RTP and Variance Explained

There are thousands of types of slots on the casino market. All of them have different game mechanics that have RTP and variance scores. These indicators are closely related to player wins and losses. Therefore, it is very important for gamblers to have a good understanding of these two concepts. Information in our guide will help you.

What Is RTP?

In simple terms, RTP (Return to Player) is a figure that indicates the amount of money a player will get back from the money invested when playing casino games over a distance. 

Note that it is in the distance. This implies that it is not clear at what distance this money will come back.   

The player may win from the start, or he may suffer a succession of failures. But if he will play a particular game with a rate of, for example, 97%, in time, the machine will give this player 97% of the money spent. And 3% will be taken as a fee for entertainment. 

How Is RTP Calculated?

In the case of games, the RTP is built into the slot machine as a formula. This formula is as follows:   

RTP = the amount of money that will be returned to the player/the amount of money spent by the player 

To determine RTP, the built-in program runs millions of simulations and puts the average of all simulations as the RTP indicator.    

Random number generators are also built into the slot machines. This is why each spin in a game is independent of the past or next spin. Even if a player spins the machine but loses, the slot machine will lead him to the average RTP value. Gambling machines that have an RTP figure greater than 95% are considered high-level and are more often chosen by gamblers.    

Why Do Games with Low RTPs Exist?

It is just that these machines are risky. In games with a low RTP, most of the session, the player gets nothing or small payouts. At the same time, with a low probability, the player can earn gigantic winnings.     

These types of machines are chosen by gamblers who can afford to splurge for big winnings in the future. In them, the gambler gets a huge payout or nothing.  

Expand your horizons in online gambling, read what Provably Fair Games are.    

Where the RTP Rate Can Be Seen?

Each type of game has a menu with basic information. In it, the player needs to select the Info section, which is indicated by the English letter “i” or question symbol. This section of the slot will include various sections. The casino customer needs the RTP range section.    

In addition, casinos maintain their blogs, and if such an information tab is present on the platform, the player can check it. There will be reviews of new and old slots with the indication of their RTP rate. 

Does RTP Really Matter?

Most players do not pay attention to the RTP rate, even though it can increase their chances of winning. In case a player wants to relax and plays in a casino once every couple of months, they do not need it. They just want to enjoy the process of playing.   

More serious gamblers always pay attention to the RTP rate of the machine. The higher the figure, the more money the machine has to payout. It is in games with a high RTP that gambler can catch bonus games or free spins more often. This, in turn, will help stretch the game and get the coveted winnings.   

The gambler should not be upset if he loses a game today. Of course, his payout ratio will tend towards the machine’s RTP value, but it will never be exactly the same. It can either be higher or lower.   

Online Slots with High RTPs

Since games with a higher RTP give higher payouts on average, they are more attractive to players. The games with the highest RTP are listed below.

Sticky Bombs slots

Sticky Bombs

This slot machine has an RTP of 95.8% and is at the top of most online casino games. The machine has classic, wild and scatter symbols. On a roll of 3 scatters, the player gets 10 free spins.

sweet bonanza slots

Sweet Bonanza

Sweet Bonanza is representative of the fruit slots in which symbols are broken and new ones fall in their place. This game has an RTP of 96.5%. This type of gambling entertainment is available on many top online gambling platforms.

888 Dragons slots

888 Dragons

This is the classic game of choice for newcomers. Players choose this particular slot because of just 3 reels and simple combinations. The RTP in this game is 96.84%. This slot is common and can be found in many casinos.

narcos mexico slots


The machine is entirely dedicated to gangster themes and has 5 reels. The machine has classic and wild symbols, free spins and the RTP of 96.23%. 

The Catfather slots

The Catfather

This game has the highest RTP of all the games featured in the article, at 98.10%. The machine features classic symbols and scatters that give free spins. The provider of this game is Pragmatic Play, familiar to every seasoned player.

Slots Variance Explained

The volatility of games is related to the risks a gambler takes when playing casino slots. This indicator determines how often a player will win.    

In games with high volatility, the player will win less often. These games have fewer pay lines. But, if the player wins, it is more often than not fabulous money. Low volatility games mean that the player will win more often but less often than high variance slots.   

Games with medium variance can give big winnings as well as small ones. They are usually chosen by gamblers who cannot decide between the first two types of volatility. But that does not mean that the platform’s client will get winnings all the time because the games are built on a random number generator.   

It is important to understand that RTP and variance are different things. The RTP indicates the amount of money a player will get at the distance. Variance, on the other hand, indicates the frequency of winnings.   

As a result, we have that the player has to choose whether to get big sums in a lump sum or over a period of time, to get the sums often or rarely. It all depends on the playing style of the gambler and what risks he allows himself to take. 

Where Can the Variance Rate Be Seen?

This information is not as readily available as in the case of the RTP indicator. Most often, it is not specified in the slot description. The only thing a player can see is a volatility rating. As a result, one has to check the volatility manually.   

In case a player wants to check the volatility of a slot, he will have to play it. In this case, it will become clear within 10 minutes whether the volatility of the game is high or low. Casinos usually provide a demo mode, in which the player gets imaginary cash to try the slot. This is how volatility can be checked.   

 Progressive jackpots have high volatility because the size of the top prize is enormous. Low volatility is characteristic of fruit slots because the game mechanism is based on the fact that the symbols replace each other. 

Good RTP and Variance Combination

In this respect, it all depends on the gambler’s style of play. Depending on that, the casino client will need to choose a slot machine with certain RTP and variance values. Information on the types of players is given below.


If the casino customer is a beginner, the gambler will often not be prepared to spend a large amount of money. Consequently, the newcomer wants to play more while spending a small amount of money. On this basis, the average beginner chooses machines with an average RTP and low variance.

Skilled Gambler

These players are regular customers of the casinos and are used to spending decent amounts of money there. That is why they choose games with a high variance ratio. Such gamblers understand that the risk is high, but it is justified by the possibility of winning large amounts of money.

Cautious Player

This type of gambler can usually afford average spending. That is why they choose slots with average risks. High RTP and medium variance are their preference. They play with an average chance of winning, leaving themselves little chance of winning big.

Jackpot Player

These players choose games where the RTP is close to 90%, and the variance is at a high value. Since the RTP is low, the player has a small chance of winning and may not win for several sessions. But if he does, he will receive a huge amount of cash.

The bottom line is that a casino customer chooses one of the play styles presented above and starts playing slots. 

Tips to Use RTP and Variance Correctly

Tips for playing slots with different RTPs and variance are outlined below:   

  • Always try slot machines before playing them. That is what the demo mode is for. This way, the gambler can get a feel for the game and understand in more detail the information about the value of the symbols and the number of pay lines. With the help of this mode, one can understand whether the player is suitable for the slot machine or not.   
  • Games with low variance have more frequent payments of smaller amounts. So do not have high expectations of winning a large sum and play fruit slots. 
  • If the player is hunting for big jackpots, popular progressive games are the most suitable option. A portion of each player’s spin goes into the jackpot, and this continues until the jackpot is won. Then it is repeated until the jackpot is won again.  
  • If the casino customer’s strategy is not to win the jackpot, a slot with a high RTP is the best option.


Is it really necessary to understand RTP and variance?

If a gambler only occasionally plays casino games for fun, it is not necessary. But if a player is a regular casino customer and often plays with a lot of money, it is better to get to the bottom of it. The reason for this is that RTP and variance affect the frequency of winnings and payouts.

Will the variance provide the player with consistent winnings?

No, the player must understand that slots also operate on the basis of a random number generator, and the RTP and variance are averages of a particular machine. 

What do I need to pay attention to besides RTP and variance?

The player has to pay attention to the bonuses of a particular slot machine. Also, an important point is the presence of bonus offers in the chosen casino and the convenience of payment systems.

Will customer data and personal information be protected when I play at the casinos listed on this page?

Yes, these casinos are verified by the gaming commissions of different countries. Also, all of these slot platforms use encryption to ensure that personal information about customers does not fall into the wrong hands.

Do the casinos design the slot games themselves?

No, that is done by special providers. They create the slot machine and then the casino acquires it. Some of the high-level software providers are Pragmatic Play and Playson. These providers have already created dozens of games, and you can find their machines in any reputable casino.