Understanding Volatility in Slots Games

Volatility is a concept that the ever-growing online slots industry has borrowed from the stock market. Volatility is also referred to as variance, and it is a measure of the size of slot machine payouts compared to the frequency with which they occur.

Many slot machines will deliver winning combinations on a fairly regular basis, but these frequent wins will be of low value most of the time. These slot machines are said to have low volatility and low variance. On the other hand, some slots do not pay out very often at all, and a player will have to budget for hours of play to stand a chance of hitting a winning combination. However, when these infrequently paying slots do deliver a win, it is generally a substantial jackpot.

This type of slot machine is said to have high volatility or a high variance. Most online review sites also include an assessment of a slots game’s volatility along with the listing of the game’s features, so they are a useful way for players to judge, which slots games they would prefer to play.

Working Out Volatility from Pay Tables

If a review of a particular slots game is not available, players can often work out volatility on their own, by looking at the games pay tables.

The best indicators are the game’s payouts for five of a kind; most low-value icons will pay out 50 to 100 coins for five of a kind, both in high-volatility and low-volatility games. But high-value symbols can win as much as 2,000 coins, 20,000 coins, or even 100,000 coins or more for five of a kind.

By comparing the lowest-value five-of-a-kind wins with those of the highest value, players can get an idea of any particular game’s volatility. Games with the highest volatility will display the biggest discrepancy between these lowest-value and highest-value wins.

Deciding on the Best Volatility

Whether players opt for high-volatility or low-volatility online slots games is a matter of personal choice, but there are a couple of factors that all players should take into consideration. Playing low-volatility slots, wins and losses will remain fairly even over long periods of play, so although the player may not make big wins, their stake is replenished with smaller amounts continuously during play. These games suit players with restricted budgets who want to enjoy the thrill of playing slots for longer, without chasing enormous jackpots.

Players with bigger budgets and more ambitious personalities will prefer high-volatility slots, as they can afford to keep playing for longer, even when the slots game goes through a long spell of not delivering any wins. If they have the budget to stick with one high-volatility game, they can expect a big jackpot to hit at some point, which will hopefully leave them a winner overall. Some of the most popular high-volatility slots games include American Icon, Book of Ra, the Right Prize, and Big Kahuna Snakes and Ladders. Low-volatility slots include games like Sparta, Pedal Power and Monster Mania.