Deciphering RTP – Return to Player Percentages

The online casino industry is a high-tech gaming market that provides so many fun and exciting avenues for gambling entertainment. You can play all your favourite land-based casino games from the convenience of your desktop computer or handy mobile device, thanks to tremendous advances in technology and enhancements on the internet.

Because computer programming goes into developing all these fabulous casino games, you can expect that certain software is placed into the heart of the game to set up its performance. All software of this type is based on clever and sophisticated mathematical algorithms.

After all, the casino business is just that, a business, so the house must always be ahead, and the maths of the game ensures this. But we all know that players still win. In fact, it is well known that gamblers across the world win rewards worth hundreds of millions of dollars every year from playing a litany of exciting and lucrative online casino games.

Obviously, you as a gamer will want to play the titles that are most likely to give you the best wins possible, so there is a portion of the mathematics of a game that determines the likelihood of a payout in your favour, this is called Return to Player (RTP) percentages.

In this guide, we aim to explain the ins and out of RTP and player payout percentages and show you why you should look to these when choosing the best casino entertainment to suit you.

What is RTP?

RTP is a helpful theoretical mathematical statistic that works out the average amount of money that players can expect to win back from gaming machines and table games over a period of time.

The statistics are worked out over an extended period of play, which very usually exceeds 1 million spins/game rounds and is presented as a helpful percentage to indicate the expected portion.

Where a game might present a favourable RTP of 96%, it is estimated that an average of 96% of every wager placed on the game will eventually be paid out over the course of the lifetime of the game as player wins.

That equates to a healthy amount of $0.96 for every $1 spent. Some days the machine may pay slowly, and some days it may pay a lot, but the average will be metered out in the end.

How is the RTP Percentage calculated?

Calculating the RTP of a game uses a formula which includes taking the amount returned to players as wins and dividing that by the total bets spent on the game. The casino will do this after multiple game sessions to form an average payout amount and then apply that as the machine’s average.

The payout percentages can, in truth, change slightly from month to month. Certain machines and table games have been known to reward 100% in wins or more in a calendar month. While that represents a loss for the casino on that game for that month, the tide could change the next time around for a profitable income in favour of the casino.

Conveniently, the best casinos will usually publish the monthly payout statistics of each of the games in their library for all to see. This way, players can see how generous the casino has been with all their entertaining casino games.

Alongside the true payout percentages on the casino page, you should be able to easily find out the RTP of each game offered by the casino. This will either be available for your convenience in the game files or on the casino’s dedicated RTP page if they have one. This is a helpful tool to assist you in choosing the perfect game for you.

What is the House Edge?

The house edge is the difference between 100% and the RTP percentage. So, on a game where the player has an RTP of 96%, the house welcomes a 4% profit. This statistic is a little more stable than RTP too.

The casino can expect a lucrative profit of 4% for every wager staked on the game in question. For every $1 million staked on a game, the house stands to make an incredible $40,000 of clear profit on that game alone.

The importance of audited payout percentages

It is important that you enjoy the gaming entertainment at casinos which independently audit their game outcomes. This way, you are ensured that the statistics presented are genuine. You can, therefore, be confident that the game has performed as well as the operator has claimed.

There are leading professional companies in the industry that provide the most accurate outcomes when it comes to payout percentages. Look for the seal of approval from these iconic brands.

  • eCogra
  • TST
  • iTech Labs
  • GLI
  • BBM TestLabs
  • Gaming Associates

Only the best Aussie casinos use eCogra, which is the ‘out and out’ leader in the testing field. Simply click on their icon on the casino’s homepage to load up the audited payout report for the house.

Do casino games have different RTP ranges?

It is an advantage when you understand from the beginning which casino games boast the highest RTP ratings, this way you can gauge which games to play to ensure you the best chance of earning lucrative and rewarding returns.

There are a vast number of casino games available to play online. Their RTP ratings are more rewarding than their land-based counterparts, as there are less overheads to be covered at internet-based sites. So, for a start, turn to online casino sites for the best odds on winning rewards.

Below is a list of the most popular casino games available to play at top Aussie-friendly casinos, together with the average RTP offered on each game type.


Pokies are known for their high jackpots and win potential. Usually, when the rewards are higher, they are more challenging to win. This is the case with pokies too. The RTP on pokies differs based on each individual game title, but you can expect a rating of somewhere between 93% and 98%, with an average of around 96%.

Of course, there are exciting games that offer odds on either side of this range. Some of the highest RTP slots in Australia include games with abnormally high rewards potential, including:

  • Ugga Bugga slot by Playtech provides a 99.07% RTP
  • Mega Joker by NetEnt is rated with a 99% RTP
  • Ooh Aah Dracula by Barcrest boasts a 99% RTP
  • 1429 Uncharted Seas by Thunderkick has a 98.6% RTP
  • Jackpot 6000 by NetEnt is rated with a 98.86% RTP

These games represent a small segment of games that ably manage to compete with top-paying table games.


The odds of winning in Roulette depend on the type of bet you are placing. Played at optimum strategy, the RTP on the American version of the game is 94.74%, while European roulette is more rewarding at 97.3%.


Baccarat is not only an easy game to play but boasts a superb RTP of 98.99% at basic strategy. Play fewer side bets to increase your odds of winning.


The skill used in playing the best hand each time provides for the highest RTP of all casino games. Blackjack boasts 99.67% when the classic variations of the game are played. Learning good strategy will ensure that your chance of winning is great.

Video Poker

Close to being as rewarding as Blackjack, Video Poker offers a 99%+ RTP when played at optimal strategy, making all the correct decisions about your hands. Like Blackjack, learning a keen strategy will stand you in good stead for lucrative rewards.


The American and Aussie dice game favourite may be chance-based, but the betting options you employ during the game will give you an RTP spread of anywhere between 83.33%, up to a decent 98.63%.


Keno is the master number game. The stakes are a little higher than most pokies, but the rewards can be rather lucrative. The RTP in this game varies based on the number of digits you choose to play in any one game round. In Microgaming’s version of the game, the RTP on a single-digit combo is 75%, but a choice of 7, 10, or 14 numbers will all exceed the 94% mark.

Texas Holdem

Being a popular variant of poker, much of this engaging game’s outcomes revolve around the use of good skill and efficient strategy. Texas Holdem boasts a favourable RTP of around 98.6%.

Scratch Cards

Becoming increasingly popular at casinos, virtual scratch cards will save you a trip to the shop to buy scratch and win tickets. When buying these tickets, the game RTPs range between 92% and 93% depending on the title you are playing.

How does game variance and RTP work together?

RTP provides an idea of how much a game will payout over time, but not necessarily tell you how frequently a game like pokies will payout. On the other end of the maths scale, we have the variance/volatility setting of the game. This determines how the game streaks play out.

Variance measures the arcs in the ebb and flow of the game and can give players an idea of how frequently they will win, and what size wins they can expect. There are three primary volatility levels experienced in games like pokies.

  • Low Variance: This beginner-friendly level offers frequent wins with low payouts. This type of game is low-risk and provides players with frequent action on the reels.
  • High Variance: This level offers infrequent wins, but when you do win, you normally end up with massive cash rewards. Your highest jackpot games are often high variance games.
  • Medium Variance: A new addition to the market, this variance level combines the best of both low and high variance settings to provide a machine that will pay small wins frequently and big wins on occasion.

Low variance games are certainly more suitable for new players who need an easier going atmosphere, while veterans and VIP players of the gaming world may prefer the higher variance offerings which come with a greater potential for high-end rewards.

To get a good understanding of the game maths model, be sure to check out the RTP and variance of a title together.

Can low RTP games be rewarding?

Low RTP games may have the necessary magic to reward you too. Take the popular Mega Moolah pokie, for instance. This Microgaming game has an 88.12% RTP, yet it has made many happy millionaires overnight.

Its high jackpots have claimed two Guinness World Records, such has been the height of its rewarding ways.

Games with massive jackpots lower the RTP, this way they can generate stronger reserves to build the exciting jackpot prizes. Don’t ignore these lower-RTP games as they could be your chance to claim massive cash prizes!


Which pokie machines have the highest RTP?

While the average pokie has an RTP of around 96%, there are some, like Ugga Bugga by Playtech that boast an impressive 99.07%


How is RTP Calculated?

The theoretical RTP of a game is calculated by comparing the income generated with the payouts made on that same game over an extended period of time.


Where do I find the RTP on Pokies?

Most casinos will conveniently publish the theoretical RTP of their casino games for you to see. You should also be able to examine the published payout percentages of every game of your favourite Aussie casino in the past month, which will be backed by accreditation from industry-leading testing companies.


Do casinos always make a profit?

Some months, casinos will payout more on a game than what they earned on it, but this is not the norm and they are, on average, more profitable.


Do Online Casinos change the true stats on payout percentages?

The best licensed online casinos provide true payout statistics. They use reliable and industry-leading independent companies to prove their stats.