What is RTP (Return to Player) in Casinos?

Knowing a bit about how games work can improve your playing experience. One important thing to get familiar with is the Return to Player (RTP) rate. We'll explore what RTP means, how it's calculated, and how it varies in different casino games.

Written by Thomas Brown
Verified by BettingGuide team
Last updated 2024-02-21

What Does RTP Mean?

RTP stands for Return to Player. It's a way to show what percentage of money put into a game gets paid back to players over time. Think of it as the game's way of giving players a heads-up about their chances of winning some money back. It's all about making smart choices on where to play.

  • Please note: This theoretical value does not refer to the return rate per game round. RTP is the average achieved over countless numbers of gameplay sessions.

What Does House Edge Mean?

House Edge refers to the revenue of an online casino or gambling facility. In the case of online casinos, it is the difference between the total amount of money wagered at the online casino and the amount returned to players (the casino's payout rate).

Using a game as an example, in a game with an RTP of 97%, the House Edge would be 3%.

Understanding the House Edge allows you to estimate the amount of money that will not be returned to you over the long term of gameplay.

How to Calculate RTP

Game's payout rate = Total winnings generated from the game ÷ Total bet amount placed on the game

To figure out RTP, you divide the total money paid back to players, divide it by the total money players have bet, and then multiply by 100 to turn it into a percentage. For example, if players have bet a total of $100,000 and the game has paid out $95,000, the RTP would be 95%.

Total Amount Bet by Players Total Amount Paid Out to Players RTP Calculation RTP Result
$100,000 $95,000 ($95,000 / $100,000) x 100 95%

Expert Tips from Thomas

Remember, RTP is a long-term average, not a guarantee for each session, but selecting higher RTP games can significantly enhance your overall gaming experience. Don't forget to check the game's volatility alongside RTP; this combination will give you a clearer picture of how often and how much you might win. Knowledge is power in online gambling, so stay informed and choose wisely.

RTP in Different Casino Games

RTP varies depending on the game. Generally, the RTP for slot games in online casinos ranges from 92% to 98%, while table games are around 99%.

RTP is typically determined by the game provider, but some game studios offer multiple RTP settings for casinos to choose from. For example, games from Play'n GO have three RTP settings, and the differences can be observed by checking the RTP information for Play'n GO games at each casino.

Types of gambling RTP
Slots 92% - 98%
Roulette European roulette: 97%, American roulette: 94.7%
Blackjack 99.5% - 99.6%
Baccarat Banker bet: 98.94%, player bet: 98.76%, tie bet: 85.64%.
Lotto Below 50%
Bingo 75% - 85%
Poker No RTP
Sports Betting The odds determine the potential payout

The table outlines various gambling forms and their corresponding payout rates, clearly showing that online casinos typically offer higher average payout rates than other gambling forms like the lottery.

Digital gambling platforms, including online casinos and sports betting sites run by bookmakers, generally offer better Return-to-player (RTP) rates than traditional physical casinos or government-run gambling activities.

This is because online casinos operate with lower overhead costs than their physical counterparts, enabling them to provide more advantageous payout rates to their players.

Slots RTP

Slot games have RTPs that usually range from 92% to 97%, sometimes even up to 99%. Higher RTP games tend to be better for players because they give you a better chance of winning over time.

Looking for the best slots to play online in Canada? We've got you covered with a list of games where you can see the RTP of each top online slot. Here is one of them.

Roulette RTP

RTP in roulette can change depending on the type you're playing. European roulette has an RTP of about 97.3%, but American roulette drops to 94.74% because of the extra double zero.

French roulette can have a higher RTP if it uses the "La Partage" rule. This rule means if the ball lands on zero, players only lose half their even-money bets, increasing the game's Return to Player (RTP) rate and making it more favourable for players.

At BettingGuide, we love online casinos that offer many different roulette games, including classic ones like European and American roulette and new versions like Multi-Wheel and Lightning Roulette, so there's something for everyone in today's varied industry.


Looking for the game with the highest RTP? It's blackjack.

The Return to Player (RTP) rate can go over 99% if you know how to play your cards right. What makes blackjack special is how much your choices matter. Every decision, like when to hit or stand, can make a big difference in whether you win or lose.

Our team keeps an eye on casinos that offer blackjack with different variations. Different versions of blackjack might have slightly different chances of winning, and this can change based on a few rules, like how many decks are in play or if the dealer stands on a soft 17.

The cool part about blackjack is that you can use strategies to boost your chances.

The basic blackjack strategy is a mathematically optimized set of rules that advises players on the best actions (hit, stand, double down, split, or surrender) based on their hand and the dealer's upcard to minimize the house edge and increase winning chances.


Baccarat is another game at online casinos where your chances of winning are pretty high.

Betting on the Banker in baccarat offers the highest win potential with an RTP of about 98.94%. While the Player bet is also a smart choice, it's slightly less favourable than the Banker. The Tie bet, despite its large payout, carries the highest risk and lowest RTP.

Baccarat's appeal lies in its simplicity; choose to bet on the Banker, Player, or Tie, and watch the outcome. The strong RTP for Banker and Player bets provides a good chance of winning, making baccarat a preferred game for those seeking simple gameplay with favourable odds.

Find BettingGuide's top ranked baccarat casinos and scroll operators that offer a great variety of baccarat games.


Bingo at online casinos usually gives you a Return to Player (RTP) rate between 75% and 85%. While playing bingo is straightforward, the specific rules of the game you choose can slightly adjust your chances of winning.

This means that while bingo is mostly about luck—like what numbers get called out—picking games with better rules can help improve your odds. Since there's not much strategy involved, your best bet is to look for bingo games that offer the highest RTP within that range. This way, you have a better shot at winning some money back as you play.


Online lotto games are known for their big, exciting jackpots but come with lower Return to Player (RTP) rates, often below 50%. The chance to win a huge prize makes these games attractive, but winning those big amounts is tougher.

This low RTP reflects the high-risk and high-reward nature of lotto games. While your chances of hitting a jackpot are slim, the potential payout draws many players in. Understanding this balance is key when playing lotto online—it's all about the thrill of the chance to win big, even though the odds are more challenging than other casino games.

No RTP Games: Poker and Sports Betting

Poker is different from other casino games because your chance of winning isn't just about luck; it's also about how good you are at playing. Unlike games with a set Return to Player (RTP) like slots, poker's RTP can change a lot because clever playing can help you win more.

In sports betting, how much you can win changes significantly because it's based on real sports games and how much you know. Unlike slot machines or roulette, which have a set chance of winning, in sports betting, finding the best betting sites with the best odds, doing your homework and making smart bets can really improve your chances.

This makes the return to player (RTP) not fixed but something you can influence with your knowledge and decisions.

  • The above information is just a rough estimate. Please consider it as a reference only.

Theoretical RTP and Actual RTP in Online Casinos

When considering the payout rate of online casinos, it's important to note that there are two types of RTP: theoretical RTP and actual RTP.

  • Theoretical RTP

    Theoretical RTP is the value stated in game studios or within the game itself. If the theoretical RTP is 97%, it means the game is designed to return 97% of the total bet amount as winnings.

  • Actual RTP

    Actual RTP is the percentage of total winnings generated compared to the total amount wagered by players during a specific period.

The Difference Between Theoretical and Actual RTP

The theoretical RTP of online casino games is set within the game itself and does not represent the payout rate specifically tailored to individual players. Therefore, there can be a significant difference between theoretical RTP and actual RTP.

For example, consider a game with a theoretical RTP of 97% played by a thousand players. In this scenario, the game is designed to pay out winnings equivalent to 97% of the total amount wagered by the thousand players.

Player A may only wager a thousand Canadian dollars and potentially win a jackpot of a hundred thousand Canadian dollars. In comparison, Player B might wager ten thousand Canadian dollars and only win two thousand Canadian dollars in return.

In this case, the actual RTP for Player A and Player B would be 10,000% and 20%, respectively.

However, from a long-term perspective—playing an immense number of games—the actual RTP tends to converge towards the theoretical RTP. This phenomenon is known as the law of large numbers in mathematics.

Gambler's Fallacy

The gambler's fallacy refers to the erroneous belief that if a particular event has happened more frequently than usual in the past, its likelihood of occurring in the future decreases (or vice versa).

For instance, in a coin toss where the chance of getting heads or tails is fifty-fifty, it's a common mistake to think that if heads came up on the first toss, tails would be more likely on the next toss. However, the outcome of the first toss doesn't influence the probability of heads or tails on subsequent tosses.

This concept is known as the principle of independent trials.


Understanding RTP and how it works can help players decide which games to choose at the casino. By selecting games with high RTP or playing at online casinos with the highest payouts, players can increase their chances of winning and minimize long-term losses.

Once you understand how online casinos or bookmakers operate, feel free to try out your favourite brands. Betting guides often provide articles summarizing all recommended online casinos right now, so be sure to take a look.

Thomas is responsible for all content on BettingGuide Canada. With his extensive knowledge of the gambling industry and college degree in law, he knows what you should look out for when choosing the best casino or sportsbook.