Things You Should Know About RTP And Volatility For Online Slots

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Online casinos are not in the business of readily giving money away to their customers. They are in the business of making a profit. In order to ensure they will always remain profitable, they rely heavily on creating “games of chance” that always slant the odds in the favor of the house. To clarify, the house is a retail or online casino.

As an experienced or recreational gambler, you need to be aware that each game’s odds are always in the house’s favor. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself throwing your money at winnings that might be hard to obtain. As scary as this reality might seem, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. The light is shining on very public information that makes very clear exactly to what degree the odds of a game are in the favor of the house. 

Gambling Odds Related to Online Casino Slots

Arguably, online video slots rule the online casino gambling world. That contention is easy to support based on the fact there are well over 7,000 online video slots available on the internet. In fact, there are many online casino operators that will carry as many as 4,000 video slots for their customers. That should leave little doubt that online casino gamblers tend to favor playing these fun and exciting games.

Unlike Roulette and Blackjack, games for which the odds can be determined by simple math, video slots offer odds that are a bit more random and hard to gauge. They are random and hard to gauge because spinning reels can produce hundreds of thousands of different results. Of course, the actual number of results is predicated on the number of reels and rows a game offers. 

By now, your curiosity should be sounding alarms. If you frequently play online video slots, you should definitely want to know what kind of odds you are facing when you start playing a particular game. Are you aware that by law, that information is supposed to be readily available? Indeed, most online gambling regulatory bodies have rules in place that require online slot developers and casino operators to disclose each game’s odds. How is that done?

How an Online Video Slot’s Odds are Determined

Within the online gambling community, there are auditing firms that run audits on online casino gambling platforms and games. This includes firms such as eCOGRA and TST. It’s the responsibility of these auditing firms to audit games with auditing software. This auditing software is designed to allow a game to be played hundreds of thousands of times over a short period. The results of all possible outcomes are then accumulated and quantified.

When an audit has been completed on a particular game, the auditing firm will be able to provide two ratings for that game. The first rating is called the “Return to Player” percentage or RTP. The second rating is the game’s volatility, which is expressed within a range of low to high. 

The following information is designed to provide you with a good understanding of how you can use these ratings to determine your odds of winning money on a particular online slot. The information is applicable to both international and USA online casinos.

What the RTP Percentage Really Means

The Return to Player or RTP percentage is defined as follows: The percentage of every dollar wagered on a game that will get returned to players as gross winnings over the life of the game. 

Example: If an online video slot has an RTP percentage of 96%, that tells gamblers that they can expect to get back 96% of all the money they wager on the slot over an extended period. That’s not to say a player has no chance of winning, they do in the short term. Over an extended time, the RTP percentage should diminish their chances of winning. 

Note: The 4% difference between 100% and 96% is the house’s advantage. It’s also worth noting that the universal average for online video slots is about 96%. Astute video slot players would do well to focus on slots with a higher RTP percentage. Finally, online casino operators in most jurisdictions are required to publicly post each game’s RTP.

What the Volatility Rating Really Means

Volatility refers to two things in combination. It refers to how often a slot pays gross winnings and the magnitude of those gross earnings. There are five (5) general volatility ratings with definitions:

  • Low volatility – frequent with low gross payouts
  • Medium low volatility – somewhat frequent with somewhat low payouts
  • Medium volatility – Average frequency with average payouts
  • Medium high volatility – somewhat infrequent with somewhat high payouts
  • High volatility – infrequent with higher payouts

Summary: You are now armed with enough information to gauge the risk associated with playing a particular online video slot game. By now, you should be aware that the best options are usually the slots with a high RTP percentage and low volatility. Should you choose to do otherwise, at least you will know your risks.

InterGame Ltd InterGame Ltd 21 February 2023

Read our Market Focus Europe article in the latest issue of iNTERGAMINGi: @AbelsonInfo To be included in a future issue e-mail

Read our Market Focus Europe article in the latest issue of iNTERGAMINGi:


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