Volatility In Slots Explained
There’s a lot of terminology in the world of slots, with a lot of different bonus features and ways to play. One of the more common terms you might hear about when discussing slots is volatility, or variance. So what does this mean?
What is volatility in slots?
If you’re a seasoned slots player, then you probably already know all about RTP in slots. While this determines how profitable a slot will be for a player (or more accurately, for a casino) on average, it doesn’t tell the whole story.
The volatility of a slot essentially refers to the size and frequency of the payouts. A low volatility slot has frequent, small payouts. A high volatility slot rarely pays out wins, but those wins will be bigger when they do occur.
As you can see, while two slots may have the same RTP, they can deliver drastically different playing experiences depending on their volatility.
Low volatility slots: characteristics
Slots with low volatility are generally preferred by casual and recreational players. While the biggest prize isn’t likely to be a gigantic progressive jackpot, the regularity of the smaller wins delivers a more entertaining experience.
While the advantage of low volatility slots is that players are unlikely to experience dramatic swings in their bankroll during a session, the obvious disadvantage is that potential winnings are naturally limited.
High volatility slots: characteristics
As you might expect, high volatility slots are just the opposite. High volatility slots boast big prizes and often feature progressive jackpots. However, the payouts and wins don’t tend to happen frequently – even the smallest wins might take a while to crop up.
The advantage of this is obviously that the potential for a big prize is much higher than in a low volatility slot. However, you may have to be prepared to go for a while without seeing any direct return on your investment.
High volatility slots tend to be more popular with seasoned players and those who are less risk-averse, but will usually require a bigger bankroll.
How to determine volatility
Unlike RTP, which you can simply find in the game information menu, it isn’t easy to determine a game’s volatility. It isn’t as quantifiable a figure as RTP, and it tends not to be public information. One way to be fairly certain about a slot’s volatility is if it advertises a big top prize or a progressive jackpot. If this is the case, it’s a high volatility slot.
Apart from this, the best way to find out the volatility of a slot is simply to play it. After some time playing any given slot, the volatility should be obvious – if you’ve had a lot of small wins, it’s low. If you’ve had very few wins, it’s high.
You can also always read about the slot in game reviews and information pages to find out more, as well.