The Concept of Slot Volatility

The concept of slot volatility is crucial to understanding how slot machines function. Knowing the volatility of a slot machine’s payouts will provide players a better idea of their odds of winning when they play that machine. This guide will show you how to determine the volatility of a slot machine and stress the significance of this metric.

Multipliers, multi-payline slots, and megaways to progressive slots are just some of the options available to modern slot gamers at online casinos. The majority of these games’ supplementary features are optimized for use across many platforms. That is why it’s important for online casinos to have slot games that can be enjoyed by players of all ages and skill levels. However, regardless of which online slot machine a gambler chooses to play, slot volatility will always play a major role in determining the outcome.


One of the most important things for a player to grasp before engaging in slot play is the concept of volatility. Players who have a firm grasp on the concept of volatility in slot games are better able to wager responsibly.

The Foundations of Slot Volatility


The volatility of a slot machine game is a potential downside. It indicates the average amount and frequency of wins for a given slot machine. It is sometimes used in conjunction with the RTP rate (Return to Player), which is a measure of how much of a player’s initial wager will be returned to them over time.


Slot machines with a higher volatility have fewer possible winning combinations but might pay out more when a player hits a jackpot. Low volatility slots, on the other hand, have fewer paylines but are more stable overall and have smaller wins. The volatility of a slot machine determines the player’s chances of winning, the likelihood of hitting the jackpot, and any other potential outcomes.


Thanks to the convenience of the internet, learning about the volatility of a slot game before to playing it should be a breeze. Despite its importance, slot volatility disclosure is neither always made public nor mandated when playing slots online. However, certain virtual gambling establishments may provide a volatility rating system, with ratings ranging from 1 to 5. If you select a game with a volatility rating of 3, you should anticipate medium to high risk. However, it is preferable to know the game’s exact RTP.


The paytable should be consulted if at all practicable. Slots with large jackpots are likely to have a high volatility, as they do not give away such sums very often.


However, the choice of which slot to play and how much to wager ultimately rests with the player.

Slot Machine Volatility – How to Tell?


While it’s true that slot machine volatility may be estimated in a few different ways, developers often aren’t too keen on sharing this information with the public. While there may be a clear favorite amongst players, that has nothing to do with the slot game’s overall quality.


Whether you favor high- or low-volatility slots is mainly a matter of taste or playing style.


As we’ll see below, one approach to ensure a profitable session is to learn how to gauge the volatility of slot machines.


Determine the Return to Player Rate of the Slot Machine.

The theoretical payout percentage (RTP) of a slot machine game, as stated, exemplifies the typical money-back guarantee. This is decided by whichever game studio is offering the slot.


Slots with higher RTPs have a lower variance since they pay out more frequently. Conversely, lower RTP games tend to be more unpredictable.


Learning the slot machines’ volatility helps players find games that fit their betting needs and objectives.


Bet on the Slot Machines

It is up to the players to research the slot machines’ volatility as most online casinos don’t disclose this information.


Playing the free or demo version of a slot machine is recommended by certain specialists. There is no difference between the “play for real money” and “free play” versions of slot games in terms of the variance volatility they offer. In addition, there is no financial risk involved in trying out demo versions. If you take slot volatility seriously, it’s better to stick to slots that already include this information, as using this approach, while useful, can still be time-consuming.


Verify the Added Strenth

Bonus-laden slot machines tend to be more unpredictable. Examples of this would be slot machines that award bonuses less frequently than every 50-100 spins versus those that offer bonuses once per 500,000 spins.


Progressive slot machines, in which a player’s wager contributes to a growing jackpot, are more prone to fluctuations in player interest.


Verify the Slot Details

Developers who provide information about the volatility of slot games save players the effort of having to guess. You may find this information alongside the RTP percentages in the slot game’s paytable.


Developers typically provide a “Help” menu that expands upon the set, volatility and all. Companies in the gaming industry typically describe their games using one of three volatility levels: high, medium, or low. In some cases, players may need to visit the game provider’s site.


High-Low Variation in Time Slots

All slots, whether played online or in a brick-and-mortar casino, have the same risks regardless of the variance level. The variations are described in greater depth below.


Strong Variability

Slot machines with high variance are the most dangerous, but they also provide the biggest potential jackpots. This level of volatility is not recommended for players with limited resources or aversion to taking big risks. Winning combos appear less frequently in high-variance slot games. You’ll likely need a sizeable bankroll and a lot of spins before you score a winning combination at one of these games.


Players with a larger bankroll should play the higher variance slot machines. Patient gamers like this can potentially win a lot of money.


Modest Dispersion

The “sweet spot” between high and low variance slot machines is medium variance games. Slot players that enjoy this degree of excitement are not afraid of taking chances. They are wary of investing for long periods of time with little promise of payoff.


Slot wins in games with medium variance tend to be quite little but can occasionally reach a substantial amount.


Low Dispersion

Slots with a low volatility provide smaller but more frequent payouts. At this level of variability, a winning combination can appear every few spins. They often contribute a negligible sum to the player’s bankroll.


It’s discouraging to see a string of spins result in nothing for many participants. If this describes you, then you should only play games with low variance.


For what reason does Slot Variance fluctuate?

Slot machines provide a ton of fun extras. Slot machine extras like free spins and scatter payouts are game-specific and should be expected by players. Payline bonuses and progressive jackpots are also available. Such elements increase the stakes at which the game is played.


Slot games with extra features are more exciting, but they are also more volatile and risky. Slot machines with low volatility offer the impression of big wins even when the player’s bankroll remains constant even after several hours of play.


High volatility slots, on the other hand, need more money and time to play, but a single jackpot win can net huge rewards. Slot variance is affected by multiple variables, some of which will be explored here.



Slot players enjoy bonus games because of the added element of surprise and thrill they provide. Among the features players can anticipate to find in online slot machines are free spins, scatters, respins, wild cards, and bonus games. There is a negative correlation between the number of bonus features a game offers and its hit frequency.


The Stakes

The size of your wager is quite important in slots. The value of a player’s stake determines not just the amount they win for a certain combination, but also the value of any bonus prizes that may be awarded. Slot machines with a high expected return have a greater minimum bet than those with a lower expected return.



The paytable of a slot machine is an excellent indicator of its volatility. Each possible winning combination in a game has a corresponding winning value, which may or may not change depending on the player’s wager.


Winning combinations occur far more frequently in slot games with lower payoff values, while fewer combinations occur in games with higher payout values.


Questions and Answers about Slot Machine Volatility

Does slot machine play benefit from increased volatility?


All of this depends on personal taste. When volatility is high, wins are less common but larger in size.

Is it preferable that slots have little volatility?


Low-volatility slot machines are ideal for casual gamers since they offer more frequent winning combinations.

Which machines offer a better probability of winning than others?


Slots with a medium volatility are a good compromise between the extremes of high and low volatility. These machines not only provide players with the opportunity to win little amounts frequently, but also to initiate bonus rounds without increasing their wager size. These games contain lower required wager amounts and other features, like as free spins, as incentives to play.

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