If you’re new to slots play, you’ll probably hear a lot of talk about something called volatility or variance. Volatility, also commonly referred to as slots variance or slots dispersion, is a term that defines how much risk is involved in playing a particular slot machine.
High volatility slots tend to pay out far less frequently than low volatility slots, making them much riskier, and more burdensome on your bankroll, but when they do pay out, they pay out big! Conversely, low volatility slots pay out smaller and midlevel amounts with much greater frequency but lack the life changing mega wins you can find with high volatility slots.
HIGH VOLATILITY / VARIANCE SLOTS
HIGH VOLATILITY SLOTS EXPLAINED
The first thing you’ll notice when you stumble upon or seek out a high volatility slot is the difference between the amounts the slot will pay out. High volatility slots tend to have a significantly large difference between the lowest and highest wins.
As a general rule, when it comes to high volatility slots, the higher the jackpot, the higher the volatility. In other words, the higher the jackpot amount, the less frequently the slot will pay out for lesser wins and the greater the risk of each individual spin.
When you read in the papers about someone in Vegas on online winning a multi-million-dollar slots jackpot, you can rest assured they were playing a high volatility slot.
Progressive jackpots, those slot machines, whether in brick and mortar casinos or an online casino, that put a percentage of every coin played toward the total jackpot, so that the jackpot grows with each and every spin, are always high volatility slots.
HIGH VOLATILITY ONLINE SLOT BONANZA BY BIG TIME GAMING
These machines are much sought after by the type of players who live for the adrenaline rush of a big win but who know that this is a long term proposition, meaning that you’ll have to exercise a great deal of patience and have the bankroll to support long term play if you’re hoping to catch the insane thrills that come with potentially life changing wins.
High volatility progressive jackpot slots can often reach the millions of euro, pounds or dollars.
It’s important to understand that when playing a high volatility slot, most players will experience extended periods of time with few, if any, wins, before you land on a bonus round, prize multiplier or set of free spins.
Beside the high risk, high reward nature of high volatility slots, these types of machines also tend to have copious bonus features, free spins, wilds, scatters and prize multiplying bonus play, so that when you do finally hit it big, you hit it really, really big. For example take the above pictured slot Bonanza, that is manufactured by Big Time Gaming who are notorious for producing highly volatile online slots, this plays in this exact fashion, and can give some massive payouts.
While you may have seriously depleted your bankroll playing a high volatility slot for an extended period of time without a win, when you do tap into the bonus features, it’s well worth most players while as the rewards are exceptional.
Simply put, progressive jackpot slots and high volatility slots with handsome jackpots are not for the impatient or faint of heart. But hey, no pain no gain, no risk no reward, and the rewards from high volatility slots, when they do come, are simply astonishing and often life changing.
LOW VOLATILITY / VARIANCE SLOTS
LOW VOLATILITY SLOTS EXPLAINED
Low volatility slots offer lower risk for lower rewards. The opposite of a high volatility slot, low volatility slots pay out more often but in smaller to mid-sized amounts as compared to high volatility slots.
Low volatility slots are ideal for players looking to cash in with some regularity all the while understanding, while the jackpot may be significant, it’s not likely to be life changing. Low Volatility slots keep players engaged by providing solid entertainment, lots of fun and the thrill of fairly regular small wins.
Just like high volatility slots, low volatility slots can come packed full of special features, from riveting bonus rounds and free spin sessions to enriching prize multipliers, and exciting wilds and scatter symbols. Factor in state-of-the art, cutting-edge graphics and digital sound, and for many a slots player today low volatility slots are the ideal way to pass the time while enjoying the excitement of somewhat frequent small wins, allowing players to play for hours on end without seriously depleting their bankroll. A good example of this style of slot would be Steam Tower by NetEnt, which is almost the above definition down to a tee.
At the same time, most low volatility slots do actually provide reasonable jackpots, but keep in mind these are not likely to be anywhere near the astronomical jackpot levels reached on high risk, high volatility slots.
MEDIUM VOLATILITY / VARIANCE SLOTS
MEDIUM VOLATILITY SLOTS EXPLAINED
As with anything on a spectrum from low to high there is also a mid-range, which means there are also medium volatility slots. Striking a balance between the extremes of high risk, high volatility slots and lower risk but lower reward low volatility slots, you’ll find medium volatility slots offering up more substantial rewards and jackpots than your average low volatility slot while taking the edge off the high risk, long-term prospects of “go for the gold”, mega jackpot, high volatility slots.
A slot that falls perfectly into this category would be Columbus Deluxe that is developed by Novomatic Gaming, this is a classic middle of the road slot when it comes to variance and is a popular choice for players who opt to play this level of slot volatility.
For players keen on winning some reasonable sums of money, with a strong but not iron clad bankroll, medium volatility slots offer up the chance to have plenty of slots fun as well as plenty of adrenaline pumping thrills without necessarily breaking the bank.
SLOT MACHINE VOLATILITY EXPLAINED FINAL THOUGHTS
Depending on your personality, preferences, penchant for risk and objective timeline (long term vs short term), in today’s rapidly evolving world of online slots, you’re sure to find the game that’s just right for you and your style of slots play. We suggest that you head to our slots reviews page where you can check out the volatility of each slot and play it for free, this way you can see which style variance of slot you prefer.
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