Slot Games Payout Ratios

By: Ken Johnson / Last Update: 11 May 2015

Online Slots RTP (Return-to-Player Percentage)Slots are definitely the most popular real-money games at both land-based and online casinos. While playing these simple games is so much fun in itself, no player would ever complain about winning more than usual. This is why checking the payout percentage of the slot game you want to play is a nice habit to adopt.

The term payout ratio refers to the amount of money you are paid by a slot game in return for betting. The payout of a slot is expressed as a percentage and it is determined by dividing the winnings paid by the total amount of cash bet on the game. For example, if the payout ratio of a slot is 95%, it means that for every £100 wagered on average, you win back £95.

Playing Slots at Online vs Brick-and-Mortar Casinos

Depending on whether you play slots offline or online, these casino games of chance can have lower or higher payout ratios. In this article we’ll take a look at both ways of playing these popular casino games and let the numbers explain why playing online is way more convenient than playing at land-based casinos.

Payout Ratios at Land-Based Casinos


Bricks and mortar casinos work differently from online casinos in terms of operation, functionality and many other factors. They must have legal gambling licence granted from a gambling regulator, pay taxes based on their annual gross revenue and have plenty of other costs to cover such as the wages of employees and so on. When it comes to their payout ratios, at land-based casinos they are roughly between 84 and 86 percent and they are calculated based on restrictions such as costs of development and manufacturing as well as costs of the massive overhead. These costs leave a big cut for bricks-and-mortar casinos, therefore, they have to offer lower payout ratios than those of Internet casinos to stay afloat.

The payout ratio of 84-86% means that players can expected to return between £0.84- £0.86 for each £1 they bet on slots. Of course, this is an average and includes the payouts in aggregate over a long period of time. For individual slot machines over a certain period of time the payout ratio can be quite different. The slots that offer the highest payout percentage are usually situated in a separate area on the casino floor and players can read a sign saying ‘slots that offer payout ratio or Return-to-Player of over 86%.’ However, this doesn’t mean that you will get 86% of your wagered money every time you play. The payout ratio is calculated over the lifespan of a slot machine, not for each particular gaming session.

  • Land-Based Casino
  • 84% payout
  • • Lower returns to player
  • • Higher overheads to run
  • • Space is limited for machines
  • Online Casino
  • 97% payout
  • • Higher returns to player
  • • Lower overheads to run
  • • Huge choice of slots available
Slots Payouts at Online vs Land-Based Casinos

Payout Ratios in Online Casinos


For online casinos, the payout ratios of slots are much different. They are much higher or approximately between 90% and 97%. In addition, every casino decides the payout ratios on its own. The biggest reason behind this is that the cost associated with running an online casino site are lower compared to the costs of running a land-based casino. Expenses connected with massive overhead or manufacturing are irrelevant for online casinos so no wonder why the payout ratios of games are higher.

However, there are costs associated with the development and creation of casino software and it is quite expensive as it relates to powering an application, but the costs are much cheaper than those of brick-and-mortar casino properties. For this reason, online casino games can be programmed to have higher payout ratios for players, therefore, making the games much more attractive.

When it comes to the payout percentages of slot machines in particular, they are different from one slot game to another. Generally speaking they are about 95 or 96%. The exact percentage is individual for each slot created by particular software provider. To identify the expected return-to-player (RTP) percentage of a slot, examine its credit denomination. Generally speaking, higher payouts are offered by slot games that have higher minimum and maximum bets. A study has shown that £0.5 slots at some casinos have RTP of 92.4% while those that offer bets of £0.25 have 93.9% payout ratio. The games where the minimum bet is £5 tent to pay out 98.4% on average.

Instead of calculating the payout percentage of slots for yourself, you can look for online casinos that publish the expected RTPs of their games on their website. Not all casino operators publish this information. For the basis of this research we contacted 4 of the most popular slot game makers and chose a leading slot per manufacturer for your information. You can also click on the game manufacturer to read a review about their games and services. We have also suggested a recommended casino per operator. There is no reason why you can’t sign up to more than one casino and that way you can take advantage of the generous welcome offers.

Top Payout Machine Per Software Platform
Software Title Return to Player Recommended Casino
Desert Treasure 97.05% Play Now Betfair!
Jackpot 6000 98.80% Play Now Mr Green!
Extreme Heat 97.50% Play Now 32Red!
Lucky Lady’s Charm Deluxe 97.10% Play Now SkyVegas!

How Can I Check the Payout Ratios Myself?

If you want to check the slot payouts of particular online casinos for yourself, search the online casino site for possible reports from independent auditing firms. They should be published on the site. Otherwise, you can request monthly statistics for each casino and compare the results. Since each online casino decides the payout ratios of slots on its own you will notice variations in the RTPs of various slot machines at different casinos powered by different software providers. Then you can sign up and play slots at the casino that has the best payout ratio.

TST Payout ReportsFurthermore, you can check the slot payouts at each casino by looking for reports from Technical Systems Testing (TST), a Gaming Laboratories International third party auditing company. The company tests electronic gaming equipment and makes sure it produces random results. Regarding slots, it conducts rigorous tests on their RNG and ensures it creates fair outcomes.

eCOGRA Casino Testing and ReportsYou can also look for reports from eCOGRA, an independent and internationally recognised testing company established in 2003 and based in the United Kingdom. The agency specialises in the certification of online gaming software and systems and some of its activities focus on fair gaming by evaluating the RNG and RTP of games, providing secure and safe gaming environment and preventing underaged and vulnerable players from gambling. Online casinos usually offer reports from TST or eCOGRA on their websites and display their seal of approval on their homepages.