What Is Return To Player (RTP)

What Is Return To Player (RTP) & How Does It Work?

If you’ve ever visited an online casino or any gambling site which offers roulette, slot games and other casino games, you’ve likely come across the term Return to Player (or RTP).

As one of the most common terms in the gambling world, casino RTP is also a piece of important information for online gambling, which in a nutshell, shows how much money you can expect to lose playing the same slot or game over a long period of time.

But what exactly is Return to Player, how to calculate it, what is RTP in slots, and how to understand it? This article has all the answers you need and more!

What Does RTP (Return To Player) Mean?

Return to Player (RTP) is a gambling term used in online casinos and gambling casino games to describe the percentage of money or prizes that will be returned to the player depending on the money used during the game. In other words, RTP is another way to show the house edge in percentage.

It is written as a percentage (96% RTP) which effectively shows what percentage of money slot machines or any other online casino game will pay back to the player over a long period of time.

Slots RTP

Any online casino which offers casino games or even real-world slot machines will have a certain RTP, often displayed by the casino next to the game. By law, the RTP must be visible, but while some online casinos make it very evident how much RTP their slot machines have, others have it written under the online slots’ information.

The UK Gambling Commission dictates that all casinos have to give players access to RTP to inform them of the risks involved in gambling since the RTP effectively shows the house edge percentage. For example, a slot machine with a 98% RTP has a 2% house edge, while a 96% RTP slot machine has a 4% house edge.

Unsurprisingly, there is no such thing as a slot machine or casino game with a 100% (or higher) RTP, granted there are online slot machines with a 99% RTP.

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How To Calculate RTP?

Calculating RTP is pretty simple and much more straightforward than how it may sound. As already established, RTP is a percentage of money online slots, or any other casino game will pay back to the player over a long period of time.

It’s important to note that this number is not calculated by the actual money that the casino game paid back to the players and its history. Instead, it’s replicated by algorithms that spin the slots or play rounds thousands of times over a very short period, replicating what gamblers will experience casino gaming for a long time.

To calculate RTP, you have to follow a simple formula.

To get the actual RTP, you have to divide the win and turnover numbers generated from a game. But this is much easier to explain with an example.

For example, if you’re playing slots at online casinos with a 91.86% RTP and spend 1200€ playing it, you can expect – over a long period – to get back 1012.32€.

So to calculate how much money you can expect to get back from any slot machine or casino games, you have to take casino RTP and multiply it with the deposited money. In this example, 0.9186 x 1200€ = 1012.32€

Expected Return Formula

RTP x deposited money = expected return

To calculate the RTP of slot machines or any other game offered by online casinos, you just have to turn the formula around.

RTP Formula

Deposited Money/Return = RTP

Where Is RTP Used?

Return to player is most relevant in casino slots and various online casino games. The higher the RTP a slot game or any other game has, the better it is. However, the game’s RTP is still nothing more than a figure that shows how much money you can expect to lose over a long period.

It’s no secret that playing slots will lose you money, regardless of how high the slots games’ RTP is, so as much as we can chase the best game’s RTP, it’ll always include house edge.

But RTP is important for anyone who enjoys casino gambling, as it’s relevant to any slot game and applies to roulette, blackjack and other land-based and online casino games.

RTP In Roulette

Compared to most online casino games, Roulette has the best RTP (besides craps and blackjack). As the ultimate game of chance, roulette comes with many betting options, and while some wagers pay out more than others, all possible wagers you can make in a roulette game have the same RTP.

RTP In Roulette

But if you’re at a land-based or online casino to play roulette, it’s important to know that the RTP will be different depending on whether you’re playing European Roulette or American Roulette.

Both American and European roulette feature two types of games – even money and bets on the main layout. And even though all games have the same RTP, American Roulette has a lower RTP due to its double zero wheel.


European Roulette

Even though slot machines, roulette, blackjack, any other casino games, and anything related to gambling are nearly synonymous with Las Vegas, European Roulette wheels have a much higher RTP than those promoted in Sin City.

While European Roulette has a 97.30% RTP, American Roulette has a 94.74% RTP. That’s a 2.56% difference, which may not seem a lot, but when we talk about making back money, 2.6% is a huge number.

  • RTP: 97.30%
    House Edge: 2.56%

American Roulette

As noted, American Roulette games have a 2.56% lower RTP than European Roulettes, mainly because there is an additional, double-zero pocket.

This alone nearly doubles the house edge in American Roulette compared to European Roulette – from 2.7% in the European version to 5.26% in American Roulette.

RTP figures are just theoretical numbers and calculations that show what the average player’s experience will look like over a long period of time. But the math here is not wrong – you stand to lose more playing in Las Vegas than in Monaco.

  • RTP: 94.74%
    House Edge: 5.26%

Return on Investment (ROI) vs Return to Player (RTP)

Whether we’re talking about betting, playing slot machines or any other casino games, the two main terms that will be repeatedly used are ROI (Return on Investment) and RTP (Return to Player). Although they might sound similar, ROI and RTP are entirely different.

ROI, or Return on Investment, is an indicator used to evaluate the efficiency of the investment. It measures the return on a particular investment relative to the investment cost or the amount of money you can expect to earn relative to the amount of money wagered or used in slot machines.

To calculate ROI, you divide the return by the cost of the investment. Then, the result is expressed as a percentage or a ratio between the return and cost.

ROI = (Net profit/Cost of Investment) x 100
ROI = ((Present value – the cost of investment) / cost of investment) x 100

So if you enter an online casino with €1000 and play slot machines until you’re left with €1100, the ROI would be 10%.

ROI is not directly related to RTP but is rather a measure of the success of your investment, which in this case (talking about casino games) is the amount of money you started gambling with. On the other hand, RTP shows the return a player can expect to get playing any particular game over a long period of time.

So even if you play slot machines with a 95% RTP, you can end up with 200% ROI if you get lucky enough for the slot game to pay you out – or you could reach ROI in thousands if you hit any of the progressive jackpots.


What Is RTP?

RTP is a term used in gambling and online casino slots to show the percentage of the money you can expect to get back from the slot over a long period of time. A 99% RTP would indicate that you will, over a long time, get 99% of your initial money back.

What is the highest RTP in slot games?

Although most slots have an RTP of around 95%, some of the best online slots have RTP as high as 99%; however, none will offer an RTP of 100% or higher.

How Is Return To Player Calculated?

Return to player is calculated by calculating the ratio between the money paid (in total) and the money the slot or any casino game paid back – dividing the deposited money by money paid back.

What Does 95% RTP Mean?

A slot with a 95% RTP (return to player) will pay back 95% of deposited money over a long period of time. So for every €1 you bet, you can expect to get back 0.95€.