Attention, Slot Players! Online Casinos are using Reduced RTP Online Slot Versions

Are you a slot player, and your latest deposits were gone in seconds Sessions are not lasting as they used to be, and it is not even entertaining anymore? There might be a good reason for this. Keep on reading, and find out what most online casinos don't want to know!

It all started early in 2020. New posts were popping up on one of the most respected casino forums, and frustrated players wrote about bad sessions, horrible luck, and short play-time per session. Nothing unordinary, many would say. Indeed, it's not unusual to see angry players regularly vent out after a stormy night. But, this time, there was a reason behind it. And it's called RTP. But, of course, if you are an experienced player, you probably already know what RTP means. And might have a clue what has happened.

What is RTP?

RTP is the percentage of money wagered on a slot that will be paid back to players over time. "Overtime" means millions, and with high-variance online slots, even billions of spins. The abbreviation stands for Return To Player.

It's important to understand that REAL RTP can vary highly. For example, a lucky session can have an actual RTP of 500%. And a losing session of 30%. But as the number of spins gets higher, actual RTP is closer to the tRTP (Theoretical RTP) as it approaches millions of spins.

What has happened in regards to RTP?

In short, Nerfed RTP has happened. Online casinos have been "switching" to lowered/reduced/nerfed RTP versions. And you may wonder how it's even possible?

Technically speaking, regulated & licensed online casinos can't just switch or change the RTP of the slot game from the respected game provider with a click of a mouse. As casino games are indeed hosted on the provider's servers, they need to request a change from a software provider. And many of them did just that in the last two years! And we can guess your next question:

Do Game Providers offer multiple RTP settings for the same slot game?

In short, yes. And unfortunately, this is becoming a trend in the last few years. As a result, multiple RTP settings are becoming more common among game suppliers. Most game providers offer two or three RTP settings per game, some of them four, and there are extremes such as Play'n GO, with as many as five different RTP settings per slot game. Just check out the image below.

Play'n GO Return to player configurations

List of Game Providers offering multiple RTP settings

Check out the list of game providers offering lower RTP slot versions (alphabetic order):

  • All41Studios

  • Blueprint

  • Hacksaw

  • IGT

  • Just for the Win

  • Microgaming

  • Netent

  • NoLimit City

  • Novomatic

  • Play'n Go

  • Pragmatic Play

  • Push Gaming

  • Quickspin

  • Red Tiger

  • Stakelogic

  • Thunderkick

  • Triple Edge Studios

Misery Mining Slot two RTP settings – 96.09% / 94/05%

List of Game Providers with one/default/top RTP settings per slot game

Some game providers are still sticking to their default RTP version and are not offering reduced RTP versions of slot games. Here is a list of software providers offering one/default RTP version for their slot titles (alphabetic order):

  • 4ThePlayer

  • Barcrest

  • Big Time Gaming

  • Elk Studios

  • Fantasma Games

  • High 5 Games

  • Inspired Gaming

  • Iron Dog Studios

  • Kalamba Games

  • Lightning Box Games

  • Nextgen Gaming

  • PG Soft

  • Realistic Games

  • ReelPlay

  • Relax

  • WMS


How are slot players affected by this move?

Slot players are affected big time. Inexperienced players might not even notice the difference, as they are not playing for long periods of time. But for those who do play longer, the lowered RTP versions can make a big dent in their bankroll.

Let's illustrate it with a simple sample. For simplicity, we will take a no-variance slot game and compare results on three different RTP settings. (No-variance slot game returns BET minus house-edge every single time per spin).

  • RTP Settings 1 – 96 %

  • RTP Settings 2 -  94 %

  • RTP Settings 3 -  84 %

We will simulate playing a no-variance slot game on those three settings above.

Case #1 – RTP 96%

  • Player deposit: $100

  • Slot RTP: 96%

  • House Edge on slot game: 4%

  • Loss per spin = 0.04 $

RESULT: Player busts in 2476 spins.

Case #2 – RTP 94%

  • Player deposit: $100

  • Slot RTP: 94%

  • House Edge on slot game: 6%

  • Loss per spin = 0.06 $

RESULTS: Player busts in 1651 spins.

Case #3 – RTP 96%

  • Player deposit: $100

  • Slot RTP: 84%

  • House Edge on slot game: 16%

  • Loss per spin = 0.16 $

RESULTS: Player busts in 619 spins.

Comparison – 96% vs 94% vs 84% RTP

  • By comparing 96% vs 94% RTP versions, the results are 2476 spins VS 1651 spins per session. You will notice that lowering RTP from default to 94% RTP version brings 825 spins less in this case. In other words, session play-time is reduced by 33%.

  • If we go extreme and compare 96% vs 84% versions, the results are 2476 vs 619 spins per session. You will notice that lowering RTP from default to 84% RTP version brings 1857 spins less in this case. In other words, session play-time is reduced by a massive 75%.

Session playtime VS RTP settings

Which RTP version would you choose? Again, the answer is pretty much obvious here. But how can players check RTP for a particular slot game?

How to check the RTP of a slot game?

Many affiliate portals and gambling blogs suggest you visit the official game supplier site for RTP information. Or even a niche-specialized site for RTP info. Bad idea. Since multiple software providers offer different RTP versions, you need to be 100% sure that the one you are playing is the top/default one.

Method 1

  1. Log in to the online casino & load the slot game in a real-money mode.

  2. Click on the INFO / HELP button. (depends on the provider)

  3. Scroll or click on the next arrow to check RTP information. (depends on the provider)

Theoretical RTP on Big Bass Bonanza Slot showing 96.71%

Method 2 (Play'n GO Slots)

This method is particularly for Play'n GO Slot Machines.

  1. Log in to the online casino & load the slot game in a real-money mode.

  2. Right-click and click on "inspect". (or you can use the shortcut CTRL+Shift+I)

  3. Click on the "Network" section and then the "XHR" subsection

  4. Reload the browser (Do not close the Network sidebar!)

  5. Find the file. Click to preview (This file can have different prefixes: fmtflyp, accflyp, cmtflyp)

  6. Check out RTP info. It is clearly seen as "RTP Value ="

Image showing RTP value for Book of Dead Slot game by Play'n Go provider

How to be 100% sure you are playing the highest RTP version of a slot game?

There are two options you can choose to be sure you are playing the default/highest RTP version of a slot game:

Option 1: Before you start playing the particular slot game, always check the RTP information explained in the previous section.

Option 2: Only play slots powered by Game Providers who don't have lowered RTP settings.

What to do if there is no RTP information at the casino brand?

Some of the casino licenses (such as UKGC) actually require to show the RTP info in the help/info section. But most of them don't. However, transparency is the key to trust, and every online casino/provider should make RTP information visible for every casino game. If you cannot get RTP information, we highly suggest avoiding playing at those gambling websites.  

How to spot "fake slots"?

This question is essential and highly related to the topic for a simple reason. You can quickly get into the trap by thinking you are playing your favorite high-RTP slot game and not realizing it's a cloned version. Luckily, there is a 100% efficient method to check if the slot game is original.

Online slots powered by trusted and reputable game providers are hosted at the provider's servers. In other words, online casinos can't influence players' game-play at all. That way, players are assured that online casinos can't change anything related to the particular slot game. To quickly recognize pirated slots, follow these steps:

  1. Download Firefox Browser Developer Edition.

  2. Log in to the online casino & open the slot game you suspect to be fake in a Firefox Brower Developer Edition.

  3. Right-click on the screen and select the "Inspect" option.

  4. Click on a Network tab.

  5. Look at the Domain column to check from which servers HTTP Responses are coming.

If a slot game is original, you will see some of the responses coming from the official provider's web servers.

HTTP Responses showing official domain

In the image above, we can see that responses are coming from the official Pragmatic Player servers. (Note: sometimes the domain name doesn't have to match the provider's name). If you are in doubt, search google, typing the domain name to double-check.

Some of the official provider's web servers:

  • Blueprint:

  • Endorphina:

  • Microgaming:

  • Netent:

  • PlayNgo:

  • Playtech:

  • Yggdrasil:

Why do Online Casinos choose lowered RTP settings?

There are two main reasons for this unpopular action.

Reason 1: Higher expenses/costs in the iGaming business

The online casino business is a highly competitive industry. And competition is growing every single day. On top of it, things are changing rapidly with new regulations, license requirements, regulatory fees/taxes and extra costs. In that situation, and depending on the market, some casinos choose to lower Return to Player percentage to cover additional expenses. Sufficient to say, the good practice, in that case, is to notify the players of such an action.

Reason 2: Greed

Yes, pure greed. Unfortunately, there are casinos in the industry using copy/paste examples they have seen from other brands, although there is no real need to lower RTPs. Rather than try and differentiate themselves by providing an excellent product and service, they resort to the easy option of meddling with the games' Return to Player percentages. They are all seeking short-term gains rather than long-term profits. In some extreme cases, they choose the 84% RTP model without notifying players or making this information visible.

Which Online Casinos offer the highest RTP models on all slot games?

This is a tricky question. We have seen some of the top gambling spots changing RTP overnight. Therefore, there are no guarantees that the current RTP settings at your favorite casino brand will be the same tomorrow. No warranties, except casino representative promises.

That being said, recent manual tests confirmed the following online casino sites accepting cryptos and offering the highest/default RTPs on slot games:


The online casino business is highly competitive. In this situation, many casino brands choose to reduce RTP. Additionally, greed plays a significant role here. On the other hand, it's all up to the players. They are the ones choosing where they will put hard-earned money. So do your homework, educate yourself, play on the sites with the highest chances, and enjoy top-notch entertainment. That way, casinos with reduced RTP versions will soon have to listen or close their business. Simple as that. And last but not least, the online gambling industry might have a slightly better chance not to be looked at as "black sheep".


Is the term Slot RTP the same as variance?

No. RTP and variance are two different beasts. While variance refers to risk, RTP refers to how much a slot will pay to players on average over millions/billions of spins.

Is there a minimum RTP Slot value that online casinos must adhere to?

The answer to this question depends on which license the online casino has. For example, UKGC requires a minimum of 90%. MGA Malta recently changed requirements from 92% to 85% RTP. Some licences require minimum RTP, while others don't.

Do unlicensed casinos provide fair gambling?

Unlicensed casinos might provide fair gambling, but there are no guarantees whatsoever. Simply put, it's a massive risk to play at those gambling sites. First, your sensitive data might be stolen. You are at risk of playing "fake slots" with extremely low RTPs, and there are no guarantees that you will be paid even if you win.

I just had a terrible slot session. Does it mean that RTP is nerfed?

In short, no. It's perfectly normal for the actual RTP to fluctuate on both sides. To reach theoretical RTP, you need a sample of millions of spins.

Does bet size affect RTP?

No, in most cases. However, in rare cases (such as some progressive jackpot slot games), you have better chances to win a jackpot with higher bets. Thus, RTP is slightly higher.

Can I win on a slot game with lowered RTP settings?

Yes. But keep in mind that your chances are less. So to increase your chances, it's recommended to play only slot games with default/top RTP settings.

I have lost a fortune on high RTP Slot Games. How is this possible?

Every casino game has an advantage over the player in the long run. For example, imagine a slot game with a 99.99% RTP. It would still have a 0.01% house edge. It's the nature of the gambling business, and the house always wins in the long run. So never chase your losses, and never bet money you can not afford. If you can't control your gambling, we suggest checking the Responsible Gambling Guide.