You may have noticed that slots will disclose their RTP, return to player, which is generally in the mid 90% range. Casinos are required to make the RTP of their games known, and will inform the player upfront. But what exactly is RTP, is it different from the hit frequency, and how does it impact the payout amount of the slot?

Let’s take a closer look.

What is RTP?

RTP is the expected amount of all wagers to be returned to the player, over a period of time. So theoretically, if the player makes a $1 bet, 100 times, then the expected return of those 100 bets would be determined by the RTP. If the RTP is 80%, then the player should receive $80 back.

However, it is important to keep in mind that the RTP is only over a long term period, with the short term to be taken into account as something separate. Given that, after each spin of the reels, the player may decide to stop spinning, the RTP does not really give an accurate representation of the amount the player will be given back.

Instead, it is better to look at the hit frequency to get a better idea of payouts frequency.

Hit Frequency

The hit frequency percentage is a far more accurate indication of how often wins will occur on that particular game. Hit frequency can vary drastically, with games being classed as low, medium, and high volatility. On average, hit frequency is around 30% and 40%, but it is essential to check each game before spinning, in order to see the exact percentage.

As would be expected, this number declares exactly how often a winning combination is likely to come up, though there are some additional things to take into account. For example, the reels have multiple paylines, and although wins may occur on some paylines, there may also be multiple paylines that offer no payouts on that same spin.

It is also important to keep in mind that a winning combination doesn’t necessarily mean that a large payout will be granted. A win may occur, but the payout may be even be lower than the initial bet.

On the other hand, a win may occur, and it may be a progressive jackpot win.

Luck of the Draw

Slots are all a matter of luck, and RTP and hit frequency serve only to give a basic idea of how often payouts will occur, and how much money will be received back over an extended period of time. Weighing up frequency of wins, versus how much cash is expected back with extended play, is simply an estimate of playing that particular game.

A big win may be hit on the very first spin, or there may not be a single win for the first 10 spins. It is all a matter of percentages, probability, and luck. It is best to simply keep in mind that slots are meant for entertainment, and going head to head with Lady Luck is an interesting way to pass the time.