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What is Volatility in Slot Machines?


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It's almost impossible to talk about online casinos without mentioning slot games. Online slots have expanded their horizons from classic fruit theme slots to complex VR gear slot titles with impressive bonus features and themes. However, volatility influences a player's decision regardless of the slot theme, bonus features, type and jackpot. 

Wizard Slots Casino is the hub of premium slots covering every volatility, RTP, bonus feature and much more. This volatility review will be your guide towards understanding the term volatility and its impact on the slot's payout.

What is Online Slot Volatility?

Online slots work systematically, and many aspects ensure flawless gameplay resulting in payouts when wagering with real money. These payouts depend on certain factors like RTP and volatility that give an idea of what to expect.

Slot volatility is the gambling term that assesses the risk of losing a bet. In simple terms, it suggests how frequent or rare players can expect to win and the prize size.

Generally, slot games volatility is divided into three categories: low, medium and high. You may find some slot games in between these categories, like low-medium variance and medium-high volatility, that possess the features of both volatility levels. Let'sLet's find out the details on each volatility category to understand how they work:

Low Volatility Slots

Low volatility slot games offer players frequent winning chances but in smaller value or jackpots. Their jackpot usually ranges between 250x to 500x players total bet. You won't find them as thrilling as the high volatility slots, but their steadier payouts appeal to many beginners or veterans.

Besides the steadier payout, low variance slots also come with specific pros and cons such as:


  • Extended playtime
  • Easier bankroll management
  • Smaller loss


  • Small jackpot prizes
  • Low values win
  • Few bonuses features

Medium Volatility Slots

With medium volatility slots games, you'll find a balanced compromise between low and high variance slot machines. These slots are a little frustrating to play as the wins are not as frequent as in low volatility slot games. However, these slots offer tons of bonus rounds, including free spins, multipliers, and much more in terms of bonus features. These slots are perfect for players looking for a fun time with decent wins.


  • Medium value wins
  • Decent Jackpots
  • Tons of bonus rounds


  • The win is not frequent
  • Jackpots are not huge

High Volatility Slots

If your dreams are high and massive jackpots are our end goal; high volatility slots are what you are finding. The volatility category is often termed as High-Risk slot machines. Wins are rare, but once they do, you can expect huge jackpots. Players with high bankrolls usually prefer these high-risk slot games. You may win 3000x to 10,000x your total stake or even higher in some slot games.

Slots Volatility Who should Play Best Slots To Play
High Players who like taking risks to win massive jackpots Gonzo’s Quest, Wheel of the Fortune Megaways, Mercy of the Gods
Medium A great option for players looking for decent wins Divine Fortune, Monopoly Megaways, 88 Fortunes
Low Frequent win with small jackpots make these slot perfect for beginners with small budget Starburst, Irish Magic, Lucky Cherry

Slot machine volatility calculation

In principle, if you know the occurrence of symbol combinations and the odds or value assigned to them, you can determine slot machine volatility.

In actuality, determining the same volatility of slots requires some complex mathematical calculations.

Slot machines have a volatility index rating that reveals how volatile the slot is; however, gaming developers are unwilling to disclose this information publicly.

As an avid gambler, there are some factors players may look for to evaluate the slot volatility they wish to play:

  • Paytable is a good start to determine the volatility of a slot game though you won't usually find it written as clearly as the RTP. Check out the symbols 4 of a kind and 5 of a kind payout value. If the difference between two payouts is huge (10x to 15x), you can assume its volatility is high. If the payout gap is between 3x and 5x, it could be a medium or low volatility slot game.
  • Look at the bonus rounds or jackpot offered by the developer in the slot game. High cash rewards and massive jackpots are indicators of high volatility, decent prizes are medium volatile features, and low prices with small jackpots are sure giveaways for low volatility slot games.
  • The best range of the slot is another volatility determining factor. High volatility slots usually have low maximum bets, whereas low volatility slots have decent maximum bet amounts.
  • Play the slots in demo mode to determine their volatility. If you land frequent wins and trigger the bonus rounds, you get yourself a low volatility slot. However, infrequent wins with high value are highly volatility slot indicators.
  • Read the slots reviews online by authentic sources, and you may find the volatility of the slot games and RTP percentage.

Why is Slot Volatility Important?

In slot machines, volatility or variance defines the risks and how frequently they will payout over time. As a result, it's a crucial feature of every slot game since it informs you what type of player the slot is intended for.

Along with volatility, another important factor to consider in slot machines is the return to player percentage (RTP).

These two factors go hand in hand in each slot game should always be the first factor you check for when selecting a slot. Knowing the RTP will assist you in determining the probabilities of winning or losing on a slot.

For example, a slot with an RTP of 97% will pay out £97 on average for every £100 wagered. The remaining 3% goes to the house's edge. However, you should not rely just on the RTP because it fluctuates with the slot's volatility. The crucial thing to know about slots is that as volatility increases, the RTP becomes less accurate.

Best Gaming Providers in Developing Slots with Different Variance

The online casino market has tons of software providers developing remarkable slots with amazing features. Some of these slot game providers are experienced in creating slots with various math models. You'll find different volatility slots of the same vendor, such as

Slot Developer High Volatility Slots Medium Volatility Slots Low Volatility Slots
Microgaming Immortal Romance Bust The Bank Thunderstruck II
NetEnt Dead or Alive SteamTower Starburst
NextGen Medusa Megaways Golden Mane Jackpot Jester 200,000
1x2 Gaming Asgard Warriors Triple Bar Reel Fruits
Barcrest Rainbow Riches Cluster Magic Rainbow Riches Race Day Action Bank
Playtech Curse of Anubis Age of The Gods Beach Life

Any Free Spins/Welcome Bonuses References are subject to the following: NEW PLAYERS ONLY, MIN DEPOSIT £10, MAX BONUS EQUAL TO LIFETIME DEPOSITS (UP TO £250), 65X WAGERING REQUIREMENTS AND FULL T&CS APPLY.

All values (Bet Levels, Maximum Win, etc.) mentioned about these slot games are subject to change at any time.