Apr 28, 2020
Apr 28, 2020

What are casino Return to Player (RTP) values?

How to calculate RTP values

Are there good and bad RTP values?

Things to consider with RTP values

Pinnacle Casino games RTP values

What are casino Return to Player (RTP) values?

While many casino games are largely dictated by chance, there is one stat that can be utilised to inform how much money you are expected to win on any given game. Every casino game, including all those on Pinnacle Casino, has a set Return to Player value (RTP) which dictates the percentage of money you are expected to win from the amount you bet.

How to calculate RTP values

RTP is calculated using a simple formula as follows:

(Total money returned to players) / (Total money bet by players) = RTP%

The two factors involved in this formula are fairly straightforward. The total amount of money bet by players is the sum of each initial bet placed on the game during the period over which the RTP audit takes place, usually one calendar month. The total amount of money returned to players is the net amount of all player wins on the game during the same period.

While RTP values are most commonly associated with slot games, this formula can be in fact be applied to calculate the RTP value of any casino game, including table games, Live Casino and virtual sports.

From the player’s perspective, a simple way to refer to RTP values is to treat the percentage as how much money you would win from €100 worth of bets on the game. In this sense it is the opposite to the house edge, which quantifies the margin of profit the house is expected to make on any given game.

For instance, if during an RTP audit players placed a total of €150,000 worth of bets on a game that won a total of €144,000, the RTP value would be 96%:

144,000 / 150,000 = 0.96 = RTP value of 96%

This means that for every €100 you bet on the game, you would be expected to win €96 in return.

You can also work out your own RTP rate for any given session on a casino game. If you bet €200 on a casino game and won back €168, the RTP rate for that session would be 84%:

168 / 200 = 0.84 = RTP rate of 84%

Are there good and bad RTP values?

RTP values can vary massively between different casinos and games. As a rule of thumb, they are generally lower at physical casinos, where RTP values of 80-90% are commonplace, than online ones, which often feature RTP values of between 90% and 97%.

Determining if a game has a ‘good’ or ‘bad’ RTP value is thus largely down to your own judgement, and whether you think the RTP value in question justifies placing bets on the game.

With this in mind, you should ensure you know the RTP value of any casino game you play. At Pinnacle Casino, our RTP values are independently certified by eCOGRA. For quick reference, the RTP values of our casino games are as follows:

Pinnacle Casino games RTP values

Game

RTP value

Estimated return from €100 of bets

All games

97.77%

€97.77

Slot games

96.23%

€96.23

Table games

97.70%

€97.70

Video poker games

93.12%

€93.12

Live Casino

98.27%

€98.27

Virtual games

87.38%

€87.38

Perhaps unsurprisingly, games with an RTP value of 100% or above (whereby players are expected to break even or make a profit on their bets) are extremely rare. The most common games with a RTP value of over 100% are certain variants of Video poker.

Things to consider with RTP values

While RTP values are useful and can inform you of how much money you are expected to win on a certain game, it is important to remember that they should be considered an approximate guide.

Higher RTP values do not neccessarily mean that you are more likely to win.

Indeed, if a game has a RTP value of 90%, this does not mean it is certain that will you win around €90 from €100 worth of bets on it. It is plausible that you could win €50 or €500 from the same amount.

Equally, you are by no means assured to win more money on a game with an RTP value of 95% than one with a RTP value of 90%, you are simply more likely to over a long period of time. More broadly, any RTP value, no matter how high, never means you are guaranteed to enjoy wins on a game.

On slot games, two components that should be considered alongside its RTP value are its hit frequency and volatility.

Hit frequency is a percentage that denotes how often any given spin will result in a win. This is calculated as an average across a very high number of spins. Volatility (also referred to as variance) details both how frequent wins are and the amount they pay out. This may be expressed on a scale from one to ten, or simply as ‘low’, ‘medium’ or ‘high’.

Slots with a low volatility are expected to produce regular but small wins, whereas those with a high volatility will feature sporadic yet large wins. This means that a slot game’s volatility may offer insight into how much risk is required to potentially reap its rewards.

Therefore, even if a slot game has a particularly high RTP value, its hit frequency and volatility can primarily dictate your chances of winning and potential returns on a spin. This explains why slot games with medium volatility often prove popular, as they generate a balance between win frequency and win amounts.

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