Slot Game RTP Explained: How to Maximize Your Payouts at Slot Machines

  • Jul 10, 2020
  • 12 min read

Since the early days of gambling in brick-and-mortar casinos, players have been keenly interested in the art of picking winning slots. To this day, most people prioritize a slot’s payout potential above all else: visual quality, entertainment value, etc. That’s completely understandable given the nature of these casino games, which are designed to offer real prizes as opposed to standard video games where you just progress through a storyline or level up by amassing a certain number of points. 

In order to be able to pick the best payout slots, you should first understand that  these games work on complex mathematical algorithms. Casinos also contribute to this complexity by building an advantage (the so-called “house edge”) right into the rules of the game. Depending on these factors, different slots will have different payout percentages. 

In this guide on slot game RTP, you’ll find everything there is to know about payout percentages. We go in detail on what they are, how they are influenced by the “house edge” as well as by progressive jackpots. Finally, for your convenience, we will present a set of 10 slot machines with the best payouts on the market, so you don’t have to spend any more time searching for them. With that all in mind, let’s get started!


What is the payout percentage (or RTP)?

The payout percentage of a slot machine refers to the amount of money that is returned to you as a player relative to the amount of money you wagered. For a better understanding, let’s take a practical example: you invest (wager) $100 into your favorite slot machine. If this slot has a payout percentage of 95%, you will receive roughly $95 back from the machine. The amount returned to the player isn’t always precise, but it is enough for you to get an idea of the average payout potential of the slot machine.

This percentage may also be found under the name RTP, which stands for Return-to-Player percentage, which is essentially a statistical average. So whether you search for high-RTP or high-payout slots, you will essentially be looking for the same thing. 


Payout percentages on online slots

Not all slots are created equal and payouts percentages on online slots vary largely. Most slots have an average RTP of 95%, which is considered acceptable. However, players tend to gravitate towards slots with an RTP that is higher than average, going as high as 99.32% for the Goblin’s Cave slot by Playtech, as those are the best paying slot machines. 

If you’re curious, a Google search can usually help you find a particular slot’s RTP, so you know what to expect once you start playing. Here on SlotsMate, the RTP of an online slot is pretty easy to spot. You’ll see in the screenshot down below where you can find it. 




On your quest to find what slot machines payout the most, you might come across the terms “loose” or “tight” slots. A loose slot machine is an alternative name for a slot game with a high RTP, whereas a tight slot machine is one that pays out less, therefore comes equipped with a low RTP. Most winning slot machines, both online and offline (those in land-based casinos) are loose.


What about the house edge?

The house edge on online slots is also known as the casino advantage. This advantage is not specific to slots, it exists in all other kinds of casino games as well, such as craps, power, roulette or baccarat. It’s important to keep in mind that the house edge is embedded in the games themselves and not set by individual casinos. In the table below you can see how the house edge differs from one casino game to another.




The higher the house edge on a particular casino game, the less that game will pay out over time. It’s useful to have some knowledge about a game’s house edge. That way, you’ll have an idea which one you should play with extra caution or avoid altogether because they prove too disadvantageous to your budget. 


Slot paylines in relation to house edge

Slots have some of the highest house edges on average, which is one of the reasons why they are so popular both in online and offline casinos. Any slot aficionado knows that in this type of casino game, you strike a win when the reels match to form a winning payline. Modern slots can offer up to 100 paylines. They may sound great at first but it is important to know that the more paylines a slot has, the higher its house edge is.

The explanation for this phenomenon is quite simple. By playing with 25 paylines as opposed to 50, for instance, your odds of winning are cut by half. Essentially, the more chances you have to lose the game, the more chances the casino has to make a profit from your play.


The thrill of progressive jackpots

Who can resist the promise of a million dollar win at a slot machine? Progressive jackpots are the textbook definition of a long shot and still, many players that search for the best slot machines to play are constantly drawn to progressive slots, hoping that they will get lucky and win big.

Progressive jackpots are particularly appealing because they require little investment and just as little effort. Slots with this feature works just like any other, where the player has to place a bet and spin the reels. A progressive jackpot functions by taking a fraction of every bet and using it to build a prize pool that sometimes reaches as high as millions of dollars.

The odds of winning a ground-breaking jackpot are admittedly slim, but progressive jackpots are still a great opportunity to win smart. In slot machines with high payout percentages, in the end you only sacrifice a small sum for a chance to win regular prizes as well as a shot at the big jackpot. 

A massive jackpot win of €18,915,721 set a new record for progressive slots back in September, 2018. The win was triggered by a player on Microgaming’s Mega Moolah slot. There are many progressive slots to choose from currently on the market, such as Pragmatic Play’s Dance PartyRed Rake Gaming’s Mother of Horus and NetGame’s Clover Stones.


Top 10 Highest Payout Slots

As promised, we will conclude this guide with a list of the top 10 highest payout slots, so you can get an idea which slot machines pay the best and start playing right away. The slots presented below, however, offer much more than generous payouts. They also come equipped with exciting bonus features, such as wilds, free spins and multipliers. Feel free to spin their reels to your heart’s content!


  1. Beat the Bank by WGS - 99.17%

This staggeringly high-RTP online slot by WGS will have you gear up for an epic heist as a professional bank robber. As you spin the reels of this slot machine, you’ll unlock exciting bonus features that will reward you with generous prizes for all your efforts. You can expect wilds, free spins, as well as the special Beat the Bank feature through which you can double your bet and risk it all, hoping for a potentially massive win. Considering this is such a high payout slot, we’d say the risk is well worth it. 


  1. Ugga Bugga (Playtech) - 99.07%

With an intriguing name - a reference to the first words uttered by humans - and a refreshing theme, Playtech’s Ugga Bugga slot really stands out. As you enter the jungle, you will realize that this 3-reel retro slot functions a little differently than others from the same category. Players are given two spins at every turn instead of the standard one: a preliminary one, where they get to play with the hold feature to lock some symbols in place, and a second one at no additional cost. 


  1. Mega Joker (NetEnt) - 99%

NetEnt’s Mega Joker slot is a really sought-after title on the online gambling market which owes its popularity not only to its high payout potential but also its progressive jackpot and a few other bonus features. The slot features two reel sets. It’s up to you whether you prefer to play it safe or gamble your winnings in Supermeter mode. If you do, you might be in for some considerable prizes, depending on the number of coins you bet with. As for the progressive jackpot, it collects 3% of every bet you place, so if you’re lucky you might end up striking a big win during or after any gaming session.


  1. Cosmic Quest: Mystery Planets (Rival) - 98.9%

This high-payout slot, a sequel to Rival’s Cosmic Quest: Mission Control, takes you on a cosmic adventure that will set you up for some epic prizes and an overall great time. As you spin the reels of this slot, you should expect to find space robots and beautiful planets, as well a whole range of bonus features, such as Expanding Wild Rockets, Scatterstronauts and the Jackpot Jetpack. Sounds like fun? Then let your cosmic quest begin! 


  1. Crystal Clear (Realistic Games) - 98.7%

Set against a beautiful starlit sky backdrop sit the reels of Realistic Games’ high-payout slot. This slot machine is a real treat for players who enjoy a relaxed atmosphere, even in an online game. Besides its high payout percentage and appealing design, Crystal Clear comes equipped with a wide bet range, as well as some pretty exciting features, such as wilds and bonus spins. 


  1. Golden Legacy (MultiSlot) - 98.25%

Stand against witches and wizards in this epic title by MultiSlot and you may emerge victorious, with a handful of prizes to show for it!. You can choose to play this slot for fun for as long as you want before switching to Live Mode, where you can play for cash. Besides a high RTP, you’ve got wilds, scatters and free spins to keep you entertained and keep the prizes coming. 


  1. Lucky Pets (Multislot) - 98.19%

This quirky little slot game designed by MultiSlot offers a great gaming experience that is made even better by its generous RTP. The game comes equipped with some cool features such as a bonus game (where little fish swim around) and cat biscuit scatters that triggers up to 15 free spins. Spin the reels of this colorful slot and you can unlock a wide range of prizes.


  1. Pumpkin Patch (Habanero) - 98.18%

If you’ve always enjoyed the simple, blissful life in the countryside, this best paying slot machine is perfect for you. This lighthearted farm-themed online slot stands out not just thanks to its great RTP and refreshing theme, but also through its special features: wilds, scatters and not one but two types of free spins. Pumpkin Patch truly ticks all the boxes of a must-play slot with an excellent payout potential.


  1. Wild Circus (Red Tiger Gaming) -  98.18%

Go on a trip to the local circus and see your favorite animals perform mind-boggling tricks for a fun experience and a solid chance to walk out with a handful of amazing prizes. Red Tiger Gaming’s title offers a set of features (wilds, multipliers, free spins and the Fire Breather mini-game) that will keep you spinning the reels of this slot for a long time and, considering the slot’s high RTP, we think that sounds like a perfect plan.


  1. Golden Chief (Barcrest Games) - 98.14%

Barcrest spared no effort in designing this online slot based on Native American culture. Golden Chief comes equipped with a wide bet range and a variety of special features, like two types of wilds (one standard, one expanding), scatters, a Bonus Wheel and free spins. This is a great choice for players who prefer high-payout slots but also appreciate a well-designed theme and a great selection of bonus features.


Final thoughts

We hope that our guide has provided you with useful information on how to identify a high-paying slot so that you know which slot machines pay the best. By now you should know what a payout percentage (or RTP) is and how different factors such as progressive jackpots or the house edge influence a slot’s payout potential.

Above, we have presented 10 of the best-paying slots, but we have a lot more slot games available for free play here on SlotsMate. If you want to take your gaming experience to the next level, however, you can check out the online casinos displayed on our Real Money Slots page, open an account at one of them and have a blast playing your favorite games.



  • Which slot machines pay the best?

The slot machines with the highest payout potential are those with an above-average RTP, preferably higher than 97%. If you’re interested in the best-paying slots, look up their RTP and if it is high enough, then you can expect generous payouts.

  • Can you tell when a slot machine is ready to hit?

There is no way to tell when a slot machine is about to hit. Don’t waste your time looking for patterns or clues that might indicate a possible hit, because they don’t really exist. Use that time to enjoy your favorite games instead.

  • What slot machines payout the most often?

Slot machines that payout most often are low volatility slots. Slots with low volatility offer frequent but small rewards, as opposed to the high volatility, where the rewards are fewer and farther between.

  • How to find the payout percentage on a slot machine?

Most online casino sites will display the payout percentage somewhere on the screen, usually below or to the side of the slot window. Here on SlotsMate, we include this information in the Game Info box just below a video slot.


Did you like this article?

Thank you for vote.
You already voted.