Slot Volatility: How it Works


In gambling, volatility describes how often and how much you can expect to win on a specific casino game or slot machine. In other words, it represents the game’s level of risk. Casino games can have low volatility, high volatility or something in-between. Learning the difference between low and high volatility can help you choose the right game.

Low vs high volatility slots

Volatility is a fundamental part of slot machines and casino games in general. In essence, it describes a game’s payout frequency, potential, and level of risk. High volatility slots can pay out big wins now and then, while low volatility slots tend to pay out smaller wins more often. All slots must strike a balance between payout frequency and payout amounts.

When you play a slot with high volatility, you could play hundreds or even thousands of spins before landing a bonus or getting a big win. But if you play the same number of spins on a slot machine with low volatility, you can expect to get many smaller-sized wins. There are thousands of online slots on both ends of the volatility scale, but most games fall somewhere in the middle.

A common example of a low volatility slot is Starburst. This iconic NetEnt slot has a hit frequency of 22.65%, meaning that one in four or five spins will result in a win on average. But because of the high hit rate, the game offers smaller wins. In fact, Starburst has a low max win of only 500 times the bet.On the opposite side of the spectrum, you can find, on the new online casino Spinbit, online slots like Money Train 2, Opal Fruits and Dead or Alive 2, all of which can pay out wins of thousands of times the bet.

What should I choose?

Should you choose slots with high or low volatility, or is it better to stick to something in the middle? The good news is that it doesn’t matter all that much in the long term. When it comes to how much you will win or lose on a slot machine, it is the RTP (Return to Player) percentage that matters the most. The RTP is the game’s theoretical payout potential over the course of millions of spins. The games you choose to play are largely down to personal taste. Experienced players who seek the highest wins tend to choose slots with the highest volatility, while new players often play lower volatility slots, as it allows them to play for a longer time.

In some situations, however, it can be a good idea to take a game’s volatility level into consideration. For example, if you are trying to complete the wagering requirement of a casino bonus, it may be beneficial to play low volatility slots as it will keep your balance steady until the wagering requirement has been met. But if you have a ton of wagering left and need to boost your balance with a big win, playing high volatility slots might be your best option. In the end, you should aim to play the slots that you find the most enjoyable and exciting.