How RTP and Volatility Affect Your Gambling Outcomes
When it comes to casino games, chance is the game's name. The outcome is always uncertain, from the spin of a roulette wheel to the deal of a blackjack hand. But certain factors can influence a player's chances of winning, such as the game's RTP and volatility. In this article, we'll explore what these terms mean, why they're essential, and how they vary across different types of casino games.
RTP in Casino Games
RTP is a term that stands for Return to Player. A percentage indicates how much money a casino game will repay players over a long period. For example, if a slot game has an RTP of 96%, it means that for every $100 wagered on the game, $96 will be paid back to players in winnings. However, this does not mean every player will get 96% of their money back. RTP is an average calculated over millions of spins or rounds, so your actual results may vary depending on your luck and how long you play.
Different casino games have different RTPs based on their rules and design. Generally, games requiring more skill or strategy have higher RTPs than games based purely on chance. For example, Blackjack can have an RTP of up to 99.5% if you play with perfect strategy, while roulette has an RTP of 97.3% for the European version and 94.74% for the American version. Some games also have different bets with different RTPs within them. For example, in craps, the "don't pass line bet" has an RTP of 98.64%, while the "whirl bet" has only 86.67%.
Volatility in Casino Games
Volatility is a term that describes how often and how much a casino game pays out. It is also known as variance or risk level. Volatility measures the fluctuations in your bankroll over time as you play a game. A high-volatility game means you will experience big swings between wins and losses, while a low-volatility game means that you will have smaller but more frequent wins and losses.
Different casino games have different levels of volatility based on their design and rules. Generally speaking, games with bigger payouts but lower probabilities of winning are more volatile than games with smaller payouts but higher probabilities. For example, slot machines are more volatile than Blackjack because slots can pay out massive jackpots but also have many losing spins.
Within slot machines, some slots are more volatile than others based on their features and paytable. For example, a slot with a progressive jackpot, free spins, multipliers, and wild symbols is more volatile than a slot with only regular symbols and fixed payouts.
Some examples of high-volatility games are:
- Single-number bets on roulette (35:1 payout, 2.63% probability)
- Caribbean Stud Poker (100:1 payout for royal flush, 0.000154% probability)
- Progressive jackpot slots (millions of dollars payout, extremely low probability)
Some examples of low-volatility games are:
- Even-money bets on roulette (1:1 payout, 47.37% probability)
- Baccarat (banker bet) (0.95:1 payout, 45.86% probability)
- Video poker (9/6 Jacks or Better) (800:1 payout for royal flush, 0.0025% probability)
How do RTP and Volatility affect the gameplay and the strategy?
Different combinations of RTP and volatility affect the gameplay, strategy, and personal preferences differently. Here are some examples:
- High RTP + Low Volatility: These games pay out frequently but in small amounts. They have a low house edge and a low risk of losing your bankroll quickly. They suit players with a small budget who prefer consistent wins and want to play for longer sessions. Some examples of these games are video poker (9/6 Jacks or Better), Blackjack (with optimal strategy), baccarat (banker bet), etc.
- High RTP + High Volatility: These games pay out rarely but in large amounts. They have a low house edge but an increased risk of losing your bankroll quickly. They suit players with a large budget, seek big wins or jackpots, and are okay with long losing streaks. Some examples of these games are progressive jackpot slots, single-number bets on roulette, Caribbean Stud Poker (royal flush), etc.
- Low RTP + Low Volatility: These games pay out frequently but in small amounts. They have a high house edge and a low risk of losing your bankroll quickly. They suit players who want to have fun with minimal losses, enjoy simple gameplay, and don't care about winning big. Some examples of these games are keno, scratch cards, bingo, etc.
- Low RTP + High Volatility: These games pay out rarely but in large amounts. They have a high house edge and a high risk of losing your bankroll quickly. They suit players who like to take risks, chase big wins or jackpots, and are okay with long losing streaks. Some examples of these games are lottery tickets (especially with rollovers), slot machines with low hit frequency and high payouts3, etc.
As you can see, different combinations of RTP and volatility appeal to different types of players depending on their goals, preferences, and budget[4. You should choose the best games that suit your style and adjust your strategy accordingly.
The RTP and volatility statistics favor the casino in the long run.
Remember, The RTP and volatility statistics always favor the casino in the long run because they ensure it has a mathematical advantage over the players. The casino always sets the RTP lower than 100%, which means that for every $100 wagered on a game, less than $100 will be paid back to players in winnings. The difference between 100% and the RTP is called the house edge, which is the profit margin for the casino. For example, if a game has an RTP of 96%, it means that for every $100 wagered on the game, $96 will be paid back to players in winnings, and $4 will be kept by the casino as profit. The house edge is then 100% - 96% = 4%.
The casino also sets the volatility according to its preferences and target market. Some games have high volatility, meaning they pay out rarely but in large amounts. These games attract players who seek big wins or jackpots but risk losing their bankroll quickly. Other games have low volatility, meaning they pay out frequently but in small amounts. These games attract players who prefer consistent wins, minimize their losses, and have a low chance of winning big.
The RTP and volatility statistics ensure that the casino will collect more money from bets over millions of spins or rounds than it will pay out in winnings. This is based on the law of large numbers, which states that the average outcome will converge to its expected value as an experiment is repeated many times. In other words, as more bets are placed on a game with a fixed RTP and volatility, the results will get closer to what these statistics predict.
However, this does not mean that every player will lose money to the casino or that no one can win significantly from gambling. The RTP and volatility statistics only apply to long-term averages and do not account for short-term fluctuations or randomness. Anything can happen in high-level sports; even experienced sports gamblers need help finding consistent success. Some players may get lucky and beat the odds by winning more than they lose or hitting jackpots. Other players may get unlucky and lose more than they win or encounter long losing streaks.
What is a betting system?
A betting system is a set of rules that define a systematic process for finding a betting selection. It is based on some mathematical or statistical principles that aim to produce a profit by exploiting the odds or the outcomes of a game. A betting system is different from a betting strategy or a staking system. A betting strategy is a general approach to gambling that guides your decisions on when, where, and how much to bet. A staking system manages your money and determines how much you should bet on each wager.
There are many types of betting systems for different kinds of games and bets. Some common examples are:
- Card counting: A system that involves keeping track of the cards dealt in Blackjack or other card games and adjusting your bets accordingly based on the remaining cards and their values.
- Martingale: A system that doubles your bet after every loss until you win, then returns to your original bet size. This system assumes you will eventually win and recover all your losses plus a small profit.
- Arbitrage: A system that involves placing bets on all possible outcomes of an event at different odds, ensuring a guaranteed profit regardless of the result. This system requires finding discrepancies between other bookmakers or markets.
- Handicapping: A system that involves assigning ratings or points to teams or players based on their performance, strength, form, and other factors and using them to compare and predict the outcomes of matches.
- Hedging: A system that involves placing bets on opposite outcomes of an event, either to reduce your risk or to lock in a profit. This system requires adjusting your bets according to changing odds or circumstances.
Betting systems are often used by gamblers who believe they can beat the house edge or gain an advantage over other players by following a specific pattern or formula. However, most betting systems are flawed in theory or practice, as they cannot change gambling outcomes' inherent randomness and unpredictability. Moreover, most betting systems involve increasing your bet size after losing, which can lead to huge losses if you encounter a long losing streak. Therefore, betting systems should be used cautiously and aware of their limitations.
RTP and Volatility of a Betting System
The RTP and volatility of a game are not the same things as the RTP and volatility of the betting system. As we mentioned already, the RTP and volatility of a game are determined by the game's rules, design, and features. They indicate how much and how often the game pays out to players over a long period. The RTP and volatility of a betting system are determined by the system's rules, logic, and parameters. They indicate how much and how often the system pays out to players over a short period.
The RTP and volatility of a game are fixed and cannot be changed by the player or the betting system. The RTP and volatility of a betting system can vary depending on the player's choices, such as bet size, bankroll, risk tolerance, etc. The RTP and volatility of a betting system can also be affected by external factors, such as changing odds, house edge, etc.
The RTP and volatility of a game are independent of each other. A game can have high or low RTP and high or low volatility. On the contrary, the RTP and volatility of a betting system are interrelated. A betting system that aims for higher RTP usually involves lower volatility, while a betting system that aims for higher volatility usually involves lower RTP.
How does the bet size affect a betting system's RTP and volatility?
The bet size affects the RTP and volatility of a betting system but not of a game. The RTP and volatility of a game are fixed by its design and rules, and they do not change regardless of how much you bet. The RTP and volatility of a betting system are variable depending on how you apply the system's rules and logic to your bets.
The bet size can affect the RTP of a betting system by changing the expected value of each bet. The expected value is calculated by multiplying the probability of winning by the payout ratio minus the probability of losing by the bet size. For example, if you bet $10 on red in the roulette with 97.3% RTP, your expected value is
(18/37) x 2 - (19/37) x 10 = -0.27. You will lose $0.27 for every $10 bet on average. However, if you increase your bet size to $100, your expected value becomes
(18/37) x 2 - (19/37) x 100 = -2.7. This means that, on average, you will lose $2.7 for every $100 bet.
The bet size can also affect a betting system's volatility by changing each bet's variance. The variance is calculated by multiplying the probability of winning by the square of the difference between the payout ratio and the expected value plus multiplying the probability of losing by the square of the difference between the bet size and the expected value. For example, if you bet $10 on red in the roulette with 97.3% RTP, your variance is
(18/37) x (2 - (-0.27))^2 + (19/37) x (10 - (-0.27))^2 = 26.8. This means that your winnings or losses will deviate from your expected value by an average of $26.8 per bet. However, if you increase your bet size to $100, your variance becomes
(18/37) x (2 - (-2.7))^2 + (19/37) x (100 - (-2.7))^2 = 26801. This means that your winnings or losses will deviate from your expected value by an average of $2680 per bet.
As you can see, increasing your bet size decreases your RTP and increases your volatility in a betting system. This means you will lose more money in the long run and have more significant swings in your bankroll in the short run. Therefore, when using a betting system, you should choose a bet size that suits your budget and risk tolerance.
RTP and volatility are two key statistics that describe how casino games work and payout. They affect your gameplay and strategy in different ways. RTP and volatility work in favor of the casino in the long run but do not guarantee your short-term gambling outcomes. It would be best to gamble responsibly and only bet what you can afford to lose. You can also use betting systems to help you make better decisions and increase your chances of winning, but you should be aware of their limitations and risks.
Another gambling tip wisely is to play the casino games in demo mode before betting for real money. Playing in demo mode can help you improve your skills, confidence, and knowledge of the game before you wager any real money. This way, you can familiarize yourself with the game's rules, features, RTP, and volatility without risking money. You can also test different betting systems and strategies to see how they work.