29th January 2018

Understanding Return to Player Rates and Slots Volatility


Return to Player RatesThere’s no definitive way to tell whether any given online or mobile slot or casino table game is going to pay out in your favour – after all, this just wouldn’t be gambling if there wasn’t a risk factor, and where would be the fun in that? But while there’s no room for certainly, there is definitely some ways for you to manage your risk when you’re gambling. We’re not just talking about sensible budgeting here – we’re talking about picking the right game.

When it comes to all legally licensed online and mobile casino game, you should be able to find published information about the factors which decide how profitable the game is going to be – namely the return to player rate associated with the game, and the volatility of the game. In this post we’re going to explore these ideas, and hopefully by the end of it, you’ll understand how to choose a game which suits exactly your appetite for risk and reward.


Understanding Return to Player Rates

Return to player rates (otherwise known as RTP rates) are a number – given as a percentage – which dictate how much of your initial stakes you’ll see returned to you as winnings over an infinite number of spins. Now, games developers aren’t just good cartoonists, they have great mathematicians on staff, who calculate the best way to ensure the average player doesn’t lose out to much, while still being able to offer big jackpots, and ensure that casinos stay in business.

Percentage SYmbolWhile it differs depending on the game you’re playing, when it comes to online and mobile slots, most RTP rates will be between about 95% and 98%, meaning that – at least theoretically – if you played for a really long time, on average, you’d actually end up only spending between 2% and 5% of what you started with.

Of course, these are just averages, and when it comes down to it, each round of play is totally different and unpredictable. So when picking a game, it is good practice to take note of the RTP rate, but also take it with a pinch of salt.

So Where Does Volatility Come In?

Volatility is related to, but distinctly different from return to player rates. Volatility describes how likely a game is to pay out on a single spin, and how much it will reward. Put into basics, there are two ends of the volatility spectrum. There’s low volatility, which describes games which are likely to pay out a little bit of money but more often, and then there’s high volatility, which pays out less often, but comes with higher rewards.

Slots VolatilityIt’s generally accepted that high volatility slots are better for players who have a taste for risk, and are willing to chase the bigger rewards which come associated with it, while lower volatility slots are better suited to players who are just starting out with slots and/or don’t want too many risks.

There is some relation to RTP and volatility in the sense that low volatility slots are often higher RTP slots, however that’s not always the case. That also doesn’t take into consideration the fact that these are both averages, and a fluke might see a player winning big on a high volatility, lot RTP slot.

Try out different variations of RTP and volatility, and see what works for you!