The Best Slot Payouts?
Players at online casino and slot sites are always looking for the best payout slots. A very important factor in this is Return To Player (RTP) but as we’ll explain later, the best payouts can often come from slots with lower RTP.
Online slot games with high RTP are popular with players for two reasons.
- Better long term returns
- The best RTP slot games are ideal for clearing wagering requirements
While there are other important metrics that should be considered when choosing a slot game to play, RTP is a pretty good starting point.
What is Slot Game RTP?
RTP (return to player) is a measure of the amount of money that an online slot will pay back over time. It’s an important piece of information, offering a reasonably accurate indicator of what will happen to your bankroll if you keep playing the same game for tens or hundreds of thousands of spins.
RTP rates are expressed as percentages and specify your average winnings per £100 staked. So if you were to play a slot game with a 98.3% RTP, you would on average receive back £98.30 for each £100 of play. This means that the house would hold an edge of 1.7%. Of course, the £98.30 is per £100 of play, not per £100 deposited; if you continue to play with whatever you have left after the first £100 of play, the 98.3% applies to that as well, rather like compound interest.
Given that RTP is based on very long-term projections, what you actually end up with after a few hundred spins may bear very little relation to the RTP figure. Nonetheless, it’s a useful bankroll management tool that can prevent you from haemorrhaging cash on slots with a big house edge. So what’s considered a high RTP slot game?
High RTP Slot Games
The best RTP slots have a return to player of 98% or more, but there aren’t too many of these. Typical examples include Beat the Bank (99.17%), Ugga Bugga (99.07%), Blood Suckers (98%), Mega Joker (99%) and 1429 Uncharted Seas (98.6%).
Medium to High RTP Slot Games
RTP of between 95% and 96% is pretty par for the course for modern online slot machines.
Once you get above 96%, anything up to 98% is considered a mid-to-high RTP slot game. There are plenty of titles that fall into this range such as Jack Hammer 2 (97.1%), Kingdoms Rise Chasm of Fear (97.06%) and Steam Tower (97.04%).
Latest High RTP Slots
Although more than a few high RTP slots have been released in 2021, many have fallen under the radar, both with players and online casinos. There are a few exceptions that can be found at certain operator sites. These include Money Cart 2 (98%), Money Cart Bonus Reels (98%) and Book of 99 (99%). But be advised that most online casinos have seen to it that these games contribute 0% towards wagering – so in all likelihood, they can’t be used to play through welcome bonuses.
Slot Game RTP – Other Things to Consider
When choosing which online slot game to play, there are a few other metrics to consider along with RTP. Variance is perhaps the most important.
RTP vs Variance
While RTP describes expected returns over the long term, it isn’t a good indicator of potential win size or win frequency. To determine this, seasoned players use a measurement called variance which essentially describes how much difference there is likely to be between the slot’s RTP and what you ACTUALLY win or lose in a session. Another, somewhat more descriptive, term for variance is volatility; the dictionary definition of the word is “liability to change rapidly and unpredictably” and that’s just what happens with a high volatility slot game. One minute, you’re winning big and the next, you’re losing your shirt.
Low Variance Slots
Low-variance slots will pay-out regular small prizes. As a result they’re often popular among players with limited budgets playing with low stakes, spinning out time on device to a maximum. Many players also find the whole experience more entertaining when they win more often.
High Variance Slots
Then you’ve got high variance slots that feature larger but less frequently awarded prizes. More often than not, big payouts are generated via bonus rounds as opposed to the actual base games which means that until and unless you trigger the bonus round, your bankroll will steadily dwindle. Unfortunately, high variance slots can drain your budget pretty quickly, even if the RTP is the same as a low variance game and you’re playing at a low spin value. This is why they’re better suited to high-rollers, who are financially and psychologically equipped to absorb the cost of waiting it out.
The main takeaway here? Although a slot’s RTP can prove helpful, it’s better to rely on variance in determining financial risk over the shorter term. Once you know this, you should then cut your coat according to the cloth. If you’ve got a small budget, stick with low variance games while also keeping in mind that the best RTP slots don’t necessarily guarantee the best payouts.
Using High RTP Slots to Clear Bonus Wagering
So let’s say you got lucky with your welcome bonus and got a big win. Now, you have to play your winnings through 35 times or more (as much as 65 times at many sites) and hope to have something left at the end of it. A high RTP slot (98% or more) with a low variance is just the ticket, right?
Wrong! If you can do those sums, so can the casino – and the vast majority of online casinos have taken steps to prevent you from using those juicy high RTP games to clear wagering requirements. Check the terms and conditions and you’ll most likely find one or more of the following:
- A list of games that contribute to wagering requirements at a lower rate than usual. With a game that contributes at 50%, each £100 of play only clears £50 of wagering, so a 35x wagering requirement effectively becomes a 70x wagering requirement.
- A list of games that don’t contribute to wagering requirements at all.
- A list of games that can’t be played with bonus, only cash.
- A list of games that are not to be played at all, even for cash, if the player has a bonus active (or else the bonus is confiscated).
Pretty harsh, eh? Good luck finding any high RTP slots that aren’t on the list! A slot in the medium to high RTP range may not be included, though – as long as it doesn’t have other features such as bonus progression that casinos take a dim view of.
Progressive Jackpot Slot RTPs
As far as progressive jackpot slots are concerned, RTP can be quite misleading as it may be quoted with or without the progressive jackpot contribution. Progressive jackpot games are super high variance, of course – it’s all about extremely infrequent, extremely large wins! As it’s almost certainly NOT going to be you that wins the progressive jackpot, there’s an argument for looking at the RTP excluding the jackpot if you want to see how quickly the game can drain your cash, but these days it is most frequently specified including the jackpot. Some progressive jackpot slots have a lower RTP than non progressive games even when you include the jackpot contribution.
Buy the Bonus Round, Super Bet etc
Extra bet options, particularly those from Barcrest, allow you to buy access to extra features such as linked spins, special mystery pay-outs and additional pay-lines, or increase the number of certain types of symbol in the game, either increasing the chances of triggering the bonus round or increasing the winning potential of the bonus round once triggered. In many cases, the game’s RTP is slightly better with the bonus bet (or whatever ) active than it is without.
Look out for Adjustable RTP Slots!
As mentioned on our new slot games page, operators are now encouraging developers to offer their games with adjustable RTPs. This practice has become really prevalent over the past two years with many of the big operators including the option, among them NetEnt, Red Tiger and Play n’Go.
For instance, Princess of the Forest has an RTP in the range of 94.85% to 97.80%. And there are now hundreds of other slots with variable RTPs including the likes of Starburst which features an RTP range of 90.05% to 96.09%.
Obviously, the problem here is that operators are able to lower a slot game’s RTP (let’s take it as a given that raising the RTP isn’t foremost in their minds).While some gamers wouldn’t sweat such discrepancies, they can have a big impact.
So when you happen across a game with a seemingly high return to player rate, be sure to check the RTP at your chosen casino before playing.
Which Developers Offer the Highest RTP Slots?
Swedish developers NetEnt have rolled out a raft of high RTP slot games such as Bloodsuckers (98%), Devil’s Delight (97.6%) and Kings of Chicago (97.8%). Microgaming is also known for releasing slots with above average RTPs, most of which are in the 96% range; for example, the classic Immortal Romance has RTP of 96.86%. Playtech includes a decent collection of high RTP slots like Goblins Cave (99.32%), Mega Joker (99%) and Alchemist’s Lab (97.32%).
What you probably don’t know is that there is one site where all but one of the games has RTP of 98% or more, and that is Tombola Arcade. Their selection of instant win games includes Spin, a suite of 11 different proprietary slot games with RTP of around 98.5% and there’s another game, Pick, which comes in at a whopping 99.6%.
Online Slots vs Land Based Slots: RTP Range
Believe it or not, most online slots feature considerably higher RTPs than their land-based counterparts, which typically have return to player rates of around 85% – rather miserly in comparison to the 96% average with web-based games. The main reason for this discrepancy comes down to expenses. To begin with, bricks and mortar operators usually lease their cabinets from the developers and must pay them a percentage of all winnings. Then you’ve got the normal costs of running a casino as well as the fact that venue owners only have a limited number of slot games with which to generate a profit and each machine can only be played by one player at a time. As a result, the RTP dial is turned right up for most physical slot machines. Online casino and bingo operators are under no such pressures and can therefore serve hundreds of the best online slot games at a far more favourable RTP.
Head of Content
Sue Dawson has been writing about (and playing) online bingo and slots since 2013, putting her unique spin on everything.
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What slot machines have the highest payout percentage? The Ugga Bugga slot machine game has the highest payout percentage, at 99.07%. The second highest is Mega Joker by NetEnt, with a 99% RTP. Jackpot 6000 by NetEnt and Uncharted Seas by Thunderkick come in second and third, with RTPs of 98.8% and 98.6%, respectively.Where is the best RTP on a slot machine? ›
One of the most reliable ways to find RTP data on slot machines is by looking at reports from gaming jurisdictions. These records contain general information on what payback you can expect from different casinos. You may even get lucky and find payback percentages on the popular games.What is the trick to winning slot machines? ›
- Higher denomination slots have higher payback percentages.
- Make sure you bet enough to be eligible for the jackpots.
- Choose games that fit your goals and playing personality.
- Always play within your budget.
- Start small to win big, or “prime the pump”
- Play machines at the ends of rows.
There are no simple hacks, slots tips or tricks to winning on slot machines. If you want better odds to win on slots, you need to: Choose the slots that have high payouts. Choose the slots with the correct volatility level.