Variance and Volatility are both technical terms used by players that refer to how to know the risk factor in slot games and it also gives an idea to the players of what prize money and winning combinations they are going to expect while playing.

Slot Variance and Volatility

10 Slot Variance and Volatility

Variance and Volatility are both technical terms used by players that refer to how to know the risk factor in slot games and it also gives an idea to the players of what prize money and winning combinations they are going to expect while playing. In summary it is an idea that involves the risks, the frequency, and the amount of winnings while playing slot games.

 The difference between volatility and variance is that variance measures the distribution of long-term results of winning combinations. Example for this is playing the slot in a long term to win the jackpot. While volatility also measures the distribution of results but it is bound by a specific time it involves the risks of playing the game in a short time. Playing the slot by risking your entire capital in the short term is one example of volatility.

Factor that affects Variance and Volatility in Online Slots


Compared to other casino games, online slots have both high variance and volatility. It has a wide variation of prizes and also does not consistently pay unlike most games in the casino. In contrast to the other games like roulette bet, in this game you can also choose red/black only and you get paid 1:1 and have a chance of 48.65% to win.

 Volatility is when you play individual slots and you do not have an idea how the session will go, it depends upon the game, you can have a massive win or could lost a big amount in a couple of hours.

Variance is when you play knowing that it is risky from a long-term perspective. Slot machines are programmed to offer a certain return to player (RTP), but the way it delivers the results widely varies from player to player. Some slot machines can be unpredictable, it may not reach the given RTP until millions of spins or even over a long period of time.

On the other hand, even though a slot machine has many exciting features, such as, a device that has features of scatter or spins, also progressive and fixed jackpots, as well as bonuses for specific pay lines depending on the slot games you play. These features also give a risk in a certain amount in how you play the game.

The factors that affects the variance and volatility in online slots:

Pay tables

One way in checking a game’s volatility is by inspecting the pay table. Depending on the value that you bet, each winning combination equates to a specific winning value. This may be a dynamic or not in your bet’s value but it is also one of the factors. Remember that slots that have a high frequency of winning combinations have a lesser payout value, whereas the higher payouts means a very few and has a long shot to have winning combinations.


Bonuses and Extras

 In slot games there are a lot of bonus features, such as bonus games, free spins, scatter, wildcard, as well as re-spins. These features gives the thrill and excitements to the players who love bonus games because of its randomness. The bonuses feature in varying frequencies, this means the more included bonus features in the slot, the lower hit frequency you can expect and because of these features it affects the variance and volatility of the slot. It will be determined by how often the bonus games get triggered. For instance, the free spin feature will appear every three spins once, it is expected that the winning value in every 20 spins will be less than activated.

Bet size

It is an essential factor in any game in the casino. The amount of any combination’s winnings and bonus game prizes is determined by the initial value of the bet you placed in each spin. The minimum bet in high variance games is higher than in low variance games.

Slot Variance and Volatility

Q: What is the definition of volatility in online slots?

Slot volatility refers to the frequency and value of wins over a short period of time. Low volatility refers to a slot machine that pays out frequent small wins. High volatility refers to a slot machine that pays out large, infrequent wins. Slots with regular small wins and the occasional big win are classified as medium volatility.

Q: Do slots with a high-variance pay out more?

A: At the same RTP, the high-variance slot will pay out larger payouts but much less frequently. Although a low-variance game may give the impression that a player wins more, in the long run, a high-variance slot will pay more once the bonus feature is triggered.

Bonus games, x2 gamble features, free spins, re-spins, and scatter games are common in high-variance slot games. Although the extra features are triggered less frequently, the win value is always greater than the bet amount.

Q: Do low-variance slots have lower payouts?

A: A low-variance slot will pay small payouts but much more frequently at the same RTP. Because a low-variance slot game may lack bonus features, the RTP will be compensated for by small, frequent wins.

Low-variance games will more frequently award small winning amounts. Although the prize money will be small, it will help you build your bankroll and allow you to play for longer periods of time.

Q: How do I determine the volatility of a slot machine?

A: To determine the volatility of a game, a player should examine the pay table, bonus features, and minimum bet value. In most cases, high volatility games will have a higher minimum bet amount and a higher pay table. It will also include bonus features such as free spins, bonus games, scatter symbols, and x2 gamble games. A low volatility game, on the other hand, will lack some extra features and have a lower minimum bet value.

Q: What slots have the best risk-to-reward ratio?

A: Medium-variance slots are a middle ground between high and low variance games. These games will provide you with frequent small wins, but you will also have the opportunity to trigger bonus rounds to win combinations without placing a bet value.

Medium variance slot games have lower minimum bet values than high-variance games and include bonus games and extra features such as free spins. Winnings in this category can be multiplied by x5 to x10 of the original bet value.

Q: How much money can you win if you play high variance slots?

A: High Variance slots allow you to win up to x10 of your initial bet. The bonus rounds can multiply your money depending on your bet value until you reach the predetermined marker. Multipliers can be found in bonus games, x2 gamble games, free spins, re-spins, scatters, and wild cards.

Q: Is the RTP of a slot machine more important than its variance?

When it comes to slot games, RTP and variance are two interconnected but vastly different metrics. Return-to-Player, or RTP, determines how much of a player’s total bets are returned to the player in the long term, whereas slot variance examines the frequency and value with which winning combinations are awarded.

Simply put, a low variance and a high variance game can both have a 97% RTP percentage. In the long run, the difference will be how frequently and how much the RTP value appears or is divided among the spins.


Slot volatility and variance, is a technical term that can be perplexing to non-professional casino players. Some players use RTP to calculate how much value they can expect to win in slot games. However,  these two terms should be considered because it affects the player experience in the short term.

Understanding slot volatility and variance, such as Return-to-Player (RTP), gives players an advantage when it comes to playing their favorite slot games and getting the most of their money’s worth. Your favorite slot games will help you determine what type of slot player you are, such as whether you are a risk-taker or a conservative gambler.

The level of volatility and variance you prefer is determined by your gaming style and preferences. Finally, it is determined by your tolerance for risk. Greater risk comes with the possibility of a larger win in high volatility games. However, if you’re just playing for fun or in your spare time, a low volatility game is ideal.

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