RTP is short for ‘Return To Player’. It’s a number expressed in percentages which tells you what is the theoretical Payout Percentage of a certain game. 90% RTP, for example, means that (again, and I can’t stress this enough), in theory, the game will pay out 90$ for every 100$ that was bet in it.
There are a couple of things that need to be mentioned and explained a bit more on this matter. First, why I always point out that it’s a ‘theoretical’ Percentage – it’s because Game Providers (like NetEnt, Microgaming, etc.) point out the RTP of every new game they release. They don’t say over how many spins is it calculated or, even, how can the RTP, they say the games have, be checked and verified. The only thing that can assure you that RTPs of their games are indeed what they claim is their reputation, so more reputable the Game Provider (company) whose games you choose to play, more certain you can be that the RTP and other facts they provide on their games are correct. Second, in the example given earlier, 90% RTP doesn’t mean that the game will pay out 90$ for every 100$ you play. Every time. If that was the case, in fact, no one would ever play those games, as no one would ever win. 90% RTP just means that, on average and over thousands and, even tens or hundreds of thousands of spins, the game will pay out 90% of what was bet in it. In theory, that means that you could win more and have more luck in game with 70% RTP then in the one with 99%. It’s just that the bigger the RTP of a game is, the better odds you have to win.
There are two main differences between RTPs in Online VS Brick-and-Mortar Casinos.
First and probably main difference is the pure percent of RTP. While most games (especially Slot Games) Brick-and-Mortar Casinos have, on average, between 60 and 80% RTP, most Online Casino Games RTP are on 90% at least and, more often than not, even more then 90%.
Let’s take some average percentages, 70% for Brick-and-Mortar Casino Games and 90(+)% for Online Casino Games. It doesn’t take much to see that the difference is huge. 20%, or even more, difference drastically improve your chances of those big wins we all dream about. And it’s not that Online Casino Games higher RTP gives you better odds. It also significantly increases your playtime, making every deposit you make, both, last longer and gives you better odds at actually winning something worth withdrawing.
Second difference lays in the actual calculation of RTP of Games. While most Brick-and-Mortar Casino Games are ‘entities’ (sort of speak) of their own, where each machine has its own RTP, independent of any other machine in the house (or anywhere else), Machines or Games in Online Casinos aren’t.
Let’s try to explain this in a practical example:
Let’s say you walk into your favorite Brick-and-Mortar Casino. You are in the mood to play some Slots. You go to the area with Slot Machines and find three free Machines offering the same exact Game. In Brick-and-Mortar Casinos it actually matters which one of those three Machines you choose to play on, as every Machine, as mentioned before, has its own, independent, RTP. If we stick with the 70% RTP, that is some average in Brick-and-Mortar Casino Games, what makes which Machine you choose to play on important, is how much that particular machine already gave back that day or week or month, did someone before you lose or won big sums, etc. That still doesn’t make sure you will win or lose, but if you know some of that information, it can increase your chances by a certain level.
Online Casino Games, on the other hand, work differently. Let’s go with the same example. You are in the mood for some Slots and, this time, there are three favorite Online Casinos of yours. In this example, what Casino you choose to play in doesn’t have any influence whatsoever on your chances to win. That is because the Slot Game you decided to play has a unique RTP, same across all platforms and Online Casinos.
This is somewhat complicated to understand, but let’s try with one more approach.
To make it a bit easier to explain, let’s change the example a bit and give a name to this game you will play. Let’s say you want to play, probably the most popular and most played Slot Game in the world; Starburst.
In this example there are three Brick-and-Mortar Casinos next to each other and in each Casino there is only one Machine offering the exact same game: Starburst. All three Machines that offer Starburst in all three Brick-and-Mortar Casinos have the same RTP (70%) – meaning that every machine will earn 30% (if we stick with average 70% RTP that most Brick-and-Mortar Casinos have) over some period of time. Neither one of those Machines will give more then was betted on it.
So, to sum it up, it’s how it was stated in the first place: Every Machine has its own RTP, independent of all other Machines, even if those other Machines offer the same Game.
In this case, what makes your decision which Brick-and-Mortar Casino you decide to enter and what Machine to play Starburst on important is that very fact – that every machine works separately of all other Machines.
Let’s say someone just walked out the ‘Brick-and-Mortar Casino 1’ minutes before you came and lost a big amount of money on the Machine inside. That particular Machine is now on, for example, 50% RTP this month. People played on Machines in ‘Brick-and-Mortar Casino 2’ and ‘Brick-and-Mortar Casino 3’ as well, but they got big wins, for example. Those two Casinos (or, in fact, those two Machines offering Starburst Game) are now on 85% RTP this month. Now, as each of those three Machines are ‘independent’ and separated, they all ‘want’ to get as close to that pre-set RTP of 70% (30% earnings for the Casino). It is obvious now that walking in ‘Casino 1’ and playing Starburst there will significantly improve your odds at winning, compared to ‘Casino 2’ and ‘Casino 3’, as that particular Machine will tend to give out more to raise to the 70% RTP, while Machines in other two Casinos will tend to give less to drop their RTPs down to 70%.
Games in Online Casinos, on the other hand, are connected, sort of speak, across all Casinos, meaning that Starburst Game you want to play will earn 10% (if we stick with 90% RTP from before), but not in every Casino that offers it. It will earn 10% across all Casinos that are offering that game and will earn that 10% over much more extended period of time (compared to Brick-and-Mortar Casinos). That means that Starburst’s RTP in one Casino can be exactly 90%, while at the same time in some other Online Casino it will be 50% and, yet in another one 150%. Only when all Online Casinos that offer (and have ever offered in the past) Starburst and hundreds of thousands of spins players made on it are all combined, you should, in theory, end up on 90% RTP – 10% earnings.
If you are presented with the same choice of 3 (this time) Online Casinos and Starburst in those three Online Casinos have the same, pre-set theoretical, RTP of 90%, but Starburst in ‘Casino 1’ is currently on overall 50% RTP this month and, same as in previous Brick-and-Mortar Casinos example, Starburst’s RTP in ‘Casino 2’ and ‘Casino 3’ are on 105% this month, it makes no difference in which Online Casino you decide to play Starburst. The reason for that is that those ‘three Starburst’ don’t operate separate calculations of their RTP. They calculate the Game’s RTP overall and not separately in every Casino or Machine. That, in fact, means that the Game Starburst is very likely already on its set RTP of 90%, so which Casino you will play in, the one in which Starburst is on 50% RTP this month or the one in which Starburst is on 105% or 125% this month, will make no difference on the chances you will have to win or lose.
In order to properly explain the difference in RTP possibilities and probabilities of various different games and their countless variations, there’s another term we need to introduce and explain.
That term is “Game Volatility”.
Game Volatility refers to the frequency of winning bets/spins and, even more so, to the frequency of Big/Amazing/Huge Wins, to maximally simplify it.
Game Volatility is more thoroughly explained here, if you are interested to learn more about it.
It’s pretty clear that, for example, volatility of your everyday Slot Game will not and cannot be nothing similar to the volatility of Scratch Card Game or Lottery.
While Slot Games and Table Games have much more winning bets/hands/spins than Lottery, Lottery will, obviously, have much bigger wins, although pretty rarely…
It all comes to your preferences and playstyle – Table and Slot Games will suit you more if you like to play to “kill some time” (sort of speak), while still giving you a chance to score some pretty nice wins, while Lottery, as well as Virtual Sports (if you bet on the underdogs) offer possibilities of much bigger winning bets, but will drain your balance with unparalleled speed if that big win doesn’t happen.
The short answer would be – no! But, as pretty much everything else, it’s not that simple…
Basically, neither players nor (Online) Casinos can influence RTP (Return to Player Percentage) in any way. However, the situation is entirely black and white. For example, table game players can dramatically improve their chances and increase RTP if they stick to the optimal strategy. The most common example is the Blackjack game, and the Optimal Blackjack Strategy.
The rule of thumb would be: If the game includes any kind of skill, players can influence RTP and increase or improve their chances of win. However, that doesn’t mean that they can beat the house in the long term. It just means that in the long term they will get closer to the 100% RTP. Just slightly closer to the 50/50 chance against the casino.
But, if we are speaking about the games with no skills involved at all, such as slot games – situation is pretty straight-forward. Slot machines play is purely ‘no skills involved’ action! Players can’t make decisions such as ‘Hit’ or ‘Stand’ and, therefore, can’t influence or impact their chance to win or the actual game-play in any way.
All of the above is related to the modern slot machines – with a ‘real’ Random Number Generator in play. Pub pokies are ‘a different beast’ all together and we will not go deeply into the subject as they are becoming part of history and are not as relevant any more.
We just mentioned another very important term when it comes to Casino Games and gambling in general – ‘Random Number Generator’ or, shortly, ‘RNG’.
‘Random Number Generator’ or ‘RNG’, or, more precisely, the process of randomness – Random Number Generation exists for thousands of years. Ever since people started playing games that involved any degree of luck. Random Number Generation can be, and for thousands of years have been, mechanical. Flip of a coin, for example, is one of the simplest mechanical actions with random and unpredictable outcomes. It is one of the simplest ‘Random Number Generators’. Similar, simple and mechanical actions that guarantee random outcomes, unpredictable to people playing them, can be found in all games in the world;
There is a roll of the dice in Craps.
There is shuffling of the deck of cards in all Card Games – all sorts of Poker, Blackjack, etc. There’s another level of randomness in most Card Games, besides the shuffling of the deck by the dealer. Second level of randomness are the people playing the game or, more precisely, the decisions of people playing the game. Will the player ‘Hit’ or ‘Stand’ in Blackjack, how many cards will he exchange in Poker, etc add to the randomness of every hand.
There’s randomness in Roulette as well – outcomes vary depending on how much force a croupier spins the wheel with, as well as how much force he/she releases the ball with on the Roulette wheel. Even the slightest difference in speed of the ball or spin of the wheel can dramatically change the outcome of the spin as the ball can land on the complete opposite side of the Roulette wheel. Same or similar, mechanical and human factors influence all games. They are all called Random Number Generators.
The first Slot Machines had mechanical RNG as well. There were all sorts of flaps, pulls and leavers on the inside of the machines that randomized the outcome of every spin.
Those machines are slowly becoming a part of the history nowadays and the only places where they can be seen are Museums. All modern (Slot) Machines, as well as Video Pokers and all electronic/video Table Games (such as all video Pokers, Blackjacks, Roulettes, etc.) are now operated by Computational methods – mostly by complex mathematical algorithms.
Advancements in math, in science and in electronics & informatics made it possible to replace those mechanical Random Number Generators with, more elaborate and sophisticated, Computational methods. Complex algorithms are the core of all modern day machines, making it much harder for players to predict or ‘crack’ the system, sort of speak. But with many pros, there are some cons as well with the Computational RNG.
The problem lays in the fact that (most) of ‘Random Number Generators’ aren’t truly random. They just have much, much more possible variations of outcomes, but are still not completely random to the fullest extent of the word. We are talking about ‘True’ VS ‘Pseudo-Random’ Number Generation here. Most gaming machines operate on, the upper mentioned, mathematical algorithms which are ‘Pseudo-Random Number Generators’. What that means is that for the vast majority of player population those games and outcomes of all spins/bets/hands can be interpreted and classified as random, but, with the proper tools, enough time and money, those algorithms can be ‘cracked’ and it is possible to cheat on those machines.
Probably the best example of this happened some time ago in the United States. There was a group of East Europeans that ‘operated’ on the US soil for some time, successfully winning large sums of money from many Brick-And-Mortar Casino across several States. After they were caught and interrogated, they told an unbelievable story:
A group of them, led by the genius mathematician, bought several Slot Machines from a closed Brick-And-Mortar Casino in East Europe. They were, then, spinning and recording on film, tens of thousands of spins on those machines looking for patterns. Meanwhile, they leader – the mathematician, cracked one of the machines open and observed the ‘insides’ of the Machine. Thousands and thousands of lines of code and the mathematical algorithms that operated the Random Number Generation. Long story short, they successfully ‘cracked’ the algorithms and could predict approximate time of ‘Big Win’ spins on that particular Slot Game. They programmed an app for their smartphones which helped them ‘win’ (or steal, to be more precise) all that money. They simply needed to run the app on their smartphones, turn the camera on and point the camera towards the screen of the Slot Machines while playing few dozen spins. The app would then compare those few dozen spins they just played with the database of tens of thousands of spins they had recorded and determine when the next ‘Big Win’ is most probable. The app would make their smartphone vibrate half a second before the predicted ‘Big Win’ leaving them just enough time to hit that spin button. The app wasn’t 100% accurate, but was more than enough accurate at predicting ‘Big Wins’ to make it possible for them to walk out of dozens of Casinos across US with tons of cash.
It just shows that most RNG aren’t all that random. They just have much more possible outcomes of every particular spin and they can all be ‘cracked’ under the right circumstances. ‘True’ Random Number Generators, on the other hand, are, as the name suggests, totally and truly random. True Random Number Generators work on the following principle. It uses a method that:
Some examples of physical phenomenon that can be used for the Random Number Generation include measuring of atmospheric noise, thermal noise, and other external electromagnetic and quantum phenomena
Cosmic background radiation or radioactive decay, for example, measured over short timescales represent sources of natural entropy. The speed at which entropy can be harvested from natural sources is dependent on the underlying physical phenomena being measured. Thus, sources of naturally occurring "true" entropy are said to be blocking – they are rate-limited until enough entropy is harvested to meet the demand.
That being said, of course that’s too complicated to use in your everyday Gaming Machines. As Gaming Machines, both Brick-And-Mortar and Online Casinos offer, are operated by Pseudo-Random Number Generators, they can, in theory, be ‘cracked’ and exploited. Only real difference is that it is much, much harder to do it with online machines as they algorithms and, more importantly, keys to the their algorithms are encrypted with more algorithms and kept on safe and multi-layer protected servers. To make a long story short again, as far as it’s known, no one ever managed to ‘beat’ online Gambling Machines (yet), while Brick-And-Mortar (due to the fact they are more accessible and can be physically owned and opened) ones have been beaten.
Explaining RTP in slots again – uvod (300 rijeci) – navesti neke od igra koje cemo linkat
Online Slot Games Providers with the highest RTP in the industry
Brick-and-mortar Slot Games Providers
Can you cheat in Slot Games? (can you cheat online, can you cheat in B-a-M)
Why are odds in Online Slots more in your favor then in B-a-M Slots?