Slot volatility is one of the main attributes which determines the behaviour of a game. Most slots are classified as being either low, medium or high volatility. Don’t worry if you don’t quite understand what this means, this article will teach you all that you need to know.
An Introduction to Slot Volatility
For the readers who have played slots before, you’re bound to have come across the term volatility. Volatility is one of the defining characteristics of a slot machine. There are low volatile slots, which frequently pay out small prizes, mid-volatile and high volatile slots, which pay out larger amounts but rarely. The more volatile a slot is, the riskier it is. Therefore, slots with high variance (another term used for volatility) are for risk takers, as they may not pay out too frequently but have greater pay outs.
A slot’s variance is calculated over an extended period of time to an approximation. What many game providers and reviews do is provide a variance level out of 10. Low volatility slots tend to be graded around 2/10 whilst high volatility slots have 9/10 or even 10/10. The figure gives us an idea of how volatile the game is – i.e. how unpredictable it is.
The main difference between low and high variance slots is the hit frequency. Low volatility slots will have a high hit frequency, sometimes even just under 45%, whilst high volatility slots will have a much lower percentage, under 20%.
Low Volatility Slots
The slots with lower volatility are the ones to be played if you have a limited bankroll and wish to play for a long time. Typically, these games will pay out very frequently through many scatter symbols, wilds or lower-paying combinations. They give out frequent wins, but very rarely will a payout be particularly large.
If you’re all for playing a game for a long time and trying to make a profit through several minor wins, play low volatility slots. The slow and steady approach is definitely the way to go if you don’t want to risk your bankroll on high variance slots.
High Volatility Slots
There is more to look at in high volatility slots than in their low volatility counterparts. High variance slots can see you go a few rounds before you land a winning combination – which may not even be worth that much. Although, these slots also offer much higher potential pay outs for winning combinations as well.
High volatile slots do not always ensure that you will win big. At times, your bankroll may disappear from constant spinning without any reward. However, the excitement and popularity of high volatile slots lies with the potential reward. These slots have the potential to pay out more than low volatile slots and can see your bankroll rocket to new heights. They are always riskier than lower variance slots, but that same risk can see your stake multiplied many thousands of times.
Are you Playing a Low or High Variance Slot?
It’s all fine and dandy reading up about slot volatility but how do you actually know when you’re playing a low or high variance slot. At Queenplay, we try to give you a few tips so that you can tell the difference and identify the variance of a slot based on its traits.
- Maximum Pay Out: Open up a slot and immediately check out the maximum win amount of the game. Low variance slots will pay around 50x-100x your total stake as a maximum prize whilst more volatile slots can pay 500x-30,000x your total stake as a maximum pay out.
- Paytable Symbols: Head on over to the slot’s paytable where you can see every single symbol and its payout. Typically, lower variance slots will see 5 of a kind pay out 3x-5x for the highest paying symbol. More volatile slots will see combinations of 5 pay out between 10x-100x your total stake.
- More Winning Opportunities: High volatility slots tend to offer players more chances to win. It is very likely that slots with high variance will include more features in order to trigger some higher paying cash prizes. Some examples of said features are:
- Cascade: after a winning combination is formed, the symbols vanish allowing new icons to take their place.
- Expanding Wilds: wilds spread across to cover an entire reel.
- Megaways: up to 117,649 ways to win with this game mechanic.
- More rows: additional rows (and paylines) if certain conditions are met.
Why High Variance Slots Are so Popular
The more volatile the slot, the more popular it is. On the whole, high variance video slots dominate the online gambling industry. They are the most loved, the most played and the most developed games by software provider groups. High variance slots are often referred to as ‘gambler’s games’, here’s why.
In order to be successful at winning high volatility slots, you have to have a very stern mentality. Many rookies may enjoy playing lower variance slots as they can enjoy the best of both worlds, winning and losing. Gamblers with experience will know that many times high variance slots will not pay out the big prizes. However, with a great deal of patience, the long spells of not making a profit could be worth it once these seasoned players hit the big pay out. High variance slots are perfect for players with a big bankroll and a make-or-break mindset.
If you’re interested in playing high variance slots at Queenplay, we suggest you do the following. Try to find slots that offer an auto play function. This ensures that your spins keep on taking place without you having to manually click the spin button. However, be sure to set win and loss limits so that you are in control of your budget. Then, once the spinning is underway, keep an eye on it but just let the game get on with its job. This way, you won’t be too frustrated with watching your bankroll get smaller – or potentially even bigger!
What High Variance Slots Can Offer
If we forget about the dry spells and shrinking bankroll for a moment and focus on the positives, high volatility slots are typically more fun to play than lower volatility slots. They usually have more features on offer and more engaging graphics and animations.
If a slot has a lot of features, chances are, you are playing a highly volatile slot. High variance games usually include free spins bonus rounds, re-spin, expanding wilds, multipliers and more. The more features a slot has, the more likely it is to be highly volatile.
Likewise, highly volatile slots offer massive payouts. Some of them may include jackpots, such as the Mega Moolah or Mega Fortune slots, whilst others will just have insanely huge maximum win amounts. In fact, some slots are known to pay out anything between 10,000 and 100,000 times your total stake. However, for these types of cash prizes, you may have to up your stake level.
Are you a Fan of Arcade Slots?
Last but not least, the majority of arcade slots will be high variance. Cluster paying games and Megaways slots will both be highly volatile. They are jam packed with bonus features and perks such as avalanche wins and many paylines. If you enjoy playing highly volatile slots, you’re going to love arcade slots.
At Queenplay, we have many slots, both low and high variance. The volatility of the slot gives you an insight into the behaviour of game. Low volatility slots are perfect for players who enjoy playing at a steady pace and winning slowly through many spins.
Higher volatility slots are more advanced games which have more buzz about them. They will include many different features and big potential payouts. Although, you will have to approach them with a stronger mindset, knowing that dry spells can be expected and wins are not guaranteed. If you are looking to win big through one lucky spin, then your best bet is to stick to more volatile slots.