High and Low Variance Slots

Explaining the Difference Between High and Low Variance Slots

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One of the reasons why online slot games are so popular is that they are relatively straightforward. Unlike Blackjack and Poker games, there is no need to strategize or prepare elaborate plans for playing slots online. But these casino sports have their own set of technicalities – paylines, RTP rates, and variance. If you are a regular slot player, you probably came across the expressions high and low variance slots.

In today’s article, we are casting light on the notion of variance, one of the basics for making and playing these titles in online casinos. Stick with us if you want to know what are high variance and low variance slots.

Getting Started with Variance

Variance, or volatility, is a term that encompasses two aspects affecting payouts in a game. Using complex math models, tech whizzes at gaming companies can devise a rate which embodies the frequency and the size of game payouts. This combined yields a rate which essentially tells the players how risky it is to play said game.

In our slot reviews, we always make sure to state the volatility level so that our players can know how big of a risk the game is. In other words, they need to know what is the nature of the game – will be generous or volatile during playtime.

All video slots have volatility, as you might have already noticed. But not all games are the same. There are three levels of variance in video slot games: low, medium, and high.

The distinction of high and low variance slots has been the source of much debate in the industry for years. Players seem to enjoy both types of games, and neither goes out of fashion regardless of the current casino trends.

Let’s see what high variance slots are and how they work.

High Variance Slot Machines

High variance slots are slot machines that have a high level of volatility, that much is clear.

But what does that mean?

Well, essentially, it means that wins are not frequent in this game. The higher the level, the lower your chances are for acquiring a win.

With such a game, you are deliberately choosing to play a game which boasts low hit frequencies. As a consequence, players often experience long dry spells which yield nothing in terms of winnings.

But it does have one irresistible perk – when the wins come, they are massive.

Bigger payouts are the norm in these games – bigger than in low-variance slots, at least.

High rollers (players who like to spend big money on bets in casino games) are usually drawn to high variance slots. The explanation for this lies in the very nature of those titles – they keep you on your toes while you wait for a potentially life-changing payout.

To sum it up, adrenaline and risky gaming with handsome payouts are quite appealing to thrill-seeking casino punters.

The volatility in the game is related to other game elements like paylines and RTP. Theoretical RTP rates are, as you know, indicators for the size of the prize that you can expect to get at the end of your session. The higher the RTP rate, the higher the amount of cash that you can expect to receive back from the wagers money during rounds.

Also, it has been noticed that volatility is also connected to paylines and winning ways. It’s somewhat of an unwritten rule that, the fewer ways to win you have, the less likely you are to win. In simple English, if you have only ten possible winning combos, it’s going to be hard hit them so you will have dry spells.

Where to Play High Variance Slots

High variance titles are quite popular in casinos which cater to high rollers. Operators usually collect high variance titles to display in exclusive lobbies for the players to enjoy. One such venue is the Dunder casino which contains some of the best high volatility games one can find on the internet.

Play High Variance Slots at Dunder Casino!

Low Variance Slot Machines

On the opposite end of the casino, spectrum lie low-variance slots machines. These are built for a completely different type of gambling experience.

Low variance slots are more likely to produce winning combinations on the reels. In other words, you have more chances to win something during the gaming session.

For many players, this translates into online casino heaven. Just imagine how it would look to hit a win on each spin! Although it sounds great on paper, the reality is quite different.

Frequent prize drops are small in size. Low variance titles, generous as they are, drop tiny rewards on nearly every spin. This might not sound like a problem to you, but some players are dissatisfied with such settings. They prefer larger prizes to be frequent (and tiny) rewards.

But we said how popular they are – and there is indeed a vast fan base for this type of titles. They are there for the joy and entertainment – they do like winning, but it needs to be often – and they are not looking to become rich. Risk, adrenaline, and potentially massive cash losses do not attract them.

There is a common misconception tied to low volatility titles which few players know about, though.

Players often lose more by playing low-variance titles than they would in high volatility ones. It’s easy to understand why. Lured by the promise of continuous wins, punters keep investing cash in a series of spins. The outcome is a string of seemingly fruitful rounds – which pay significantly less than the amount invested.

Simply put, you do see wins, but the amounts, when put on paper, reveal a big similarity between high and low variance slots. Low-variance titles typically come with a plethora of ways to win.

Where to Play Low Variance Slots

If you want to enjoy premium games without any stress, we highly recommend going for low variance titles. They are exceptional in a way that you don’t run the risk of losing precious funds – you only stand of having a lot of fun. Our favourite venue for this kind of entertainment is 888 casino which offers NetEnt’s Starburst, one of the legendary low volatility titles loved by millions of players.

Play Low Variance Slots at 888 Casino!

The Golden Mean of Online Slot Volatility

High and low variance slots represent the yin and yang of “pokie” playing. But not everything is black or white here, though.

There is a third category which is meant to be the middle ground between those two. And those are ladies and gentlemen, medium volatility slots.

What makes them so special is their capacity to yield medium-sized payouts quite frequently. In other words, you don’t have to wait long for solid cash out – these slots are built for that.

Just like the other two categories, this one is popular across the globe, although not many game companies create them very often.

Nevertheless, you can find medium volatility titles in any online casino site on our website.


Are you looking for effortless fun or games whose payouts can spice up your casino balance? The answer to this question will greatly affect the choice of slot games that you should play in the casinos.

If you want the former, choosing low volatility creations will provide you with hours of uninterrupted fun at your favourite venue.

If, on the other hand, you are more for the latter, try the high volatility releases in top-rated casino websites. They may be risky, but they will surely be worth your time and energy once the hits start rolling in.

But the greatest beauty of this game type lies in versatility. You don’t have to choose at all – pick both! A surplus of releases today allows you to enjoy whatever you want – however you want it.

Just pick some titles and go for it – you will have fun either way.


BestCasinos team consists of online casino experts dedicated to spreading their knowledge and experience to a wider audience, all in effort to help even the most inexperienced players gain their footing in this exciting industry.