RTP, RNG and Slot paylines guide for dummies

It doesn’t usually take a long time for people to get to grips with how online slots work, but it can look fairly complicated at the very start when you have no idea and have never played a game like it before. The gameplay itself for an online slot, whichever version or theme you might have opted for, is very simple. Most of the time the game plays itself and you just have to sit back and watch, clicking a button every now and then. Bonus games are slightly different, but again they won’t be too complicated; it’s in no one’s best interests from the players to the owners to the developers.

Most of the time, the thing that confuses people the most are the phrases and ‘jargon’ that go along with online slots. Learn more here and you’ll find the three most used – RTP, RNG, and payline – explained.

RTP – Return To Player

The RTP (return to player) is possibly the most important element of any online slot – or any land based slot, come to that. Don’t ignore the RTP of a game as it will give you a solid idea as to whether it is worth spending your money on the game or whether you should look for something else.

Essentially, the RTP will give you an idea of the average payout for any given game. It’s a percentage that represents how many times out of 100 you will see a win across the reels. Anything over 97 percent is great news, and you should be able to play this quite happily and make your money back; you might even make a small profit.

Conversely, anything that has an RTP of less than 94 percent should be avoided. It might sound like a high number, but in slot terms it’s a poor showing and won’t net you much of a reward.

So when you are choosing a slot game to play, take a look at the RTPs as well as the flashing lights and fun themes – this should be what helps you to decide.

RNG (Random Number Generator)

RNG is another acronym that is often associated with online slots. It sounds similar to the RTP, but it’s nothing to do with that so don’t get them confused. RNG stands for random number generator. This is the technology within the slot that means the winning combination is entirely random; it means the system cannot be cheated.

RNG consists of computer generated random numbers, each one corresponding to a symbol on the reels. There are infinite combinations they can fall in, meaning that there is no way to predict where the winning symbols are going to land. The RNG makes online slots (and land based slots since they work on the same mechanism) fair and fun.


Although having an understanding of what a payline is and how it works won’t stop you from winning or losing on slots, it’s useful to know what it’s all about so that you can enjoy the game a little more. Knowing how paylines work means seeing in advance whether you’re won and the excitement can build.

Simply put, a payline is a winning set of symbols.

It used to be that slots only had one payline, usually across the middle of the reels, but today’s more advanced slots can have dozens, even hundreds, and you’re not expected to know where they all are or spot them all falling into place, of course. But if you keep a few of the most obvious in mind as you are playing, you might just see yourself winning something amazing.