Improve Your Gaming by Understanding Return to Player and Other Statistical Concepts

By Vedwik
Sep 15, 2023 Reading time : 4 min

Video gaming can be a casual activity or it can be intensely competitive. Some find joy in the immersion, while others want to work out a way to maximize their outcomes and improve how they play. One way to enhance your knowledge of certain games is to understand the statistics and mathematical concepts behind them.

This article explores return-to-player, a concept that is always at work in online slots and other casino games. We’ll then flip to the kill-to-death ratio, a totally different stat that players record in first-person shooters.

Return to Player

Return to player (RTP) is a simple enough concept once you understand how it works, but many will misinterpret how RTP actually functions. It is the number that dictates the odds that a slot game will payout, represented as a percentage.

So, if the RTP is 95 percent, that means that the machine or online slot will payout an expected $95 for every $100 that is wagered. In other words, with a 95 percent RTP, the casino has a five percent edge. This percentage plays out over the course of thousands or hundreds of thousands of spins and so, although it shows the win rate of a game, it does not tell players anything about how or when the slot will pay.

A player could still wager $1 and win the jackpot on their first few spins, or they could wager $100 and not win back a penny. RTP is not an expected return, but rather a program that controls the overall outcome of the slot over a huge sample.

This spread of outcomes is known as volatility. The RTP could be distributed so as to drop small amounts regularly, or to pay bigger amounts less often. Jackpot slots, for example, are likely to be more volatile – players take the tradeoff for the chance to hit the bigger wins.

What’s important to understand about RTP meaning, is that the higher the percentage, the more favorable the game is for the player. Some online slots reach RTPs of 98 percent or more, which is typically much more generous than a casino slot machine.

Kill to Death Ratio

Switching to a totally different statistical concept now. This time, the genre is first-person shooters and the player has control. Rather than being built into the game as mathematical dictation, this statistic is recorded as the player takes part in matches.

The kill-to-death ratio (KD) in gaming is very simple. It is a player’s number of kills divided by their number of deaths. It’s an important figure whether in team games or an individual death match.

As an individual player, KD tells you whether you are up overall. Have you won more than you have lost? In a team match, where totals are tallied across all members, it shows who has contributed to the team and who has lost the most points.

What it demonstrates immediately is that it’s not always important to get the most kills. It might feel glorious to rampage through 50 opponents, but if your character dies 40 times along the way then your KD is 1.25, which is not as good as 15/10 for a KD of 1.5.

Anything positive is generally considered decent and is above average in Call of Duty. Still, you can improve your gameplay by understanding KD and working with it for a better score.

Assists can also be added to this formula, known as Kill-death-assist (KDA). This is often used for team-based shooters. The formula usually gives equal weighting to assists and kills, but at least it accounts for actions that help teammates, which is especially important when players adopt different roles, not all frontline.

Numbers Used in RPGs

We end with a category of games that sits on a foundation of numbers. Role-playing games (RPGs) often have beautiful visuals and compelling storylines, but underneath there are character stats and dice rolls.

Playable characters, as well as enemies and bosses, in RPGs, have stats relating to strength, magic, intelligence, and dexterity. Armour adds points to the defense. Beating enemies results in experience points or ability points that are spent on skills or boosts to stats.

Each fight in a typical RPG, whether that’s Clash of the Clans or Final Fantasy, plays out as a battle of numbers – the character’s stats and potential damage points versus the enemies’. Building up those stats to take on the next challenge is what it’s all about.

RPGs, like casino games, and to a lesser extent first-person shooters, rely on numbers as a key component.

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