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RTP: how it is calculated and roulettes with best RTP

Last updated: 11.24.2022 by Chris Mwangi

There are two concepts that every roulette player must learn: RTP and house edge. These are complementary concepts and are key in determining what your long-term win/loss ratio will be. Below we will explain in detail what RTP is, share roulette RTP values, and explain how this concept affects you as a player.

What is roulette RTP?

RTP is an abbreviation for “return to player” and indicates how much of your investment in a casino game will return. Imagine you own a business and invest 100 USD in it: if you earn 110 USD, you will make a 10 USD “return”. This principle applies to all casino games, including roulette: RTP means how much money you can earn from your investment in a game. For example, let's say you are playing a game with an RTP of 80%.

  • If you invest 100 USD in this game, you will get 80 USD back in the long run (80% return rate).
  • This also means that your loss in this game will be limited to 20 USD.

What is meant by “long run” here is the value after 1,000 spins in roulette. So, after a short half-hour gaming session, for example, you won't see the actual effect of the RTP value: you have to complete at least 1,000 spins to reach the win/loss ratio in this example.

RTP rates of main roulette variants

You understand why RTP is an important value for the player: the higher this ratio, the higher the return on your investment will be. Do not confuse this with the “chance to win”, as RTP does not increase or decrease your chances of winning in any way. However, higher RTP values will allow you to win more often and lose less.

So, what are the RTP values of roulette? The answer to this question is different for each variant, as they offer different betting options and different winning chances. Likewise, the total numbers on the wheel (37 or 38) change this value. In this regard, the RTP odds of the main roulette variants are:

Roulette type Rtp value
European Roulette 97.30%
American Roulette 94.74%
French Roulette 98.65%

How is RTP calculated?

Calculating the roulette RTP is very easy if you know the house edge of the game because the sum of the house edge and RTP always equals 100. We can formulate it like this:

100 – house edge = RTP

For example, the house edge of American roulette is 5.26. In this case, the formula would be:

100 – 5.26 = 94.74

But even if you don't know the house edge, you can calculate the RTP of any roulette variant using a different formula. This formula is:

Payout x How Many Numbers Your Bet Covers / Total Numbers on the Wheel

Let's explain this with an example. In this scenario, we will use European roulette and place three different bets. Each of these bets will be worth 10 USD. In the end, you will find that we always get the same result, regardless of the type of bet. In the formula, we need to use the payout values first, so let's start by listing how much the bets we will use will pay out:

Bet type Wager amount Payout
Red/Black (covers 18 numbers) 10 USD 1:1 (20 USD)
Split (covers 2 numbers) 10 USD 17:1 (180 USD)
Column (covers 12 numbers) 10 USD 2:1 (30 USD)

The rest is pretty easy: we have the payout values and how many numbers our bet covers. Since we play European roulette, we also know how many numbers are on the wheel: 37. All we have to do is add all this data to the formula:

Bet type Formula Result
Red/Black 20 x 18 / 37 9.730 (97.30%)
Split 180 x 2 / 37 9.730 (97.30%)
Column 30 x 12 / 37 9.730 (97.30%)

We could multiply examples, but whatever the bet type the result will always be 9.730 (97.30%), which tells us that the RTP of European roulette is 97.30. You can use the same formula for other roulette variants, just pay attention to the total numbers on the wheel: in American roulette, this number is 38, not 37.

Which roulette game has the highest RTP?

French roulette has the highest RTP compared to other variants. This is due to its unique gameplay rules. These rules are known as “en prison” or “la partage”. En prison gives the player a chance to play in the next round once again with the same bet, in case of losing even money bets, and the player does not need to place a new wager. La partage, on the other hand, refunds half of the wager amount on lost even money bets. In other words, the player either plays one more round without spending any money or gets some of their investment back.

These special rules predictably reduce the player's losses in the long run, which naturally causes the RTP to rise. However, this change will only be valid for even money bets. So, for example, if you place only inside bets in French roulette, the RTP rate will not differ from European roulette.

RTP of exotic roulette variants

Above we have shared the RTP rates of the basic variants of roulette. However, as every player knows, there are many different roulette games you can play apart from these. Although they have different names, their common feature is that in addition to standard bets, they include fixed/progressive jackpots or side bets. These additional options have different winning odds than standard bets, which affects the RTP value. This almost always happens in the form of a decrease in the RTP percentage, i.e., the vast majority of exotic roulette variants have lower return rates than European/French roulette. In the table below, you can see the RTP values of the most popular exotic variants.

Roulette variant Return to player
Age of Gods Roulette 95.73%
Mini Roulette 96.15%
101 Roulette by Playtech 96.19%
Max Roulette by Netent 97.05%
100 Diamonds Bet Roulette 89.20% - 96.15%
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