What is RTP and how does it work?

Every regular online slot machine you encounter at Bitcoin casino sites is going to display its RTP in one way or another. You’ll want to know what it means, how it works, and if you should even care about it, so we’ve created this quick guide to get you caught up.

What is RTP?

RTP stands for return to player, which is a percentage of the total amount wagered that a player can expect to win back over time, long-term.

One crucial thing to know and understand about RTP is that this percentage is calculated over an extended period, typically millions of spins or rounds. So contrary to common belief, it’s not as important of a factor as many would have you believe.

How does it work?

Software providers label their slots with an RTP number based on how often it pays out. We’ll use fiat as an example since it’s more difficult to calculate and explain with cryptocurrency.

The way it's supposed to work is that if the RTP is 92% and you bet $100, you'll eventually win $92 back. However, as we just explained, it’s not stated when the player will actually win the cash back.

It’s also affected by the house edge (the advantage that the casino has over the player). The house edge is the difference between the odds of winning and the payout odds. The higher the house edge, the lower the RTP, and the lower your chances of winning.

Online slots and RTP

Below is additional information about RTP, such as where you might find the number, what else it’s affected by, and how to be sure that it’s actually accurate.

  • RTP is prominently displayed: Online casinos are required to display the RTP for all of their games, including slots. This information is often found in the game's help section (i) or on the paytable. We recommend that you check the RTP before playing a game, just in case.
  • Slot volatility affects RTP: Slots have different levels of volatility, which affects payout size and how often it happens. The RTP of a slot is affected by its volatility, with higher volatility games typically having a lower RTP, making them higher risk.
  • RTP can be verified: Online casinos are regulated and audited by third-party organizations to ensure fair play. These auditors can verify the RTP of a game to ensure that it's accurate and fair. You can also do it yourself at provably fair crypto games, where you can verify the outcome of any round.

Why you should care

Here’s the kicker: you shouldn’t – to an extent. Many guides use RTP as an example of what to look for because it provides players with an idea of their chances of winning. We tend to say that the higher the RTP, the better the odds of winning.

For example, a game with an RTP of 97% means that for every $100 wagered, on paper, the player can expect to win back $97. In practice, however, you can never know for sure. While true, that the higher the RTP, the higher are your chances, it’s calculated over such a long period of spinning that it ultimately doesn’t make much of a difference.

With that said, we still recommend looking for high-RTP crypto slots, which is most of them these days. We’re talking 95% and upwards. Because even if it doesn’t matter much in the short term, it won’t hurt if you suddenly find yourself spinning away at the same slot for a long period of time.

What we’re trying to say is that you shouldn’t stare at the RTP number and expect to win 95% of the time with just a few spins. Simply pick a BTC slot that you enjoy, play, and have fun.


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