You will come across the phrase “return to player percentages” (RTP) very often in your online gambling journey and you should be very clear as to what it means. RTP is calculated over a given time period, usually a month. For calculating the RTP for a particular casino game, the online casino extracts two figures from its records: the amount wagered on the game and the amount paid out as winnings. RTP is then computed as the amount paid out divided by the amount wagered expressed as a percentage. For example, if on an online pokie the amount paid out is AU$48 and in the same period the amount wagered is AU$50, then the RTP would be 96% (48/50 x 100). If the time period over which RTP is calculated is very large, then the RTP would be just below 100%. But for monthly calculated figures, the top payout casinos would have some games with RTP just over 100%. This is because players have been lucky on those games.
Based on the mathematics of the game or on computer simulation, the expected RTP for various games is known. Players can check the computed RTP against these figures. Blackjack and video poker variants if played with optimum strategy have expected RTP of 99%. The reported RTP at online casinos would be slightly lower. This is not an aspersion on the fairness of the games. Many players bet on these games without following the optimum strategy and end up will lower returns. European Roulette has expected RTP of 97.3%, whereas American Roulette has expected RTP of 94.5%. Online pokies have expected RTP of about 95%. In the top payout casinos there will be a match between the computed RTP and the expected RTP.
The difference between audited and non-audited payout percentages is exactly the same as that between audited and non-audited financial statements of a firm. Non-audited payout percentages are computed by the management of the online casino from its records. Audited payout percentages are computed by an independent and impartial expert agency from the online casino records. The agency is given access to the complete wagering history for the period. It audits the records for authenticity and then computes the payout percentages from that. It issues a certificate under its seal stating the payout percentages and specifying the period for which they were calculated. Just as in the case of financial statements, non-audited payout percentages are not incorrect or fraudulent, but audited payout percentages are more credible. Top payout casinos walk that extra mile to provide audited figures so that the players are that much more assured.
Almost all the top payout online casinos that we recommend have the audited payout percentages reported by eCOGRA, which is an independent organisation of long standing repute, also involved in other areas of protection of players’ interests. eCOGRA audited payout percentages are reported across the main game categories, such as pokie games, table games and poker games, and also across all games together. These can be accessed by clicking on the eCOGRA icon on the home page of the online casino web sites.