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Ultimate Guide to Understanding Casino RTP and Volatility

casino RTP and slot volatility guide

Our expert team explains everything you need to know about casino RTP and slot volatility. We look into the basics and the details to help you play better.

We can all agree on one thing: playing casino games is fun! Even so, some players get frustrated by the fact they can’t find a slot that pays well, and this is where a lot of confusion regarding casino gaming steps into the spotlight. Saying slot machines and table games are rigged or that the house always wins is simply not true in the world of online casinos. However, it happens more often than we admit that players don’t understand the games they play. 

Knowing the game is more than knowing the rules. Anyone can press the button to spin the reels. It is the small things, such as RTP and slot volatility, standing between you and great gaming sessions. Even though slot machines are often thought of as games where the player has no control over winning, the truth is there are ways to find a slot game that might work for you.

What is Casino RTP

The first step in understanding games is learning about the return to player (RTP) rates. Return to player is normally expressed as a percentage. This number reveals how much money the game pays out on a certain amount spent. 

Let’s imagine a game with an RTP of 97%. 97% indicates that for every $100 spent, the game rewards players with $97 in wins. Sounds great! Yet, keep in mind that this doesn’t mean that every player who spends $100 on a game will get $97 back. 

The thing is, RTPs are calculated based on millions and millions of spins or hands played and are just an indicator, not a guarantee. RTP considers small and big wins when doing math, so this number can be surprisingly misleading. Regardless, the rule that the higher RTP, the better the game still applies.

What is a Good RTP? 

So, what can be considered a good RTP? The general rule is that games with an RTP over 96% are titles that will give you a fair chance to win. An important fact to remember is that certain elements within the game might have an RTP different from the stated number. 

For instance, if a game has a bonus game based on free spins, it can be lower than the average RTP listed. Before you feel all dazed and confused, pay a visit to the game rules within every casino title to find valuable information on payouts, RTPs and different game features.

What is Volatility? 

Another hot topic when choosing a game is volatility. And while some might argue that highly volatile games are bad for the player, the truth is not as simple as it seems. 

Volatility is a rating telling players more about the risk they are exposed to when playing the bet. It indicates whether the game is rewarding or not and how often they can expect to win a big prize. There are three basic levels of volatility, although providers often use in-between grades to describe their games. These are the main ones:

  • Low volatility
  • Medium volatility
  • High volatility

Low Volatility Casino Games 

Low volatility casino games are the ones that give players a chance to trigger more frequent wins but in smaller amounts. Or, to put it the other way, your screen will be bursting with action, but the total payout will be far less impressive in the end. 

Players willing to accept higher volatility levels typically find them to be a bit boring, but casual gamers, beginners and gamers seeking a more relaxing experience enjoy them. The promise of steady payouts simply can’t be beaten. Very specific advantages of such games are better financial management, lower risk exposure, and longer playtime for your money. 

Medium Volatility Casino Games

Medium volatility games can be best described as “in the middle” and, therefore, can be either a hit or miss. Such titles offer a mix of low and high payouts. It is possible you may be on a roll and win a lot, but you may also not win much at all. For example, medium slot volatility games are unpredictable and fun!

One of the most well-known features of medium volatility games is the number of high-paying bonus features and side bets. If you want more entertainment and variation, this might be the right type of game for you.

High Volatility Casino Games

High volatility casino games are titles that have the potential to pay out massive amounts, but they will also make you work for it! How massive, you might ask? Well, some releases pay as much as 20,000x the bet or even more! 

Before you get tempted by the promise of winning huge prizes, you should know these titles are the riskiest. They are ideal for players with equally huge bankrolls who have the time and cash to chase the jackpot or any other big-money prize. Otherwise, you might be frustrated by watching your balance drop quickly.

Despite all this, high-volatility games are incredibly fun. They often come with many features and are equipped with fascinating state-of-the-art gaming engines that you should try at least once.

casino RTP and slot volatility guide

What Games to Choose?

The final question is what kind of game you should choose. Unfortunately, there is no definitive answer.

Most players prefer to play games with a casino RTP above 96%, as this rate is widely considered to be the industry average. In terms of volatility, it boils down to your preferences, style, and how much risk you are willing to take. Explore the game you consider playing, read our reviews, and in the end, pay a visit to the paytable and game guide within the game. It is the one place that contains all the important info on the release that sparked your interest to play.

Don’t forget to play the demo game, if possible. You won’t win real money with it, but you can play hundreds of hands and spins at no cost, with no strings attached. 

Perhaps that is the best way to find out if the game is right for you or not?