RTP stands for Return to Player which is number of wins divided by the amount wagered from your play. The closer to 100%, the more you’ll win back in theory. When you play slots online, the RTP can also be known as payout ratio. You’ll often hear about the best payout slots. This refers to the slots with the highest RTP %.
The RTP % is higher than at land based casinos. Games in Las Vegas for example will have an RTP % of about 75% whilst it’s about 95% at online casinos. If you were to wager £100 on the same slot in a Las Vegas casino or online, the difference in return would 20% or £20 (for a £100 wager), again on average.
Below there’s a brief overview of the best RTP slots available in the UK. Below that we look at other factors that affect RTP such as how it’s calculated, variance/volatility and theoretical RTP. First though, here are the 9 games with the highest return to player rates.
Want play the slot games with the best RTP rates? Here’s out list of the 9 highest RTP slots with a summary of what to expect from each of the slot games.
The 1429 Uncharted Seas slot from Thunderkick is a 5 reel, 25 payline game which can be played from 10p per pin on all devices. With a pirate theme, this beautifully designed slot takes you back to the early years of seafaring exploration. The graphics are unique and look like an old treasure map.
It comes with expanding wilds in the base game. There’s also a Free Spins feature where you can start with up to 50 free spins and retrigger to play with up to 100 in total. With expanding wilds during the free spins, this low variance game is popular as the RTP stands at 98.5%. It also offers wins of 670 x stake on each spin or free spin.
Powered by Relax Gaming, the Marching Legions slot is a 5 reel game with 243 ways to win. Based on the Roman legion, this graphically superb title comes with stacks of legionnaire symbols that give you re-spins. The re-spins continue until the legionnaire stacks shift off the reels. To help you, there’s a Nudge element where partial stacks on 2 or more reels will give you Marching Stacks.
In the Free Spins feature, you begin at ‘Wave 1’. Collect horns to move to the next ‘wave’. When you do this, the Marching Stacks is 2 reels wide. With 5 levels of waves, you could play with 5 Marching Stacks at once. It offers 7,458 x stake max wins and a 98.12% RTP rate.
The Blood Suckers slot by NetEnt is a 5 reel, 25 payline title which can played on all devices from as little as 25p a spin. Released in 2009, this vampire themed slot has an eerie soundtrack and has classic graphics. It offers a hit frequency of 44.9%.
It comes with a Vampire Slaying Bonus feature where you pick from coffins to win cash prizes. It focuses on the Free Spins feature where you begin with 10 free spins and a 3x multiplier. You can also win 10 more free spins. The max win is 1,014.6 x your total stake on ever free spin. The RTP is 98%.
The Jokerizer slot is by Yggdrasil Gaming and has 5 reels and 10 paylines. Playable from just 10p per spin on all devices, it’s based on classic fruit machines. There’s an enhanced portrait mode for play on mobile devices.
There’s a Mystery Win when you can win up to 600 x your total stake if you land 3 or more Joker symbols. You can opt for the Jokerizer Mode for extra prizes too. The RTP is 98%.
Powered by NextGen Gaming, the Starmania slot was released in 2015 and comes with 5 reels and 10 paylines. A win both ways game, this space themed adventure can be played, on all devices of course, from just 10p per spin.
It comes with a Free Games feature where up to 20 free spins can be won. More importantly 30 extra stacked wilds will be added across the 3 central reels. This makes it easier to win the max 1,000 x stake payout per spin. More impressive is the RTP which stands at 97.87%.
The White Rabbit Megaways slot has 5 reels and offers up to 248,832 ways to win. Powered by Big Time Gaming, this Alice in Wonderland inspired game comes with a Caterpillar Wilds feature which can add bonus wilds with multipliers.
In the Down the Rabbit Hole Free Spins feature, Cupcake symbols will expand the reels which can reach 12 high for 248,832 Megaways. With an RTP of 97.77%, it offers 13,000 x stake wins per spin.
The Zeus Lightning: Power Reels slot is from Red Tiger Gaming and is played on a 7×6 grid with 30 paylines. Set in ancient Greece, there’s an Expanding Lightning feature where Zeus fires lighting bolts to fill reels with the same symbol.
There is also a Free Spins feature where you can gamble to win more free spins. In the free spins, up to 3 stacked Zeus wilds can land on every free spin which can upgrade for bigger wins. With an RTP of 97.73%, the max win is 5,037 x stake.
The Golden Tour slot is by Playtech and has a golf theme. With 5 reels and just 5 paylines, this simple game comes with a Golden Tour Bonus feature where you choose a driver, iron and putter to win cash prizes. If you trigger the feature with 4 or 5 scatters, a 3x or 10x multiplier will be applied to your winnings, respectively.
However, the biggest wins come in the base game. If you manage to fill the reels with wilds, you’ll pocket 2,000 x your total stake. A simple game, the most important factor is that the Golden Tour RTP is 97.71%.
The Reel Gems slot is powered by Microgaming and was released back in 2010. With 5 reels and 243 ways to win, this jewel inspired offering comes with a Respin feature. After every spin, you can respin a reel of your choice for a prize. This allows for new or improved winning combinations.
There is also a Free Spins feature with you can play with up to 30 free spins with a 3x multiplier. With wins of 495 x stake on each free spin, the Reel Gems RTP is 97.49%.
You will see the term ‘best payout slots’ mentioned and this can be confusing. It’s all down to how you define payout. You can define payout as:
In this section we take a look at the online slots the payout the most per spin. This can also be referred to as max win per spin, maximum exposure or the highest payout rate. Contrary to the best RTP rates, big payout slots don’t necessarily offer a high RTP. It also works the other way in that a top RTP rate can mean small max wins per spin.
Our focus here is the maximum win per spin in terms of stake or bet multiplier. Here are 7 slots, jackpot ones excluded, that offer the best payouts per spin or the slots that payout the most on every spin:
Powered by Pragmatic Play, the 5 reel, 25 payline Peking Luck has a Chinese luck theme. It has a high 96.5% RTP rate. Very volatile, it comes with a high value wild symbol which pays 400 x stake for 5 in combination. If a wild is part of a win, your payout is subject to a 2x multiplier.
Like a lot of other high payout slots, it’s all about the Free Spins feature. You pick from fans to win up to 38 free spins. Then pick from 6 dragons to reveal a multiplier up to 18x. Unlimited extra free spins can be won but the potential 18x multiplier can give you wins of 180,000 x stake per free spin. To win this, you need a screen full of wilds with the 18x multiplier.
Powered by Nolimit City and with 5 reels and 243 ways to win, San Quentin is a prison themed slot. Using their xWays mechanic, the RTP is 96.03%. There are Enhancer Cells that can reveal Razor Split symbols for up over 13 million ways to win. xWays symbols display 4-high stacked symbols. There’s also a Split Wild feature which gives you up to 46,656 ways to win.
The main attraction is the Lockdown Spins feature which comes with Jumping Wilds. Moving about on each free spin, they can combine with Razor Split enhancers to give you 512x multipliers. This can lead to 150,000 x stake wins on each free spin.
With 6 reels and 4,096 ways to win, Wild Flower is from Big Time Gaming. With an RTP of 96.59%, this gothic flower inspired title offers reactions for continuous wins. There are 2 free spins features which give you a multiplier ladder for increasing multipliers and sticky wilds.
If you trigger the free spins with the Megascatter, you play Mega versions. In the Mega Wild Free Spins feature, sticky wilds landing on one another will see multipliers up to 3x appear. However, it’s all about the Mega Multiplier Free Spins feature where the multiplier ladder can reach 800x. This can lead to 114,000 x stake wins on each free spin.
Set in ancient Rome, Rome: The Golden Age was created by NetEnt and has 5 reels and 20 paylines. With a 96.06% RTP, it comes with a Frames feature which gives you wilds and turns adjacent positions into wilds. The Frames remain in play until they become wilds or you enter the free spins.
In the Free Spins Multiplier feature, there’s a progress bar. Fill it to upgrade the multiplier up to 1,000x. Once the free spins begin, an extra 2x multiplier is applied to all Rome symbols which means a potential 2,000 x multiplier. This can lead to 100,000 x stake payouts on every free spin.
Beginning on 5 reels and 243 ways to win, Skeleton Key is powered by IGT and uses their MultiWay Xtra engine. It has an RTP of 96%. Look out for key symbols which opens up locked positions and adds more ways to win, up to 7,776. There are also mystery symbols which transform into the same randomly chosen symbol.
It gets better in the Free Spins Bonus feature where you begin with a 1x multiplier. Skeleton key symbols increase the multiplier as does the mystery symbol. This can lead to 83,333 x stake wins on each free spin.
Then you have Wheel of Fortune Megaways. The first slot from IGT to use Big Time Gaming’s Megaways engine, it starts with 6 reels and up to 117,649 ways to win. Based on the TV gameshow, it has an RTP of 96.46%. There’s a Wild Megastacks feature where wilds can become stacked up to 7 high.
This game focuses on the Free Spins feature where you spin the Wheel of Fortune to play with a starting number of Megaways. Look out for the Expansion symbol which can extend reels up to 10 symbols high. With up to 1 Million Megaways, you can play with up to 90 free spins. This can lead to 80,150 x stake wins on every free spin.
A slot RTP is the Return to Player rate you will get when playing that slot game. If an online slot has an RTP of 95% for example, you will win back 95% of your stakes on average (so £95 for a £100 wager). If the RTP is 50% and wagered £100, you’d win back £50 on average. The bigger the RTP, the more you’ll win back. In theory, the best paying online slots are the ones with the highest RTP.
The difference between 100% and the RTP is the house edge or profit an online casino will make. If a slot has a 95% RTP, the online casino will benefit from a 5% house edge or margin. The higher the RTP, the less the online casino wins on average per spin. This is why players will prefer to play the top RTP slots as their chances of winning are higher.
To calculate a slots’ Return to Player rate, you need to get the amount returned divided by the total amount staked or wagered. For example:
The RTP does not mean you will get £95 from wagering £100 for a 95% RTP slot game. The theoretical RTP is the Return to Player rate that a particular online slot pays out on average across lots of spins. In summary, theoretical RTP is the guaranteed RTP across millions or billions of spins.
If you take Quickspin for example, they calculate their RTP rates across a billion spins. If you wager £100 and lose every single time, your RTP will be 0%. For a winning player, the RTP could be 200% or even 5000%.
The RTP set by slot providers is the average of all spins in a cycle of a set number of spins. On average (this being the key word), the RTP for a particular online slot will be what they showcase in the paytable. To summarise:
Your RTP % is connected to a slot’s variance or volatility. If all payouts (RTP) from a slot are distributed evenly in terms of small and medium size wins, the slot will be a low variance slot. If a slot pays the majority of the RTP in bigger wins, the slot is a high variance slot.
Hit frequency also plays a part. Some slots will have a hit frequency of 10% meaning 1 in 10 spins will result in a winning combination. A slot game with a 40% hit rate means 4 in 10 spins will give you a win. The higher the hit frequency, the more likely you are to win.
Whilst you may be tempted to play slots with high hit frequency, 1 win from a slot can pay a lot more than 10 wins from another slot game.
Many high RTP slots are actually low variance. This is because the slot provider will want to limit the risk and return paid out to players. It doesn’t mean these slots can provide big wins though.
If you take the Blood Suckers slot game from NetEnt, the RTP is a mammoth 98%. In the base game, the RTP is 65.7% with 11% coming from the free spins and 21.2% coming in the bonus game. Most wins coming in the base game making this is a low variance slot.
Let’s say you are playing a high variance slot. Most of the wins will come in the bonus features which may require 100s or 1,000s of spins to trigger. This is because the wins in these features can be very high – i.e. 50,000 x your stake per spin.
If a slot game offers multipliers of 20x for example, the potential RTP from that spin compared to the RTP from a base game spin with no multiplier is significantly higher (20 times higher). The likelihood of getting the same win is much lower meaning that your actual RTP for a win with a 20x multiplier will be significantly lower.
Playing high variance slots is risky as your chances of winning are much lower on average. This is because big wins will be few and far between with most wins likely to be small in size. If you do win big though, the RTP can be huge. Most often than not, a high variance slot will eat up your bankroll and give you very little, if anything, in return.
When you play a progressive jackpot slot, a portion of the RTP is reserved for the jackpots. This is why the RTP rate for a jackpot slot is typically lower than for an online slot with no jackpots.
In order to offer a progressive jackpot, part of what is wagered on the jackpot slot going into the progressive jackpot pool or fund. That is then won by the lucky player when the jackpot is hit. If you take NetEnt’s Mega Fortune jackpot slot, it has an RTP of 96.5% overall. The RTP is distributed as follows:
This means that 7.6% of what is wagered on the Mega Fortune slot goes towards the progressive jackpots you can win. Without the progressive jackpot element, the RTP is 89%. If you compare this to another of NetEnt’s slots, Starburst, which has an RTP of 96.09%, there is a difference of 7.09% which is quite significant considering the chances of winning the progressive jackpots are pretty remote.
Another example would be IGT’s Cleopatra slot. There’s the standard version and the jackpot version, MegaJackpots Cleopatra. The slots offer exactly the same bonus features but just the jackpots separating them. Here’s how the RTP varies from one version to another:
If you look at the most popular jackpot slots, here’s their RTP with and without the progressive jackpot element:
|Slot||RTP with Jackpot||RTP without Jackpot|
|Mega Fortune (NetEnt)||96.6% RTP||89% RTP|
|Hall of Gods (NetEnt)||95.7% RTP||88.7% RTP|
|Mega Moolah (Microgaming)||93.42% RTP||88.12% RTP|
|Jackpot Giant (Playtech)||94.22% RTP||91.24% RTP|
|Age of the Gods (Playtech)||95.02% RTP||94.03% RTP|
As per requirements set out by the UK Gambling Commission, gaming machines (whether a fruit machine, slot machine or FOBT) are required to clearly display the percentage return-to-play figure (RTP %) or the odds of winning a prize.
The RTP is normally found in the slot’s paytable. Most slots will have an ‘i’ or ‘Paytable’ button or icon where you can find the payouts for individual symbols, information about the bonus features, how winning combinations are created and what the RTP % is.
Whilst most slot providers will advertise the highest RTP % possible, some providers offer different option to their clients, the online casinos. If you take Play ‘n GO for example, they have 5 different RTP options for all their slots. If you were to take the popular Legacy of Dead slot, the RTP ranges from 96.58% at the top end of the scale right down to 84.55%.
Check at the online casino you play with prior to playing a particular slot. Most UK online casinos will offer the highest RTP option on the whole which is beneficial.
If you are playing at a casino regulated by the Malta Gaming Authority, the RTP for a particular slot game may be lower than in the UK. The MGA requires licensees to abide by a minimum average return to player of 92% of higher.
Most online casinos offer bonuses to new and existing players. This is an incentive to get players to sign up and deposit or to keep on playing. Whilst casino bonuses are welcome, they come with wagering requirements. If you were to get a 100% bonus up to £100 for example with 40 x wagering requirements, you would need to wager the bonus (£100) 40 times = £4,000 in wagering.
Playing high RTP slots in theory makes it easier for players to clear wagering requirements allowing them to cashout the bonus. As a result, online casinos don’t allow wagering from certain slot games. These tend to be slots with the top RTP rates. Please check the casino bonus’ terms and conditions prior to playing a high RTP slot for a bonus offer.
If you’re wondering whether playing slots at a land based casino is more lucrative, think again. In Nevada (home to Las Vegas casinos for example) the minimum RTP must be at least 75% whilst it’s at least 83% in New Jersey. Online, the average RTP is around the 95.5% mark.
If you take Novomatic and WMS for example, many of their slot games originate from the land based environment. This is why their RTP rates tend to be around the 95% mark. Newer releases though are 96% or over on average.
Any slot with an RTP % of 97% or higher is considered very high. Check out our list of the highest RTP slots with the likes of 1429 Uncharted Seas (98.6%) and Blood Suckers (98%). In theory, you will win back more per wager as the house edge is smaller for the online casino.
RTP (Return to Player) is the terms used to describe the percentage/rate of money won versus money wagered on a slot game. If a slot advertises a 95% RTP rate, you will theoretically win £95 back for every £100 you wager, on average. Playing high RTP slots will give you a bigger return in theory.
The Return to Player rate is calculated by the total amount return to players divided by the total amount wagered by players. The RTP is calculated over 100 of thousands, millions or billions of spins on average – not 1 particular session.
If playing slots in the UK, the UK Gambling Commission stipulates the Return to Player % must be clearly displayed on all slots offered. The RTP % can be found in Paytables or help sections of the slot game. Expect a RTP of 95% or higher on average.