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High RTP Online Casino Games – Why You Should and Shouldn’t Play Them

By Randy Ray in Casino
| August 30, 2020 1:19 am PDT
Online Casino Games with High RTP Why You Should and Shouldn't Play Them

Return to player (RTP) is one of the most important factors regarding online casino games. High RTP gives you a stronger chance to win.

Obviously, you want better odds when playing online casino games. But you may be surprised to know that high RTP isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Higher payback has both good and bad aspects to consider. You can read about the pros and cons of online casino games with high RTP below.

Pros of Online Casino Games With High RTP

The most obvious advantage of higher payout percentages is that you have better odds. However, this isn’t the only great thing about RTP. You can see some other key benefits below.

Better Long-Term Chances of Winning

Internet casinos make their money by holding an edge over you and other gamblers. The larger their advantage, the better chance they have to beat you.

However, you can flip the script by choosing games with the highest payback percentages. With certain online casino games offering over 99% RTP, you have a good opportunity to win in any given session.

Here are common RTP figures for the highest-paying online games.

  • Blackjack – 99.0% to 99.68% RTP
  • Online slots – 94.5% to 99.0% RTP
  • Baccarat – 98.94% RTP (banker bet)
  • French roulette – 98.65% RTP (even-money bets)
  • Craps – 98.64% RTP (don’t pass line)

Taking blackjack, for example, you’d win back $99 for every $100 wagered on average. You’re still at a slight disadvantage in this scenario, but you can definitely win with luck on your side.

Even if you don’t get this luck, you minimize long-term losses by playing games with better payout percentages.

Profit From Deposit Bonuses

Online casinos offer deposit bonuses to entice you into choosing their site. These deals are based on the match percentage of your deposit amount.

Here’s an example.

  • A gaming site is offering a 100% match bonus worth up to $500
  • You deposit $400
  • You’re eligible to earn a $400 bonus

The catch is that you must earn these bonuses by satisfying terms and conditions. Of these T&Cs, wagering requirements (a.k.a. rollover) are particularly important.

You must wager a certain multiple of your bonus amount before cashing anything out. With the right combination of high RTP and low rollover, you can potentially profit from a deposit offer.

For example:

  • You qualify for a $100 bonus
  • Playthrough is 40x
  • 100 x 40 = $4,000 must be wagered
  • You play a slot with a 1.5% house edge (i.e., 98.5% RTP)
  • 4,000 x 0.015 = $60 in theoretical losses
  • 100 (bonus) – 60 = $40 in theoretical profits

You’re not guaranteed to earn $40 in this instance. However, you’re theoretically in line to earn profits because you have the edge.

Unique Opportunity Only Available at Internet Casinos

Land-based casinos used to offer better RTP across the board. However, times have changed, and brick-and-mortar venues now feature worse payback than ever.

Here are common payout percentages for popular land-based casino games.

  • Baccarat – 98.94% RTP
  • Blackjack – 98.0% to 99.0% RTP
  • Craps – 98.64% RTP
  • European roulette – 97.30% RTP
  • American roulette – 94.74% RTP
  • Slot machines – 88% to 96% RTP

Baccarat and craps are the only land-based games that match their online counterparts in terms of payback. All of the other games feature worse RTP on average.

Slot machines especially pay poorly in brick-and-mortar casinos. Some of the penny games offer RTP as low as 88%.

That said, gaming sites give you a unique chance to cash in on really high payback. You should take advantage of these opportunities whenever you play online.

Cons of High RTP

A common misconception about online gambling is that games with high RTP have no flaws. However, they do present the following concerns.

Lower Contributions to Bonus Rollover

As explained before, you’re required to meet rollover on deposit bonuses before withdrawing them. You can set yourself up for theoretical profits by satisfying wagering requirements with high-paying games.

Unfortunately, most casinos reduce the contributions that high-paying games offer towards rollover. For example, only 20% of your blackjack wagers might go towards satisfying wagering requirements.

This scenario may not seem like a big deal when considering how much many online blackjack games pay back. But you’re sometimes better off playing games with lower RTP for bonus purposes.

Here’s an example.

  • You qualify for a $200 bonus
  • Rollover is 40x
  • 200 x 40 = $8,000 must be wagered
  • You play a blackjack game with 99.5% RTP (0.5% house edge)
  • This game only contributes 20% towards wagering requirements
  • 8,000 / 0.2 = $40,000 must be wagered
  • 40,000 x 0.005 = $200 in theoretical losses

Plugging an online slot with 96% RTP into this same scenario, you’ll only theoretically lose $320, because you only have to wager $8,000. That said, the bonus math doesn’t always work out in favor of the best-paying games.

No Rewards With Certain Games

As if having to bet more to unlock bonuses isn’t bad enough, high RTP can also cause you to miss out on rewards.

Some casinos exclude certain games from being eligible from earning VIP points. They don’t want you to use the highest RTP to game them out of money.

Luckily, you don’t have to deal with this problem at many online casinos. However, certain gaming sites aren’t overly strict when it comes to high-paying games and loyalty rewards.

You should read the terms and conditions at any online casino before playing for real money. This way, you’ll learn what games do and don’t qualify for VIP points.

Losing Sight of Volatility

Sometimes, you may get so wrapped up in the pursuit of high payout percentages and winning money that you don’t consider volatility.

The latter refers to short-term fluctuations that affect your immediate winnings. You especially need to worry about volatility with regard to games with large jackpots and big bonuses (i.e., slots and video poker).

Games that have big payouts must make up for the large prizes that they’re offering at the top. Therefore, they can’t afford to pay as frequently as other casino games.

An online slot with 99% RTP looks great in theory. Odds are, though, your short-term winnings will either be much lower or higher than 99% payback.

With a small bankroll, you’ll be better off playing a less volatile game like American roulette (94.74% payback) versus a slot with 99% RTP. American roulette may pay much less back, but it can also deliver more short-term winnings.

Are Games With High RTP Worth It?

Choosing online casino games that feature high payback isn’t the slam dunk that it seems. From a pure winning perspective, the best-paying games are worth choosing.

You theoretically stand to win more money with a game offering 99% RTP than one with 95% RTP. The former gives you a solid chance to beat the casino with little to no luck involved.

Another nice thing about high RTP is that it lets you truly cash in on deposit bonuses. You can even put yourself in line for profits with the right deal and payback.

The problem, though, is that many of the best-paying games contribute lower amounts to wagering requirements. You’re better off choosing low-paying games in these cases to release bonuses.

Some casinos also exclude certain games from earning loyalty rewards. You get hit with a double whammy in this situation.

High RTP can also make you lose sight of volatility. The latter is a very important concept when it comes to short-term winnings.

Overall, I suggest playing games with high payout percentages as long as you’re not chasing a lucrative bonus deal. If you are after a bonus, though, then check T&Cs to see what games feature lower rollover contributions.


Online casinos are unique from their land-based counterparts when it comes to payout percentages. They typically offer the best RTP for many games.

That said, you should pounce on these opportunities when you find them. The key, though, is to realize that lofty RTP doesn’t cure all.

Yes, you will win more over the long term when choosing the best-paying games. And yes, you can actually profit with bonuses included under the right circumstances.

However, those who run gaming sites aren’t stupid. They know that they can be beaten if they offer the best-paying casino games with no stipulations.

That said, you must worry about a few drawbacks before focusing on games with high RTP. Namely, your bonuses and VIP rewards will be negatively affected in some cases.

You should always read the T&Cs and conditions before gambling online for real money. The goal is to find out if there are any restrictions surrounding certain games.

You also want to run math on bonus opportunities before choosing any random high-paying game. You need to figure out which options give you the strongest chance at earning your bonuses.

Assuming there are no major red flags in the T&Cs, then you should take advantage of high RTP whenever possible.



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