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Volatility – Explaining Its Relevance in Slots

February 8, 2024

Most slots players are accustomed to seeing the word volatility used in connection to the games they play, but perhaps its true meaning is not always immediately obvious.

Here we do everything possible to demystify the term, so that when a player reads that a game has either had high, low, or medium volatility, then they’ll know exactly how this could impact their gaming experience.

What Does Volatility Refer To?

When volatility is talked about in the world of slots it generally refers not only to the size of payout a game is capable of delivering, but also to the frequency at which these payouts come.

Volatility refers to the variance at play in an online slot. A low volatility slot machine has more frequent but smaller successful spins, while a high variance slot machine has fewer successful spins but more substantial payouts .

This means that instead of a game at one end of the volatility spectrum being better than one from the other end, volatility refers more to the balance that is struck between the patience players must show in-game and the sizes of the potential rewards.

High Volatility Games – Larger but Infrequent Wins

A common sign that a slot game is of the high volatility variety is that it is offers high progressive jackpots. Often, this means that because the game’s top prize is substantial, the likelihood of the slot paying out in between those jackpot drops lessens.

Another way to spot a high volatility slot is when its max win multiplier nears or surpasses the x10,000 mark, as is the case in the Legacy of Dead game.

Blood Suckers 2 is an example of a low volatility slot

Low Volatility Games – Buzzing Payout Lines

There are plenty of low volatility slot games out there such as Starburst These games differ from their high volatility counterparts by offering more frequent wins. This means the players of low volatility games usually do not have to wait as long for a winning moment, but that the rewards are not quite as hefty of those found on high volatility games.

Medium Volatility Games – Fine Balance Between High and Low

For games that tread the line between high volatility slots and low volatility slots, there are always those which are classed as medium volatility titles. An example of one is Vikings Go Berserk, which mixes more frequent payouts and sizeable top prizes compared to High Volatility games and can provide a balanced slot experience.

How do Volatility and Variance Differ?

Another term that often pops up frequently when volatility is being discussed is variance. Luckily, there is no need for slots players to fret about understanding their differences, as they essentially refer to the exact same thing.

Ultimately it would be wrong to think of volatility as something unduly negative or positive when it comes to selecting a slot. Instead, players should see it more as a gauge to go by so they can find slots titles that suit what they enjoy most.