What is the game validation payout and why you should be aware of it, before starting to play a casino game? Learn how to safeguard your position as a player.
When you partake in any form of gambling, you want to know that you're getting a fair crack of the whip. All players understand that casino games are bias to the operator over the lifetime of a game, but as long as there's a fair chance that you may hit that big win at some point, players will continue to keep coming back for more.
As long as there are no shenanigans going on, the payout of table and card games in land-based casinos is simply a matter of probabilities and mathematics. Take European roulette as an example: if you bet on red or black, you have a 18/37 (48.6%) chance of winning and the payout is 1:1.
However, what about virtual games, and in particular video slots? How do you as a player know these games are fair and the reported payouts are actually true? This is where testing laboratories offering independent certification that the stated payouts are correct come to the fore. In essence, they are offering a "Game Validation Payout" guarantee based on their testing and research.
Before we take a closer look at some of the companies offering game validation payout services, it's important to understand what this is based upon. Ultimately, it comes down to the RTP value a software developer and/or a casino operator puts on a particular game.
What is RTP?
RTP stands for Return to Player. This is expressed as a percentage of the money wagered on a game compared to how much is paid out. For example, if a game has an RTP of 98%, then for every 100 wagered, the game payout 'on average' is 98.
The key point of the above statement is 'on average'. You are not guaranteed to win 98 if you wager exactly 100 in a one-off game. You could hit the jackpot and win millions or you may only win 27 from your stake. This is because the RTP is a theoretical value based on the lifetime of the game. In regards to a slot machine, this would be thousands or perhaps millions of spins.
The RTP is measured on every single player playing the game. Some lucky players will walk away after a successful session with more money than they began with, so their RTP is above 100%. Others, who lose some cash, will have a lower RTP for their play, yet the average will balance out to the reported figure (or close to it) over the course of hundreds of player sessions.
How do players know the RTP is accurate?
You're browsing through your favourite operator's website looking for a game to play. A new slot catches your eye and you notice that it has a generous RTP of 97.85%. Yet, how can you be certain that this figure is truthful and accurate? This is where game testing laboratories serve their purpose - and close regulation by a governing body such as the UK Gambling Commission. These are four of the leading independent testing laboratories for real-money games:
- BMM TestLabs
- Gaming Laboratories International(GLI)
- Technical Systems Testing (TST)
Each of these labs perform numerous tasks related to online and offline gambling. For the purpose of game validation payouts, the most important is that of 'actual' and 'theoretical' RTP testing. Whereas the theoretical RTP is based on a lifetime of a game, an actual RTP test is a periodic analysis of the game's results to provide an indication that the game is still performing properly and in a totally random manner.
RNG (Random Number Generator) audits play a key role in this process. However, this is more for virtual card and table games. The testing lab will examine the data from the RNG to ensure that each spin, hand, or roll of the dice is in fact random and that it aligns with the game's theoretical RTP over a lifetime and that the actual RTP is close to this percentage as well.
The most reputable online casinos proudly display it on their website, if they have game validation payout certification. It's a mark of trust and as a player, it is something you should take note of when joining a new one. It does highlight that the figures for the game you want to play are fair and just; as a player, that is essentially what matters the most.Last update: 30-09-2019