High Volatility and Low Volatilty Slots

by The Wombat on 15-Nov-16

High Variance and Low Variance

high volatility slotsI’m feeling a bit volatile as I write this (we wombats aren’t good in the mornings), so I’d thought I’d talk a little bit about volatility, because it’s a pretty important thing to understand in a casino, especially if you like playing slots like I do.

Now when I’m feeling volatile, and I haven’t had my morning coffee, I can be calm as anything on minute and then Boom!, I fly off into a crazy rage and become Mr Manic.

Well, that’s a bit like some slot games.  You’ve got your highly volatile slots (or high variance slots), your medium variance slots and your low variance (low volatility slots).

High variance slots can be all calm one minute, with nothing much happening, and then Boom!, the features kick in and suddenly you find yourself on something of a run.

Low variance slots tend to be more “Steady Eddies”. They don’t swing so wildly- you’ll tend to see wins more frequently, but they won’t be so big.

Tomb raider secret of the swordGames like the Tomb Raider 2 slot machine are highly volatile- you might experience periods where nothing much happens, then the game might suddenly go “hot”. Other examples include our DJ Wild slot game and NetEnt’s famous Gonzo (with Avalanche mechanic).

Then you have your medium variance games like the Little Red Riding Hood slot from NetEnt, some of our monkey slots or the Game of Thrones slot machine from Microgaming. These sit somewhere in the middle.

Examples of low variance games include the Dead World video slot, Cashanova and the Frog Grog slot machine.

Variance is a term that describes how big the swings will be in a slot, or any other casino game for that matter.

Why Is This Important?

I hate to be a wombat bore saying “I told you so”, but I’m going to say it anyway. Listen up! It’s important to understand the way a slot plays, because it should determine how you manage your bankroll.

If you are playing a high variance slot that may go through cold periods, you need to have enough budget to enable you to ride through any dry patches- so set your bet level accordingly, so that you can afford at least 100 spins with your budget, ideally more.

On a lower variance slot, you can get away with betting a higher proportion of your bankroll on each spin as the game will be less volatile.

Am I getting too technical? Stop me if I am.

Which is Better? High or Low Volatility?

higher or lower varianceI know you know what I am going to say….it depends on how you like to play and what your budget is. A lower variance slot will give you more frequent wins, but those wins will be smaller in relation to your bet. A high variance slot may not give you many wins at all, or it may give you bursts of big ones.

It all depends on your appetitie for risk. Higher variance slots are, by their very nature, riskier- but the rewards can be higher if your luck is in.

Personally speaking, it depends on the mood I’m in. Some days I am just up for it. On other days, well they’re what I call Duvet Days.

What’s The Difference between Variance and RTP%?

rtp%I bet you thought I was just a pretty furry face, didn’t you? Well I reckon I can spot the difference between a variance and an RTP at twenty paces.

A lot of players get mixed up with these two terms. The Return to Player, Pay-out or RTP is a measure of how much of the bets go to paying the winnings and how much goes to the house to buy Wombat snacks. A game with an RTP of 97% means that for every $100 bet on the game in the long run, players get back $97. This is averaged out over many players and many sessions- some individual players may win a lot more than that, others may lose.

Variance has got nothing to do with RTP. It’s a measure of how likely you are to have a big win or loss.

Just as you can have high variance slots and low variance slots, you can also have high variance bets and low variance bets when you play roulette, for example (we do love a quick flutter on the roulette).

Say you bet on the red- that would be an example of a low variance bet as you are likely to see frequent low wins which pay out 1:1.

Make a single number bet on the number 17, however, and that would be a high variance bet as you won’t see the number come in that frequently, but when it does you will enjoy a 35:1 pay-out.

Did you ever hear about that bet that Mike Ashley laid on the number 17, you know the owner of Newcastle United Football Club. He won a £1.3 million on a single roulette spin at the Fifty St James Casino in Mayfair. Lucky *&%£€/!

Why Do Some Player Prefer High Volatility?

Gonzo's Quest SlotSome players just prefer playing high-variance slots for the adrenaline buzz – they just prefer the added excitement.

The opportunity of bagging a huge win is the motivating factor.

Other players prefer a calmer life!
Sometimes I just sit on the fence and play a medium volatility game like Red Riding Hood.

Our Best High Variance Games

Gonzo’s Quest
Net Ent’s classic is also one of our most popular games here on Wombat Casino. When the gold hits, it really hits.

DJ Wild Slot
A high tempo, fast beating, energy driven slot in both design and pay-out.

Tomb Raider 2 – Secret of the Sword
The classic Lara Croft game that is still going strong and is as popular as ever. She packs a punch that Lara!

Double Play Superbet
The clues in the name, no? This one just sounds high variance! Watch it!

Mega Spins Break Da Bank slot
Another game where the name kind of gives it away. I mean Mega Spins? Break da Bank? It’s hardly going to be a low variance slot, is it?

So that’s the difference between a high variance slot and a low variance slot. Now you know, you’ll be a wiser wombat on the machines! Play safe and enjoy yourself.