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You have surely noticed that slot machine reviews on Casinoz constantly mention the return to the player (RTP), also called the theoretical payback. It indicates a share of the total wagers returned to customers as payouts. Typically, this index for modern slots reaches at least 95%. It can exceed 97% in the best slots.

This article explains another parameter to consider when selecting a video slot: variance or volatility. These terms can be used interchangeably to define it.

What Does Casino Slot Volatility Mean?

So, what do we talk about?

The volatility demonstrates the risks associated with a given slot. The higher the variance is, the higher the probability of facing an unprofitable long-term gaming session.

You should not confuse this parameter with the RTP mentioned above. In online gambling, many slot machines feature a payback of 96% but differ dramatically in their volatility rates.

The variance shows how the level of payouts may deviate from the theoretical payback in a gaming session.

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It is essential to understand that the parameter discussed in this article is not universally recognized. No objective criteria allow dividing slots into groups by the volatility rate, and software manufacturers may not provide information about the level of variance in their games.

Thus, the volatility allows for the evaluation of the quality or profitability of slot machines. This is just one of the numerous features of slots. Users should consider it while choosing a game, bet sizes, and strategies. Read about this below.

Here are nice online casinos offering cool slots with various volatility levels.

Why Should You Consider Slot Volatility?

Without going into details, we can say that low-variance slot machines provide frequent payouts, and high-volatility slots form paid combinations less frequently.

It is evident that if a slot provides payouts in almost all spins, winnings cannot be huge. Therefore, the payout amount per round sometimes does not exceed the bet in low-variance games. This means that not all winning spins are profitable.

This rarely happens in high-volatility slot machines. If you get a payout, it is almost always higher than the wagered amount. Yet, different nuances will be covered below.

High-Volatile Slots

Playing high-variance slots, you will often face long-term streaks without payouts. You can spend money during a few dozen spins without getting any winnings. However, this period is followed by a spin with a high-ranking combination, free spins, or bonus rounds. Such an outcome will compensate for your losses and allow you to be in the black.

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This category includes classic single-line or three-line slots and various progressive jackpot games. We offer you a few such titles:

When is it good to play high-volatility slots? First, you should have a reasonably big bankroll to overcome long-term unprofitable gaming sessions. It is essential to have enough time for the same reason.

When discussing the psychological type of gamblers, we can suggest that high-volatility slots be recommended to very patient customers. You should be able to control your emotions, follow the chosen tactics, and resist the temptation to raise your bet or select the other slot.

Such games are suitable for thrill-seekers who want to chase a huge jackpot. If you are one of them, go ahead! Nevertheless, carefully select the bet size considering a possible prolonged unfavorable gaming session.

Here are some high-volatile slots.

Name Soft Return to player Min bet Max bet Max payout
95.58% 1125 x3000
95.58% 1125 x3000
93.9992% 500 x1000
96.51% 0.2 100 x10000
94.08% 0.1 50 x300000
96.17% 0.1 100 x10100
96.1% 0.2 50 x5000
96% 0.2 240 x5000
96% 0.2 500 x48900
95.8% 0.2 40 x25000

Mid-Volatile Slots

These slots may be considered the most popular gaming machines in the modern online gambling market. They offer frequent combinations and relatively high payouts, and there are no long-term unprofitable periods.

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Most of the new 5-reel slot machines with various features are supposed to be middle-variance, including the following famous games:

If you do not like to stay without payouts for an extended period and want to have an opportunity to get huge winnings, we recommend that you prefer such slots. Small amounts can be obtained after a few spins, but sometimes, these slots will please you with huge wins. You can also participate in bonus games or free spins periodically.

Low-Volatile Slot Machines

We guess you already understand what we will discuss below. Low-volatility slots offer a vast number of paid combinations. Payouts are provided in most spins, but they rarely exceed the bet size.

Big multipliers can be provided for the one or two highest-ranking combinations, but they will come up very rarely.

Users should primarily count on the bonus features in such slots. Waiting for a bonus round or free spins is necessary to win a considerable sum.

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There are the following slots:

If your financial capabilities are limited, but you want to spend an evening at an online casino without being afraid to lose all your funds, you should choose the low-volatility slot machines.

They can also be recommended to unstable users who become nervous without payouts.

The following slots feature low volatility.

Name Soft Return to player Min bet Max bet Max payout
96% 15
96.5% 200 x700
98.12% 0.28 1400 x500
96.11% 250 x500
95.14% 0.25 800
95.1% 60 100
96.8% 0.1 400 x60
96.75% 0.2 100 x10000
96.66% 0.2 100 x750
96.08% 500 x200

How Can You Determine the Volatility of a Slot Machine?

We have already mentioned that software developers do not include information about this parameter in slot descriptions, so you should determine the volatility rate yourself. It should be admitted that it's not too difficult.

Personal Experience

The most reliable option is to test a game for free. All self-respecting manufacturers provide customers with this opportunity. Demo versions of slots are available on the Casinoz website in the game reviews. They are provided at reputable online casinos and official developers' websites.

Bear in mind that you do not have to find out to which groups mentioned above a slot machine belongs. You should just play for a while for fun and decide whether the way of providing payouts is suitable for you or not.

Are combinations formed quite frequently? How many unprofitable spins have you seen? How long do you have to wait for free spins and bonuses? Just find answers to these questions.


You can also try to search for information on the appropriate resources. For example, reviews of slot machines on Casinoz often provide data on their variance. This topic is often discussed on sites dedicated to gambling.

Yet, such data are only based on the opinions of people who have tested the online slots. They may misunderstand "low variance" or "high volatility."


An experienced user who has personally tested many slot machines will be able to approximate the level of slot volatility by glancing over the paytable and rules. They will consider the number of symbols, paylines, multipliers, and different bonuses to make a preliminary conclusion. However, even the most experienced players must try to play a slot to render the final verdict.

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So, you should count on your personal experience since you will bet your money.

How Can You Use the Volatility Practically

So, let's sum up this article:

  • High-variance slots are for those who want to try to hit large jackpots and have enough time and money;
  • Middle-variance slots are for gamblers who have a moderate bankroll and prefer receiving payouts quite often;
  • Low-variance slots can please players who prefer obtaining frequent small winnings.

To sum up, we want to emphasize that you should pay attention to the theoretical payout percentage. The primary parameter should be used initially to evaluate any slot. If it is 90%, you will lose 10% of the made bets over the long run. And nothing can be done.

Casinoz offers articles on how to choose the best gaming machine and other issues related to video slots. These articles will help you win more frequently while playing at casinos.

Write your opinion, tell stories, and share your experience in the comments.

Frequently asked Questions

🎲 What is volatility of casino slots?

Volatility refers to the risk and payout frequency of a slot machine. High volatility slots have infrequent but potentially larger wins, while low volatility slots have more frequent but smaller wins. It indicates how much payouts can deviate from the stated theoretical return to player (RTP) percentage over a particular session.

🎰 Which slots are better: high or low volatile?

This indicator cannot be considered as a measure of quality. Some players prefer high-volatility slots, while others prefer low-volatility games. However, video slots with medium volatility are the most common in online casinos.

🤷‍♂️ How can you determine the volatility of a slot?

Currently, almost all major software developers for online casinos indicate the level of volatility of their slot games. You can also assess the level yourself by testing the slot for free. Alternatively, you can read reviews on Casinoz.

👍 Why should I consider a slot's volatility?

The volatility impacts the gameplay experience. Low volatility provides frequent smaller wins suitable for smaller bankrolls. High volatility means periods of dry spells offset by larger payouts, requiring more bankroll to withstand the swings. Factoring in volatility helps match your goals and bankroll.

🍒 What are examples of high-volatility slots?

High-volatility slots include classic single-line slots, progressive jackpots, Book of Ra Deluxe, Twin Spin, Isis, and Great Blue. These have infrequent payouts but the potential for big wins when they do hit.

🔥 What are examples of medium volatility slots?

Video slots like Thunderstruck II, The Incredible Hulk, South Park, and Game of Thrones are medium-volatility. They provide a balance of frequent smaller wins plus occasional larger payouts.

⭐ What are examples of low-volatility slots?

Low-volatile slots like Mermaid Millions, Starburst, Fruit Shop, and Potion Commotion frequently have smaller wins but rarely hit big payouts except via bonuses/free spins.

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