What is slot volatility?

Some people choose slots based on their graphics or soundtrack. However, you should know that there are several aspects that you need to pay attention to. It can’t be said that they are more important, because for every player something different may matter, and on top of that it is the combination of all the things that makes a slot machine good. You have already learned how important the rate of return is to the player, this time you will learn something new about volatility, or variance. This is another term for slot machines that turns out to be very important. If you know what the variability of machines of this type means, you will be able to win a slot machine that will satisfy all your requirements.


What really is slot variability?

Surely, many times you have come across the expression that a particular slot machine has a very high volatility, and this one, in turn, has an average one. It is normal that at the beginning of your career such a label will not tell you much. Over time, using the demo versions of the given games, you will notice that they do not differ only in terms of graphics, as well as theme and symbols, but they also have completely different dynamics. This is where we come to the concept of variability, or variance.

Slot variability can be described as low, medium, or high. In some cases, such as reviews, you will find the terms very low volatility or variance high towards the mean. There are players who consider such terms unnecessary and stick to the three basic ones we described at the beginning. You, as a beginner, may find such detailed terms useful. At the beginning, however, we advise you to be wary of machines with unknown volatility, because playing them may cost you.

Some people refer to volatility as risk. In this case, slots with low variance are called as those with low risk. Likewise, when it comes to those with high variance, they are called high risk machines. This term comes from the fact that when you bet in a slot machine with low variance, you have a higher chance that part of your bet will pay off. In a high variance machine, your winnings are unlikely to come back to you on every spin, but you will get more than you wagered after every spin.

How to know what volatility a slot has?

In most cases, the information about the slot’s volatility is given by the developer. It is placed in the description of the games, sometimes you can also find it in the reviews of the machine. However, if for some reason you cannot find this information, we have a trick that works in most cases. Go to the payouts of a particular slot and see what it offers for a cluster with 3 symbols and 4 symbols, and what it offers for a cluster with 5 symbols (these numbers can vary based on the number of reels).

If you see that the difference in payout between a cluster with 3 and 4 symbols is not too big, but for that between 4 and 5 it is even 10 x difference, it is very possible that you are dealing with a slot with high volatility. On the other hand, if the difference between all symbol payouts is not too big (from 2 to 3 or 4 times), then there is more chance that the slot has medium or low volatility. However, it is worth knowing that this is not a rule, but only a hint on how to behave. You can try to get a feel for a particular slot by playing it yourself. In this case, however, it is better to use the demo version, because you can lose your money.

Low volatility and game example

Slots with low volatility are especially recommended for people who are just starting their gambling career. Even with a small budget you can draw interesting winnings, although you have to remember that they will not be as high as in the case of high-volatility slots. However, if at this point you are not looking for a big win, but just want to get into this world and win something at the same time, this type of machine is perfect for you. There are quite a few such games on the market and you will find example below.

Tomb Raider and Tomb Raider 2

The relatively low rate of return for the player can be discouraging at first, but actually playing Tomb Raider is quite enjoyable. The slot offers a win multiplier, as well as a wild symbol to help you get the right cluster.

High volatility and game examples

You can find quite a few games on the market that have very high volatility. It is believed that slots with high variance are suitable for people who have quite a large gaming budget. This is due to the fact that with a small budget, it can disappear before you get any meaningful winnings. Machines of this type usually have many bonuses that repay players with a series of empty spins. If you prefer this type of game, you will definitely find yourself in the following slots.


Big Time Gaming has already surprised its fans many times by producing different types of games. In the collection you can also find Bonanza slot, which is considered to be high variance. As befits a good slot machine of this type, it has many bonuses that are worth waiting for. Among them you can find the Rolling Reels feature and free spins along with multipliers.


Volatility is an issue that you should take into consideration when choosing a slot. It helps in choosing the slot that best suits the requirements of a particular player. This does not mean that a slot with a given variance is inferior, each slot, the one with low, medium and high variance has its advantages, but it suits different types of players. Check out our suggestions and see for yourself which one suits you best.