Slot variance – low, medium and high volatility games
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Slot variance – low, medium and high volatility games

When playing online slots, one of the most important factors to consider is slot variance or volatility. This refers to how often and how much a slot pays out. There are generally three types of slot variance – low, medium, and high. 

Low Variance Slots

Low variance slots are characterized by frequent but smaller wins. Some key features of low-variance slots include:

  1. Higher hit frequency – you’ll spin winning combinations more regularly.
  2. Lower jackpot amounts – prizes tend to be small, ranging from just a few dollars up to $100 or $500. 
  3. Smaller bet sizes – low variance slots usually have a maximum bet of $5 or less.
  4. Slower payout ramp-up – wins build-up gradually over multiple spins.

Low-variance slots are great for players with smaller bankrolls or those wanting a slower, relaxed gameplay experience. Some popular low-variance online slots include Starburst, Double Diamond, and penny slots.

Medium variance slots  

Medium or standard variance slots provide a balance between risk and reward. You’ll encounter longer dry spells between wins, but the payouts tend to be larger. Key features include:

  • Moderate hit frequency – you’ll spin winning combinations less frequently than low variance slots.
  • Mid-range jackpots – prizes can reach anywhere from $100 up to $10,000 or more.
  • Higher bet sizes – average bets are $1 or $2 but can go up to $10+ per spin. Get a taste of 3-reel slots at 
  • Random payout ramp-ups – dry spells are broken up by big wins in random amounts.

High variance slots

High variance slots deliver huge jackpots, but also longer stretch without any wins. These slots appeal to thrill-seekers looking for maximum excitement. Typical features include:

  1. Low hit frequency – you may play many spins with no payouts.
  2. Massive jackpots – prizes can reach hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars.
  3. Big bet sizes – average wagers are $5-$50 but sometimes up to $100 per spin.
  4. Infrequent payout ramp-ups – you could play long sessions before one big win.

High variance slots provide an adrenaline rush and life-changing rewards for persistence through the dry spells. But you need to manage your bankroll carefully due to the higher risk. Some popular high-variance slots are Mega Moolah, Major Millions, and Mega Fortune.

Finding the right fit

With such distinct gameplay styles, it’s important to choose slot variance based on your goals and play style. Here are some tips:

  • New players should start with low variance slots to learn the ropes without too much risk.
  • Casual gamers wanting a leisurely experience favor low variance for consistent fun.
  • Big spenders who can afford larger bets often prefer high variance slots for their huge jackpots.
  • Players wanting longer sessions with smaller ups and downs do well on medium variance slots.
  • Bankroll size matters – high variance slots require a larger balance to endure losing streaks.
  • If you prefer frequent small wins, stick to low variance. If you want life-changing jackpots, go high variance. 
  • For diversity, try mixing up low, medium, and high variance slots in your gameplay.