Even if you aren’t a math whiz, it pays to read and understand what’s conveyed in the acronym RTP, or return to player.

The RTP is the percentage a player can expect to see returned over time. Another way to refer to it is the house edge.

Are you looking to lose less over the course of your play? Check the RTP.

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RTP is the flip side of the house edge

Pennsylvania has a state-mandated RTP of just 85% for all slot games and video gaming terminals (VGT) at truck stops. The state has some of the tightest slots in the country.

The average RTP for Pennsylvania slots is around 89%-90%, though individual games may have higher or lower percentages. Percentages also vary from casino to casino.

PA requires relatively low RTP

Slots in other states tend to have better RTP than Pennsylvania. In New Jersey, online casinos range from a low of 94.74% to a high of 99.87%.

The higher house edge in PA likely stems from offsetting the state’s 55%  tax rate.

One thing to keep in mind is that while penny slots hit more frequently than most other games, the RTP on those penny machines is generally among the worst.

Each game has a house advantage.

RTP is measured over the long haul

Even if you know the percentage of return, keep in mind RTP measures your expected return over the long term, not just from a handful of plays.

Just because you lost four plays in a row does not mean you are due for a win to hit the RTP. The outcome of any one bet or even a series of bets does not affect the outcome of the next wager.

What the RTP tells you is how a game performs on average over time. The higher the RTP, the more often you should win, theoretically.

Think of it as a guideline, not a guarantee. Each play is random and independentThanks to random number generation in slots and VGTs, your chances of winning are the same every time you play.

Within the community of players, gamblers keep track of a game’s RTP and trade info among themselves and on social media sites.

Unfortunately, there is no central place to find the RTPs, but they can be found online with some research.

For instance, Wheel of Fortune Triple Extreme Spin! at HollywoodCasino.com,  has an RTP of 92%.

On the other hand, Hollywood’s Divine Fortune game has an RTP of 96.6%, making it perhaps a better risk. Other casinos with Divine Fortune do not have the same RTP, so shopping around pays.

Like blackjack in brick-and-mortar casinos, the house advantage tends to be low with PA’s online blackjack, 96.6%, but that low percentage means playing with perfect strategy. You can find a better percentage in other states.

And, keep in mind, different types of blackjack have different edges for the house.

So again, check the house advantage.