The payout rate, the return-to-player (RTP) rate, represents the theoretical percentage of all wagered money that a particular game will pay back to players over an extended period. So a slot with a 96% RTP will return $96 for every $100 wagered in the long run. It’s important to understand that payout rates reflect the overall expected return across millions of spins. An individual player still experiences hot or cold streaks in any given session.

Game king video poker (Up to 99.5% RTP)

The might be surprised to find that the slot game with the highest potential payout rate is technically video poker. Specifically, the premium Game King video poker games found in many casinos reach a 99.5% RTP with perfect strategy. Games like Game King’s Bonus Poker, Double Bonus Poker, and Super Double Bonus all offer returns pushing 99.5% to any player with the skills to gain that edge through optimal play. If you’re a video poker wizard, you find games that give you an extremely thin house edge by casino standards.

Online slots with high RTP

While many of the highest payout rates are found in those classic land-based casino games, online slots have started closing the gap in recent years. Here are some of the online slots known for their high payouts:

  1. Mega Joker by NetEnt (99% RTP)
  2. Jackpot 6000 by NetEnt (98.8% RTP)
  3. 1429 Uncharted Seas by Thunderkick (98.6% RTP)
  4. Blood Suckers by NetEnt (98% RTP)
  5. Devils Delight by NetEnt (97.6% RTP)
  6. Starmania by NextGen (97.87% RTP)

NetEnt and other innovators in online slot have been pushing the limits of RTP higher and higher. A few online slots are even flirting with that 99% payout territory once reserved for games like Megabucks. Always check the published RTP rate before playing an online slot, as they vary drastically between different games. Choosing in the 97-99% RTP range puts the odds more in your favour.

Hit frequency

Even among slots with similar payout rates, the hit frequency (how often the game pays out wins) varies considerably. Some tight games with higher volatility will pay out larger wins less often. Others are designed as higher hit frequency slots, paying more frequent but smaller win. Depending on your goals and bankroll, a higher hit frequency slot may keep you in the action longer with a steady drip of layouts. Just be aware that the payback percentage doesn’t necessarily align with perceived win frequency.

Max jackpot potential

For many slot players, jackpots are the name of the game. Even a lower payout rate may be acceptable if you’re getting a shot at massive jackpots measured in the millions. Look beyond just RTP when chasing jackpots. Games like Mega Moolah by Microgaming may only offer an RTP of around 94-95%, but it’s one of the only slots consistently serving up 8-figure jackpot pay-outs.

Volatility and variance

The volatility and variance of a slot refer to the risk involved and how wildly the pay-outs swing from a dry spell to a hot streak. Lower variance games have more predictable and consistent payout rates, while higher variance games run much hotter or colder in a given session. Lower variance slots protect your bankroll better, while higher variance introduces more excitement and bigger haul potential – along with more risk. Most players need to find a sweet spot that melds variance to their goals and playing style.