Does the 100% RTP Slot Machine Exist?

Slot Machines and US Money

I was recently having a time wasting discussion with a golf buddy who rarely gambles but is headed to Las Vegas in a couple of months. He was asking about the best games to play, and while I avoided the subject of slot machines like the plague, he continued to bring them up.

We started with RTP or return to player. I figured I could shut the notion down if I explained the math behind slot machines.

However, the conversation shifted, and we spent the entire back nine discussing the idea of a 100% RTP slot machine. While the concept of 100% RTP slots sounds terrific for the player, it would be devastating for the casino’s profit margins.

Still, the conversation raised an interesting question. Does the 100% RTP slot machine exist?

The Wonderful World of Slots

Slot machines will continue to be the most popular casino game on the planet. These spinning reel machines lure gamblers in with their loud buzzers and exciting visual displays.

Whether players enjoy online casinos from the comfort of their couch or live it up in a fabulous casino resort, slot machines enjoy a dedicated fanbase.

The casinos count on slot machines to fund their massive operations. Should the slots suddenly vanish from the casino floor, the casinos themselves may not be around for long.

Slot machines draw in the constant stream of first-time gamblers, and many are instantly hooked. I know gamblers who have been making regular trips to Las Vegas for decades and never laid a single bet outside the slot machines.

Return to Player is Paramount for Slots Enthusiasts

Slot machines come from the developers with a pre-determined payout percentage. This number is known as the return to player.


RTP is determined by the individual casinos but must fall within the range defined by the governing bodies. For example, Nevada gaming laws dictate that RTP on slot machines must fall between 75-100%.

So, the minimum of a slot machine’s payout is $75 for every $100 played on any given device. Fortunately, the casinos aren’t that greedy, and most games fall around 90%.

The return to player is paramount for players because it will significantly impact your overall wins or losses.

The penny slots are the most popular machines in most casinos. These games almost always have an RTP below 90%, which means you’re going to see an average loss of $10 for every $100 you put in play.

A 100% RTP would be ideal for the player because you could expect to break even long-term. Some players would continue to see a profit while others lost depending on the volatility of the machine.

However, this would leave the casino accountants and executives reeling as they tried to make up for the lost revenue.

Looking for the Best RTP

Finding the casinos and, more specifically, games with the best RTP can be tricky. There’s plenty of online information to help you get pointed in the proper direction, but locking down the best games largely depends on word of mouth.

What’s more taxing on players is that a game with an RTP of 95% at the Aria may only have an RTP of 91% down the street at the MGM Grand. This variance leaves players guessing, and without any concrete list posted to the casino’s website, you’re on your own.

Luckily, there are basic guidelines you can follow to find the highest RTP. For example, the higher denomination games will almost always have a higher RTP than the lower end games. That’s because the casino can afford to take a smaller piece of a much bigger pie.

Finding the highest RTP you can afford will make your casino session far more enjoyable. Ideally, we’re all on the hunt for that elusive 100%.

Online Casino Slots

The game you play can severely impact the RTP you get, but where you play may be of more consequence.


It’s widely known that the slots in downtown Las Vegas usually offer better RTP than the casinos on the Strip. This is an effort to lure gamblers away from the famous stretch of posh mega-resorts and into their casinos.

However, online casinos raise the ante, so to speak. An average RTP in downtown Vegas will sit at around 92%. That’s not great, but slightly better than you’ll find on the Strip, where most gamblers spend their money.

Online casinos offer a whopping 96+% RTP on average. This way, online casinos are your best bet for getting to the unicorn, the 100% RTP slots game.

Brick-and-Mortar Casino Slots

Land-based casinos are clearly at a tremendous disadvantage when facing the incredible RTP of online casinos. These casinos aren’t greedy by keeping the RTP so low compared to online sites; they simply cost more to operate.

For starters, the casinos are paying a premium to get the machines on the floor in the first place. Then you must account for the square footage that each device occupies.

Once you’ve got that cost budget, you must look at the oversized picture items. Slot machines require little personnel to operates; there are no dealers at each machine like you find at table games.

Still, you must hire slot attendants and cocktail servers to provide drinks to the players. Then you need bartenders to make said drinks, but don’t forget security to keep an eye out for any shenanigans.

Land-based casinos have tremendous operating costs, far outweighing the low budget and compact package of online casinos.

99% Maybe Your Best Bet

If you can find a slot machine game with an RTP of 99%, it may feel like 100%. It also may be as close as you’ll ever get to the actual break-even slot machine.


There are hundreds of online slots that offer impressive RTP of 99% or higher. You won’t have to look far to find these games on your favorite casino site.

However, they aren’t without their drawbacks. Many casinos will limit the percentage of your wagers towards wagering requirements for bonuses and earning loyalty rewards.

You’re still going to be far better off long-term playing the higher RTP games, but be aware of any limitations ahead of time to avoid undue frustrations.

The Casino Comp Effect

Casino comps should always be factored into your bottom line. Let’s pretend you found a slot machine in a land-based casino that gave you an RTP of 99%, and you’re earning comps at 1%.

Technically you’re getting 100% back. Perhaps not in the way you hoped, but it’s still a 100% return.

Looking at the rate your earning comps is paramount for determining precisely what your return will be long-term.

When you find any positive expectation in the casino, you should run with it as far as possible. Unfortunately, unless you’re an advantage gambler, those will be rare instances.

Casino Bonuses May Move the Line

Online casino deposit bonuses are incredibly friendly for the player and beneficial to the casino. These deposit bonuses allow players to instantly increase their bankroll while giving the casino vast influxes of new customers.

Suppose you make a $500 deposit, and the casino matches you at 200%. Suddenly you’re enjoying a $1500 bankroll.


Playing a 99% RTP game, you could definitely expect to profit on your initial $500 deposit. However, the casinos aren’t in the business of giving away money.

So, they levy serious wagering requirements along with the bonus. For example, you may need to wager 40 times the bonus amount before you can access any winning or withdraw your bonus. On a $1,000 bonus, that’s $40,000. That’s a year’s salary for many Americans.

Then you’ll need to battle the restrictions on the highest RTP games. A slot machine with an RTP above 99% may only contribute 25% of every dollar played toward meeting your wagering requirement.

Suddenly, you’ll need to play through $160,000 to see your $1,000 bonus. So, it’s an uphill climb, but not insurmountable. Focus on playing the games you enjoy, and don’t fall into the trap of chasing bonuses or burning through their requirements.

Does the 100% RTP Slot Machine Exist?

The million-dollar question. Does a slot machine exist that will give a player the long-term expectation of breaking even? No, that’s unlikely to ever be the case. However, anyone can enjoy a return of over 100% in the short term.

Every time a slot machine gambler gets a little lucky and walks out of the casino a winner, they’ve experienced an RTP above 100%. This is due to the volatility of the games. Take a little from the masses and crown a few lucky players as winners.

This formula is what drives the entire casino industry. Winners spread the good word about the casinos, and their friends and family flock to the casino green with envy.

Slot machines come in every shape and size imaginable. From the 88% RTP penny slots in Vegas to the 99% RTP games at online casinos, slot machines have a loyal following of avid gamblers.

Does the 100% RTP slot machine exist? Not at this time. I think a more important question is, “Should it exist?” Taking any chance out of the games seems like the perfect way to eliminate any thrill.

Petko Stoyanov
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About Petko Stoyanov
My name is Petko Stoyanov, and I've been a gambling writer for more than ten years. I guess that was the natural path for me since I've loved soccer and card games for as long as I can remember! I have a long and fairly successful history with English Premier League betting and online poker, but I follow many other sports. I watch all big European soccer leagues, basketball, football, and tennis regularly, and I keep an eye on snooker, volleyball, and major UFC events.