Gamer winning on his tablet

It’s Important to Understand the Return to Player Rate

There are some misconceptions regarding the return to player rate or RTP.  This term is variously called the payout rate or pay back rate.  Whichever term you read or hear, it’s the same: the percentage of money wagered that is returned to players.  At Intertops Casino, the RTP may vary from game to game but it is generally about 97%.  The RTP at Intertops is the same for the desktop casino and for Intertops mobile casino. 

Here are a few misconceptions:

The RTP is Standard across the Board

This would mean that every online casino and every land-based casino would all have the same RTP.  This is demonstrably not so.  Land-based casinos have more overhead so they have to set the RTP at a lower rate than an online casino can afford.

The real question is how is the RTP determined?  The answer to that question is that the software that controls the outcomes of all online casino games and many land-based casino games can be set to give a specific RTP.  That software is called the Random Number Generator or RNG.

Every game at an online casino and every game played at a terminal in land-based casinos is determined by the RNG.  The RNG can be calibrated to return any percentage of money wagered.  However, this percentage is the result of many thousands of spins or hands so it may be higher or lower over the short term.

The table games at land-based casinos use real. Physical cards, dice, and wheels so there is no RNG in those games. 

The RTP is Guaranteed

This is a very common misconception.  It is incorrect simply because the RTP is a statistical phenomenon that is based on many thousands of hands or spins so the hundred that you play will likely be higher or lower than the expected RTP.  So one player may end the gaming session with winnings, while another loses all he's deposited - the average is a return to the player of 97 cents on every dollar.  Think of that 3% as your entertainment costs.

Short Term Volatility

Another misconception is that two games with the same RTP are essentially the same in all respects.  This misconception is based on a misunderstanding of game volatility.  The term volatility was coined to describe a comparison between the number of wins per spin in slots and the potential for big wins in those games.  In other words, there are many slots where you win very often and you can’t score any very big wins.  On the other hand, there are slots where the individual wins are less frequent and the potential for a big win is much higher.

The classic example of this latter type of slot is the progressive jackpot slot.  You might win over a million dollars but you’ll also win less often and if you don’t score a big win, your RTP will be less than in a non-progressive game.

Know Thyself

Another misconception is the RTP means that we don’t need to be careful of our bankroll.  All of this boils down to knowing what type of gamer you are.  If you’re a daredevil gamer, you might play high volatility games hoping for the big win.  If you are playing strictly for the fun of the game, you’ll probably prefer low volatility games in which all of the animation, music, and cheery graphics come alive often as you score win after win even if the wins are relatively small.

It’s also important to stay within your entertainment bankroll.  The money you bet at Intertops ought to be part of your overall entertainment budget.  It is no different in this sense than a ticket to a movie or concert or the cost of attending a professional sports event.

Close to 100%

The return to player rate in video poker is as close to 100% as you’ll get in a casino.  This means that if you play according to the best strategy, you will come out a little ahead or a little behind.  Video poker players tend to love the challenge of coming out ahead after an hour of gaming even though they will likely be just about 1% ahead.

In any game, you might have a long winning streak or a losing streak.  The RTP covers thousands of hands or spins so only taken in the long run does the expected RTP reflect the real RTP.

Pure Enjoyment

Since the RTP is a statistic based on thousands of hands or spins, it actually releases gamers from worrying about their bankrolls.  As we have already said, the RTP may be the same for two games but one is more volatile than the other.  If your temperament enjoys such volatility, those games were designed for you.  If your temperament requires less volatility, Intertops has hundreds of great games for your gaming pleasure.

Instant Gratification

Another misconception about the RTP is that it reflects the personality of the gamer in terms of gratification.  Instant gratification relates to outcomes that require little work.  Delayed gratification is the opposite; it refers to outcomes that take a long time to achieve and, additionally, a lot of hard work to achieve.

Gaming is quite different.  Video poker or blackjack require a good deal of hard brain work to achieve the expected RTP or better while slots may return far more with far less effort.  Although blackjack and video poker require deep concentration, they are still games that give players immediate gratification. In gaming, luck is a very important factor while in medical school or law school luck is a very minor aspect of overall success (we all hope!).

Happy Gaming

The essence of gaming at Intertops Red is that it should be fun at its core.  The expected RTP gives you an idea of what to expect but there are other factors involved as well such as game volatility and your personality.   You’ll always come out “ahead” at least psychologically if you keep to the mantra that gaming is fun above all else.