What Does Volatility Mean In Slots? (Low vs High Volatility Slots)

Slot machines are considered the heartbeat of both online and land-based casinos. They’re one of the most popular casino games, and they’ve made a smooth transition to the online casino world. 

Today, you can find numerous exciting slots online with unique designs and features that one could never imagine before! However, before you embark on your journey to play some of the most exciting slots at Kong Casino, there is one important factor to consider - slot volatility. 

Keep reading to discover what volatility means in UK online slots, how it’s calculated, and whether it’s better to play high or low volatility slots. 

What Does Volatility Mean In Slots? 

The term volatility, in regards to online casinos, refers to the theoretical behaviour of the slot. 

Slots typically fall within 1 of 3 volatility levels that are low, high, and medium. Let’s take a look at them below:

Low Volatility Slots

Low volatility slots are ones in which wins are likely to land more frequently than in higher volatility slots, but the payouts of these wins are likely to be less substantial, in theory. 

High Volatility Slots

High volatility slots are likely to land a win less frequently, but when they do, the win is likely to be more significant, in theory. High volatility slots typically come with more bonus features and offer larger jackpots than lower volatility slots; you could win up to 10,000x your wager on some high volatility slots, potentially even higher. This is usually to balance the fact that wins are likely to be less regular.

Medium Volatility Slots

Medium volatility slots offer the best of both worlds regarding slot volatility. They are a fine compromise between low volatility slots and high volatility slots, featuring moderately regular wins of a fair size, in theory.

It is important to note that a slot’s volatility refers to how it behaves in theory; as slots are random, the results in practice may differ.

How Is Slot Volatility Calculated? 

No precise method exists to calculate slot volatility as it varies depending on the paytable composed by the number of paylines. It is also a complex process; therefore, slot developers usually provide the slot’s volatility to save you from attempting to calculate it.

It may not always be the case, but as a general rule of thumb, if the payout ratio is lower than 5,000x, it’s a low volatility slot. If it’s between 5,000x and 10,000x, then it’s a medium volatility slot, and if it’s higher than 10,000x, then it’s a high volatility slot. 

Is High Or Low Volatility Better In Slots? 

It’s a matter of personal preference as to which you prefer. If you want a chance at winning smaller but more regular payouts, then low volatility slots may be the way to go. However, if you want to try and go for the larger wins and don’t mind the fact that wins may be fewer and further between, high volatility slots could be ideal. If you’re torn between high and low volatility slots, maybe medium volatility slots are the ones for you!

Many players choose to play high volatility slots as it usually gives you a chance at a bigger prize than lower volatility slots, but beware! As high volatility slots are likely to land wins less frequently, it could be a while before you see one. Hence, always make sure to bet responsibly when playing slots; even low volatility slots are not guaranteed to behave as described in practice as all slots are random, and this is just their theoretical behaviour. 

Is Variance The Same As Volatility? 

Many of you must have read the term ‘variance’ repeatedly when searching for the volatility of your favourite mobile slots. No need to be alarmed as variance and volatility are the same things. These are both terms that refer to the theoretical win frequency and size of a specific slot game. 

The only difference between these two is that volatility refers to the slot’s behaviour in the short term. On the other hand, variance refers to the distribution of winning combinations in the long run. Due to this small difference, the terms are generally used interchangeably.

How Can You Determine The Volatility Of A Slot Machine? 

The game provider usually mentions the volatility of a slot either in the game or on their site. However, this is not always the case, so to determine the volatility, you could follow these measures:

Play the slot yourself: No better way to know if a slot pays out small sums consistently or large sums occasionally than by playing it yourself! You may see a pattern form, hinting at the volatility.

Look at the RTP of the slot: RTP (Return to Player) percentages can help give an idea of a slot’s volatility. If a slot returns more of the money players put in, then the slot is likely paying out more frequently, in theory. Therefore, a slot with higher RTP tends also to be a slot with lower volatility. Conversely, slots with lower RTPs are generally considered to be highly volatile. 

Bonus intensity: Slots that have bonuses pop up once in every 500,000 spins or so will theoretically pay out larger sums than a slot that has bonuses after every 50-100 spins. Progressive slots tend to be more volatile than regular slots. 

Now that you have all the information you need on slot volatility, why not check out the wide range of top slots and other online casino games we have at Kong Casino? 

*All values (Bet Levels, Maximum Wins etc.) mentioned in relation to this slot game are subject to change at any time.