What is the standard RTP of slot games?
When talking about the standard or average RTP of slot games, the number 96% is often mentioned. But let’s not take anything for granted, instead we’ll have a look at some actual data.
How is the RTP for a slot game decided?
The Return to Player metric for a slot game is based on the math fundamentals in the specific game. Due to the math formulas in the game the payout will be at a specific level over a substantial amount of bets.
So how is the RTP metric displayed by game providers and online casinos decided? The theoretical RTP parameter is set from the simulation of 1 billion rounds on the game server. To get a license from an gambling authority the game provider should pass the certification process and an independent auditor should check game server simulation. This audit then verifies that the announced RTP is correct.
Some gambling authorities have enforced regulations to have the actual RTP monitored over time for released and initially verified games as well. They do this to make sure that the game metrics that are published are accurate so the players have the best information possible. One example of this is the United Kingdom Gambling Commission, you can read more about it in their article Live RTP performance monitoring of games of chance.
Is it true that the RTP can differ for a game?
Yes, this is the case with some specific games and some game providers. We’ll go into the details of the different cases here, and give you recommendations on what actions you can take to make sure you are properly informed about the game you want to play.
Basically, in today’s slot game industry the RTP level of a game can differ based on four different factors:
- As known by well-oriented players and people in the industry, some game providers certify their games at several different RTP levels, giving the operators a way to adjust the specific setting for their service.
- Some games providers have produced games where the player is presented with an in-game choice that affects the RTP. This can be a character selection, mode selection or similar.
- Some games have different RTP levels based on the player’s selected bet size.
- Some games have different RTP levels based on the player’s selected paylines.
Staying informed about games with several different RTP settings
Some players have thought that because of regulation and game licences the RTP metric is fixed for a specific game. This is not the case today. Several operators have started to licence their games on several different RTP levels. In the case of Malta Gaming Authority licences, games can be licenced as long as the RTP level stays above 92% mark. A game can be certified for one level of RTP % or at several different levels.
SlotCatalog is of the opinion that it’s crucial that the online casinos are transparent about this towards the players. As more game providers get their games licenced on several RTP levels and provide the possibility for casino operators to choose what RTP level they want to run the games on, it’s important that players easily can find out what current settings apply to a specific game.
This is why we’ve collected data and put up information boxes for all games that have customizable RTP levels.
These customizable levels of RTP open up different opportunities for casino operators to go about their business. Some operators may lower the game RTP and spend some of the additional income on bonus promotions and improving other parts of their service. Others see the possibility to compete by offering their player a higher RTP, positioning themselves as a low-cost producer. An example of the latter is Unibet and their related brands which have spent a good amount of money on a Swedish Television campaign that promotes that they’ve raised the RTP to 98% on several of slot games.
These changes in the industry also provide opportunities for game providers to brand themselves in a way that they see fit. For example, some challenging game providers have started to appreciate this opportunity. Some release games with above average RTP and others have announced Fixed RTP as a counter-strategy to the recent customizable RTP levels.
Whatever directions individual operators and game providers choose to take we at SlotCatalog think it’s truly important that the industry is transparent about these settings, making them easily accessible and visible to the player. Without that, the trust between players and operators will fall substantially as we have already seen some real-world examples of.
As this is an important matter for the industry it would not be unreasonable if regulation authorities were to incorporate appropriate measures into the compliance guidelines, securing that the information is easy to find for the players. SlotCatalog aims to have RTP information for all games, but in-game start popups displaying the current RTP level as well as RTP changes depending on gameplay choices, bet sizes and pay lines might be a better way for the industry to go about it.