Want to increase your odds of winning during your next trip to an online casino? Learn about RTP, or Return to Player, so you can find the games that give you the best chance of winning.
You may have heard the term bandied about a bit when it comes to both land-based and online casino games, but what on earth is RTP? In this article, we clear the fog and provide some much needed clarity on this potentially confusing metric.
Understanding the RTP of casino games will help you pinpoint which are the best ones to play, so read on for everything you need to know, including a detailed definition, how the RTP is calculated, and which NJ online casino games have the highest RTPs.
RTP stands for Return to Player, which is defined as the percentage of money paid into a game that is expected to be paid out to players over the long term. But what does that actually mean?
All casino games are designed to present players with an opportunity to win more than they bet. However, not all games are created equal. Different games offer varying payouts and chances of winning, making it tricky to compare them. That’s where this measurement known as RTP comes in.
Usually expressed as a percentage, the Return to Player allows you to compare different games to see which pays out more in the long run. The best way to think about this RTP measurement is that it’s the opposite of the house edge, which is the cut of all paid-in money that the online casino keeps.
Using an example, a slot may have an RTP of 95%. This means that for every $100 played on the game, average winnings totalling $95 can be expected to be paid out. On the flip side, the house edge of such a slot is 5%, meaning that the house keeps $5 for every $100 played.
Be careful though! This doesn’t mean that playing $100 on a 95% RTP slot is guaranteed to pay you $95 in your next session. It’s more of an average over the long term rather than a prediction on the next played game!
How RTP Is Worked Out
The Return to Player metric is very easy to calculate. It’s simply the amount of money that has been paid out divided by the amount of money that has been paid in over a set number of plays (spins), multiplied by 100 to give a percentage.
As an example, let’s say a slot has paid out $96,000 compared to the $100,000 that’s been paid in over a set number of spins. 96,000 divided by 100,000 gives us 0.96, which as a percentage gives us the slot’s RTP of 96%.
You can actually work out the RTP of your session yourself using the same formula. However, do bear in mind that your result may not be the same as the stated RTP of the game you play. In fact, it might not even be close! But why not?
To get an accurate result, the measurements must be taken over a very large number of plays or spins. For most online slots, for example, the official theoretical RTP must be calculated over at least 1,000,000 spins! Now you can understand why it’s not a particularly good measurement for the profit potential of short-term play, but more useful for comparing games’ payouts over the long term.
Offline Versus Online RTPs
If you check out the RTPs of a few games featured at your local land-based casino, you may notice that they can be substantially lower than even the lowest RTP games at online casinos. Why is that?
Simply put, land-based casinos are legally allowed to offer games with a lower RTP. To make matters worse, it’s often very difficult to ascertain a land-based casino game’s RTP as it tends not to be stated on the machine or at the table.
As a comparison, it’s common to find penny slots at NJ land-based casinos offering an RTP of 88%, which is considered an abominable RTP for online slots! In Las Vegas, RTPs can legally dip as low as 75%!
Speaking of slots, another variable comes into play in terms of RTP that’s interesting to know as it affects how these games actually pay out. That variable is whether the slots are compensated or random.
Compensated slots are the kind you’re most likely to come across in land-based casinos. This type of slot machine works by constantly assessing how much money has been paid in and paid out on a rolling basis, with subsequent payouts calculated accordingly. One of the reasons for this is simply a case of logistics regarding how much physical money the slot machine can hold. Once the machine approaches its maximum capacity, it’s more likely to pay out.
However, it also comes down to the machine’s adherence to its programmed RTP. If over the course of numerous spins the RTP drops below its programmed value, it will adjust the payouts to increase its running RTP, and vice versa.
Both of these reasons are why you see some savvy gamblers lingering near certain games, waiting to jump on after the previous player has pumped in a lot of money and lost it all!
In contrast, the payout of online games (and not just slots) is controlled by what are called Random Number Generators (RNGs). These are algorithms that use constant and changing numbers in a particular formula to come up with values assigned to the positions of specific reels in the case of slots, which determine how each reel will land. Since the algorithm that produces these values isn’t accessible and uses different numbers each time to reach these values, by definition the results are both random and unhackable.
What this all means is that online casino games do not pay out the same way as compensated games since the use of an RNG set at the game’s programmed RTP means there is no need to draw upon existing paid-in versus paid-out data. Each spin of the reels has absolutely no bearing on the last when it comes to RNG-based slots. The same is true of all RNG-based games.
Average RTPs for Different Online Casino Games
So what is a good RTP for NJ online casino games? In order to answer that question, we need to consider the different games on offer at online casinos as some have more of a house edge than others, which, as we’ve discussed, has a direct bearing on the game’s RTP.
Blackjack, for example, is commonly regarded as the casino game of choice due to its very low house edge, resulting in a typical RTP of somewhere around 99%.
In terms of roulette, the RTP depends on the game variant, with American Roulette offering the worst RTP at 94.7% and French Roulette (La Partage and En Prison rules) giving a more attractive RTP of 98.6%.
For slots, an RTP of around 95% to 96% is considered industry standard, while scratch cards, keno, and Caribbean Stud Poker fall somewhere around the 95% mark.
Baccarat tends to sit somewhere in the region of 98% to 99%, with video poker games landing similarly at around 99%, depending on the variant.
Where to Find a Game’s RTP
If you’re struggling to decide on a specific online casino game to play, but you’re keen to go with something that’ll maybe boost your chances of winning a bit, the RTP is a good metric to use. But where do you find information about a game’s RTP?
Luckily, it’s actually quite easy to find the RTP of online casino games due to the regulated nature of the industry these days. One of the easiest ways to find a game’s RTP is by hovering over the game’s image and clicking on the info button as displayed below:
This usually opens a separate window or popup with additional details about the game, including the number of reels, paylines, minimum and maximum bet, and the RTP.
Another way of finding a game’s RTP is from within the game itself. In the 5 Treasures slot, for example, simply click on the question mark icon at the bottom right.
This opens a new window with details about how to play the game. Scroll all the way down to the bottom and you’ll find a section entitled Legal Notices, in which the game’s RTP is stated in the second paragraph.
Though we’ve used slots as an example here, the RTP of other games can be found in exactly the same way.
Golden Nugget’s Handy RTP Tool
Of all the New Jersey online casinos, only Golden Nugget offers an exceedingly handy tool for pin-pointing and tracking both theoretical and actual RTPs. The page is entitled “Real RTP” and features a list of both the game categories and each individual game along with their respective theoretical (ie. as stated by the game’s developer) and actual (ie. based on actual gameplay by players at the site on a rolling monthly basis) Return to Player percentages.
The first table on the page gives overall theoretical and actual RTPs for each game category, including slots, table games, blackjack, and video poker.
The second table features a list of every game on the site along with theoretical and actual RTPs that can be sorted according to game, type, or either of the RTP values. There’s even a search box for pinpointing a specific game!
High RTP NJ Online Casino Games
Looking for a top list of New Jersey online casino games with the highest RTPs? You got it! Check out our sections below that give you a few high RTP games to explore in the categories of slots, blackjack, roulette, and video poker games.
High RTP NJ Online Slots
One of the highest RTP slots available at New Jersey online casinos is Mega Joker, with a Return to Player of up to 99%!
Don’t let the classic look of this slot fool you: Its potential for paying out big wins lies in its Supermeter mode.
Spin the bottom set of three reels and any wins along those five paylines can be either collected or used as credits for the upper set of three reels, which contain more of the higher value symbols for bigger wins!
As mentioned before, European and French Roulette are the two best variants in terms of RTP, with both being miles ahead of their American cousin.
It’s European Roulette‘s single zero compared to the single zero and double zero of American Roulette that makes it a much better option to play in terms of RTP, which is stated as 97.3%.
European Roulette can be found at all New Jersey online casinos, including Golden Nugget, Stardust Casino, and Unibet Casino.
French Roulette‘s slightly increased RTP of 98.6% comes down to the combination of the European layout and a special rule.
The La Partage rule applies to even money bets such as the High/Low, Odd/Even, and Red/Black bets when the ball lands on zero. If this happens, rather than losing your stake entirely, you get half of it back. The En Prison rule is even more attractive, with your whole bet remaining in place for the next round.
You’ll find French Roulette at most online casinos serving the Garden State, including Golden Nugget, Pala Casino, and Unibet Casino.
High RTP NJ Online Video Poker Games
Video poker games are an interesting bunch, with many of them sporting some pretty lofty RTPs that rival even blackjack!
Top of the list is IGT’s Game King Video Poker, specifically the Deuces Wild variant, which offers an RTP of 98.91%.
As the name suggests, the deuces are wild in this game, which can be found at most online casinos including Golden Nugget, Caesars, and DraftKings Casino.
Another video poker game worth checking out for both its RTP of 98.46% and its unique special bonus is Destiny Poker.
The feature of this game comes into play when you’re betting at the maximum level and you land four of the five cards needed for a Flush, Straight Flush, or Royal Flush. Hold all four cards and if you don’t complete your hand, you’ll trigger the Destiny Poker Bonus instead for a shot at redemption!
One thing to bear in mind when it comes to this Return to Player metric is that it’s based on optimal gameplay. While that might not have much bearing when it comes to simple slots, where there’s no real strategy involved, in other games such as blackjack and video poker, your decision making and whether or not you play additional side bets can have a drastic impact on the game’s RTP. As such, it’s worth learning how to tighten your gameplay when it comes to these games for even better chances of winning.
The Bottom Line
The Return to Player is a really useful measurement when it comes to comparing the payouts of various games over the long term. Just remember that it doesn’t tell you how much you’re likely to win in your next gaming session!
While it is prudent to choose your games wisely, RTP is just one of many factors that come into play when making such a decision, with additional elements such as variance/volatility, payouts, jackpots, features, min/max bet sizes, and a host of other variables also worth your consideration for the best possible experience on all fronts.
Having said all that, the Return to Player is a good place to start if you’re looking to get the biggest bang for your online casino gaming buck!
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