Slot Volatility and RTP

petro

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Star Quest.jpg

Volatility is another word for variance.
The term variance is often used in video poker circles but it applies also to slots.

Basically, volatility means just that. You will experience some big swings in your balance when playing.

I think what people understand the least is the relation between volatility and RTP.
People who play at 3Dice would know that the higher volatility slots have a higher RTP.
There's a reason for this; it takes more spins to reach the maximum prize.

Let's take for example a low volatility slot with an RTP of 90%.
On this slot it takes on average 10 thousand spins to hit to top prize.
So you can expect the slot to reach it's RTP of 90% at 10 thousand spins.
If you were to play this slot at $1 a spin and stopped once you got the top prize you can expect to lose one thousand dollars (10% of 10 thousand.)

A medium volatility slot might take 100 thousand spins to hit the top prize.
In this case the slot has an RTP of 99%.
If you were to keep playing at $1 per spin and stop once you get the top prize.
You would lose one thousand dollars (1% of 100 thousand.)

90% or 99% you are still losing a thousand dollars.

And that's why we see the more volatile slots given higher RTPs.
Even though the RTP may be higher on some slots the casino is still making the exact same profit and the player is still losing the same amount.


I think slot designers are taking advantage of this gap in player knowledge.
One slot designer comes to mind: Big Time Gaming.
In my opinion, they have the volatility set so high on their slots that it could justify a 99% return.
 

nikantw

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That doesn’t sound right. :confused:

If you play long enough you always get to the TRTP. But in a short period in a high variance game your RTP will be much lower than the TRTP. I think that is why the TRTP in high variance games is higher. Not that high though. :D

Any game that has a very hard to get top prize, guarantees that almost all players will never get their RTP close to the TRTP, because almost all players will never get the top prize.

That is not the same as saying you can’t win. You can always win, if you stop when you are winning. :)

Now, what does the TRTP have to do with how much you are losing. Not much. Higher TRTP just means that you will play longer before you lose the same amount. But right there is the secret. The longer you play without losing, the higher the chances to quit while you are ahead. Of course, a small decrease in the TRTP can cut your playtime in half, so soon enough they are just stealing the money out of your pocket with TRTP below 90%.
 

petro

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That doesn’t sound right. :confused:
I agree with every word you said except below. So I don't see how it doesn't sound right to you.

Of course, a small decrease in the TRTP can cut your playtime in half, so soon enough they are just stealing the money out of your pocket with TRTP below 90%.
Comparing a high volatility & high RTP slot to a low volatility & low RTP slot: playtime is affected but not how much you are losing by, so I can't see how they are stealing the money out of your pocket. And there's enough evidence to think that is how the slot developers & casinos are viewing it; not in terms of RTP but in terms of how profitable the slot is over it's full cycle.

I can create a slot with a 99.99% RTP that would be much more profitable for casinos than a 90% slot. It's easy; just make the volatility sky high.
RTP doesn't have much meaning without knowing about the volatility.



But right there is the secret. The longer you play without losing, the higher the chances to quit while you are ahead.
I don't think casinos or slot developers would take that into account. If someone stops when they are ahead, there will always be someone else who starts playing.
Also, for that to really work, you would have to stop gambling all together after a big win.
 
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brianmon

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People who play at 3Dice would know that the higher volatility slots have a higher RTP.
Maybe that's true of the 3Dice own brand slots. But not particularly true of brands like NetEnt or MGS, where most of their slots are 95-98% RTP

One of NetEnt's lowest Variance slots 'Blood Suckers' has a TRTP of 98%, and one of their highest variance slots 'Reel Steel' has a TRTP of 95.9%



Let's take for example a low volatility slot with an RTP of 90%.
On this slot it takes on average 10 thousand spins to hit to top prize.
So you can expect the slot to reach it's RTP of 90% at 10 thousand spins.
If you were to play this slot at $1 a spin and stopped once you got the top prize you can expect to lose one thousand dollars (10% of 10 thousand.)

A medium volatility slot might take 100 thousand spins to hit the top prize.
In this case the slot has an RTP of 99%.
If you were to keep playing at $1 per spin and stop once you get the top prize.
You would lose one thousand dollars (1% of 100 thousand.)

Or a player could hit the top prize on any of the above examples on their first spin. Or never hit the top prize after millions of spins

The casinos use those kinds of 'averages' calculations when it's pertaining to thousands of customers over millions and millions of spins.
You can't apply the same calculations to a single player
 

nikantw

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Playtime is affected but not how much you are losing by, so I can't see how they are stealing the money out of your pocket.

But right there is the secret. The longer you play without losing, the higher the chances to quit while you are ahead.

I don't think casinos or slot developers would take that into account.
Also, for that to really work, you would have to stop gambling all together after a big win.

You would be surprised to hear that a “gambling halls” project was not considered viable because the slot machines would not be allowed to have TRTP lower than 85%! I guess they want to have a certain profit per machine per hour.
Sure, not an issue for online competition. No need for low TRTP. But I fear governments want to lower the online TRTP to pocket the difference. Stupid, I know, but they don’t seem to care. Maybe they just want to favor the land based gambling.
Why is it a steal? Because if your average playtime drops from 100 spins to 10 spins, you are just losing all the time, no fun no nothing. So you are buying nothing with your money, thereby a steal.
 

petro

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Maybe that's true of the 3Dice own brand slots. But not particularly true of brands like NetEnt or MGS, where most of their slots are 95-98% RTP
I'm pretty sure MGS are practising it as well.

Example:
Game of Thrones - 15 Lines 96.37%
Game of Thrones - 243 Ways 94.86%

I don't know the variance but most people agree that the 15 line version has a much higher variance.


One of NetEnt's lowest Variance slots 'Blood Suckers' has a TRTP of 98%, and one of their highest variance slots 'Reel Steel' has a TRTP of 95.9%
Yes, that's true. There's no rule saying that high variance slots must give a high return. I gave an example in my original post: Big Time Gaming's slots.



You can't apply the same calculations to a single player
You can do it with every other casino game, I don't see why you can't also view slots like that.

For example: iNetBet have a video poker that pays for a sequential royal flush which occurs about once every 4 million hands. And that seems close to the variance of slots.
Hard core VP players would take into account the possibility of getting a sequential royal.
Other examples spring to mind such as: progressive keno players, syndicate lottery players, & progressive slot players.

As it so happens, I made over 21 thousand spins at Video Slots just over the past few days.
 
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brianmon

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I'm pretty sure MGS are practising it as well.

Example:
Game of Thrones - 15 Lines 96.37%
Game of Thrones - 243 Ways 94.86%

I don't know the variance but most people agree that the 15 line version has a much higher variance.



Yes, that's true. There's no rule saying that high variance slots must give a high return. I gave an example in my original post: Big Time Gaming's slots.

I'd say that the 243way version is the higher variance and with a higher maximum payout of 605,000, against the 15 line version maximum of 187,500.

One of the main reasons casinos exclude certain games, when playing with a bonus is because of the low volatility of those games, useful for grinding through wagering.
I've often seen GOT 15 line included in those lists of excluded games.

I don't play many BigTimeGaming slots. But the TRTP for Star Quest is listed as 96.2% and Queen of Riches 96.9, which seems pretty normal, regardless of variance
 
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