What is a Payout Percentage? Understanding Payout Percentages at the Online Casinos

The online casino industry has exploded in popularity in recent years, offering a wide variety of games and entertainment options to players all over the world. One of the most critical aspects of online gaming that players need to understand is the payout percentage. This concept might seem confusing at first, but understanding it is crucial to maximizing your winnings and having a successful gaming experience. In this article, we will delve into the details of payout percentages at online casinos, how they are calculated, and how you can use this knowledge to make informed decisions when playing.

What is a Payout Percentage?

A payout percentage, also known as the return to player (RTP) rate, is a figure that represents the average amount of money a player can expect to win back from a casino game over time. It is usually expressed as a percentage and is calculated by dividing the total amount of money paid out to players by the total amount of money wagered by players. The higher the payout percentage, the more likely players are to receive a return on their wagers.

For example, if a casino has a payout percentage of 95%, it means that, on average, players can expect to win back $95 for every $100 they wager. However, this does not mean that every player will consistently receive 95% of their bets back. The payout percentage is an average calculated over a vast number of games and players, and individual results may vary significantly.

How Are Casino Payout Percentages Calculated?

Payout percentages are calculated using mathematical algorithms and statistical data. Game developers and casino operators use these calculations to ensure that their games are both entertaining and profitable. The algorithm considers the probability of various outcomes and the payouts associated with them. The payout percentages are then determined by averaging the results over millions of plays or spins, providing a reliable estimate of the game’s return to players.

Casino payout percentages are typically calculated using historical data from a large sample of games and players. For individual games, like slot machines, the payout percentage is often determined by the game’s design, incorporating factors such as the probability of winning combinations and the amounts paid for each combination.

For online casinos, the RTP of a particular game is usually provided by the software developer. In the case of land-based casinos, the payout percentage of a specific game might be based on its physical design or determined by the casino, following local gaming regulations.

It’s important to note that a casino’s overall payout percentage is an aggregate of the payout percentages of all its games. Therefore, a casino with a higher overall payout percentage may have a more generous offering of games with high RTPs. It is essential to note that the payout percentage is an average figure and does not guarantee a specific return on each bet. It simply indicates the overall return players can expect from a game over an extended period of play.

Why Are Payout Percentages Important?

Payout percentages are crucial for both players and casino operators. For players, understanding payout percentages can help them make informed decisions about which games to play and how much to wager. Games with higher payout percentages generally offer a better chance of winning or, at the very least, losing less money over time. This knowledge can greatly enhance the overall gaming experience and help players maximize their winnings.

For casino operators, offering games with fair and competitive payout percentages is essential to attract and retain customers. Casinos that provide games with high payout percentages are more likely to be perceived as trustworthy and reputable by players.

The Impact of Casino Payout Percentages on Players

Game Selection

Understanding casino payout percentages can help players make informed decisions about which games to play. Games with higher RTPs offer a better chance of winning in the long run. For instance, if you’re deciding between two slot machines with RTPs of 95% and 90%, you would be better off playing the one with a 95% RTP.

Bankroll Management

Awareness of casino payout percentages can also help players manage their bankrolls more effectively. When playing games with a lower RTP, it’s essential to adjust your betting strategy accordingly, as you’re likely to experience more significant fluctuations in your bankroll.

Comparing Casinos

Payout percentages are a useful metric for comparing different casinos. A casino with a higher overall payout percentage is likely to offer a more generous gaming experience in terms of winnings, making it a more attractive option for players.

The Element of Luck

While payout percentages provide valuable insight, it’s essential to remember that casino games are still games of chance. Luck plays a significant role in short-term outcomes, and individual results may deviate from the expected payout percentage. Payout percentages are most useful when considering long-term gambling strategies.

How to Find Payout Percentages at Online Casinos

Reputable online casinos usually display their games’ payout percentages on their websites. These figures are typically verified by independent testing agencies, such as eCOGRA, iTech Labs, or GLI, to ensure fairness and transparency. Players can look for the testing agency’s logo or certification on the casino’s website to confirm that the payout percentages are accurate and trustworthy.

Alternatively, players can search for information on specific games by visiting the game developer’s website. Most developers provide detailed information on their games, including the payout percentages, to give players a clear understanding of what to expect.

Leveraging Payout Percentages for Optimal Play

Understanding and leveraging payout percentages can help players make informed decisions when choosing which games to play. By seeking out games with higher RTP percentages, players can increase their chances of winning in the long run. However, it is important to remember that RTP percentages are theoretical, and that luck will still play a significant role in determining the outcome of each gaming session.

Moreover, players should be aware of the house edge, which represents the casino’s built-in advantage over the long term. The house edge is the difference between the true odds of a game and the odds offered by the casino. While a high RTP percentage is desirable, it is also essential to understand that no casino game can be truly beaten in the long run due to the house edge.

How to Use Payout Percentages to Your Advantage

Knowing the payout percentages of different casino games can help you make informed decisions about where to invest your money. Here are some tips on how to use this knowledge to your advantage:

Choose games with high payout percentages

Selecting games with higher payout percentages can increase your chances of winning in the long run. Games with RTPs closer to 100% will yield more winnings on average, so it is wise to prioritize these options. Some examples of high RTP games include blackjack, video poker, and certain online slots.

Consider the game’s volatility

Understanding the volatility of a game can help you decide whether it is suitable for your playstyle and bankroll. High volatility games may provide a more thrilling experience but can quickly deplete your funds. On the other hand, low volatility games offer a more steady stream of smaller wins, helping you maintain your bankroll for longer.

Make use of bonuses and promotions

Many casinos offer bonuses and promotions that can help you extend your playing time and potentially increase your winnings. These incentives often come in the form of deposit bonuses, cashback offers, and free spins. By taking advantage of such promotions, you can leverage the payout percentages in your favor and maximize your potential returns.

Be mindful of the house edge

The house edge is the flip side of the payout percentage, representing the casino’s advantage over the player. While it is impossible to completely eliminate the house edge, understanding it and choosing games with lower edges can improve your chances of winning.

How to Use Payout Percentages Strategies for Specific Casino Games

Slot Machines

Slot machines are among the most popular casino games, and their payout percentages can vary dramatically. Generally, slots with higher RTPs are more likely to yield winnings over time. To optimize your slot-playing strategy, consider these tips:

  • Look for machines with the highest RTP percentages. This information is often available on the machine itself or online.
  • Play the maximum number of coins allowed. Many machines offer higher payouts for players who bet the maximum amount.
  • Take advantage of bonuses and promotions. Casinos often offer incentives, such as free spins or deposit matches, which can improve your overall payout potential.

Video Poker

Video poker combines the strategy of poker with the ease of slot machines. With a variety of games available, payout percentages can range from 95% to over 100%. To maximize your video poker earnings:

  • Choose games with the highest RTPs. Common high-paying games include Jacks or Better and Deuces Wild.
  • Learn and employ optimal strategy. Many resources, such as strategy charts and tutorials, can help you understand the best plays for each game.
  • Bet the maximum number of coins. As with slots, video poker often rewards max bets with higher payouts.


Blackjack, a classic casino table game, offers one of the highest RTPs among casino games. With proper strategy, the house edge can be reduced to as low as 0.5%. To improve your blackjack game:

  • Learn basic strategy. Familiarize yourself with the best plays for every possible hand.
  • Consider card counting. While difficult and often frowned upon by casinos, card counting can help you identify when the odds are in your favor.
  • Utilize progressive betting systems. These strategies, such as the Martingale or Paroli systems, can help you manage your bankroll and potentially maximize profits.


Roulette, another popular table game, offers a variety of bets with varying payout percentages. To optimize your roulette strategy:

  • Stick to European or French roulette. These variations have a single zero, which results in a lower house edge compared to American roulette with its double-zero wheel.
  • Make even money bets. Bets on red/black, odd/even, or high/low have the highest probability of winning and the lowest house edge.
  • Consider using a betting system. Strategies such as the Martingale, Labouchere, or D’Alembert systems can help you manage your bankroll and improve your chances of success.


Craps, a fast-paced dice game, offers a multitude of betting options with varying payout percentages. To improve your craps strategy:

  • Stick to the best bets. Pass Line, Don’t Pass, Come, and Don’t Come bets offer the lowest house edge.
  • Utilize the odds bet. This bet has no house edge, so taking full advantage of it can significantly increase your chances of winning.
  • Avoid high house edge bets. Proposition bets, such as “Any 7” or “Hardways,” often come with a high house edge and should be avoided.

Final Thoughts

The concept of a casino payout percentage is fundamental to understanding how casinos operate and how players can make informed decisions about where to play. This percentage is a crucial metric that offers insight into the expected returns a player can expect over time while engaging in various casino games. Through examining casino payout percentages, we can gain a clearer picture of the balance between the player’s interests and the casino’s profit margins.

Casino payout percentages are essentially the theoretical ratios that indicate the amount of money that will be returned to the player over an extended period. These figures are calculated based on the game’s design, mechanics, and in-built house edge. The house edge is a critical element in the determination of the payout percentage, as it represents the advantage the casino holds over the player in any given game. Understanding these percentages is vital for players seeking to maximize their chances of success, as they can make informed decisions about the games they choose to play.

It is crucial to note that payout percentages are theoretical and should not be taken as guarantees of winnings for any particular gaming session. These figures are based on an extensive number of plays, and the actual results for individual players can vary significantly due to the inherent randomness of casino games. However, payout percentages do provide a reliable benchmark for players to gauge the general fairness of a casino and its games.

Comments are closed.