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Online Casino RTP: Everything You Need to Know

Written by

Kelvin Jones
clockReading time 6 minread

If you’ve ever enjoyed spinning the reels of a slot or played a table game, you’ve probably encountered the phrase “online casino RTP”. If you’ve wondered what this phrase means, you’ve come to the right place.

The PlayCasino team is here to tell you all about online casino Return to Player rates - or RTP.

What is the RTP of an online casino?

The online casino industry includes all operators offering gambling games online. While there are scam sites out there, PlayCasino weeds these out on your behalf, and you’ll only find decent online casinos recommended at our site. These are operators that are properly licensed and regulated, support responsible gaming, and employ auditors that check and verify games' Return to Player rates and make sure they’re operating fairly. 

The online casino RTP at South African casinos is important because it tells you what your chances of winning over the long term are. Games, and casinos, with higher RTP rates offer you more back in the long run. So, this information is vital if you’re planning to enjoy playing for some time to come.

Understanding Online Casino RTP

RTP refers to the percentage of money a player can expect back from a game or online casino in the long run. If you’re playing a game with an RTP of 96.6%, you can expect to get R96,60 for every R100 you spend over longer periods of time. 

What is the RTP at online casinos? You calculate a game or online site’s RTP by using a simple formula: the total amount players get back is divided by the total amount they’ve gambled. The house edge, on the other hand, is the mathematical advantage that online casinos have over players. It ensures the site sees a profit in the long run, and it’s helpful in determining what your average losses per bet will be and helping you make better betting decisions.

In fact, the RTP can be thought of as the exact opposite of the house edge! The formula RTP = 100% - house edge is how you determine it. An example might make things clearer: if a roulette game has a house edge of 5%, its RTP will be 95%. 

The Impact of RTP on Player Winnings

The best online casino RTP in South Africa affects long-term profitability. The longer you play, the more likely you are to win back the amount stipulated by the RTP. Generally speaking, higher RTP percentages indicate better odds of winning over longer periods of time, but they don’t take into account the size or frequency of payouts. That’s where volatility comes in - a term that refers to the level of risk involved in playing a casino game. The higher the risk, the better the rewards, but the greater the losses if your bet fails. 

So, if you’re playing the Masks of Atlantis slot by Spinlogic, the RTP is 96%. This means that, over a period of time, you’re likely to get R96 back for every R100 you gamble. If you’re playing RealTime Gaming’s Cash Bandits, with its online casino RTP of 96.5%, your payout goes up to R96,50. 

There are several ways to optimise your winnings when playing casino games based on their RTP. Just make sure you’re always asking the question, "What is the RTP at this online casino?” The first is that it’s a very quick way for you to decide whether or not a game is worth your time or not. Comparing a game with an RTP of 48% to one that features a rate of 98% gives us a pretty clear winner! Bonus rounds are triggered more frequently on games with higher RTP percentages, too, making it that much easier to boost your bankroll. The best strategy is to always favour the online casino RTP South Africa games first.

Factors Affecting RTP

Sometimes there’s a variation in games’ RTP when there’s a bonus feature that kicks in. Generally, games have a fixed RTP built in. But, in some cases, if a bonus feature applies, the RTP may change based on the additional features that come into play. If there are a variety of betting options, the RTP can also change. For example, in some games, you can take a side bet, like in certain live dealer games, and doing this would affect the RTP. 

Bet size and frequency can also affect the RTP. Someone who’s betting max or wagering higher amounts than the minimum will not only have a higher chance of winning the jackpot, but they’re also that much more likely to get the money they’ve won back because payouts will match the bet. 

When we look at progressive jackpots, which have notoriously low RTP rates, we have to weigh things up. The possible prize in these games is truly life-changing but winning combinations land less frequently than they do in other slots. As always, the more you risk, the more you stand to win, and this is most certainly the case with progressive jackpot games. 

Online Casino RTP and Game Categories

While much of the focus on game RTPs is on slots, they’re not the only ones that have this feature! Everything you can play online has its own online casino RTP, and if it’s not published alongside the title, you can usually find it pretty easily with a quick online search. 

  •  Slot Games and Their RTP Variations

The average RTP rate for online slots is roughly 96%. You’ll find some slightly lower and some slightly higher but keep this number in mind when you’re deciding what to play. 

  • Table Games and Their Average RTP Range

The table game variation for RTP is slightly wider: for Keno, you’re looking at around 70%, for Blackjack, around 99.40%!

  •  Live dealer games and their unique RTP considerations

Because there are so many variables when it comes to live dealer games, including side bets, variations, and whether you’re playing against the house or other players, the online casino RTP in South Africa is very varied. Blackjack has the highest RTP, at 99.40%, and American Roulette has the lowest, at 94.74%.

Online Casino RTP Verification and Regulation

Playing only at casinos that have been officially registered and are controlled by a recognised regulatory authority is the only way to stay safe and trust the published RTPs of games. These sites bring in independent auditors to verify their games’ results, so you don’t have to trust what the operator is saying: their RTP percentages are provable. 

The importance of regulatory bodies for the best online casinos and their RTP in South Africa is that they provide players with recourse in case something goes wrong. If there’s any kind of dispute, you’ll be able to get it resolved by a fair and impartial party.

Understanding RTP Disclaimers and Fine Print

Be aware that certain games with high RTPs do not qualify for the wagering requirements of some bonuses. While the online casino RTP of different games will certainly be disclosed by the casino, or easy to find online, it's not always included in a promotional offer. You’ll be able to find this information in the bonus terms and conditions. 

Always check what a game’s RTP is before you play it but beware of the misconception that high RTPs guarantee a certain win. These rates are worked out over thousands of rounds of play and only apply to long periods of play. Some players will win, some will lose; that’s the nature of the games! And remember that RTPs can change. Bonus features can bring them up or down, and special features can do the same. 

Key Takeaways TO help You Win

Choosing to play games with higher online casino RTPs in South Africa will make it more likely that you will see a win over time. But lower RTPs don’t make a game pointless: you’re just going to see fewer returns, although this might be offset by some other fabulous feature, as in the case of Progressive Jackpots 

Key factors to consider when evaluating RTP include taking into account the type of game you’re playing, whether it’s a game of chance or a game of skill, whether it features bonus features that will change the RTP, and what level of volatility you’re looking at. Then it’s up to you what to play next!

Frequently Asked Questions 

What is a good RTP percentage for online casinos?

A good online casino RTP rate is around 96%.

Do higher RTP percentages guarantee more frequent wins?

Nothing guarantees a win! Where would the fun be in that? RTP rates tell you how much you can expect to get back in your pocket over longer periods of time.

Can online casinos manipulate RTP?

No. The RTPs are built into the game by the developers when it is being designed and cannot be tampered with. 

How can players check the RTP of specific games?

You’ll often find the RTP rate listed in the paytable for whatever game you’re playing, otherwise, a quick online search should get you the information. 

Are progressive jackpot games worth playing despite lower RTP?

Yes! The games are always fun and feature engaging themes, and the chance of a life-changing win is ever-present. A single spin can make you a multimillionaire.

Kelvin Jones

Kelvin JonesVerified

Senior Editor & Product Owner


When he was still at varsity, Kelvin started out as a freelance writer for random online gambling sites. That’s until he chanced on PlayCasino and became one of our lead writers – a whole decade ago – and an expert on the fastest-paying online casinos. Since then, Kelvin has been one of the most instrumental personalities in shaping South Africa’s online gambling landscape.

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