Return-to-Player Percentage

  • May 9, 2021

The “return to player percentage,” or RTP for short, refers to the amount a player might expect to “win,” or at least retrieve from the game, the more wagers (s)he places.

Most slot games, including land-based and online slots, publish their RTP. Never expect that number to exceed 100%. If it did, the house would lose money on that game, and the house would never field a game like that on a casino floor. They’re in it to make money, which makes sense. You have to admire them for publicly announcing how much money you are likely to lose.

Here’s how RTP works—if a slot game publishes an RTP of 90%, that means that for every $1 you bet, you are likely to take $0.90 home once your gaming situs judi gameplay session is over. If you bet $100 total, the most likely outcome is for you to take home $90.

Of course, the more bets you place, the more likely your return is to approach this total. If you bet $100 on one spin, you’re actually not too likely to take home $90 on a 90% RTP game. In this scenario, you have a small chance of winning a very large payout … and a high chance of losing every dime of that $100, since you’re betting it on one spin.

On the contrary, if you bet $1 on 100 spins, rather than $100 on one spin, you are much more likely to walk away with the $90 indicated by the 90% RTP. You will lose many of your bets, and multiply your money on a few of the bets. If you bet that $100 in 10,000 one-penny increments, you are even more likely to have your “winnings” approach -10%.

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Of course, you could always get lucky with an early win and wind up with more coins in your bankroll than you started with. Some players consider it wise to walk away from the slot machine when they run into this circumstance—known as ”quitting while you’re ahead,” in other words. Due to that 90% RTP, successive wins are very unlikely. You are more likely to lose enough bets to erase your winnings and pull you closer to that RTP of 90%.

House Edge

The “house edge” is the difference between the RTP percentage and 100%. For example, if a slot game has an RTP of 90%, the house edge is 10%.

The house edge is the reason why games of chance are so unpredictable for the player … and such a predictably good bet for the casino. Any one player can end up ahead at any time—at least temporarily.

What makes the casino business profitable is the fact that, despite the potential for a handful of players to win, or even to win big, the casino will get its 10% over the course of every spin made by every player on that machine.

Progressive Slots

Many slots games offer a fixed jackpot—a substantial payout that players have a small chance of winning, usually if they make the max bet.

A “progressive slots” game, by contrast, functions more like a state lottery. The more bets are made on a progressive slots game, the higher the jackpot grows. Progressive slot jackpots can get huge indeed, accruing into the hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars.

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Of course, the house doesn’t apply every dime of the bets to the progressive jackpot. It keeps a percentage—sometimes a large percentage—of each bet for itself, as part of its “house edge.”

Progressive slots come in three varieties:

  • Standalone Progressives. The first progressive slots were all “standalone progressives.” Only bets made on that specific slot machine fed the jackpot. Standalone progressive slots are uncommon today and typically feature a jackpot below $10,000.
  • Local Progressives. The “local” in local progressives refers to the whole casino. A casino may link all of its progressive slots so that every bet made in one of the linked machines feeds into the progressive jackpot. There will be fewer winners, but the jackpot will be bigger. Usually the jackpot is under $100,000, and almost always under $1 million.
  • Wide Area Network Progressives. Everyone loves a wide area network progressive slot. Bets from slot machines in multiple locations throughout the state feed into the jackpot. Jackpots can exceed $1 million or even tip the scales at $10 million or more. The most popular wide area network progressive slot game is the Megabucks slot produced by IGT.

Reels 

Most people can conjure in their minds an image of a slot machine, with three-to-five vertical rows of symbols that spin and (hopefully) align into a payline.

Each of those spinning vertical rows is called a “reel.” Most modern digital and mechanical slot machines have five reels.

While the first slot machines had five reels decorated with playing card symbols, the most popular early mechanical slot machines featured three reels. These machines are sometimes referred to as “three-reel classics.” You can still find three-reel classics in land-based and online casinos, either in digital reproductions or, occasionally, a classic machine.

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These machines typically paid out only on a single payline or a perfect alignment of three identical symbols (fruit icons, in the most classic iteration).

Regardless, it is typically easier to achieve a win on a three-reel classic, because the two extra reels in a modern five-reel machine create exponentially more potential winning combinations, despite a modest increase in the number of paylines. Players could bet between one and three coins.

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