Login to any of our top-rated UK casinos sites and you’ll see a slew of slots. From classic three-reel spinners to video slots and progressive jackpot offerings, the industry is literally flooded with options. For most players, the decision to play one game over another is based on its look and feel. However, when you dig a little deeper and start to understand the industry a little better, you’ll realise that slots have different payout rates. Technically known as the return to play (RTP) score, these payouts rates basically tell you how much you could win, in theory, over an extended period of time.
Now, before we take you through the nuances of slot RTP rates and how you can find the best paying games, it’s important to note two things. Firstly, under the UK Gambling Commission’s (UKGC) guidelines, developers must make a slot’s RTP information available to players. Secondly, as defined by the UKGC, RTP percentages are an average and not an indication of how much you’ll win each time you play.
“Average % RTP is generally measured over 10,000 or 100,000 games or greater for compensated and random machines respectively,” reads the UKGC’s official definition of RTP.
Based on this, you shouldn’t expect to win XX amount each time your spin the reels. Indeed, an online slot with an 87% RTP won’t return you £0.87 for every £1 you spend. Instead, what you’re seeing is a game that, in the long run, will payout a prize 87% of the time. Now, even though the RTP data won’t tell you exactly how much you’ll win, it can help you to find the best games. For example, even though short-term results may fluctuate, you know there’s a better chance of winning in the long run if you play a slot with a 95% RTP compared to one with an 85% RTP.
In this guide, we’re going to outline the RTP percentages of the industry’s top slots and help you understand a bit more about what you’re getting into before you hit the bet button.
Despite having just three reels, Mega Joker offers one of the best payout rates in the slots world. Crafted in such a way that it looks like an old school fruit machine, this game simple yet effective. Indeed, the reason this classic slot has such an impressive RTP is the Supermeter bonus that allows you to control your destiny. Essentially, you get to push things as far as you want to go and the skill is in calling heads or tails correctly and hitting the collect button at the optimal time.
|Mega Joker Slot|
|Bonus Rounds||Supermeter where you can double your prizes|
A follow-up to Rival Gaming’s Cosmic Quest – Mission Control, this game takes you on another madcap adventure through space. As well as space-themed symbols, you’ll get to take advantage of 'free' spin bonuses and expanding wilds that can help you unlock jackpots topping 5,000X your coin bet.
|Cosmic Quest – Mystery Planet Slot|
|Bonus Rounds||Up to 50 free spins as well as a mystery pick’em bonus|
Similar to the Mega Joker slot game, Jackpot 6000 features three reels and a classic design. In fact, the reason this spinner is up there with the best paying online slots is because of the Supermeter feature. One of NetEnt’s finest, this cross-game bonus round allows you to double your winnings by guessing heads or tails correctly. In real terms, this means you could take the 6,000-coin jackpot and multiply it many times by landing on the right side of a coinflip a few times.
|Jackpot 6000 Slot|
|Bonus Rounds||Supermeter where you can double your prizes|
As you’d expect, the designers at MultiSlot have ensured this game looks like a chessboard. However, instead of simply looking like a game of skill, Chess Mate also brings an element of choice when you roll in three or more bonus symbols. Once the mini-game starts, you’ll have to choose three boxes in the same what you’d choose the best moves in a game of chess. Once you’ve made your picks, the queen will reveal a set of mystery prizes which, if you’ve chosen wisely, can be worth thousands. On top of this, three or more scatters (horses) will earn you between three and nine 'free' spins.
|Chess Mate Slot|
|Free Spins||Yes, up to nine|
|Bonus Rounds||Mystery pick’em bonus|
If you like slots with a difference, 1429 Uncharted Seas is the game for you. Instead of rigid boxes and clearly defined paylines, this slot has a more free-flowing structure. In fact, the interface itself looks like a map which suddenly bursts into life when you hit the spin button. In addition to its unique looks, this game is potentially lucrative thanks to expanding wilds and a 'free' spins bonus where you can claim up to 50 gratis turns.
|1429 Uncharted Seas Slot|
|Free Spins||Yes, up to 50|
|Bonus Rounds||Free spins|
An industry classic, this Microgaming product not only has a fantastic 96.65% RTP, but five reels, 243 ways to win and a 2.4-million-coin jackpot when you unlock the Hall of Spins bonus.
Pay at least £0.01 and the five reels and 25 paylines of the Microgaming slot will kick into life. As well as a 6,000X jackpot, the treasure hunt game allows you to move across a map and pick up prizes in a bid to realise the full potential of this slot’s 96.62% RTP.
Even if it’s not Christmas, this five-reel, 25-payline video slot from Microgaming will not only give you a 60,000-coin jackpot and scatters that turn into multipliers but an RTP of 96.62%.
Backed by a 96.62% RTP, Microgaming’s Pollen Nation has five reels, 25 paylines and a bonus feature that allows you to collect pollen and increase your overall payout up to 60,000 coins.
Warm up with five reels, 1,024 ways to win and an RTP of 96.58% when you play Arctic Fortune. Inside this Microgaming video slot you’ll find wilds, up to 40 'free' spins with a 6X multiplier and a re-trigger that gives you even more gratis turns.
This cartoon-style offering from Microgaming features five reels, 15 paylines and a 96.56% RTP. As well as fixed wins, seeds unlock ten 'free' spins with a 3X multiplier, while bongo drums allow you to bank prizes by beating a 11 mystery drums.
Unlock three treasure chests during the bonus round or trigger and re-trigger ten 'free' spins and you’ll soon see why Microgaming’s Mermaids Millions is so lucrative. Indeed, when the five reels and 15 paylines start to spin, you’ll get a 96.56% RTP.
This five-reel, 25-payline Microgaming slot not only offers up a 96.56% RTP, but a wild sushi chef, a fish market bonus where catches of the day are worth mystery prizes and a 'free' spins bonus.
Enjoy a 96.55% RTP with Microgaming’s Alaxe in Zombieland when you roll the five reels and 25 paylines to unlock a 'free' spins bonus feature.
Packed with five reels and 243 ways to win, this Microgaming product allows you to unlock a bonus round where one reel turns wild for every 'free' spin you receive. The end result is a 96.55% RTP.
As we’ve said, RTPs are generated by measuring a game’s payout rate over the course of between 10,000 and 100,000 rounds. Although the UKGC doesn’t insist on a minimum payout percentage, there are some industry standards. Classic three-reel slots typically offer the best rates, with figures generally topping 95%+. When it comes to video slots, it’s much of the same, with figures usually ranging from 90% to 96%. Finally, for progressive jackpots, the RTP will be lower. Because the top payouts are so high, you’ll generally see RTPs around the 85%+ mark.
Beyond the unwritten rules among slots developers, the UKGC insists that every game is tested by a third-party agency such as eCOGRA, iTech Labs or GLI Testing. Without one of these recognised agencies confirming not only that the random number generator powering a game is fair but that the RTP is accurate, it can’t go live. Therefore, if you’re playing a slot at one of the recommended online casinos, you can be confident that it’s fair, safe and will payout in a way described by the developer.
As we’ve said, the RTP percentage between one game and another can change. The same is also true of developers. Although the leading software companies are all within touching distance of each other, some do offer a better average RTP than others. With this in mind, you can use the table below to note the companies that offer slots with the best RTPs.
|Software Developer||Average RTP|
|NetEnt||Between 95% and 98%|
|Microgaming||Between 94% and 97%|
|1X2||Between 94% and 97%|
|Playtech||Between 93% and 99%|
|Yggdrasil||Between 96% and 98%
(some games can be as high as 106%)
When you play online, slots typically offer the largest payouts. Indeed, when you take a progressive jackpot spinner such as Mega Moolah, the top prize is often in excess of £1 million+. Inside an average table game such as roulette, the largest return on your investment is going to be 35X your stake. Thus, if you want to largest payouts, you’d play a slot. However, in general, the RTP percentage of a table game will be better than a slot. Again, this doesn’t mean you’ll always win more frequently when you play blackjack and the like. But, in theory, the long-term expectation is slightly better in the following games:
*RTP data for NetEnt games.
So why do you need to know the RTP of a slot? Well, in simple terms, it will give you an idea of how likely you are to win. Although it won’t tell you how many times or how much you’re going to win in a single session, it will give tell you which games are potentially better than others. By following our advice and links, you’ll be able to get easy access to all the best paying online slots in the business.
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How are slot machine payouts calculated? The size of your prize will be determined by your coin bet. So, if you were wagering £1 per payline and hit a 10X prize, you’d bank £10.
Why payout percentage varies in different sources? Sometimes an operator may take a game from a developer and tweak certain features such as the min/max bet. All slots are designed to work within certain ranges, which is why the same game might have a slightly different RTP at across two sites.
How to check RTP? The easiest way to check a slot’s RTP is to load it up and click through the settings/payout table. If you can’t find the information there, check out site or go to the developer’s site.
How you can guarantee a win? In reality, you can’t guarantee that you’ll win when you play slots. However, each game will payout at some point, so the trick is to stay as active as possible. This means betting an amount you can afford and that lets you continue playing through a bad run of luck.
What is more profitable land-based slot machines or online slots? Online slots are generally more profitable. Firstly, the RTP score is usually better online. Secondly, the games feature more bonuses and added extras, both of which help to improve the amount you could win.