Understanding Slot Variance

5 January 2018
Slot variance

An online slot has plenty of qualities and aspects worth analysing and volatility is one of them. If you’re just getting into online slots and you’ve encountered the term ‘volatility’ or ‘variance’ a few times but you aren’t exactly sure what it means, you came to the right place for a quick and comprehensive interpretation. After all, knowing more about slot volatility will help you a lot in finding just the right slots for you, ones that will fit your preferences and gambling style, so you can have the best possible online slots experience.

What Does Slot Variance Stand For?

The volatility, or variance, of an online slot game, refers to the overall risk a player is facing when playing for real money. It is a quality of the game used to describe how often and how much a specific slot pays out. Instead of a using a detailed gradient scale, the developers choose to define their slots as games of high, medium or low volatility, which still counts as an important piece of information for us, the players. It gives us an idea of what to expect from the game in the long run, similar to the return to player rate.

When you ask yourself ‘Can I handle long dry spells?’ or ‘Do I prefer frequent, small wins or rare but big payouts?’ you’re getting closer to determining which type of slot variance is suitable for your gaming aspirations.

Importance of Choosing High or Low Variance Slots

High or Low Variance Slots

When you know the volatility of a slot game and its ranking from low to very high, you’ll know the likelihood of winning your bets, whether it will happen more often or less often. Low variance slots are characterised by longer playtime, delivering lots of small wins, less risk, longer periods of entertainment and being capable of maintaining the players’ interest with a hit every few spins. The profits are smaller, but the payouts come on a regular basis.

On the other hand, high variance slots come with a greater likelihood of winning it big. They do come with higher risk, as the payouts are fewer and further away from each other. If you choose a high variance slot, you should prepare yourself for seeing your balance suffer until the big win comes along and makes up for it. It can be stressful, but also thrilling if you’re into that type of suspense and delayed gratification. Want to tackle high variance slots? Make sure you have a decent budget at your disposal to endure multiple losses on the way to the big prizes. Your expectations should correspond to the variance of the game you’re interested in.

The general advice goes like this: to maximise playtime and minimise risk, you should bet low on high variance slots and place high wagers on low volatility slots. That’s if you want to try your luck on both types of games. The more you play and observe how a specific slot behaves you’ll find it easier to decide which slots to play in the future.