Volatility Level of Online Slots: a Complete Guide

June 16, 2021

The volatility levels of slots show how successful you will be in the game. With this parameter, you can find out whether you can expect to win more and less often, or whether you will win more often, but with a smaller amount of winnings. In order to find out on your own what level of volatility the selected slot has, you should be guided by some signs (RTP, number of spins and lines in the slot, multiplier size, etc.).

Many players favour slots that they like for their bonuses or graphics, jackpot availability or RTP. However, against this background, online casino customers most often overlook the volatility of the slots. The fact is that many cannot accept the concept of that and in most cases don't even realize what it is and how important it is. Still, volatility plays a big part in how much you expect to win in any given session on a particular slot.

More specifically, volatility is a statistical measure of how much you can win in a given period of time. By their very nature, slots are some of the fastest-changing games in online casinos. You'll be offered a maximum of various bonus games and prize options, as well as winnings ranging in size from a few thousand coins, to a few million. The thing is, most slots offer less frequent payouts compared to other casino games. You don't play slots as often as you play cards or roulette, for example. It is precisely these categories of games that can become more stable in the long run. So there is some division between slots in terms of their volatility. Some of them will pay a lot and rarely, and some will pay a lot but very little.

What is volatility level on slots?

There are three levels of volatility in slots:

  • High volatility slots have a fairly high level of risk. This can be explained by the fact that such games rarely have winning sequences, but the number of winnings can be quite substantial. The big difference is that the multiplier will be at least x5,000. In most cases, the fans of such slots are people who have a lot of free time, patience and a large bankroll in order to wait for a big win. A prime example of a high volatility slot is Jackpots Megaways from Blueprint Gaming. The maximum multiplier you can get is x10,000

  • Medium volatility slots have a moderate level of risk, which makes them very popular with players. Medium volatility slots are better suited for players who do not want to risk a large bankroll and still win, albeit small

  • Low volatility slots, on the other hand, are characterised by a high number of winning spins, but small winnings. These are the games with the lowest level of risk. You can usually win multipliers of up to x1,000-x2,000 in these games. Low volatility slots are ideal for those who are not interested in big winnings and jackpots, but rather in winning frequency and minimum stakes. One such slot is Humpty Dumpty from Push Gaming. The maximum multiplier players can get is x500.

High vs Medium vs Low volatility slots

The difference in all three levels of slot volatility is due to a number of parameters that you can explore on your own:

  • Completely different multiplier levels. Take a look at the high volatility slots. These are dominated by simply huge multipliers, starting at x20,000. Medium volatility slots have a lower multiplier which starts at x2,000. Low volatility slots, on the other hand, are around x500

  • The number of spins to winnings. Each volatility level has a different number of spins. Whereas games with low volatility will require you to do 10-20 spins before you win, medium volatility slots will require you to do 50-100 spins before you win. But in high volatility slots, the number of spins before the first big win may vary from 200

  • The size of the bankroll you will need. This difference stems from the previous one. The more spins you have to do, the bigger the bankroll you need

  • The size of the RTP. How does RTP size seem to affect volatility? In fact, it does. The higher the percentage of return in the slot, the lower the volatility, and vice versa, the lower the RTP, the higher the volatility

  • The final parameter that distinguishes all three levels is the bonus rounds. This parameter is the quintessence of all of the above. The more varied bonus options and random features in a slot, the lower its volatility. The fewer of these features, the higher the volatility of the game.

How to determine the volatility of a slot machine

It was described above that the level of risk or volatility in slots is an important indicator that fully affects the frequency and amount of winnings. As a rule, studios, which develop games for online casinos, indicate this parameter in the payout table or in the game description on the official developer's website. However, there are some parameters that players can study on their own and draw a conclusion about the volatility of the slot:

  • The best predictor of slot volatility is a max win. Roughly speaking, you need to do approximately 200 spins. This is the time frame in which you can find out the volatility of the game. If you don't see a single big win within that time frame, you can safely say that the slot is high volatility.

  • Analyse spins and winnings. How many spins do you have to make? How often do the winnings roll out? Are the winnings large?

  • Find out the RTP. The higher the payout percentage in a slot, the lower the volatility

  • Analyse the payout ratio. Your main goal here is to understand what the maximum winnings of the slot machine are. If the payout ratio is x20,000, it's a high volatility slot, x2,000 to x5,000 is medium volatility, below x1,000+ is low volatility

  • Pay attention to whether the slot you choose is dedicated to a film, comic book or television show. Presumably, such games have low or medium volatility. The fact is that such slots have generally been released for entertainment purposes, rather than for playing for real money or big winnings. And if you get a maximum multiplier of x5 over a long period of time while playing such a slot, then such a slot is low volatility

  • Volatility can be determined by means of a bonus round or prize option that is triggered in the slots. This type of bonus fulfils its primary role of enhancing the entertainment value by diversifying the gameplay. It happens that some bonus rounds will bring you an amount much higher than the intended jackpot. If you find such a bonus, it is a slot with high volatility

  • Pay attention to how many random features are in the slot. The volatility of the game depends on their number. If you see that different features are randomly triggered during the game, then this slot will be low volatility.

Which volatility slots are better?

In order to find out which slots volatility is best, you need to be guided by your own preferences. If you have plenty of time, a sizeable bankroll, and you're looking for big winnings, try slots with high volatility. If you, on the other hand, prefer frequent but slim wins, then play slots with low volatility. Slots with medium volatility levels fall somewhere between high and low levels. But, it is important to understand that volatility can be determined not only by the number of spins and winnings. Also, pay attention to the slot's theoretical payout, and check the bonus rounds and prize features, as well as the number of lines. All these attributes indicate volatility and will help you in choosing the game that will make you happy.