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RTP and Volatility

If you mostly play slots at the casino, it is in your best interest to learn about RTP and volatility since it will have a large impact on your gaming. So, let’s go through what these terms mean and why they’re important to you. 

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What is RTP?

RTP is short for return to player, and it tells you how much of your wager you are expected to get back each time you spin, on average. A common RTP for a slot is 96%. That means that if you bet €10 on a spin you would on average get back €9.6. Now obviously, as slots are random games, a single spin in a slot can have many outcomes: no win, small win, big win or even a jackpot win, but in the long run over thousands and thousands of spins the RTP should on average be what the game says it is. This includes all possible wins, however, including the big jackpot wins that you might never see. The actual RTP of any given session will of course deviate from the statistical RTP, often by quite a lot. 

Your response then could be: Well, I’ll just play whatever slots have the highest RTP, that should be what’s best for me, right? While that is true, at least in the monetary sense, RTP isn’t everything. You might not like the game mechanics or the design of the games with high RTP, and that could reduce the entertainment value of your gaming session, compared to playing a game with slightly lower RTP that you find fun and engaging. The reason to play is to be entertained, right? If you’re not having a great time, is it worth increasing your RTP from 96.1% to 96.4%? 

What is Volatility? 

There is also another factor to consider: volatility. 

What is volatility? Volatility is the game designer’s way of describing how, well, volatile, their games are. A game with low volatility will have more frequent wins, but each win will in general be smaller, and the highest possible win will be relatively small. A high volatility game will instead have infrequent small wins and very rare but big wins, and the highest possible win will be very big. The reason for the infrequent wins on a high volatility slot is that you need more losing spins to pay for the big win spins or jackpots. 

These things combined will affect the feeling of a slot considerably, and it’s important for you to think about what kind of slot you want to play. Do you want a chance on a massive jackpot, or do you prefer the slow and steady approach with more frequent small wins? If you need the comfort of constant small wins to not feel like you’re just losing money for example, you will feel bad when you play a high volatility slot where there are often long losing streaks before you win anything. 

Combine consideration of RTP, volatility, game mechanics and design and you’re getting closer to knowing how to find the perfect slot for you.