Slots with two sevens and a bar

In this article, we will talk about a characteristic of casino slots called volatility, also known as variance. First, volatility should not be confused with the RTP, which means the return to the player.

The RTP shows what part of the slot's total bet amount is used to provide payouts in the long run. The volatility represents the degree of risk for the gambler.

How Volatile Can Slots Be?

Thus, all slot machines can be divided into:

  1. low-volatile,
  2. medium-volatile,
  3. high-volatile.

The first ones do not have high payout ratios, but winning combinations appear often. Slots with high variance excite players with the possibility of getting a massive jackpot, but the combinations are formed rarely. Most slot machines have a medium volatility level.

Here are some high-volatile online slot machines.

Name Soft Return to player Min bet Max bet Max payout
95.58% 1125 x3000
95.58% 1125 x3000
93.9992% 500 x1000
96.51% 0.2 100 x10000
94.08% 0.1 50 x300000
96.17% 0.1 100 x10100
96% 0.2 240 x5000
96% 0.2 500 x48900
95.8% 0.2 40 x25000
96.58% 0.25 500 x7307

How to Determine Slot Volatility

Let's talk about ways of defining the variance.

Official Information

The best way to determine the volatility is to find the official data from the slot's provider.

Not all manufacturers publish information on the volatility of their games.

Thus, players need to define the variance themselves. Experienced users can tell it after examining the pay table and testing the slot in the demo mode.

Max Multipliers

First, look at the pay table and find the highest symbol combination. Some gambling websites even have a specific division of slots by the max multiplier.

  1. below x5000 - low volatility,
  2. x5000 - x10000 - medium volatility,
  3. over x10000 - high volatility.

However, we think this approach is too simple because it is not always possible to determine the slot's variance by its paytable only. Therefore, we need to consider additional factors.

Combination Payouts

For example, in 5-reel slots, look at the multipliers for combinations of three, four, and five symbols of the same type. If the difference is tremendous, the slot may have high volatility. If the difference is slight, it may have low variance.

These slots have low volatility.

Name Soft Return to player Min bet Max bet Max payout
96% 15
96.5% 200 x700
98.12% 0.28 1400 x500
96.11% 250 x500
95.14% 0.25 800
95.1% 60 100
96.8% 0.1 400 x60
96.75% 0.2 100 x10000
96.66% 0.2 100 x750
96.08% 500 x200

Special Symbols and Bonus Features

You also need to consider characters and their features. If the game has a Wild symbol appearing on the screen for the entire reel, the combination will be formed often. Comparing it with the ratio, you can understand its volatility.

Of course, this allows only an approximate estimation of a slot's volatility. Only the documentation or the manufacturer's specifications can provide exact details.

Playing Slots

Testing a slot in the training mode is less accurate but highly effective. Fortunately, it is possible in most online casinos.

Check the bankroll after hundreds of other spins to clarify it. If large combinations did not drop during this time, but the amount is not changed much, the slot's variance can be considered low. At the same time, frequent payments are slightly higher or lower than the total bet.

If you methodically lose for a long time and then get a vast combination, with a streak of bad luck later, this slot's volatility is high.

High variance is almost always found in slot machines with massive progressive jackpots—for example, Mega Moolah by Microgaming or Megabucks by IGT.

Machine Mega Moolah

What Slots to Play for Money in 2024

Of course, slots with high variance require a large bankroll from you. Otherwise, the money could end sooner than you get at least one combination while playing. At least use low-cost coins (but do not forget the rules of getting a jackpot if you choose such a slot).

On the other hand, slots with low volatility allow you to play for a long time, even if your bankroll is not significant. But here, you will not have a chance to break a big jackpot in one spin.

Ultimately, it's a matter of personal preference and financial capabilities. Choose depending on how much money you want to risk. Choose a low-volatility slot if you are strapped for cash but want to play longer. And those playing for an incredible jackpot need to select the appropriate slots.

P.S. Fortunately, most famous software slot producers provide official information on the slots' volatility. You can check it on their websites or in paytables. 

Frequently asked Questions

🎰 What is slot volatility?

The volatility shows how often and how much the game pays to players. Playing high-volatility slots, you can get a huge payout, but you lose in most spins. In low-volatility slots, there are many payouts, but they are small. 

🍬 Who should play low-variance slots?

Low-volatility slots are for customers who like getting many payouts. 

🤑 Who will like high-variance slots?

You should play high-volatility slots if you are ready to wait for a max combination and lose in most spins. 

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