What Are and How Are Casino Games Payouts Calculated
How are Casino Games Payouts calculated and how do Games Payouts influence your gameplay and your very choices of Online Casino and Games you tend to play?
Before I answer, or at least try to answer and give you my view of these questions, let me introduce myself shortly.
My name is Marcus Wolfe. I am thirty-five years old and I have quite a bit of experience in the online Casino “industry”. It all started ten or so years ago with a pop-up banner I clicked on a forum I was active at the time. You guessed it – it was the banner of an online Casinos site. I made my first account in an online casino, took my first bonus, violated (of course) all possible restrictions of that bonus and lost all the winnings I made with my first deposit. Long story short, over the last decade I became a passionate gambler, worked in several online Casinos for the past few years and now… well now me and a couple of my buddies started TopNotchGambler, doing our best to find and test new casinos, give you our honest reviews and advise you where to play. That is my last ten years in a couple of sentences.
So, to get back to the topic: What Are and How Are Casino Games Payouts Calculated?
Casino Games Payouts (otherwise known and called RTP – Return To Player) are supposed to tell you what is the average return of the particular game. In other words, it is telling you how much is that game paying out ON AVERAGE expressed in percentages. Let’s look at one example:
Probably the most popular game in the online Casinos is NetEntertainments game: Starburst
Starburst, NetEnt claims, has RTP of 96%
Now what does that tell you?
It tells you that (I have to say again: ON AVERAGE) if you spin Starburst one hundred times on a 1$ bet, at the end of your session, you will have 96$ (assuming you started the session with 100$).
Now, of course, that does not mean that every time you play Starburst your RTP will be 96% (no one would play the games if this was true as you would lose all the time). Sometimes, your RTP on Starburst (or any other game) will be 225%, sometimes 138%, sometimes 95% and sometimes 31%...
96% average game’s RTP tells you that if you play millions and millions of spins, your average return on that game will (or should) be 96%.
But, IS THIS TRUE?
After a decade of gambling, after five years working in online Casinos as, in the beginning, customer support and later VIP Club and Affiliate Manager, I can, being 99,99% sure, tell you one thing:
THIS IS BULLSHIT!
And here is why it is bullshit:
This is how game’s (or better yet, game provider’s) RTP “work”:
To help you understand this, I need to explain you how does the Casino – Game Provider(s) “relationship” works. It works like this:
I want to open and run an online Casino. I have two options: 1. I can contact Licensing Agencies and get (buy) my Sublicense and then get (buy) my payment processor, contact game providers and get (buy) the games I want to have, … - you see where I am going with this; or 2. Contact the company that already does all that and runs online Casinos and use their “white label” solution and get (buy) their “white label” solution – Casino (skin) with games, payments, licensing and everything already there.
Either way I go, I don’t own, I don’t host and I don’t control the games I am providing in my Casino.
Why is this important?
It is important and I explained all this for one reason and one reason alone:
Casinos don’t host, own, operate or manipulate the games! It is not possible! Assuming, of course, they have original games and not fake (and they don’t run Providers like RTG and similar where you can arrange what “RTP” you want to have).
I got a bit of topic, but not much. I felt it is important for you to know this to understand that game’s RTP (96% RTP Starburst “allegedly” has) is only true for that game’s overall RTP in all online Casinos that have that game offered. Meaning RTP of Starburst in one Casino can be 75% and in the other 122%, in some other Casino 50% and in yet another 150%. If you combine thousands and thousands of online Casinos that have Starburst in their offer and all the spins ever made on Starburst you “should” get to the 96% average RTP, NetEnt says Starburst has. And all this is, again, correct only if you assume that 96% RTP on Starburst, NetEnt claims Starburst has is true.
And how can you (or, in fact, anyone) be sure or check if that is true?
Actually, in theory, it could be checked. If all online Casinos (including the ones that are closed now) would calculate the overall average RTP of all games they have / had, game by game, share it somewhere, average overall lifetime RTP of a game could be calculated. Only than – and that is as possible as me dunking from a three-point line in the NBA all-stars game – impossible.
Some may argue that the licensing commission check the Provider Game’s RTP to be sure they are “fair” and not manipulated. That is, again, bullshit!
I tested this myself. Most respected Gambling Licensing Commissions – the Malta and the UK ones are the same as any of the others, less respected ones. When it comes to the Games fairness and the accuracy of the Casino’s / Game Provider’s claimed RTP at least. I contacted each of them, presented myself as a casino owner and inquired about the steps and the procedure to get (buy) their (Curacao, Malta, UK, etc) license(s). All the answers were pretty much the same. No-one ever asked me anything about the games, their owners, their RNG generators – algorithms, their RTP or any of that. All they asked and all they were concerned about is – you guessed it – THE MONEY!
They just provided the set of rules and requirements I had to fulfill and the amounts of money I had to pay to get the license. What games I offer, are they legit or not, or anything regarding to that was never mentioned. Only the amount of money I needed to have was different – but that is a whole another story for a whole another Point Of View. As is something I found on a lot of “respected” Casino Portals – Online Casino’s RTP, where they have some “random” numbers next to Casinos they are promoting – claiming that the numbers they write next to Casinos represents that Casino’s RTP – another bullshit and topic for another Point Of View…
To wrap my first TopNotchGambler Point Of View, RTP – Return To Player - Casino Games Payouts or however you want to call it is and arbitrary number. Number most of you (don’t get me wrong, so did I before I started working for “the other side” – online Casinos) take for granted and never question the accuracy of it, but a number that you, nor anybody, really can or ever did check to make sure it is true, nor can it be checked by anyone – other than the owner of the game; Game Provider. And the percentage of return, or the RTP, they claim their games have is not checked by anyone. Players are supposed to trust their fairness and honesty – and they do. Well most of them. I don’t buy it. With what I have learned, no! Not any more!