When playing real money casino games, which options give us the best chance of winning? One important measure to look for when choosing games is the Return to Player (RTP) percentage. RTP reveals valuable information about how much a game pays back over many plays. Understanding this concept allows you to make informed choices that optimize your chances for success. I
Defining return to player (RTP)
Return to Player, sometimes known as theoretical payout percentage, indicates how much a casino game is expected to pay back to players over a long period. Expressed as a percentage, RTP tells you the average amount you can expect to win relative to how much you wager over thousands or millions of gameplay sessions. For example, a slot with an RTP of 95% will on average pay out $0.95 for every $1.00 staked on the game. It does NOT mean it pays back 95% on each spin, but rather over the lifespan of the game it returns 95% of money wagered to players in winnings. The higher the RTP, the more the game returns to players over time.
RTP ranges across casino games
RTP percentages vary quite a bit across different casino game genres and titles. Here are the typical ranges you’ll see:
- Slots – 85% to 99%
- Blackjack – 99% to 100%
- Roulette – 94% to 97%
- Video Poker – 96% to 100%
- Craps – 98% to 100%
- Baccarat – 98% to 100%
As you can see, certain games best online casinos sa like blackjack and craps when played properly give you an RTP exceeding 99%. This means you can gain a slight mathematical edge over the house. Compare that to slots where the house advantage is more significant at 5% to 15% on average.
RTP when choosing games
Savvy players consult RTP percentages when deciding which casino games to play. All things being equal, you want to play games with a higher return to maximize your wins. Here are some key ways RTP can guide your choices:
- Compare RTP on slot titles – Slot volatility, themes, and features might catch your eye. But make sure to check their RTP first. Favor slots with 96% or higher over lower-paying games.
- Seek full-pay video poker – Jacks or better pays more at 99.5% RTP than Deuces Wild at 97.3%. Identify and play full-pay video poker for the best odds.
- Evaluate side bets – Many table games tempt you with exciting side bets. Make sure their RTP justifies the risk before placing them.
RTP and volatility work together
One mistake some players make is only looking at RTP and ignoring volatility. RTP reveals your odds over time while volatility indicates short-term risk. Low-volatility games land smaller wins more frequently. High volatility offers bigger wins less often, with more risk. Ideally, you want games with both solid RTP and your preferred volatility. A boring low volatility slot at 95% RTP might seem better than a thrilling high volatility game at 94% on paper.
RTP and you’re gambling habits
Online gambling habits also impact how RTP translates to actual results. Playing faster with more spins equals more long-run results matching RTP calculations. But if you play slowly over fewer sessions, natural variance can result in returns varying widely from the expected RTP. Consistency also matters. A slot with 97% RTP will benefit you more than a 99% RTP game if you find its theme and features more engaging and continue playing it for hours. Don’t obsess solely over RTP – find games you genuinely enjoy as that keeps you playing longer. Finally, realize RTP assumes perfect mathematical play. Make mistakes on blackjack basic strategy or video poker and the actual return drops. So learn optimal play to realize the full RTP percentages.