Looking to make the most out of your game of slots and extend your bankroll to its maximum potential? There is a way of doing that, and it’s by understanding and utilising RTP, Return To Player, percentage.
What Is It?
In simple terms, RTP is the calculated percentage of total wins a slots game will pay out in comparison to the overall stakes that are wagered. In other words, it’s a method particular to slots for showing the odds and payout of the game. This is to provide some transparency to slots games, which are legally obliged to have their RTP clearly displayed for players to examine.
Usually, it can be found in the help or info section of the slots game.
How Is It Measured?
RTP is generally measured for a game over many thousands of spins. The overall number of wins and wagers is then calculated into an average percentage. This percentage is meant to represent the average amount that a player can expect in return for each wager, over time.
This is where much of the misunderstanding of RTP comes in. RTP is an average and doesn’t necessarily represent that you might receive in a single game or session.
Also, though RTP generally remains constant for games across all casino sites, some games are made to be adjustable by the casino, and so it should always be checked.
To gain a better idea of whether a slots game, and its RTP, is worthwhile though, one should learn to calculate the “Expected Value”.
Calculating Expected Value
Basically EV, expected value, is the anticipated value for an investment after calculations.
The basic equation for calculating EV in slots is as follows:
EV = Bonus – (Wager x House Edge)
To complete this equation, we need to know:
- The bonus amount
- The overall amount that will be wagered
- The RTP of the game
Where RTP represents an average percentage of wins over time, “house edge” represents the average percentage of loss to the casino. E.g. If the RTP is 98.3%, the house edge would therefore be 1.7%.
If the resulting EV is a negative number, that will be the amount you can expect to lose, and therefore the slots game is not worth playing. If it’s a positive number though, then the odds are in your favour.
Don’t worry, there are many slots EV calculators available online if you don’t have the time, energy, or math skill to calculate it yourself. There are also sites that provide the calculations for popular slots games for you, freeing you from having to do any calculations at all.
While the above generally indicates that a higher RTP percentage is preferable, there are some exceptions were playing with a lower RTP can potentially also have advantages. Progressive jackpots are one instance of this. Because of their higher risk for casinos to lose money, progressive jackpots are generally used in games with lower expected wins. If one is lucky enough to hit this jackpot though, the payout can be astronomically huge!