RTP and Payouts: What You Need to Know

RTP and Payouts

If you've ever overheard someone discussing RTP in pokies or other gambling products and found yourself puzzled by the term, you're in the right place for clarity. RTP, or Return to Player, is a crucial concept in online casino games, representing the percentage of total wagers that a game will pay back to players over time.

Understanding RTP can significantly enhance your gambling experience by helping you make informed decisions about which games to play, setting realistic expectations for wins and losses, and developing a strategy that could potentially increase your chances of winning.

Key Takeaways

  • RTP (Return to Player) is the percentage of total wagers a game will pay back to players over time.
  • RTP is calculated over millions of game rounds, not a single session, and doesn't predict short-term wins or losses.
  • Games with higher RTP are generally more favorable, indicating a lower house edge and higher overall payouts.
  • Volatility refers to the distribution of wins and losses, affecting how RTP is realized by players.
  • Most casino games have an RTP between 94% to 97%, but several exceptions exist, with some games having an RTP as low as 85% and some as high as 99.92%.
  • RTP can vary between gambling sites for the same game, as developers create games with different settings that casinos can choose from.
  • Always check the RTP in each game you play to know what deal you're getting.

What Is RTP?

In essence, RTP is a mathematical representation of how much money you can expect to win back from your bets over a significant number of plays. For example, if a pokie has an RTP of 95%, this means that for every $100 wagered, the game will return an average of $95 to you.

It's important to note, however, that these percentages are calculated over millions of spins or game rounds and not during a single gaming session. Therefore, while RTP is a useful indicator of a game's general payback over time and overall profitability, it doesn't predict short-term wins or losses.

This is why different gambling sessions can end with totally different results – some being highly profitable and some resulting in losing whatever you deposited to the casino. This, of course, is a good thing.

Imagine if a casino game with a 95% RTP always paid back $95 for every $100 wagered. Then you would always know that you are losing $5 for every such wager which would eliminate all the fun of gambling.

That said, given the nature of RTP, a game with a higher RTP is generally more favorable to play, as it indicates a lower house edge and a higher chance of winning. Over the long run, it will pay you back more. Conversely, a lower RTP means a higher edge for the casino and lower overall payouts.

This highlights why understanding RTP is fundamental if you’re looking to make the most out of your gaming experience. It allows you to opt for games that offer the best potential return.

Is Volatility the Same As RTP?

Volatility and RTP are distinct concepts, though they are closely intertwined, illustrating different aspects of a casino game’s performance.

Volatility refers to the distribution of wins and losses over a certain period, thereby affecting how the RTP is realized by players. This distribution pattern is why a game with a high RTP does not guarantee more wins than a game with a lower RTP over a short playing session.

Consider two pokies, both with an RTP of 95%.

One game is high volatility, meaning it rarely pays out, but when it does, the wins can be significant. Imagine betting $1 per spin for 1,000 spins, and you land a whopping $950 win on just one spin but lose the rest.

The second game is of low volatility, offering more frequent but smaller wins, such as $0.50 to $5 wins across various spins, totaling $950 in returns from $1,000 wagered.

Despite both games presenting an RTP of 95%, the player experiences of them are very different due to their volatility levels. High volatility games appeal to those looking to take high risks for the potential to get big wins, while low volatility slots suit those preferring consistent but smaller winnings.

Please note though that the examples above are extreme scenarios to illustrate a point. In reality, the difference between high and low volatile games is more nuanced.

What Is the Normal RTP Rate?

Most casino games will have an RTP of somewhere in the range of 94% to 97%. This is often considered the standard, especially for online pokies. That said, you may also find games that have lower or higher RTP.

The lowest RTP is usually found among scratch cards where it can be as low as 85%. However, this also holds true for some bet alternatives in certain table games, including the tie option bet in Baccarat.

As for the highest RTP, this is often found in table games and video poker, with 99.50% – 99.92% in Blackjack (depending on rule settings) and up to 99.92% in video poker (depending on the version).

However, in both these games, you make decisions that can be more or less profitable. Thus, to reach the maximum RTP, you would have to play the game in a mathematically perfect way.

In addition to table games and video poker, some online pokies also have an exceptionally high RTP. One such example is Book of 99 by Relax Gaming, offering a 99% payout.

To learn more about the highest paying casino games, check out our dedicated article about it.

Can the RTP Be Manipulated?

The RTP in casino games cannot be manipulated in a fraudulent way. However, it is crucial to understand that it can vary between gambling sites, including all the fast payout casinos that we recommend. To clarify, one pokie at one casino can have a higher RTP than the same pokie at another.

This is because the developer of a casino game can create the game with different settings, leading to different variations of the same game. The payout table may look the same in all of them, but the odds have been adjusted so that certain outcomes don’t occur as often, ultimately lowering the RTP.

It is not every game developer that creates multiple versions of their games. However, with those that do, online casinos can choose between the different settings themselves to decide how much the game should pay to players.

An example is the iconic Starburst pokie created by NetEnt. This is often advertised to have an RTP of 96.09%. However, we have seen many different variations of the RTP among fast paying casino sites, including the following values:

  • 96.09%
  • 95.05%
  • 94.05%
  • 92.05%
  • 90.05%

Another example is the game developer Quickspin who usually offers the following three RTP configurations that online casinos can choose from:

  • 96%
  • 94%
  • 92%

With this freedom of choice that casino sites have, it is crucial to make it a habit to always check the RTP in each game you play. Otherwise, you won’t know what deal you’re getting and may end up playing with a lower chance of winning than you would have to.

Where Is the RTP Found?

Whether you’re playing a pokie, table game, or any other casino product, the RTP should always be displayed somewhere in the game. This is normally a legal requirement. You may have to look around a bit though as it is not always easy to find. Check the paytable, game settings, and any other tab with information that’s available in the game.

If you’re unable to find the RTP, we highly suggest not playing the game as it may be awfully low.

With some fast-paying casinos in New Zealand, we have found that the RTP in pokies created by Play’n GO is not displayed. We don’t know why or how the casinos get away with this. However, we can only assume that these pokies are running on one of the lowest RTP settings available which could potentially be less than 90%.

Bringing extensive expertise in the professional iGaming industry and a deep understanding of online casino gambling, Mattias Fröbrant is a highly regarded iGaming journalist. With experience working with industry giants like Betsson Group and a track record of compiling thousands of casino articles, including hundreds of casino reviews, Mattias has established himself as a trusted authority.


At FastestPayoutCasinos, Mattias is dedicated to providing accurate and reliable information to players seeking the fastest payout casinos in New Zealand. With his meticulous research and unwavering commitment to accuracy and high quality, he ensures that every review, guide, and news article is informative and trustworthy.


Join Mattias on his quest to uncover the top online casinos in New Zealand that offer lightning-fast withdrawals and connect with him on LinkedIn.

© Copyright 2022-2024 Fastest Payout Casinos in NZ