RTP vs. Volatility – How Do They Affect Slots Gameplay?

You’ve probably heard about RTP and volatility if you frequently access online slots. Each game would have a unique RTP and volatility, but how do they affect the gameplay? During my experience of accessing various online gambling sites, I’ve come to learn how these two work. 


RTP is short for Return to Player; you’ll usually see the number in a percentage. This RTP number represents how much money you can expect to win from a product. Although it’s a number that describes winning possibility, it’s not a guarantee that you’ll win as much as the percentage promises. 

To produce the RTP number, developers run simulations during the production stage over a specific period. After counting the total winnings users received against their total bets, a number is calculated.

In short, the percentage counts as the long-term average. Still, the higher the RTP one product promises, the better your chances of winning in the long run. 

The RTP you’ll find in online gambling sites widely varies. Some online fruit machines offer low RTPs, around 75%, while others can offer remarkably high RTPs, at 98%. However, the most I’ve encountered is around 96%. 

How Can I Find The RTP? 

If you’re used to playing land-based machines, you might be surprised at how easy it is to find the RTP of online machines. Multiple websites will post the product’s RTP, including the gambling sites that feature it. 

However, I usually go to the developer’s page and find the information on the developer’s site. Another way to find recommendations with the best RTP or new pokies is through sites like johnslots.com/en/, which list titles with the highest RTP. 

Another of my best recommendations is to find the RTP through the product’s page. Once you load it on your display, you can find a menu or an information button. Then, you can search for more information about the game, including the RTP. Therefore, you’ll get the most accurate detail about the RTP of the title you’re interested in. 


Compared to RTPs, volatility is more apparent to me. If an RTP describes how much payout you’ll potentially get from one title, volatility explains how often you’ll typically hit a winning combination. Besides telling how frequently you’ll potentially win, volatility can also give you an idea of how much you can hit in one win. 

Still, despite volatility, fruit machines are a game of chance. The results are randomised, and users won’t be able to calculate when and what they’ll win on the next spin. I usually treat volatility to get more information about what type of fruit machine I’ll play. 

I’ve tested different volatilities, so here’s how I would explain it. You’ll receive wins less frequently when you play fruit machines with high volatility. However, it’ll likely be a big one once you hit a win. On the contrary, machines with lower volatilities give more chances for users to hit wins. Yet, they tend to be small wins. Here’s a more detailed explanation of volatility. 

  • Low Volatility

Low-volatility products give a higher chance of hitting wins throughout my playtime. However, these wins tend to be small in value. The volatility won’t change regardless of the features the product has. For example, even if the online fruit machine has jackpot prizes, my chance of triggering this bonus will be low. 

However, the small yet frequent wins of low-volatility titles can be preferable for some. I like low-volatility products because then I won’t have long losing streaks on my rounds.

  • High Volatility

One of the most apparent signs of a high volatility product is its high max potential win. High-volatility titles give me a chance to win big, but unlike low-volatility titles, I rarely get wins on those with high volatility. 

Not hitting any win for a while on high-volatility products is expected. I’ve experienced spinning for a long time without a win. However, the charm of high-volatility online fruit machines is its big win, which will likely appear after that long while.

  • Medium Volatility

To put it simply, medium volatility products are the balance between the high and low volatility titles. When I spin medium volatility titles, I can receive small wins and big wins without long gaps in between. They aren’t as frequent as low-volatility titles but won’t take as long as high-volatility products.

Besides the three volatilities above, I’ve also encountered other volatilities that mixed the traits of these three main types. Therefore, it’s not rare that you find your chosen title to have, for example, medium-low or medium-high volatility. 

RTP vs. Volatility

If I had to prioritise one over the other, I would choose to watch the RTP. RTP, in short, is a transparency of how much the operator profits from the product, so the higher it is, the higher your chance of getting something in return. Still, if you’ve read this article until now, you know everything goes back to your preferences. I suggest you explore your options and see what you like most.