What is Return To Player (RTP) and Understanding RTP?

Do you pay any attention to the game’s characteristics that you are playing or intend to play? Some people would simply pick and choose any game that catches their interest, some simply want to try out any newly released game, but generally, most people do not bother at all to look deep into the games before playing them.

One of the most important aspects of any game is its predesignated ‘RTP’, which indicates what to expect from the game, in the ways it would play, and the ways it would give winnings. The higher the percentile, the ‘looser’ the game would be, giving out more frequent small wins but lesser of the bigger wins. So, what is this ‘RTP’ anyway? Very loosely, it is simply a way to make you ‘return to play’, but the abbreviation refers to ‘Return to Player’, expressed in percentile, ranging widely from anything below 80%, up to 99%. This can also be abbreviated as ‘TRTP’, for ‘Theoretical Return to Player’.

In the old days before the advent of the internet, games were predesignated with a Payout Ratio Factor (PRF), the norm in those days being around 60:40 (game: player) ratio, with the game always having the upper edge. As games gradually became more technologically advanced and sophisticated, this PRF soon proved to be very crude and undesirable, so it got replaced with the RTP factoring instead.

The RTP percentile of the game indicates the edge the game has over a player. A 96.67% RTP for instance, would mean that the game has a 3.37% edge. Whilst this looks too good to be true, in truth, it has more far wider and far-reaching implications. For a start, the percentile is not based on mere thousands of spins done on the game, but over many millions of spins initially, now in the billions of spins literally! During a play session, in the span of spins done before reaching that billions, the RTP percentile could range anywhere from 0% to 1000% or more, but is expected to level back to its predesignated RTP only upon reaching those billions of spins done!

What does that imply to a player? It simply means that when you play a game, any game, the actual RTP could be anywhere between 0% (10 spins done without getting any winning spin at all, for example), or lingering around the 80-ish%, or could simply get blown out of proportion into the 1000% range (a $1000 win for a $1 bet spin, for example), or even higher. This is what makes the game so very interesting and so very addictive. An unexpected big win would bowl over any player, makes him/her go ga-ga, and unknowingly leaving a crazy craving of wanting for more in the brain.

Sure enough, the player would soon be craving for more and more, never getting enough, and never feeling satisfied. Unlucky players, on the other hand, would continually end up losing, unsatisfied and unfulfilled, getting only the frequent smallish wins, with hardly any of the big wins, despite playing on the same game with the same RTP.

The truth of the matter is, it is not the RTP of the game that determines whether you win or lose, but also depends on many other variable factors, like skill and luck. The RTP merely indicates the likelihood of getting more or less of smallish wins over bigger wins, but it does not indicate the chances of winning over losing!