Slot Volatility: High Variance and Low Variance Slot Machines

Slot Volatility: High Variance and Low Variance Slot Machines

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, otherers, 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 see how you can choose the right slot volatility for you, depending on your slot strategy and tactics. 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.

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

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.