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Volatility in Online Slots

Online slot volatility, often referred to as variance, is a critical risk assessment tool for slots online. The volatility of an online slot tells the player how often they can expect a win and whether the average win amount is smaller or larger in size.

Slot volatility states how often a machine pays out a win and whether it’s on the higher or lower side. Online slots usually have low, medium or high volatility, each carrying a different level of risk.

Choosing the right volatility

If you play an online slot featuring low volatility, you can expect to win low and mid-sized amounts more often. On the other hand, high volatility slots award players with much higher cash amounts but less frequently. For you as a player, these types of slots are riskier since you might find yourself spinning without winning for a longer period, which can take a toll on your bankroll. However, since amounts are typically higher if you hit a winning combination, online slots with high volatility are trending amongst players.

High Volatility Slots

Slots with high volatility are games for thrill-seekers. While wins are less frequent, these types of online slots might reward you big when you hit a winning combination. So, whenever you play a jackpot slot, you can be almost certain you’re playing a high volatility slot.

Jammin Jars Slot by Push Gaming
Push Gaming’s Jammin Jars is a high volatility slot

However, you need to be careful when playing slots with high variance. Since these machines don’t pay out as frequently as low volatility slots, you might find yourself not hitting any winning combination for many spins in a row. Therefore, make sure to be equipped with patience and, ideally, a healthy bankroll.

Low Volatility Slots

Low volatility slots work in the exact opposite way. Playing these machines means you should expect more frequent wins with stable amounts. If a low variance slot states an RTP of 96.75 %, you will hit this average payout in a much quicker period.

Gold Train by Pragmatic Play
Gold Train by Pragmatic Play is considered low volatility

Players love playing low volatility slots since they come with low risk and frequently award you with wins. It’s the perfect slot to get some game practise and to have fun, but don’t expect to be able to quit your day job anytime soon.

Medium Volatility Slots

Last but not least, there are online slots with medium volatility. As the name suggests, these machines pay out more frequently than high volatility slots but less often than low variance slots. As well, win amounts are typically within the mid-sized range.

Fat Rabbit slot by Push Gaming
The popular fat rabbit slot features medium volatility

Medium volatility slots are perfect for players that like a bit of thrill but don’t want to risk it all straight away. There are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of medium variance online slots to choose from, so you will always be able to discover something new.


What does high volatility mean?

Online slots with high volatility pay out less often, but the amounts are usually larger if they do.

Is it risky to play high volatility slots?

Since these kinds of slots don’t pay out as often, you might find yourself not winning anything for several spins in a row. For that reason, only players with a healthy bankroll should pick high volatility games.

What are low volatility slot games?

Online slots with low volatility pay out more frequently than those with medium or high variance. The payouts are, on average, on the lower side.

Who should play low variance slots?

Online slots with low variance are the perfect choice if you want to try out a game, play for fun, or just don’t want to risk it all. Remember that you can still win big on these games; it’s just less likely than on their high variance counterparts.

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