Slot RTP and Volatility Explained – A Complete Guide

This article explains slot RTP and volatility, the two primary factors determining how much and how often you can expect to win at a particular casino game.

Why RTP and Volatility Matters

A slot game engine primarily consists of RTP (Return to Player) and volatility. Simply put, these factors determine how much and how often you stand to win at a particular game.

The RTP percentage determines how much of the total wagered amount is returned to players in the form of winnings. While volatility determines how often a slot pays out and the general size of the wins.

Once you understand how these factors affect gameplay, you can pick games that suit your bankroll and bet size. Moreover, you can consistently increase your chances of winning at the casino.

RTP Explained

Here’s what RTP is in a nutshell:

  • It expresses the percentage of all bets that a slot machine returns to the players over time in the form of winnings.
  • It is measured over a near-infinite number of spins
  • It ranges between 94% and 99%.
  • It doesn’t express how much you can expect to win during a game.

Return to Player explains how much of the total wagers a slot machine returns to players in the form of winnings. Online games in general return between 94% and 99%, with the average hovering around the 96% mark.

So, if a game offers 96% RTP, the remaining 4% is the casino’s profit. This means that for every $100 wagered in a game with 96% RTP, the casino retains $4 while the remaining sum is returned to players in the form of winnings.

But you must never forget that the RTP percentage is calculated over an infinite number of spins. This means it never indicates how much you can expect to win during a gaming session. Since the winnings are distributed among all players, you can’t expect to win $96 for every $100 wagered.

Volatility Explained

Here’s what volatility is in a nutshell:

  • It gives you an idea of the game’s payout frequency.
  • It indicates the size of a slot’s winnings.

Volatility is expressed on a scale of 1 to 5 or 1 to 10 and is often labelled low, medium, or high. There is no universal standard for defining volatility, and game providers generally rate volatility differently.

A slot’s volatility explains:

  1. The frequency of winning.
  2. The size of a slot’s win multipliers.

Low-volatile slots payout frequently. However, the winning sum is relatively small. High-volatile slots, on the other hand, payout at much larger intervals. However, the winning sum is quite substantial.

This doesn’t mean that you can’t strike the jackpot on low-volatile slots. However, when compared to high-volatile slots, the difference in the winning sum is noticeable.

The Relationship Between RTP and Volatility

As evident from the previous example, there is no direct correlation between RTP and volatility. This means that a high-volatile game can have low RTP and vice versa.

The RTP is simply a measure of how much of the betting sum is returned to the player. At the same time, volatility defines how the funds are returned in terms of individual wins and the size of the winning sum.

How to Pick Slots Based on RTP and Volatility?

Here are the basic guidelines for picking slots:

  • Pick a low-volatile game when playing with a limited bankroll.
  • Pick a high-volatile game when you have sufficient funds to stay afloat for longer durations.

When wagering at the casino, you always want to win as much as possible as soon as possible. And by comparing the RTP and volatility of video slots, you can pick games that suit your strategy and bankroll. However, you should never forget that video slots are a game of chance. But you can always work on improving the odds of winning.

If you’re starting with a larger bankroll, you can choose high-volatile games right from the get-go. The key is being patient and accepting that you will probably lose a significant sum before hitting a big win. However, when you win, the massive multipliers will make up for the losses endured along the way and probably give you a decent amount of wiggle room for future bets.

Always pick games with the highest RTP. As a rule of thumb, games with over 96% RTP have a higher chance of returning your investments, irrespective of their volatility.

How do RTP and Volatility Affect Bonus Wagering?

Here’s how to choose a slot when wagering a bonus:

  1. If you’re wagering a no deposit bonus, always pick low-volatile slots.
  2. Focus on meeting the wagering requirements and not on winning big. This way, you won’t be restricted by wagering requirements and win limits while playing with real money.

When wagering a bonus, always aim for low-volatile slots. Scoring multiple wins will increase your chances of staying afloat for a longer duration while gradually meeting the playthrough requirements.

If you choose a high-volatile game, you will likely run out of bonus points before hitting a substantial win. However, if you hit the jackpot, you’ll probably overcome the wagering requirement and score some extra credits that are ready for withdrawal. However, that is a risk that you should try and avoid.

At the end of the day, the casino’s win limit restricts how much you can withdraw at a go. So, it doesn’t matter whether you win big when playing for the wagering requirements.

We advise that you wager the no deposit bonus on a low-volatile slot. Once you exceed the playthrough requirements, you can play with real money without worrying about win limits and other restrictions.

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