Guide to RTP and casino payouts

Guide to RTP and casino payouts

If you’re an avid online gambler, you’ve no doubt visited a game guide at least once. If you haven’t: dude, WTH? There’s so much valuable information in a game guide, you’re doing yourself a serious disservice by not checking it out. Go on, log into an online casino like Play.co.za, YesPlay, Betfred or whichever is your personal gambling mecca. Now select any random slot and go to the game information.

Did you notice, among the game information, that they list the game’s RTP? It’s usually a percentage, and it’s your guide to just how lucrative a given game is going to be.

A casino is a casino is a casino, right? How different can one casino be from another? All they do is exchange money for chips, offer games, and then exchange chips for money.

Well, no. No story goes, “Once upon a time, everything was simple, everything was the same, and everyone was happy. The end.”

Every casino – both brick and mortar and online – is unique. Yes, there are similarities, both legislative and game based, but there’s no way to summarise all casinos with just a few simple sentences.

Luckily for you, we have taken the time and effort to really get into the foundations of online gambling: what makes it tick, how it works, what players can expect, and so much more. Here, we offer you all the in-depth guides to online casinos and gambling you’ll need. And we take that promise seriously, which is why we are constantly working to add more guides that cover every aspect of the online casino experience.

In this series of guides, you will find information about jackpots, variance and volatility, online casinos, casino bonuses, withdrawals and deposits, and more.

Why should you use guides?

Casino guides like these can really help enhance your online casino experience. For example, jackpot guides don’t just tell you what a jackpot is; they explain the various types of jackpot, how they work, how to play to win, where to find games with different jackpots, and even who the game developers are.

Casino bonus guides are another super useful way to figure out which online casinos will work best for you. We don’t only look at the types of bonus offered, but explain how they work, the hidden pitfalls to look out for, and ways to make the most of your wagering requirements.

You’ll find enough information here to keep you busy longer than a great game of poker, so dig in, and come out the other side a little more knowledgeable. And if there’s anything you’d like to learn more about that you don’t find here on CasinoPlay, let us know. Happy reading!

Return to Player (RTP) is the percentage of total money bet on the game that will, on average over time – usually, at least a million bets – be paid back to all players. Therefore, the higher the RTP, the more money makes its way back into player pockets. So, go for high RTP games for the win, right? Well, yes and no.

Just because a game has a high RTP, doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed to win. This number only represents the total amount of money that will eventually be won by everyone.

To illustrate:

Devin Signs into his favourite casino and selects a game with an RTP of 96%. Devin believes that this means, for every R100 spent, he will win back R96. However, this can’t work in the long run, if you think about it. What happens when someone else wins big? How does the casino pay out?

It’s simple: the RTP is an average over time. If, for example, five hundred people sit playing the same game for eight hours a day for a full year, the average numbers will start to even out. For every R100 bet, R96 will be paid out, but not always to the same player, and not to every player. Now imagine this happening on a global scale, because these games aren’t only available in SA.

The only thing RTP indicates is the total average of bets paid as winnings.

RTP doesn’t only apply to the online or video game casino environment. RTP is also used as a measure in live dealer games both online and in brick and mortar casinos. It’s important to remember that the RTP applies to the entire game, not to specific types of bets within a game. For instance, you can’t apply RTP to figuring out whether the roulette ball will land on black or red; nor does it help you decide whether to hit or stay in blackjack. These are in-game odds that work differently, and which we cover in another article.

Similarly to RTP, the casino payout percentage is the total average percentage of bets placed that the casino itself expects to pay out. While RTP is game specific, casino payouts are across the entire casino ecosystem. If an online or onsite casino offers a variety of different games, their casino payout percentage will work out to an average of all the games’ combined RTPs.

As with RTP, the percentage doesn’t guarantee a win, nor does it indicate what your winnings or losses for the night will be. It simply indicates which casinos pay out more or less on average.

Just about every game in an online casino environment uses a random number generator as its foundation. If you want to find out more about RNGs, read our article here. RNGs are designed to be random, allowing for games to be both completely unbiased, as well as more secure.

Built into the algorithm that controls the RNG is an RTP. This serves to ensure that the game always maintains a house egde. That, however, doesn’t mean you can’t win. As the name suggests, the RNG is totally random, and your chances of winning a life-changing amount of money are just the same as anyone else’s. The RNG algorithm simply ensures that, over time, the game remains profitable for the casino, and therefore available for you to play.