The Ultimate Guide to RTP

What Payouts To Expect On Your Favourite Pokies

Every player has wondered at least once in his gambling career how do pokies actually work and if RTP determines the payouts on the screen. We all know that it’s pure luck whether you will win or lose on some game, but none of us really think about the complex processes which go on behind the reels.

This is why in this guide to RTP we will explain what exactly is an RTP value, how does it all work and what it means for a certain pokie.

What is RTP value in pokies?

The RTP value is called the Return to Player value. In simple terms this is the amount the pokie will give back to the player in the form of winnings. So when you play a pokie the RTP value is what determines all of the wins and losses for a certain number of spins. Now the RTP value is not the same for all pokies, it’s not even the same for land based and online casinos.

You may not know this but real money pokies at online casinos actually have a higher RTP value than the ones at land based casinos. The RTP value online ranges from 96% to 98% on average which is much higher when compared to pokies from land based casinos.

So in reality you have a bigger chance of winning at an online casino than a slot machine at a land-based casino. This is because the cost to run an online casino is much lower than a land based one. So online casinos can afford to pay their players more in the form of winnings.

How do I calculate the current RTP value of a pokie?

This is easily done. All you need to do is keep track of the payouts on the reels.

  • For starters you need to start with an even number of spins, for easier calculation. So you played a pokie for 100 spins on a $1 bet.
  • During that time your wins were a total of $70 and you lost a total of $30. So the current RTP value of the pokie for those 100 spins was 70%.
  • However the actual RTP value of the pokie is calculated over millions of spins. Playing 100 spins to determine the RTP value of some pokie is just not enough.

For example:

  • You play another 100 spins on the same game on the same bet.
  • You hit a bonus round leaving you with a balance of $300.
  • So you put in $100 but won an extra $200, thus the RTP value has had a drastic jump.

This is why it takes a big number of spins to determine what the average RTP value of the pokie really is.

Correlation among RTP, variance and RNG

The RTP value, the variance of the slot and the Random Number Generator are the three things which make a pokie work. These three features all have their separate roles in how the pokie pays out. The RNG makes sure that the outcome of the spin is random and is in no correlation with the previous one.

This is why you can never predict the outcome of the spin or know when the bonus round will land. If you did then you would be a millionaire. The pokie variance on the other hand determines the frequency of payouts on the reels. High variance pokies produce fewer, but bigger wins, while low variance pokies can pay on every spin with small payouts. So with all three factors combined you have a fun pokie which can pay big on any given spin. 

Does higher RTP value mean bigger payouts?

In theory yes. But again you have to take the other factors into consideration and you have to remember that the RTP value of the game cannot be achieved in a small number of spins. You see, when you play a pokie at a certain casino it’s not only you playing the game. It can be thousands of people from all across the world playing that exact pokie at that exact moment. So one player can be losing big time, while another one can be hitting a bonus round after a bonus round.

In reality you never know how the game will behave or what its current RTP value is in real-time. A pokie can eat a lot of balance over a long period of time, only to fulfill it’s RTP value in a few bonus rounds. If you’re lucky enough to be spinning the reels at that exact time you will be one happy player!

Is the RTP value on pokies true?

Yes, the promoted value of a pokie must be met over a period of time. You see the RTP value is set by the software provider who designs the game. Once the pokie is ready it’s put to the test to determine whether the payouts fall within the promoted parameters. This is done by independent testing agencies, which then give the pokie a seal of approval. This way you know that the pokie will be fair and that the payouts will be random. Some of the most reputable testing agencies you can come across online casinos are eCOGRA, TST and iTech Labs.

Should you play pokies with low RTP?

Without a doubt pokies with the lowest RTP value in the entire industry are progressive jackpot slots. The game can have a promoted RTP value of 98%, but you have to remember that part of the bets on the game goes to feed the jackpot.

On some jackpot pokies the top prize can range in the millions of dollars. So you can imagine the number of players who had to lose on the game in order to fill up the jackpot. This is why many players tend to avoid jackpot pokies at online casinos. But on the other hand the RTP value of the jackpot pokie is met by awarding the jackpot. So in one lucky spin your life can change, making you an instant millionaire.