Anyone who has tried their luck at slot machines knows that it’s both a thrilling and terrifying experience. Of course, losing is never fun, but most people hope to win big, especially when playing high RTP slots.
Many novice players ignore a slot’s RTP. However, the return to player value is one of the most important stats you need to consider before jumping into the world of betting games.
The Return To Player Rate
The RTP rate is the percentage of wagers that the game will return to a player in the long term (typically at least one million plays). So the higher the RTP, the more you can win back, theoretically.
By the end of this article, you’ll have all the RTP knowledge you need to improve your betting skills.
How much does a slot game pay back per spin?
The return to player rate can be considered as the opposite or reverse of the house edge. For example, NetEnt’s Starburst has an RTP of 96.1%; which means its house edge is 3.9%, and that if a person wagers £100, they should get back £96.1 per spin. However, many players can attest that this doesn’t often happen.
As we mentioned before, this figure is calculated over a massive number of simulated spins (at least one million, but it can go up to billions). As a result, there can be several spin batches that aren’t even close to the average, meaning that if you wagered £100, you might get back £50 or even less than that.
That is the random nature of slots. However, if a game is played long enough, the player will see their average returns more closely reflecting the RTP value.
The RTP value is also known as the payout ratio. If you hear about online slots that offer the best payouts, it typically means they are the slots with the highest RTP rate. Generally, online casino slots have a higher RTP rate than land-based casinos.
For example, games in a Las Vegas casino may have an RTP of 75%, while the same game online may have an RTP of 95%. This means you have the probability of getting back £75 if you wagered £100 in a Las Vegas casino, but you may get back £20 more if you played the slot online.
This variance is because in-person casinos have a higher overhead cost than online casinos, so live casinos need to recover the costs somehow. This is a considerable difference and the reason why the best payout slots are online.
How often can you win?
The hit frequency rate is the probability of winning on a single spin, and it determines how often you can win. This probability varies widely and can have a rate anywhere between 10% to 50%, meaning you can get a hit once every 10 spins to once in every two spins.
Although, a higher hit frequency doesn’t mean you will win more. One large payout may be equal to several small payouts, so a hit frequency cannot determine whether a slot game will give you back more money.
The Best RTP Slots and Where to Find Them
Luckily for online gamblers, they can find the RTP slots with the highest values online.
So what’s considered a high RTP slot?
Well, in short, it’s the slots that have an RTP rate closest to 100%. Therefore, high RTP slots may be anything at 98% or above, while mid-range RTP slots fall between 95% and 97.99%, and any slots with RTP rates lower than that are considered low payout slots.
RTP and Volatility
You may not feel any difference when playing a slot with 99% RTP or 94% RTP; this is because the payout probability is calculated over an enormous number of spins. However, your volatility will definitely impact your experience because it determines how much money you’ll be paid.
Volatility (also known as variance) is a term that is used to assess the risk of losing a wager and the frequency of payouts. Therefore, it determines whether the game you are playing is high-risk, medium-risk, or low-risk and what kinds of rewards you can get.
High Variance Slots
Highly volatile slots have the potential of delivering big wins. Most of these wins come in the bonus features, which can require thousands of spins to trigger. This is because the winning amount in these features can be very high. For example, it may be multiplied by 50,000 to your wager per spin.
Since big wins are few and far between, the probability of you winning big is relatively low. Due to this, high variance online slots can eat through your budget, and you may get very little, if anything, in return. Hence, these slots may not be a great option for novice players, casual players, or those uncomfortable with taking big risks.
Low Variance Slots
Low volatile slots trigger small payouts at a consistent rate but don’t deliver big wins often. This is because they are made for people who want to limit their risk and get some payout, even if it’s little. However, this doesn’t mean that the game will not trigger big hits at all.
People who like to take calculated risks may prefer high variance in slots with larger winning potential, but low volatile slots are good for beginners and casual players. Over the long term, the payout can still be generous as most low variance slots feature high RTP values.
Jackpot Slots and RTP
This type of online slots are different from regular ones because a portion of the RTP value is held back in a progressive jackpot pool collected for a future jackpot win. Therefore, RTP rates for jackpot slots are lower than the RTP rates for regular slot games.
A helpful tip for low payout games is to find medium volatility ones that offer fixed jackpot prizes. Fixed jackpots may not win you millions in cash prizes, but your chances of winning them are much higher than with progressive jackpot slots. Plus, fixed jackpots also offer better payouts through their bonus features.
How Is RTP in Slots Calculated?
Calculating the RTP rate is easy enough. All you need to do is divide the total payout delivered to players by the total amount wagered. For example:
Total amount paid out: £19,200
Total amount wagered: £20,000
RTP rate = total amount paid out/ total amount wagered = 19,200/20,000 = 0.96 or 96%
This means that the house edge is 4%, and the slot has a medium-level RTP.
Keep in mind that the RTP amount is calculated over a minimum of a million spins. Most often, the number of spins is even higher, from several million to even billions.
Best Slot Machines to Play in 2021
Now that we understand RTP and volatility, let’s look at some of the best medium and highest RTP slots of 2021.
Big Bad Wolf
Powered by: Quickspin
Big Bad Wolf comprises three rows, five reels, and 25 paylines. The online slot game comes with a Swooping Reels feature where new symbols fall from above the screen and replace the winning symbols. In addition, the game also features two types of wilds. A beehive represents the regular wilds, and in the Swooping Reels, up to three of your pigs will become wild during every second swoop.
The game also offers free spins, which feature moon symbols that give you even more free spins and multipliers up to twice as much.
Money Train 2
Powered by: Relax Gaming
RTP: 96.4% to 98%
Money Train 2 is one of the best online slot games to win big. The game begins with an RTP of 96.4%, but it becomes a top choice for players as the game continues because of the 98% RTP offered through bonus buys. In addition, players have the opportunity to win up to 50,000 times the bet when they land on the right symbols.
In the bonus round, golden symbols show multiplier values from 1x up to 200x. Moreover, these bonus elements are enhanced by special symbols stacks that can dramatically increase the value of the coins on the screen. Thus, the game offers some of the best bonus features in the slots market.
Powered by: NetEnt
The popular vampire-themed game was launched in 2013 and released a sequel in 2017. The game’s first instalment features eerie violin music that’s perfect for the theme, free spins, and a pick-and-click bonus game that only ends when the player eliminates all the undead.
Overall, it’s a fun but quite a ghoulish game that can thrill you to the bone.
Powered by: NetEnt
The game is in the classic fruit-machine style and features a progressive jackpot that has become a fan favourite since its release eight years ago. Mega Joker is inspired by the retro-style slot machines and consists of three reels, three rows, and five paylines.
The game is a true player magnet due to its unusually high RTP and its progressive jackpot. What more could a player need?
Powered by: Push Gaming
Dinopolis not only has a pretty decent RTP, but it also features dinosaurs as you have never seen before. The dinosaurs in the game are inspired by the 1990s hit TV show “Dinosaurs” and feature amazing animations.
Dinopolis is one of the most volatile slot games in the market. The game’s objective is to hit coins to win instant prizes or trigger free spins, offering you opportunities for big hits. The 3-4-4-4-3 grid style introduces sticky wilds and multipliers resulting in a massive win of up to 50,000x their wager.
This game is one of the best high variance slots that offer fun gaming with the added advantage of a solid RTP.
Powered by: NextGen Gaming
Starmania features five reels and 10 paylines. The space opera-themed game features an impressive RTP and can be played on all devices. But, more importantly, it allows you to spin with just 10p!
Starmania comes with a Free Games feature where players get the opportunity to win up to 20 free spins. In addition, the game will also add 30 extra stacked wilds across the three reels in the middle; this allows you to win the max 1,000x the stake per spin easily.
Powered by: NetEnt
Jackpot 6000 has five reels, three rows, and a classic slot style. The game features a vintage theme, offers an unusually high RTP at 98.86%, and also has an in-game jackpot.
In addition, players have the option of playing the Supermeter feature when they win. The feature costs more and can be played with the winnings, but if you are lucky enough to land two jokers on the reel, you will get a mystery prize of up to 6,000 coins.
Jack Hammer 2
Powered by: NetEnt
Jack Hammer 2 is among the top 10 slot games made by gambling giant, NetEnt. The game features a unique comic book theme and an RTP of 97.1%. In addition, it has 99 bet lines, offering players many opportunities to win.
With the Sticky Win feature, you can hold any winning symbol combination in place for a free spin, and this will continue until no new wins are created. The game also offers extra free spins, allowing players up to 20 free plays in which extra wilds appear randomly on the screen, and the wins are doubled.
Powered by: Playtech
Golden Tour is a golf-themed slot that features five reels and five paylines. The simple game comes with a bonus feature where you choose a driver, iron, and putter to win money. Players who trigger the bonus feature with four scatters will have a 3x multiplier added, and those who trigger the feature with five scatters will have a 10x times multiplier added to their winnings.
However, the most significant wins come during the base game. Players who can fill the reels with wilds can win 2000x their total stake. Although the game is simple, it has an impressive RTP and multiple opportunities to win big.
1429 Uncharted Seas
Powered by: Thunderkick
1420 Uncharted Seas features five reels and 25 paylines that cost only 10p per spin. The game has a beautifully designed pirate theme where the graphics are laid out like a treasure map.
The game comes with expanding wilds in the base game. Additionally, it has a free spin feature that allows players to start with 50 free spins and retriggers them to play an additional 50 free spins. As a bonus, players can also win 670x their stake on each spin.
Powered by: NetEnt
This magic-themed game is beautifully designed with symbols of a magician’s top hat, wand, a caged dove, and a chained Houdini chest. It features five reels, 25 bet-lines, wild substitutions, and scatter wins.
If you see three bunny rabbits fall on the first three reels, they will trigger a bonus game where you can pull rabbits out of a hat and get different amounts of coin prizes. The slot also offers free spins, which can deliver triple payouts.
Retro Reels Extreme Heat
Powered by: Microgaming
Retro Reels Extreme Heat is one of the highest RTP slots in the Microgaming collections. The game is designed with a mix of new and old-school symbols like cherries, bananas, lemons, 7s, and bells.
The game offers a free spin bonus where players can get up to 20 free spins where all the wins are doubled. The game also features scatter pays and wild substitutions, as well as the innovative and the highly popular re-spin feature that allows you to spin a reel of your choice after any spin. Overall, this game gives players many opportunities to win big.
Powered by: Relax Gaming
Another one of Relax Gaming’s high RTP slots is Marching Legions. This unique game consists of five reels with 243 ways to win, and legionnaire stacks and nudges to trigger Marching Respins.
At Wave 1, you can trigger free spins by collecting enough legionary stacks. Players who collect horn symbols will move to higher Wave levels, where legionnaire stacks will expand to cover the entire grid and allow you to win as high as 7,458x the wagered stake.
White Rabbit Megaways
Powered by: Big Time Gaming
Taking inspiration from Alice in Wonderland, White Rabbit Megaways takes you down the rabbit hole of fun and adventure. Apart from the nice RTP rate, it has five reels and up to 248,832 ways to win.
The game became popular after it introduced a unique feature buy. Players no longer needed to win the base games to get to the most exciting parts. Instead, placing 100x the wager can get you straight to the good bits, including a reel expansion feature that increases the grids to up to 12 rows high.
This expansion allows players to win up to 13,000x the stake.
Powered by: Microgaming
Reel Gems was released way back in 2010 but remains one of the best slot machines to play in 2021. The jewel-themed slot features five reels and 243 ways to win. It also offers a unique feature that allows players to select a reel for a prize, allowing improved winning combinations.
In addition, there is a free spin feature that allows players to play up to 30 free spins with 3x multipliers and wins of 495x stake on each free play.
Powered by: Big Time Gaming
The super-popular slot features six reels and 117,649 ways to win, with a decent RTP of 96% and a potential to win 12,000x the stake.
Players need to land the four-letter word “GOLD,” using scatter symbols that trigger free spins. Once the free spin feature kicks off, the game offers an unlimited number of win multipliers that start at 1x and rise by +1 after each reaction. Although this has become a common feature, it was ground-breaking at the time of its release.
Powered by: Yggdrasil
This high RTP slot is based on classic fruit machines, offering beautiful graphics and exciting features. Jokerizer was released in 2016 and is one of the best high variance slots out there.
The game consists of the classic five by three grid set and 10 paylines. Although it may seem simple, this game offers a thrilling experience with impressive features like Mystery Win, where you can win up to 600x your stake, and the Jokerizer Mode, which awards extra prizes.
Best Payout Online Slots for UK Users
When it comes to slots, the word “best” can be attributed to different elements. For example, some people think that high RTP slots are the best since the house edge is lower, and you can win more money. For others, best means a slot where the biggest wins are possible.
With this in mind, our list contains some of the highest paying slots in the market for UK users:
Peking Luck Slot Review
Powered by: Pragmatic Play
Max Win: 180,000x stake
This is a five-reel, 25-payline slot game designed with a Chinese opera theme. The game has a respectable RTP rate of 96.5% and is one of the most volatile slot games.
Peking Luck comes with a high-value wild symbol which offers 400x the wager for five combinations. If you are lucky enough to get a wild as part of a win, you will get a 2x multiplier with your payout.
The game also offers a free spin feature which allows you to win up to 38 free spins. You can get a multiplier of up to 18x if you pick the right dragon while playing. In addition, you also have the potential to win unlimited extra free spins, but the 18x multiplier alone can give you a Peking Luck max win of 180,000x stake per free spin.
San Quentin Slot Review
Powered by: Nolimit City
Max win: 150,000x stake
San Quentin is a prison-themed slot that consists of five reels and 243 ways to win. It offers a decent RTP rate of 96.03% and has several features that can help players win big.
The game offers Enhancer Cells that reveal Razor Split symbols giving players over 13 million ways to win. The game also displays four high-stacked symbols and a Split Wild feature that gives players up to 46,656 ways to win.
The best part of San Quentin is the Lockdown Spins feature that comes with Jumping Wilds. With each free spin, the Jumping Wilds combined with the Razor Split Enhancer Cells can give you 512x multipliers, leading to a max win of 150,000x stakes per spin.
In addition, players can also use the San Quentin slot bonus buy that helps them access the Lockdown Spins with an option to trigger three, four, or five bonus symbols at 100x, 400x, and 2000x the stakes.
Robin: Nottingham Raiders Slot Review
Powered by: Peter & Sons
Max win: 121,500x stake
Robin: Nottingham Raider slots game is inspired by the heroic outlaw and features five reels and 20 payline slots. The game has a 25.46% hit frequency rate, a 96.09% RTP rate, and a stunning design.
In addition, players can collect gold coins to get a re-spin, free spins, and sticky wilds. These wilds come with multipliers that can combine up to 243x, winning 121,500x stake on each free spin. It also offers a free spin feature where you can begin the game with 15 free spins.
Rome: The Golden Age Slot Review
Powered by: NetEnt
Max win: 100,000x stake
Set on the theme of ancient Rome, Rome: The Golden Age slot RTP has a very respectable 96.06% with five reels and 20 paylines. The game comes with a Frames feature, offering wilds and turns adjacent positions into extra wilds. This feature remains in place until the adjacent positions turn into wilds or you enter the free spin mode.
The Free Spin Multiplier feature offers a progress bar that players need to fill to upgrade the multiplier to 1,000x. Once the free spins are triggered, all the Rome symbols will be subjected to 2x multipliers. This can lead to 100,000x stake payouts on every free spin.
Statistical Consideration for Online Slots
Apart from RPT, players can use several other statistics to determine how much a slot pays out. Let’s take a look at a few of them:
This stat tells you the probability of triggering the bonus in a slot game. The bonus frequency, like the RTP, is also calculated over millions of spins, so you can get lucky by kicking off free spins more frequently than what the stats say. However, again, a bonus often doesn’t guarantee the slot will pay out more.
The hit frequency is how much probability you have of winning on a single spin. Most games have a hit frequency between 10% and 50%, which means they have one win in every 10 spins to one win every two spins, respectively. However, as previously mentioned, these stats are all calculated over millions of spins, so the average may vary drastically if you calculate the hit frequency over a short term.
A jackpot denotes the biggest win possible with a single spin. They can be won from a combination of symbols and wilds. Slots with a progressive jackpot typically have a lower RTP since some portion of the wager goes towards funding the progressive jackpot pool, which is to be won by a player.
In addition, most progressive jackpots games require players to wager a maximum amount to become eligible for a jackpot.
How to Find RTP Rates?
The UK Gambling Commission makes it mandatory for gaming machines to display their RTP rates or the probability of winning a prize. Players can find the RTP by clicking the slot’s paytable button, which may be marked by an “I” or the word “Paytable.” Here you can find out what the RTP is, how much you can win for different symbols, information about the bonus features, and creating winning combinations.
Be sure to check the paytable since many providers ship their online slots with varying RTP rates, depending on the market. Also, you need to keep an eye out for dishonest offshore slot machine operators who can set the lowest possible RTP level and not tell their players what it is.
High RTPs and Casino Bonuses
As a new player, slot machines will offer several welcome offers, including bonus cash and free spins. Typically, bonus cash from these offers is subject to wagering requirements or playthrough.
For example, if you are offered a bonus of 100% with a 30x wagering requirement of £100, you will need to play through the bonus 25 times or £2,500 to withdraw the bonus cash.
In theory, playing high RTP slots can make it easier for gamblers to clear their wagering requirements and let them access the bonus cash. Therefore, some online casinos don’t allow wagering from specific slot machines, particularly those with high RTP levels.
Hence, you must check the casino’s terms and conditions before you select a high RTP slot intending to get a bonus offer.
Land-Based Casino Slots RTP
Have you ever wondered whether playing in physical casinos is more lucrative than playing in online casinos? In Nevada, the minimum RTP is around 75%. Considering that most of the online slot machines we have recommended in this guide all have RTP’s above 95%, you can see a significant difference in the profitability of online and land-based casino slots. This is because physical casinos have a higher overhead cost which is recouped from the RTP value.
RTP rate isn’t the only stat you need to consider when selecting which slots you play; however, high RTP slots are more appealing, and if you can find slot machines with high RTP values, it’s a good idea to give them a go.
The more times you spin a slot over a long period, the closer you get to its stated payout ratio. However, there is also a high probability that you will never be able to hit the exact return to player figure because of volatility and the completely random nature of slots that pay some players more than others.
When playing slots, it’s important to not focus on how much you can win; it should be treated as a fun and exciting pastime— and if you are making some money out of it, that’s just a bonus. Although, RTP should not be treated as the secret to winning all slot games. Your main factor is luck, which ultimately determines how any game plays out.
What are the best paying slots?
Any slot with an RTP of 97% or higher is considered to have a high payout ratio. Please review our list to find the slots with the highest RTP.
How do I choose a good slot machine?
Slots with a high RTP are typically good games. In addition, you should also consider volatility, bonus features, free spins, and multipliers of a game that can help you get a higher return on your wager.
What is the average payout on slot machines?
The payout on slot machines varies depending on the slot machine. Typically, online slot machines have a higher payout ratio than brick-and-mortar slot machines. For example, from our list, Marching Legions, Blood Sucker, Mega Train 2, and various others have an RTP of over 98%.
What is a high variance slot machine?
High variance slot machines are designed for players who want to have big wins. Slot machines like Dinopolis and Jokerizer are very high variance slots, with the added advantage of high RTP that can help players win big time.
Which slot machines pay the best in 2021?
Any slot machine that has an RTP rate over 98% is an excellent choice for players. Many slots on our list have a payout ratio over 98%.
Do slots pay more at night?
Typically, the game that most people play has the highest chance of paying out. That’s because a higher number of people are placing wagers on it, so there is a higher probability of jackpot combinations being formed.
However, since the payout ratio is calculated over millions of spins, there is no slot machine payout schedule, and a game may not pay out in days or even weeks. That’s the nature of random number generators under which all slots operate. Hence, slots paying more at night is just a myth.
What is the best day of the week to go to a casino?
Since random number generators govern slot machines, no one can predict when a slot will start to payout. However, if you want to beat the rush and play some games in peace, Monday mornings and afternoons are good times to go to the casino. However, this will not guarantee you’ll win.