Slot Volatility Guide
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Within this slot volatility guide, we take a look at the definition of volatility. Slot volatility, which is also known as variance, refers to the frequency of payouts. In addition, this in turn refers to the amount paid out and the level of risk involved in the game. Thus, to put it simply, slot volatility gives you an insight on the behavior of various games. Find out more below.

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Slot Volatility Guide: An Introduction

To put it simply, slot volatility or variance refers to the behavior of a game. Typically, there are three levels to determine the risk involved in certain games. Those include high risk, medium risk and low risk. To categorize these into volatility, that would be high volatility, medium volatility or low volatility games.

Volatility is a metric that is used to give you an insight of how to choose the best slots for yourself. The basic rule of thumb is the following:

  • For players on a smaller budget, they should tend to stick to low variance slots. This is because there is a lower risk involved when playing, meaning they will be able to play for a longer time with small but frequent wins.
  • For players on a larger budget, who enjoy taking risks, playing high volatility slots would be the way to go. These slots can burn through your bankroll at times, but they also can reward players with substantial wins every so often. Mind you, wins are not as frequent as in low variance games.

Slot Volatility Types

Slot Volatility Guide

Essentially, there are three main categories of volatility slots. Namely, those include high, medium and low. However, to be more accurate in separating them, you can divide these topics into five. Namely:

  • High
  • Medium-High
  • Medium
  • Medium-Low
  • Low

Next up, we take a look at all of these slot volatility categories in closer detail.


Typically, high volatility slots can be quite challenging to record a win. Particularly as the player can go rounds without landing a winning pattern. However, although the payouts are not as frequent, they have the potential of paying handsomely.

Let us be clear though. Not all payouts for high volatility slots will break the bank. Often, the payouts are not even worth the wait. It is all about holding out for a payout that eventually drops and pays the big bucks.

As you will find in this slot volatility guide, not all slots with the same variance are from the same software provider. We give you three examples in Dead or Alive, Book of Dead or Immortal Romance. All three of these slots are from different providers. However, the thing that they all share in common is the risk-factor. That is to say, they all have a high volatility.

In case of all three of these jackpot games, they come with a Return To Player (RTP) of over 96%, which is above the average. The themes of these slots are quite fascinating, but the volatility is what brings out the true excitement.

Many high volatile slots have lucrative bonus features. However, we must stress that not all of them have such features. Typically, these bonus features are set up to ensure that players have got a good chance of winning big through free spins or other bonuses.


This is a popular subcategory. Generally, medium-high slots tend to have a high win frequency whilst also paying out rather fairly. There are many different medium-high volatility slots that you are probably already familiar with. For instance, Gonzo’s Quest, King Kong Fury and Finn’s Golden Tavern.


To look at a bigger category, medium level variance slots are known to be the best for players that enjoy both high and low volatility slots. These games are the perfect mixture of the two. They will pay out more often than high volatility slots and also give prizes more rewarding than low volatility games.

slot machine

Essentially, they are the perfect mixture of balance between the two sides of the spectrum. When playing medium variance slots, you can expect to have a budget that lasts longer than just a few rounds. These games also tend to have many bonus features within them.

When browsing through our collection, you will find many different medium volatility slots which give you the chance to play for a longer period of time. In addition, these games will have several bonus features within them to give you different incentives and ways of winning. Although they are not as fun as high variance slots (arguably), they still make up a brilliant session of gaming. The best example of such games is Jumanji or Thunderstruck 2. Both of these games have jackpots, free spins and other bonuses. All you have to do to succeed in these games is to play with patience, budgeting and hope that you will win one of the bigger prizes they have to offer.


When looking at our Low-Medium subcategory selection of games, you will find many that have more frequent payouts and winning combinations but do not pay as well. In these games, you can try and budget but essentially they are low risk games meaning you will make some or lose some but not set the world alight.

A good example of a low-medium volatility slot is Crown of Egypt. In the IGT game, you have up to 1024 ways of winning which is excellent in terms of excitement. However, the bigger wins do not pay as much as a high volatility slot. Nonetheless, these games are made up of many different features and can certainly be a joy to play.

Other low-medium volatility slots that you may already be familiar with include Sevens High, Twin Spin and Go Bananas. In all of these games, you are bound to have an enjoyable gaming session, particularly if you just want to kick back and relax in a Zen environment. However, the biggest cash prizes these can bring will not change your world dramatically.


Last in all of these categories is the low volatility slots. These games offer lower value payouts but are played at a much faster rate. Many low volatility slots are popular among gamers. For instance, you are bound to have heard of Starburst, Big Bad Wolf or Blood Suckers 2. All of those games are low volatility slots.

These games do offer bigger prizes but they never reach the same glamour as high volatility games. They are low risk titles but can still be fun playing. Essentially, the gameplay of these titles is played at a much faster rate. Players with a smaller budget that just want to kick back and relax are bound to enjoy these games.

Slot Volatility Calculation


All in all, it takes a bit of time to get to know how to calculate the volatility of a slot machine. The way it is taken is through mathematical terms and equations. However, this reading is done over a very long period of time and is only an estimate.

There is no precise manner of being able to determine the exact outcome of a slots variance. However, by categorizing them based on different reports, we can get an idea of how the slot behaves. In some cases, you will be able to find a number which is reported on the PAR (Program Accounting Reports) sheets. That number will be out of 10.

Here are a few telling factors:

  • Look at the pay table and find out how much the maximum symbol pays when landing them all across a payline.
  • Look at the maximum prize that is offered on the slot from the game provider.
  • Try out the demo mode to get an idea of the volatility of the slot based on how frequently you win and the prize money you play for.
  • Check out the RTP of the slot and the variance (if provided) out of 10. Ultimately, a slot that is 2/10 will be considered as a low volatility slot whilst one that is 10/10 will be extremely volatile.

Slot Volatility Guide: Choosing The Slot For Yourself

slot machine

There’s a reason we highlight the slot volatility upfront at the start of our assessments. While picking slots based on their name, provider, theme, and color scheme can be entertaining, it’s not always the best strategy.

To help you get the most out of your gameplay, we’ve put together a simple table below that lists when you should play each volatility category slot.

High Volatility Slots

To play these games, players should consider themselves of having the following characteristics:

  • A large bankroll
  • See themselves as risk takers
  • Patience in waiting for bigger wins (that do not always land)
  • The ability to walk away once they have burned through their budget (even if that happens fast)
  • The determination to wait for bonus features to trigger

Medium-High Volatility Slots

To play these games, players should consider themselves of having the following characteristics:

  • The ability to spot the difference between the win frequency and the size of the payout
  • An awareness to look for the bigger prizes that can land in a slot machine
  • A budget that is large and the ability to burn through it
  • The determination to take risks when needed and to grow in confidence whilst taking these risks
  • To want to trigger bonus features in various slots but to be comfortable with the base game payouts if these features do not trigger

Medium Volatility Slots

To play these games, players should consider themselves of having the following characteristics:

  • You just want to play for fun but you also want to win
  • To gain confidence in playing, you want to advance to a risker gameplay (possibly for new players)
  • Your bankroll is limited but you want to make a profit
  • You enjoy frequent wins but also big rewards
  • To play games that have free spins bonus rounds and other features

Low-Medium Volatility Slots

Slot Volatility Guide

To play these games, players should consider themselves of having the following characteristics:

  • A smaller budget that will not cover the costs of riskier games
  • Games that have a lot of fun and thrills in them
  • A new player
  • Wanting to play games that have bonus features

Low Volatility Slots

To play these games, players should consider themselves of having the following characteristics:

  • You have a small bankroll
  • To play for fun
  • To play for as long as possible
  • Looking for frequent wins (very often small wins)
  • To want bonus features to trigger at a faster rate
  • A new player
  • You do not like taking big risks

How Volatility Affects Slot Machines

Essentially, the reason why volatility is so important in slot machines is because it affects the behavior of a slot. Slot machines that have lower volatility will act very different to slots with higher volatility.

The way in which slots machines are affected by volatility is through their RTP. This refers to Return To Player and is calculated as a percentage. Essentially, the RTP will determine the house advantage that each and every slot has over a player. After all, when gambling, the house is always going to have a slight advantage in their favour. We hope that this slot volatility guide has shown you that.

If you want to play slot machines online, feel free to do so at one of our many online casino sites. You will be able to access our full list of games in the latest jackpot ratings. This includes the RTP and variance of each and every slot, so that you can find something that you are comfortable with playing. Feel free to head on over there now to get used to playing slots with low and high variance.

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