Whether you are a new or old casino gamer, you must have come across the abbreviations RTP and RNG at least once. In this article, we will be explaining in-depth what these acronyms mean and how they work.

What does RTP mean?

RTP is an acronym that represents the words “Return To Player,” i.e., the percentage of all wagers for bets that go back to the player. But it takes more than knowing what hides behind the abbreviation to understand how it works. Below is an example of what RTP is and how it works.

Let’s assume there is a new slot machine, and ten different punters spun the first ten spins on this slot or other jackpot games. The developer offers a 98% RTP and the ten punters spent $10 each. This sums up to a total of 10 unique players, each spinning a single time and paying $10, which makes the combined investment $100 so far.

Here, you would expect that the ten players got $98 back, while the casino got $2. But what if one of the 10 players was lucky enough to win the $1,000 jackpot? In case the other nine did not win anything, the casino will be $900 in “debt.” This explains why the return to player is theoretical from the mare explanation, and can only be valid after the algorithms are given some more time. In the end, the casino will make their money back and will remain cash-flow positive. It is also possible that all players win something in return, or that only half of them will get more than the amount they spent, while the others get nothing. Working hand-in-hand with the RTP is the House Edge.

What is House Edge?

Continuing with the example above, the $2 that the casino gets is considered the house edge at that point. However, the same as the RTP, the house edge is valid only over a time frame. The house edge is the percentage of all stakes or wagers that the casinos keep for themselves, so you can now understand its relationship with the RTP.

A 96% RTP, for example, goes along with an edge of 4%, while the remaining 1% edge means players get 99% of every stake back over time.


The question of who sets the RTP is an important one. Typically, this is up to the developer of the game to decide who sets the RTP. It could be a freelancer or a development studio. These days, freelancers are unusual, as the industry has experienced rapid growth in the last decade. These days, the RTP is set in collaboration between game publishers, software provider studios, and the online casinos. Also, these days a few of the big shot online casinos create their software providers so they can own more of the process.

This explains why it is best to play games from reputable and already well-known companies, who are “3 in 1”. On the other hand, that is the exact reason why it is so tricky for brand new providers and companies to break into the market and the industry.


RNG stands for Random Number Generator. It is what determines the outcome of every spin in slot machines. In a land-based casino, it is a microprocessor that runs 24/7 with the job to randomly determine the position of the game reels.

In online slot machines and online gambling, in general, the same concept is obtainable, but the tools and procedures that are used are a little bit different. In this situation, the Random Number Generator is a complex developed code that makes use of the MD5 algorithm.  There are two primary types of RNG; these are:

  • Hardware Random Number Generator – Mostly used in arcade games and land-based casinos
  • Pseudorandom Number Generator (PRNG) – Used mostly in online casinos

It is theoretical to predict and manipulate the RNG as a user on the frontend, but it is not practical. What determines the result of the spin is randomness, complicated math, and preset values.

Now that we know what RTP and RNG are, we need to know who keeps the player safe and makes sure the casinos keep their word without manipulating the RTP behind the scene.

Who Protects Players From Getting Cheated?

From what we now know, the RTP is what determines the amount the players will get back over time, RNG is what determines the outcome, while providers, publishers and at times the casino is responsible for setting the RTP, but we need to know who is in charge of casinos.

When you play at an online casino with real money, you want to rest assured that your cash is safe, and you want to be guaranteed of fair play. This is the reason for the existence of licensing agencies, as well as authorization bodies. When you play at a casino that is authorized, you know that the slot and games they feature are legit and that they won’t manipulate the RTP. Nothing beats knowing that all players at an online casino have the same winning odds.

Below are some reputable and trustworthy licensing agencies around the world: 

Malta Gaming Authority

Kahnawake Gaming Commission

Curacao Internet Gambling Association

UK Gambling Commission

Alderney Gambling Control Commission

Gambling Supervision Commission 


Remember that the outcome can’t be manipulated. There are strategies in games like Blackjack, Poker, Roulette, and Dream Catcher, but these never offer surety that you’ll win. What you can do in a slot machine is to control how much you bet with, and leave the rest to luck.

You may feel it’s best not to play if someone has just won vast amounts in the casino game you’re playing, or if someone won the jackpot, but that isn’t the case. Since you now know how RNG and RTP works, I guess you already know its ok to play. Playing games that come with high RTP does not guarantee that you will win more often, or you will lose less after a while. It all still boils down to luck!

Author's Bio: 

A blogger from TX.