Understanding Slot & Video Poker RTP
Comparison of online video poker vs slot machine RNG & RTP.
There’s a very common misconception that online slot machines and video poker machines operate on the same level. Both utilize a computerized, algorithmic random number generator (RNG) to determine the results of each play. But offer a theoretical return to player (RTP). But how the RTP is effected—or rather, whether it’s effected at all—by past play, is completely different.
Assuming that both work in the same manner can be a critical error for strategic video poker players. I’ll explain the inherent difference between the two, and how players can adjust their strategy for the highest odds of winning on each.
Online Slots RTP & RNG
Slot machines are built to pay out a certain percentage of what they take in. In the online realm, these games pay an average 96% RTP. At that rate, the machine will award $96 for every $100 players wager on it.
Note: Remember that RTPs are theoretical. They do hold true, but only over a very, very long period of time’;generally 20+ years.
To ensure the RTP is met, without becoming predictable, slots incorporate RNG technology. The RNG consists of a long strain of numbers that are constantly changing. The numbers will not stop until the precise moment a player presses the Spin button. The algorithm of numbers that it lands on will determine what symbols appear in what positions on the reels. Thus winning combinations result entirely at random.
By this method, a machine could produce a loss many times in a row, or release two jackpots back to back. No one knows—not even the game’s manufacturer—what will occur, or when. What they do know is that, thanks to the pre-programmed RTP, its payouts will match up to that percentage over time.
Aside from betting max paylines and avoiding penny/nickel slots, there isn’t much else one can do to increase their odds of winning. It’s all about luck.
Online Video Poker RTP & RNG
An online video poker machine uses the exact same RNG technology as an online slot machine. The numeric values that the RNG stops on the moment a player presses the Deal or Draw button will be the determining factor in what cards are dealt.
In this way, video poker is able to produce the exact same probability of hands as a live card game, shuffled and dealt by a live dealer. This precision calculation of realistic probabilities is required in order for software to meet regulatory standards, and receive certification for fairness.
However, there is no pre-progammed RTP on a video poker game. Despite the constant boasting of high RTPs in games like All Aces and Jacks or Better, those averages are based on a player employing perfect strategy. Simply put, make bad decisions, and you will get bad results.
Unlike slot machines, if a game produces more losses than wins, the machine is not eventually going to make up for the lower RTP by producing larger or more frequent wins. Any player who throws away good cards, losing on purpose in hopes of forcing a machine to pay out a big prize, is throwing away their money.
By law, manufacturers are not required to meet or exceed a standard percentage of wins. It is naturally assumed that players will make decisions that benefit their game. So if you want to have the best chance to win at online video poker, you’ll need to employ optimal strategy.
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