Whether you’re a new or experienced casino player, a game’s volatility plays a significant role in helping you assess the risk-to-reward ratio of playing online slots. Volatility, or variance, measures how often the game pays out and the average payout size, used by players to determine the level of risk involved when playing a specific game. High-volatility slots are characterised by above-average wins that drop infrequently, but that’s not all there is to them! Want to learn more about volatility and try your luck at some of the best high-volatility slots around? Join us as we break down slot volatility and check out our recommendations of low, medium and high-volatility casino slots.
WHAT IS VOLATILITY?
Volatility is a metric that can help players gauge how much they can expect to win, on average, and how often. A slot’s volatility indicates the average payout size and the average win frequency. Similarly to the RTP (Return To Player) percentage, the volatility rating is a great way to assess the game’s overall risk level. There are several widespread volatility ratings, but not all are suitable for every player and every bankroll. Let’s take a closer look at the three main categories of volatility.
- Low Volatility — Low-volatility slots are perfect for players who prefer low-risk gameplay with small but frequent wins. Although games with a low volatility rating don’t guarantee consistent wins, they are less likely to make a massive dent in your bankroll. As long as you wager responsibly and within the means of your entertainment budget, you can expect small wins every 10 spins, on average. It goes without saying that a low-variance slot is not a risk-free game — all casino slots are games of chance, and even low-volatility slots are not exempt from extended losing streaks.
- Medium Volatility — Slots with medium volatility are a good choice for players who know how to manage their bankroll well and are comfortable with a bit more risk. Winning combos land less frequently than in low-volatility games, but the payouts are generally larger. Medium-volatility slots are packed with bonus features and are some of the most popular casino games around, offering a good balance between risk and reward. We recommend games like Dragons of Fortune, Book of Gods and Book of Ming.
- High Volatility — High-volatility slots are for experienced casino players who have mastered bankroll management. These games are not for the faint of heart, and players should be well versed in assessing the risks involved. Players can go through hundreds of spins before triggering the game’s bonus feature in a high-variance slot, and extended losing streaks are common. But when they do win, players can expect wins that are significantly larger than in low-variance slots. In short, these games tend to award larger wins, on average, but do so infrequently.
Some players may think that low variance means no bonus features, but that’s not always the case! Many low-variance slots offer free spins, multipliers and plenty of other bonus features that give players even more chances to win. If you want to try playing some of the hottest low-volatility games at LV BET, we recommend trying Butterfly Staxx™, Starburst™ and Esqueleto Explosivo.
It is more difficult to sustain gameplay in slots with a high volatility rating, and losses can incur relatively fast. Even if you play with small wagers, highly volatile games can eat away at your bankroll faster than low and medium-volatility games. For this reason, exceptional bankroll management is absolutely integral — the rewards may be great, but so is the risk. If you’re comfortable accepting the significantly higher risk in exchange for a chance to win greater payouts, you can try playing some of the best high-volatility slots like Gonzo’s Quest™, Rise of Olympus and Moon Princess.
If you’re a new player or prefer playing casino games with a smaller budget, low-volatility slots are an excellent way to enjoy the best of casino gaming while mitigating some of the risks involved. More experienced players with a well-managed bankroll may be more interested in playing slots with high volatility, playing for a chance to win larger payouts less frequently, instead of smaller but more frequent wins.
However, it’s not as simple as that! When choosing between low and high-volatility games, it’s important to consider several other factors, such as your bankroll, the game’s RTP, minimum bets and maximum payouts. Additionally, there are thousands of online slots out there that don’t fit into the three volatility ratings above. A game’s volatility is set by the developers, and just like RTP percentages, a slot’s volatility can change over time. You can expect to run into online slots that offer low-medium, medium-high or even very high volatility.
The good news is that some games allow players to select their own preferred volatility levels, accessible through the game’s settings or directly on the user interface. Regardless of which volatility you prefer to play with, it’s important to always be mindful of your budget and to play responsibly.
RTP — RETURN TO PLAYER
The game’s RTP (Return To Player) is the percentage of all wagers that players can expect to receive as wins over time. The RTP is an ever-changing statistic derived from millions of spins and, just like volatility, it is not a guarantee of winning consistently or making a return on your bets.
Most online casino slots have an RTP of 95% or above, which translates into a house edge of 5% or less. In other words, for every €100 wagered on a game with an RTP of 95%, the player can expect to see an average return of €95 over time.
The accuracy of a game’s RTP can be offset by its volatility, which is why it’s important to compare the two metrics side by side. As volatility increases, the RTP may become increasingly misleading. Jackpot slots, like Beast of Wealth from Play’n GO, tend to be highly volatile games. The RTP in Beast of Wealth is 96.17%, yet many players may see a significantly lower average return than the RTP predicts. This is because volatile, outlier payouts like jackpots can single-handedly skew the RTP without offering an accurate reflection of how often the game’s regular payouts drop. Not all jackpot slots fit the mould; some games make up for the outliers by reducing the RTP and the game’s volatility, and others specify different RTPs for the base game and the bonus features.
Keep in mind that regardless of which game you choose to play, slots or table games, the casino always has the edge. This means that over time, on average, the casino wins more than the player. Before you commit to wagering real cash, you should use opportunities to play for free (such as through free demos) and learn as much as you can about casino gaming.
THE BEST HIGH-VOLATILITY SLOTS
Playing slots in an online casino has many advantages, the most significant of which are convenience, diversity and flexibility. Aside from being able to play at home or on the go, you can choose from thousands of games with diverse themes and varied volatility ratings. If you’re looking for the best high-volatility slots, you are in for hundreds of the hottest chart-toppers that are packed with bonus features. These slots offer cutting-edge gameplay with interactive mechanics and rewarding features, like Cascading reels and stacking multipliers. If you want to try your hand at these innovative games and don’t mind a bit of extra risk, we recommend playing Gonzo’s Quest™, Rise of Olympus, Dead or Alive, Book of Dead and Book of Gates.
✅ WHAT IS VOLATILITY?
Volatility is a rating that indicates the win frequency and size in online slots. Players can use this metric to gauge how often they can expect to win and how small or large these wins might be. Volatility can be low, medium, high and everything in between.
✅ WHAT DOES HIGH VOLATILITY MEAN IN SLOTS?
Slots with high volatility are high-risk, high-reward casino games. Players can expect larger wins when playing these slots, but these wins drop very infrequently.
✅ DOES A HIGH-VARIANCE SLOT PAY BETTER?
Not always. Although the payouts are generally larger, the win frequency is really low, and the risk of hitting an extended losing streak is significantly greater. Some players may see decently sized wins, but many may not be able to sustain the gameplay until the slot’s high-paying features trigger.
✅ WHICH SLOT MACHINES HAVE THE HIGHEST RTP?
Popular slots with a high RTP include Thunderkick’s 1429 Uncharted Seas and NetEnt’s Mega Joker and Jackpot 6000. Some games may also offer a significantly higher RTP in bonus features, which generally tend to pay better than the base game.
A game’s RTP is not an absolute statistic, and it can change over time; it’s important to consider other metrics, like volatility, to have a more accurate understanding of the game’s payout frequency and risk.
✅ WHICH SLOTS HAVE THE HIGHEST PAYOUT?
Slots with the highest payouts are progressive jackpot slots, but keep in mind that these payouts are extremely rare. Progressive jackpots are often offered across the provider’s entire network of partner casinos, which means that thousands of players are vying for the pot at any given time. Some of the most popular jackpot slots include Mega Moolah, Divine Fortune, Arabian Nights and Atlantis, but jackpot slots are not available in all jurisdictions.