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Online gambling has grown significantly in recent times, and online slots are perhaps the most played and most popular form of online gambling. There are countless slots games out there to choose from, and many of them have different elements to offer players. Slot gaming is a thrilling and fun experience, but it is important to enter into it with an understanding of what to expect from online slot gaming.

A lot of people are sceptical because they don’t always tend to understand how the slot process works. One of the most important things that you need to be aware of if you want to play online slots is understanding volatility, also known as variance. We hope that this guide will provide you with a comprehensive breakdown of what volatility is, how it works, and how it can benefit you as a player.

  • Introduction
  • What is Volatility in Relation to Slots?
  • Why Volatility Matters
  • Different Slot Volatilities 
  • Calculating Slot Volatility
  • Choosing the Right Volatility 

What is Volatility in Relation to Slots?

When you are assessing slot games, volatility (or variance) is often something you will hear mentioned. But what on Earth does it mean? Well, variance is a word used to refer to how much risk is involved in playing a particular game. And, when referring to slots, it is a term that lets the player know how often the slot can be expected to pay out, and how substantial that payout is likely to be. Volatility generally indicates if a slot is high, medium, or low-risk, but more on that later!

Essentially, the thing to remember is that a slot with low volatility will tend to pay out much more frequently, but in smaller amounts. Whilst a high volatility slot will not pay out anywhere near as frequently, but when it does the payout will be much higher. As such, high volatility slots tend to be considered riskier options for players seeking that ‘one big win.’ 

Why Volatility Matters

Of course, the entire reason for having volatility options in the first place is to let players know the risk of playing a particular slot game, as well as helping us have a clearer understanding of who exactly the game is aimed at. The varying degrees of volatility allow game developers to create slot games that can appeal to a large variety of players, no matter budget or experience levels.

Return to player (RTP) percentage is something else needs to be accounted for, and this is a factor that should be combined with volatility when trying to assess a particular slot. The volatility of a slot can cause the RTP to fluctuate, and this is something to bear in mind. So don’t just blindly take RTP at face value. Instead, use it, along with volatility, to gauge the appeal of choosing a particular slot game to play.

Different Slot Volatilities

It is important to determine the different volatilities that you can expect to find with different slot games, as this is going to make it much easier to make the right kind of decision. Try to come up with ideas that are going to help you improve this process as much as possible, and these are 5 of the different slot volatility categories that you can familiarise yourself with right now. 

High volatility

High volatility slot games are typically viewed as the most attractive because of the potential high payouts they can offer. But these are the slots for risk takers, and those who don’t mind if they make a few losses from time to time. Though you may not get payouts a lot of the time, when you do get them, it’s well worth the wait. Some of the most well-known high volatility slots out there include Book of the Dead, Bonanza, Beowulf, and Dead or Alive

Generally, these are the immersive slots, with great gameplay and usually an array of really appealing bonus features, which can increase winnings even further. You need to have the right budget and state of mind in order to play high volatility choices, and they aren’t for everyone. 

Who should play them?

High volatility slots should be played by those with big bankrolls, who enjoy risk taking, are happy to wait a while for the bonus features, and would consider themselves thrill seekers. If you’re going to play high volatility games, you need to be prepared to set a budget and stick to it, even if you lose it all quickly.  

Medium-high volatility

Medium-high volatility options are among the most popular categories when it comes to slot volatility. They offer value wins, as well as a strong win frequency to boot, not to mention the fact that medium-high volatility slot machines offer some of the most impressive games on the market. We’re talking about stunning slots like Gonzo’s Quest, that are proven to be popular with players everywhere. 

Sure, it’s true that medium-high variance slots come with some frustrations, but half of the fun here is getting to those lovely payouts when everything goes well. These are slightly less risky than the high volatility slots, but they do have a place for many people. 

Who should play them?

Medium-high variance slot games are ideal for those looking for more balance between payout frequency and amount, as well as those looking for big wins, but without the largest budget. You should also be okay with playing slots that tend to have slightly fewer bonus features. 

Medium volatility

Medium volatility is probably the most common and popular volatility category among players, and it’s plain to see why. The beauty of medium variance slots is that they offer the happy medium between high and low volatility offerings, and this is really important to consider. They offer smaller but more frequent payouts than high volatility slots, but they also provide better value than low volatility slots. 

The happy compromise here allows you to compete for large jackpots, but without having to stretch your budget too thin in and spend too big in the process. Most beginners will probably find that medium volatility slots are the best choice for them moving forward. 

Who should play them?

These are the ideal choice for people seeking a bit more of a balance in terms of payout and bankroll. They are perfect for those who are looking to win big and take advantage of some cool bonus features, but on a more limited budget. 

Medium-low volatility

If you’re feeling a little more risk-averse then you definitely need to check out the medium-low volatility slots, and there are plenty of these around. With lower win combinations and more frequent payouts, these are typically the more fun choice, especially as you can budget well and have a long gaming session. There are a lot of excellent medium-low variance slot games out there, and a couple of the notable examples include Go Bananas and Twin Spin

Those looking for a fun, exciting, and risk-free slot experience, with the occasional nice win should look at medium-low volatility. If you are new to slots, but you’d like to try to take things up a notch, then this is the choice for you. 

Who should play them?

Medium-low variance slots are ideal for those who have a limited budget and want to look for ways of making that budget last as long as possible. They are also ideal for beginners and those with an interest in fun bonus features. 

Low volatility

Slots with low volatility are the safest bet for those not wanting to lose all their money very quickly. They basically offer regular payouts, but the amounts will typically be much smaller, and this makes them more appealing to a lot of people. The great thing about these slots is that, because you’re winning on a regular basis, even though it’s a small amount of money, you feel like you are achieving something by winning. 

Some of the most well-known low volatility slot games out there include popular games like Starburst, and Blood Suckers 2, and they offer frequent payouts, making them ideal for newbies. Bigger wins are uncommon though not impossible on these slots, and their fast-paced and exciting nature enhances the online slot experience. 

Who should play them?

Low variance slot games are perfect for those looking to make a smaller bankroll go further, as well as being able to have fun without worrying about losing too much money. If you like to win often, and you don’t mind that you’re dealing in smaller amounts, this is something you need to look into. 

Calculating Slot Volatility

There are actually some ways of being able to calculate slot volatility so that you can determine which choice is best suited for you, and get an idea of the game you are dealing with. If you are au fait with the way slot machines work, and you know the frequency of symbol combinations it is possible for you to work out the volatility of a particular slot game. Now, there are a number of ways of being able to calculate and determine the volatility of a particular slot game, and these are some of the best ones to consider. 

Look at the Paytable

The paytable is one of the best ways of being able to work out and determine the volatility of a particular slot game. This is because you can look at the difference in payout between 4 and 5 identical symbols. If you find that 4 of a kind has a fairly low payout but 5 of a kind pays significantly more then it’s a good bet you’re dealing with a high variance slot. 

Play in Demo Mode

Always try to look at playing the slot in demo mode before you sample it for real, and this is one of the best ways of being able to enjoy the slot, as well as determining the kind of slot you are dealing with. This is something that becomes much clearer and more obvious when you can actually sample the game yourself. 

Play it for Real!

Sometimes though, you can’t really gain a proper understanding of a slot unless you play it for real. You don’t know whether you are getting the full picture of the game on demo mode, but it will become much more evident as to what the game is like once you decide to play it for real, and this is something you need to make the most of right now. 

Choosing the Right Volatility

Making a decision about the right volatility slots to choose for you is so important, and this is something you have to try to make the best of as much as you can. There are a lot of things to think about when it comes to finding and enjoying the ideal slot games, and mostly the whole thing is about having fun as much as possible. You are going to need to work on doing your best to improve this process, and that means assessing the different available slots and making the decision that is right for you.

You need to consider the sort of player you are, what your budget is, and what you want to get from the experience. This is a really key consideration when you are trying to look at the different volatility categories and make a balanced decision as much as you possibly can. Choosing the right volatility for you as a player can make all the difference to your enjoyment and success, as well as the way you approach your strategy when playing slot games. 

As you can see from our guide, there is a lot of information to take in when it comes to slot volatility and variance, and you can use this guide as a starting point to help you understand this a little better. By getting a handle on the way volatility works, and the volatility of different slot games, you can make a conscious choice to pick the right slots for you as much as possible. There are loads of things to help you enjoy a more fulfilling gaming experience, and this can go a long way toward helping with that.

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