Slots Volatility – Understand Low, Medium, and High Volatility Meaning

slots volatility

7 minutes

Posted by: Ivan


Want to grasp slot volatility and understand how it can affect your payouts at real money slots casinos? You’ve come to the right place!

Slots offering frequent and small wins are referred to as low volatility, while games with large yet infrequent payouts are known as high volatility slots.

There are also medium volatility games and a few options in between. Therefore we will break down everything you need to know on this page, explain different level meanings, and cover examples to help you pick the best option for you.

What Does Volatility Mean in Slots?

what does volatility mean in slots

Before venturing into real money play, knowing about casino slot payouts is extremely important, so let’s start with the basics.

The terms slots volatility and slot variance hold more or less the same meaning. These terms refer to the payout frequency of a particular game.

To many players’ surprise, volatility does not correlate with the return-to-player (RTP) rate, which refers to the average percentage of total bets paid back to the players over time.

Both low and high volatility slots can have 99% RTP, just the same as 92% RTP over the long run, so it is important to distinguish these terms.

While high volatility slots generate fewer winning combinations but provide bigger payouts, low volatility games give you frequent but small wins.

The exact slot game volatility is kept secretive, and you won’t find it publicly available on all casino sites. Most casinos provide a volatility rating of 1-5, which can help you understand on which spectrum that particular game falls.

That said, you can always play free slots and see for yourself if you are getting constant small wins or not and determine volatility for yourself.

How to Determine the Right Volatility Slot Machine For You

high medium and low volatility slots

We have a few tips for you if you are confused about the type of slot games you should pick.

  • Players with larger bankrolls can risk playing on high volatility slots hoping to hit a fortunate win after a hundred spins.
  • Payers with lower bankrolls should wager on low volatility games to get more but smaller wins to preserve their money.

Here are our suggestions of how you could pick which volatility level would be best suited for you:

High Volatility

  • High-Rollers with high spending capacity
  • Not afraid of taking big risks
  • Willing to withstand the big variance
  • Patience and bankroll to await hitting the jackpots

Medium Volatility

  • Gamblers who prefer taking smaller risks
  • Enjoying occasional wins but want to hit big
  • Has substantial bankroll to outlast bad stretches
  • Still looking forward to a jackpot hit

Low Volatility

  • Conservative players
  • Limited bankroll to play
  • Prefers small and quick winnings
  • Want to have fun while gambling

Want to hold a better grip over slot volatility? Take a glance at the different types of slots volatility in detail.

List of 5 Important Slots Volatility Levels to Know

slots volatility levels

High Volatility Slots

High-Variance slots are highly beneficial if you are fond of taking risks. While there will be periods when you might not win anything, the available payouts are very attractive and worth the wait when you finally hit it.

That said, these slots are not for you if you have a small heart.

For instance, the free spins round in ‘The Book of Dead’ can lure you with multiple wins. ‘Immortal Romance’ is also an excellent slot that offers 5 free spins bonus round.

It is worth playing high volatility slots only if you have a reasonable budget and a dedicated mindset for it. If you don’t feel afraid of losing out on money, this type of slot is a perfect pick. While sometimes these games offer more attractive bonus, it is worth looking into wagering requirements to understand all terms and conditions.

Medium Volatility Slots

This one ranges among the highly preferred categories for novice and professional casino players. The medium variance slot indicates fewer and more frequent payouts than high volatility slots.

It is also better than low volatility slots, as players wagering on medium variance slots can also expect higher payout value.

The best thing about medium volatility slot machines is that players who are tight on a budget can play on them for longer compared to the high variance games. Another important aspect of these slots is that you can avail of bigger jackpot values compared to playing at low volatility slots.

For instance, the Thunderstruck 2 offers a 2.5 million insane jackpot and added free spins bonus round features. Set your budget, and you can end up playing here for hours, along with an unlimited possibility of unlocking many more free spins.

Low Volatility Slots

Low variance slot machines provide payouts of lower values more often. Some of our favorite picks in this category are the Big Bad Wolf, Blood Suckers 2, and the Starburst slot machine.

They can impart you a countless number of low-value winning combinations on every few spins. It is probably why these slots are the favorite of new players.

Hitting huge wins is almost impossible here, and you might be unable to match the exact value of highly volatile slots. Such slots are fast-paced and entertaining, while these are lower-risk slot machines that hold a fleet of the loyal fan base of their own.

Players willing to enter the casino gambling world for entertainment and fun prefer such games since it helps them get multiple small winnings.

How to Calculate Slot Volatility

slots volatility calculations

Now that you know about distinct types and categories of slots volatility, it’s time to understand how casinos calculate them.

Calculating slot machine variance is possible when you know the frequency of the symbol combinations and the associated values.

Determining the exact value of slot volatility is possible only after solving complex mathematical equations, so this is not something you should be concerned about.

Slots are available with the volatility index rating, representing the slot’s volatility, and this is all you need to know.

However, we will break this down for you if you want to dig deeper.

Firstly, a paytable is an ideal tool to determine slot volatility. Identifying differences among the payouts is a good start. The next step in identifying its volatility is the prizes that the gaming developer offers.

The availability of massive jackpots and higher cash rewards indicate the medium or a high variance slot. With a demo mode play, you can find out the slot variance.

Now, let’s calculate the slot volatility on every single line. Here is the data you must know for finding one credit per line.

  • CI = Bet per line (Game X Line)
  • CO = Total Winning per spin
  • SW = Squared total on every game

After multiplying them by four on each spin, you must calculate the total winnings.

Slot variance formula here is:

Variance= (SW – CO^2/CI)/CI

Standard Deviation= (Variance)^.5

Now, if your bet per line is 20 coins and you play it in 4 games, the total bet sums up to 160 coins.

Here’s the calculation:

CI = (20 x 4) = 80

CO = 160

SW = 20^2 + 100^2 + 0^2 + 40^2 = 14,000

Slot Variance = (14000-160^2/80) / 80

Standard Deviation = Variance^0.5

Common Factors to Decide Slot Volatility

volatility slot machine

You can ponder the factors below to determine the slot’s volatility ratio as a player.

  • Pay Tables – Identifying the difference between the four-of-a-kind and five-of-a-kind symbols indicates its low volatility slots. The increasing gap indicates it to be the high volatility slots.
  • Maximum Betting Range – High variance slots mostly have a smaller maximum betting range due to the higher sum of potential winnings.
  • Rewards – Both medium and high variance slots are rich in cash rewards or jackpots.
  • Demo Play – Experimenting with these games in demo mode lets you understand the nature of winnings here. It lets you know its variance and what to expect when you play for real cash.

Players can also decide with general assumptions, like the slots offering a progressive jackpot of $5,000 come under a low volatility slot when the one offering a $1 million jackpot is obviously a high volatility slot.


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