the type and application of multipliers is very important for players to assess the risk and reward dynamics of a slot game.

RTP in Action: Examples

Example 1: Roulette and RTP

In roulette, RTP (Return to Player) is largely influenced by the game’s structure. Consider European Roulette, where all bets have an RTP of 97.3%. This figure arises from the existence of a single zero pocket, which gives the house a 2.7% advantage.

In American Roulette, the addition of a double zero pocket doubles the house edge to 5.4%, making the game less favorable for players. For example, betting on Red or Black seems like a 50/50 chance, but due to the green zero pocket, the actual probability is around 48.60%.

Over 1000 rounds betting on Red, a player would statistically win 486 times, with the remainder being losses or landing on Green (the zero pocket), which favors the house.

This example illustrates how the game design and the number of zero pockets directly affect the RTP, influencing player returns over time.

Example 2: Blackjack and RTP

Blackjack, a more complex game than roulette, has its RTP significantly influenced by game rules and payouts.

The house advantage arises from factors such as the dealer revealing only one card and the possibility of players busting before the dealer draws.

RTP is maximized by favorable rules, such as the dealer standing on soft 17, better blackjack payout ratios (2:3 instead of 6:5), the option to surrender, and fewer decks in play.

With optimal rules and strategy, top blackjack tables can have an RTP exceeding 99.5%. Achieving this high RTP requires adherence to basic blackjack strategy and understanding the specific rules and variants of the game being played.

Example 3: Baccarat and RTP

In baccarat, the Banker bet typically offers a higher chance of winning due to the Third Card rule, which generally favors the Banker.

Despite this, all Banker bets include a 5% commission, balancing the odds in favor of the house. The Banker bet has an RTP of 98.94%, slightly higher than the Player bet’s 98.76%.

In No Commission Baccarat variants, other rules are introduced to compensate for the absence of this commission. Tie bets in baccarat are generally disadvantageous, often offering below 90% RTP, illustrating how different bets within the same game can vary significantly in terms of player return.

These real-world examples demonstrate the practical impact of RTP on different casino games. They reveal how game rules, structure, and player choices can significantly influence the overall return to the player, highlighting the importance of understanding RTP for informed gaming strategies.

RTP in Table Games

This table offers a snapshot of how RTP differs across bet types, helping players understand the potential return from different betting strategies in these games.

GameBet TypeRTP
RouletteSingle Number (European)97.3%
RouletteSingle Number (American)94.74%
RouletteRed/Black (European)97.3%
RouletteRed/Black (American)94.74%
BlackjackClassic (Best Rules)99.5%
BlackjackClassic (Average Rules)99%
BaccaratBanker Bet98.94%
BaccaratPlayer Bet98.76%
BaccaratTie Bet85%-90%
BlackjackInsurance Bet92%
BlackjackPerfect Pairs95.9%

Note: This table uses hypothetical or average data to illustrate the RTP for various bets in these table games. The RTP can vary based on specific game rules, casino policies, and game variants.

Reflections on RTP and Game Features

It is evident that game features collectively exert a substantial influence on Return to Player (RTP).

The integration of elements such as paylines, bonus rounds, and multipliers, while individually impactful, contributes collectively to the overall RTP of a game. This interconnectedness underscores the complexity and strategic depth of casino gaming.

The Imperative of Understanding RTP

For players, a comprehensive understanding of RTP is not merely academic but a practical necessity.

RTP offers a theoretical guide to potential returns over time, informing player decisions and strategies.

Recognizing how game features interact to shape RTP empowers players to make informed gaming choices, enhancing their experience and potential success in casino games.

Understanding RTP is imperative for players as it guides their choices and strategies, enhancing their potential for success in casino gaming.

Daniel White

Daniel White, based in London, UK, serves as the dynamic Editor-in-Chief at With a sharp eye for detail and a deep understanding of the online casino industry, Daniel specializes in RTP analytics and player-focused content. His leadership has transformed the site into a go-to resource for players seeking the most rewarding online gaming experiences in Europe and beyond.