Slot Volatility and How to Choose Your Games

Slot volatility refers to the risk involved in playing a particular slot machine. This informs players how often they expect to win and the amount of that payout. Volatility is also referred to as dispersion or variance. You have slots designed with long dry spells and big wins between these periods of loss. Other slots are designed to give frequent wins, albeit not as large as the sporadic win. In this piece, we examine slot volatility to determine what slots you should play.

High Volatility Slots

High volatility refers to high risk. That's because games have fewer and larger payouts. Even though the wins are few and far between, they come as huge rewards. You may play a slot for what seems to be a long time, all the while losing, and consequently eating into your bankroll. It takes this long period of time for things to line up so well that one win seems to claim back everything you lost.

When to Play High Volatility Slots


Highly volatile slots are meant for players that come to the casino for big wins. It would help if you only played high volatility slots when you have the bankroll and time to wait for your big win. It takes patience to wait for a big win when you have been losing game after game on the trot. If you are patient enough, the big reward often comes and renews your bankroll. The best time to try out high volatility slots is when you are playing with a casino bonus and don't have to risk your bankroll.

Many gamblers like the thrill of chasing the big win, but you have to ask yourself whether you have the resources and discipline with your wagers to wait for the big bonus. These kinds of slots are designed for players who are more familiar with the potential of high slot volatility. The casual player is better off playing other types of games with more chances of winning.

Medium Volatility Slots

These are the kind of slots that most players hope they find when they visit an online casino. These strike the perfect balance between high and low volatility. You don't lose too much, but there is also the outside chance that you could win big if you played for long enough.

With the unexpected pattern of wins, players have to be careful when playing medium volatility slots. You never know what you are getting as sometimes you could be in for big wins and other times meager wins that don't justify your wagers anymore.

Low Volatility Slots

Low volatility slots are games with a low risk of you losing your bankroll before enjoying any wins. While high volatility slots have big payouts, low volatility slots have smaller payouts that are more frequent. There is always the chance that you might win on the next spin, even if it's not a pocket-rocking amount. Players that don't want to spend time at the casino without winning anything are best suited for such games.

When to Play Low Volatility Slots

Games like these are mostly preferable for players who don't want anything to do with chasing losses. With low slot volatility, you can stop playing whenever you want without feeling like you lost too much. These slot machines give players the chance to choose what titles they want to play without having to think about their potential winnings. You should not expect to win much over the period you play unless you can play for an extended period over which the wins and losses balance out.

How to Determine Slot Volatility


It's hard to determine slot volatility. Even the pros have to take some time with the game before establishing what game they are playing. It's all about getting a feel of the game. A Canadian slot aficionado would need only until their first win to determine what type of slot volatility they are playing.

One way to establish slot volatility is by looking at the leaderboard or pay-table at the casino. This tells you how often the slot pays. Players that take their time to read the fine print will also find slot volatility quicker. Slot machines have a Volatility Index (VI) attached. The VI clearly states how volatile the slot is. Even so, online casinos and game providers consider this proprietary information and would not readily reveal it to you.


The most important thing to remember when playing slots online is never to be fixated on big wins. For instance, high volatility slots don't always reward your patience with a windfall, and low volatility slots don't always provide enough wins. The other metric to think about besides slot volatility is return-to-player (RTP), which also plays a role in winning. The bottom line is that you enjoy yourself when spinning the reels and hope for the best.