RTP and the five best paying Microgaming slots

If you are a slots gamer that takes their slots playing seriously, then you will no doubt like to take a look at the different games available and compare one to the next as to how likely they are to match your criteria for a good slot.

There are many factors to consider here and these range from the cosmetic, the theme of the slot, how many reels and lines are in play, to the cost of the slot and perhaps most importantly of all, how the slot is structured in terms of how it returns cash to players through its wins.

One of the factors here that many slot players tend to put a great deal of emphasis on when deciding whether or not to play a slot is the RTP value. This is generally expressed as a percentage. However what does that percentage mean?

Let's take a closer look and find out.

What is RTP?

A slot game cannot tell you how many wins it will generate, but analysis of a slot over millions or billions of spins during research can tell you, is roughly how much of the cash it takes in through stakes, it will return to the player in the form of winnings. This figure is known as the Return to Player percentage (RTP).

The percentage simply equates to how much of the money the slot brings in, it will generally return to players over the lifetime of the game. So, for example, a slot game with a 95% RTP value, would typically return £95 of every £100 spent on the slot back to players in the form of a variety of different sized wins.

This is very different to variance, which instead tells you how the £95 of every £100 returned to players is generally broken up in prizes. Lower variance games would see smaller payouts (let's say for simplicity's sake, 95 prizes of £1), whereas higher variance games would see the payouts organised differently (let's say 1 prize of £60, 1 prize of £25 and a number of smaller prizes).

What is important to realise is that the RTP does not guarantee that £95 out of every £100 spent will be returned to players, but that on average that is what the machine will pay out over a sustained period of time. One £100 spend may see just £50 returned to players, the next may see £150 returned to players, the next may see £90 returned to players, it is how all this averages out over the longer period that is used to calculate the RTP.

What the RTP doesn't allow you to do is say - "Well, if I gamble £100 on this 95% RTP slot, I should get £95 back at least". This is the biggest mistake novice players make when trying to understand RTP. Over short numbers of spins, the RTP rating is generally only a rule of thumb and never a guarantee.

However, you can use RTP to target slots that are more likely to pay out more of the money they take in than others and with Microgaming one of the companies that publish the RTP percentages of all their games, that is very easy to do.

Five of the best paying Microgaming Slots according to RTP

If you want to play Microgaming slots with a high RTP, then we suggest you start by taking a look at these five classic games.

  • Hot Ink Slot - 97.5% RTP

If you love a combination of a high RTP and some sizeable jackpot prizes, then the Hot Ink slot is one of the best games to play from Microgaming. This 5-reel slot offers a massive 1024 Ways to Win rather than lines and that means you have more chances to win than on the standard slot as any combination of three or more symbols across the reels is a winner.

The base game jackpots are decent enough to chase but it is the two bonus game jackpots of 100,000 coins (Koi Carp bonus) and 122,500 coins (Tattoo Bonus) that really attract the interest. Five Wilds across the reels triggers a jackpot of 1,000x your bet.

Another nice feature of the slot is the chance to re-spin any reels on a spin that didn't form part of a win. This comes at an additional cost however (which is worked out automatically), or you can elect to simply spin all the reels once again. The choice is yours.

  • Big Kahuna: Snakes and Ladders - 96.9% RTP

The original Big Kahuna game was another game that had a high RTP value, but the second game Big Kahuna Snakes and Ladders offers more pay lines, additional bonus features and the inclusion of a great value Free Spins bonus round.

Add to this a 200,000 jackpot plus the chance to win 30,000 more on the bonus games and you have a slot which not only offers good value gaming, but which also offers big jackpot hunters a sizeable target to aim for.

It is a 5-reel game with 15 lines (6 more than the original) and the Free Spins bonus game is randomly triggered, which is a nice and unusual feature for a slot and any wins during free spins come with a 2x multiplier attached. There is a bonus game, based on Snakes and Ladders, which gives you a chance to win cash prizes up to 100x your total bet.

  • Big Top - 96.9% RTP

If you are a punter that likes to spend a little more per spin on these higher RTP games then the Big Top slot game may well be of interest to you. This more retro-styled slot has 5-reels but just 9 lines in play, though you need to bet at least 0.25 per line in order to play (which is a minimum bet of 2.25).

This is a very simple circus-themed game which offers no free spins bonus games as such, but which does have a 5,000 coin jackpot prize, which is very appealing especially considering you can wager up to 5.00 per coin if you so wish.

  • Lucky Leprechaun - 96.83% RTP

With a jackpot of 20,000 coins to be won and a very decent RTP, the Lucky Leprechauns slot is available on desktop and mobile and offers 5-reels and 20 fixed pay lines in play on each spin. You can wager from as little as 0.20 per game or whack up the value to 20.00 per spin as you see fit.

The slot is based on a Leprechaun/Irish theme and as you would expect these symbols feature largely on the slot and also in its free spins feature, which starts at a minimum of 5 free spins and also comes with a 2x multiplier. Players can also benefit from Stacked Wilds in the game too, which enhances your chances of a return.

There's also the Trail of Fortune bonus game to play which allows you to roll the dice to move along the trail and increase the overall size of your win. You can win up to 500x your bet if you trigger the bonus with three scatters but that increases to 1000x your bet if you trigger it with five.

  • Thunderstruck II - 96.6% RTP

One of Microgaming's most classic slots is Thunderstruck II, the Norse-themed slot and the sequel to the equally popular Thunderstruck original. With an incredible 2.5-million coin jackpot to be won, Thunderstruck II is a game that has attracted big jackpot hunters for many years and it remains as popular today as it was when it was first released.

The bigger value wins come when you trigger the Great Hall of Free Spins by landing three or more scatters across the reels. Here you get to play through the four different Free Spins bonuses (each named after a famous character in Norse mythology) in turn to try and land a sniff at the big jackpot prize.

However, you also have the Wildstorm feature in the base game which can appear on any spin and give you one free spin with up to five expanding Wilds on the reels. Little wonder with so many great features, decent RTP and such a massive jackpot, Thunderstruck II is a slot that players come back to time and time again to play.

Byline: This article was published by Mega Moolah expert Henry. Media and other enquiries.

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