Every now and then all of us iGaming aficionados like to use some tips and tricks in order to boost our winning chances when playing our favourite slots. While some players study the RTPs of a game, others, however, take slot volatility into consideration, as it gives them a more precise idea of what to expect throughout the gaming session. Be that as it may, slot machines can very much differ from each other in terms of volatility.
With that in mind, in today’s blog, we’re gonna go through main types of volatility in slots and, hopefully, help you learn more about online slots in general. Ready to roll? Let’s go!
What Does Volatility Mean in Slots?
Well, slot volatility is the term used to calculate the performance of a certain slot machine, land-based or online, during its session. Therefore, casino players use slot volatility to plan their bankroll appropriately. In other words, slot volatility is something that tells you how often you are likely to snag a winning combo, the size of the wins, and the game’s level of risk.
Volatility metrics gives you a better perspective of how much you win or lose while spinning the reels of slot machines and, therefore, helps you choose the best slots that will suit you.
Learning about slot volatility will ultimately help you master how to win at slots given that it is the most essential metrics in this type of games.
Slot Volatility Types and How to Tell Them Apart
As most of you iGaming aficionados already know, there are 3 main types of slot volatility: high, medium, and low variance games. According to some more precise classifications, slot machines can be split into 5 volatility categories – high, medium-high, medium, low-medium and low.
The variance of the slot machine outcomes (both online and land-based) are programmed in advance, solely depending on the RNG. Since the casinos and software providers don’t always reveal that info, those of you who wish to find out more about the variance of a slot machine you are interested in, will have to measure it yourself.
Say you’re spinning the reels of a slot machine that has a capability to offer huge prizes, but you don’t seem to hit the winning combos often – it means you are playing a high variance game. If, however, the slot you’re playing gives smaller wins, but you’re hitting them frequently – then you’re playing a low variance game.
In other words, if you don’t want to spend too much money, you’ll prefer playing slots that come with fewer risks so that you extend your game session with small but more frequent wins. On the contrary, if you love taking risks and can afford to play with more money, you’ll want to look for medium to high volatility slots that can offer large wins but at a less frequent rate.
Volatility vs Variance: Is There a Difference?
In casino terminology, there is no difference between volatility and variance as both terms are usually used as synonyms describing the gameplay. Variance is the term that’s very often used in poker but has also been transferred to the world of slots. Volatility, on the other hand, is mainly used in finance, as a statistical measure of variation of a trading price series over time.
Slot Machine Volatility Index: How to Determine the Volatility of Slots?
Hypothetically, you could determine slot machine variance if you know the frequency of symbol combinations and odds. But, in reality, it’s a bit more complicated and it takes some complex equations to establish the slot volatility.
No matter if you are winning or losing, slot machines are tied to a volatility index which indicates how volatile the slot is, and it’s not the info that game developers are willing to show publicly. The volatility index is the determined sum of every combination, also known as its value, which also tells you how often this combo happens in the total sum.
To be honest, measuring slot volatility is not an easy thing to do, but we’ll try to explain how to determine the volatility of slots through an example. These are some of the factors you can take into consideration:
- Look at the paytable and check the difference between the payout of 4 and of 5 of a kind symbols. If 5 identical symbols pay out considerably more, then you can assume it’s a high variance slot
- See what prizes are offered by the software provider – huge cash prizes usually indicate it’s a high volatility game
- Take a look at the max bet option, as high variance games feature small max bets
- Pay attention to RTP and see if it’s described as a high, medium or low volatility slot
We talked extensively about these and other features that determine the variance in slots in the second episode of our podcast dedicated to how online slots work over at Spotify so make sure to check it out for additional information about variance and what to make of it.
High Variance Slots: What Does a High Variance Mean?
If you enjoy taking risks, then high-variance slots will be your cup of tea. Although there won’t be many payouts occurring often, once they do, those payouts will be enormous. Plus, you’ll have access to more bonus features. High variance slots have to be played only with the well-planned budget and with the right mindset, because high volatility can lead to high emotions. Not to mention, these kinds of slots often leave players empty handed, as they lose more money in comparison to playing other slots.
Popular High Variance Slots
When it comes to everyone’s favourite high variance slots, these include Book of Dead, Dead or Alive, Riches of Robin, Creature from the Black Lagoon, Jungle Jim and the Lost Sphinx.
Low Variance Slots: What Does Low Variance Mean?
Unlike high volatility slots, low variance slots feature smaller payouts but at a more frequent rate. Once you start spinning the reels of your favourite low volatility slot, be prepared for immeasurable low value winning combos hitting after every fifth to tenth spin, on average. If you’re a newbie entering the online casino world, these kinds of slots couldn’t be more perfect for you. Also, low variance slots are popular among online players who want to have fun, instead of taking risks.
Popular Low Variance Slots
Some of the most typical low variance games are Starburst, Thunderstruck II, Bloodsuckers II, Dead or Alive 2, Agent Jane Blonde Returns, and Big Bad Wolf.
Medium Variance Slots: What Does Medium Variance Mean?
Medium volatility slots somehow have the combination of both high and low variance slots and what’s best in them. They offer minor but more frequent payouts if we compare them to high variance slots. Quite opposite to the low volatility games, medium variance slots offer much higher value payout. What’s more, if you know how to plan your budget, and do it right, you’ll be able to spin those reels for much longer than with high variance slot machines. That’s probably why medium variance slots are considered to be the most popular category.
Popular Medium Variance Slots
Medium variance slot database is endless, but the most popular releases include titles like Jumanji, Game of Thrones, Vikings Go Berzerk, Gonzo’s Quest, Nikola Tesla’s Incredible Machine, Hugo 2, Guns n Roses, and Dracula.
High Variance vs Low Variance: Which One Fits Your Slot Strategy and Game Style
The type of volatility you prefer is entirely up to your gaming style and preferences. Some of you may favour high volatility slots and be perfectly comfortable with less frequent wins, as long as you have a chance to land that huge jackpot you’ve always wanted. Others, however, may prefer the steady payouts that low-volatility games offer, which is also fine, but you won’t win as much.
Ultimately, it all boils down to the level of risk you’re willing to take. With greater risk, of course, comes a greater potential prize and a greater chance of hitting a huge jackpot should you decide to play a high volatility slot machine. If you’re just playing to have fun, don’t have a large bankroll and are not willing to take risks, low volatility slots will seem like a better idea. Visit our forum and tell us what you think.