Slot RTP, Hit Frequency And Volatility Explained


  1. What Is Slot RTP?
  2. What RTP Isn’t
  3. Slots RTP and RNG
  4. Hit Frequency And Volatility
  5. Can You Change A Slot’s RTP?
  6. The Top RTP Slots Online
  7. Choosing Slots Based On RTP And Volatility

Every casino game has something known as a house edge. This is the technical way of saying that the casino has a slight mathematical advantage over the player. Now, the interplay between theory and reality is important to grasp here. In theory, the casino has a small long-term advantage. However, you may not experience this.

What we mean is that anything can happen in the short-term. So, even if the casino is “supposed” to have an advantage in the long run, you could have the advantage in any single period of play. Even though the maths is on the casino’s side, your experience of a game might be very different. 

For example, the house edge in roulette is 2.7%. However, you could theoretically hit 50 wins in a row during a single session. So, even though the casino has a mathematical advantage, you can still win and, more importantly, have the upper hand in any given session. Yes, over time, your results may fluctuate, and there’s never a guarantee of winning. However, the need to understand is that the house edge applies to the game as an overall proposition and not a single betting round.

What Is Slot RTP?

Online, the house edge is pre-set. Gaming regulators suggest certain acceptable ranges within which casinos must set their games. The RTP or Return to Player is how much you can expect to win back over the long run. For example, an online slot may have an RTP of 98%. This means that, for every 100 units you stake, your overall return is expected to be 98 coins.

Again, we must stress that this is a theoretical target that considers the game’s overall proposition. RTP scores are usually calculated over the course of 100,000 spins or more, which gives rise to the notion that potential return rates are based on an infinite number of trials.

Slot RTP Infographic

What RTP Isn’t

The RTP percentage should be seen as a long-term average, an expected win rate if you added up all of your results from 100,000+ spins. Because of this, you could win more than 98% of the time in the short-term. Just as with roulette, you could come out ahead for 50 spins in a row. RTP can’t be taken as an exact guide as to how much you can expect to win over a set number of spins. It is, however, an indicator of what should happen over time.

Slots RTP And RNG

RTP works with the help of random number generators (RNG). These algorithms produce random results with theoretical targets defined by the game developers. But surely aren’t RNGs random? They are. However, they are random within a framework defined by the RTP.

So, each spin will produce a random result that can’t be predicted ahead of time. However, the sum of every spin will be guided by the RTP. For example, if the RTP is 98%, the results of every spin (over an infinite number of trials) must fit in with that score. All slots undergo rigorous testing of these algorithms before being released.

Hit Frequency And Volatility

Hit frequency refers to how often you can expect to win a prize of any size, over an infinite number of spins. Online slots are typically set to have a hit frequency of between 20% and 30%. The lower this score, the higher the volatility will be and vice versa. You can define slots volatility as the amount of time you can expect between winning spins and the average size of a payout.

High volatility slots will, in theory, pay out fewer prizes over a large sample size. However, when they do, the prizes will be bigger, on average, than they would be in a low volatility slot. Low volatility slots will, by contrast, typically pay out prizes more frequently, but the average prize value will be lower.

Like slots RTP, hit frequency and volatility are theoretical figures. This means you can’t take the ratings as guarantees of what’s going to happen when you play. If a game is rated as a high volatility slot, you shouldn’t assume that you can’t hit multiple wins in a row. However, over the long term, you should expect to see the results match up with these pre-set values.

Can You Change A Slot Game’s RTP?

No. The RTP score is fixed and based on an infinite number of spins (at least 100,000). The only thing you can do is understand RTP and weigh up your options. Inside every jackpot and video slot we offer at LiveRoulette, the game’s Help page will display the RTP percentage.

Hit frequencies and volatility ratings may also be available. You can use this information as a guide to help you find the type of slot you enjoy the most. If you like high volatility slots, play them. If better overall return rates are your thing, check out the top RTP slots online.

The Top RTP Slots Online

There are thousands of slots online. Some have low RTP scores, some have higher. To give you a starting point, here are some of the top RTP slots available to play:

  • Mega Joker – 99%
  • Jackpot 6000 – 98.10%
  • 1429 Uncharted Seas – 98.60%
  • Blood Suckers – 98%
  • Starmania – 97.87%
  • Kings of Chicago – 97.8%
  • Devil’s Delight – 97.6%
  • Retro Reels Extreme Heat – 97.50%
  • Jack Hammer 2 – 97.10%
  • Immortal Romance 96.90%

Choosing Slots Based On RTP And Volatility

We can define RTP and explain how hit frequencies work. We can tell you what high volatility slots are, and which games have the best RTPs. What we can’t do is tell you what to play. The only thing we can do is give you some tips on how to choose games when you know all the variables. The variables you should consider when you’re sizing up a slot are:

  1. Slots RTP Scores – The general rule of thumb is that the higher the RTP score, the better your long-term prospects may be. However, you can’t always rely on this. Just because a slot has a high RTP and another has a low one, it doesn’t mean you’ll win more often when you play the former.
  2. High Volatility Slots vs Low Volatility Slots – Selecting slots based on volatility requires you to answer one question: do I want the chance to win smaller prizes more often or bigger prizes less often? Overall, high volatility slots will pay out less frequently but when they do, the prizes will be larger on average. Low volatility slots will pay out smaller average prizes on a more frequent basis. As we’ve said throughout this chapter, these can’t be taken as hard and fast rules. But, in general, high volatility slots are better for those that don’t mind waiting for potentially big payouts.
  • Hit Frequency – Because hit frequency and volatility are so closely linked, you can apply the same logic as before. A low hit frequency suggests that you’ll have to wait longer to win something but, when you do, the payouts could be more worthwhile. A high hit frequency suggests you’ll pick up smaller wins more often.
  • Consider The Whole – The whole is always greater than the sum of its parts and this is true in the online slots world. You can’t base your decisions on RTP, volatility, or hit frequency alone. You should consider them all as one in order to assess what your overall experience is going to be like. In fact, you need to move beyond the number if you really want to find the right slot for you, as we’ve explained in the final section. 
Slot Game Volatility Infographic

How To Choose The Perfect Online Slot

RTP, volatility, and hit frequency shouldn’t be the only factors you use when choosing which online slots to play. They’re certainly important but they don’t take into account the overall playing experience. What’s more, they are theoretical figures based on long-term calculations.

Choosing the right jackpot and video slots requires a holistic approach. This means you need to consider all the available variables. Some of the factors you should consider as you’ve scroll through the LiveRoulette slots lobby are:


It may seem like a small point, but the theme of a slot is important because it sets up a lot of things. Firstly, it sets the scene. The theme of a slot can tell a story and transport you to different worlds.

Secondly, themes can open the door to features. Slot developers like to fuse style and substance at every opportunity. For example, if a slot takes you into outer space, the bonus round may involve travelling to different planets and picking up cash prizes. Therefore, a theme will set the tone for a slot, which is why you should choose games that tell a story you want to read.


Everyone has a budget. Bankroll management is a hugely important concept in casino gaming and asserts that every bet you make should be a small percentage of the funds at your disposal. To put it another way, your bankroll should be money you can afford to lose. This doesn’t mean you’re going to lose it. However, it shouldn’t have a negative impact on your life if it did happen.

Once you’ve got a bankroll, you can use it to set your bets. From this, you can choose the right slots for you. All the best online slots have stakes designed to suit all bankrolls. At the lowest stakes, you can bet at a penny payline. However, this doesn’t mean every slot is suitable for every player. When you’re choosing a game, make sure you assess the minimum and maximum stakes.


Entertainment and enjoyment should be your primary focus when you play slots online. However, prize money can’t be ignored. We’ve established that slots have RTP scores and volatility ratings that, in theory, determine how often you could win. In tandem with these variables, you can look at the minimum and maximum payouts. You should take all of these as one and use that to decide if the game is right for you.

Bonuses and Features

Bonuses, modifiers, multipliers, and free spins are all part of modern online slots. You may like these features, you may not. You may like some but not others. You should read the latest online slots reviews and check out our game guides to understand the types of bonuses each game offers.     

Slots RTP Is Just One Variable You Need to Consider

RTP meaning is an important concept, not just in slots gaming, but the casino industry as a whole. Understanding how games are programmed and what it means for your long-term win rate is crucial. However, you can’t rely on this variable. Each online slot brings something unique to the table. A game with a comparatively low RTP might have a high hit frequency. Similarly, a high volatility slot might have a larger than the average jackpot.

 You also need to think about style, setting, and substance. If you don’t like the look of a slot or the features it offers, the RTP score is meaningless. You need to weigh up everything to get the most from your time online. RTP scores and hit frequencies are important, but they’re only one part of a much larger equation. 

Taking this into consideration, why don’t you register an account with our Canadian online casino and try out some of these tips and games?

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