12 July 2019

Online slot volatility explained

Online slot volatility determines the size of wins and how often they occur. We spoke with Liam Mulvaney from Plank Gaming to find out more

online slot volatility explained

When deciding which online slots games to play, most people will consider factors such as the return to player (RTP), the number of ways to win and the various bonus features offered.

What a lot of players don’t take into account, however, is the volatility or variance (it means the same thing) of the slot game. So why is volatility important and what impact does it have?

Volatility refers to how often a slot game will pay out over a set number of rounds and the size of the win that will likely occur when it does.

Popular high volatility games include Big Time Gaming’s Bonanza and Opal Fruits while player-favourite low volatility slots include Plank Gaming’s Puffer Goes Wild.

Liam Mulvaney, CEO of online game studio Plank Gaming, tells you everything you need to know about online slot volatility below.

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HIGH VOLATILITY SLOTS AND LOW VOLATILITY SLOTS:

A low volatility slot will deliver regular wins but the wins will be of a smaller amount. A high volatility slot will deliver less regular wins but when they do land they will be much bigger.

Games are usually low volatility or high volatility, but some do sit in the middle of the scale which means they pay out semi-regularly with reasonable win sizes.

This graph shows the difference between high volatility and low volatility slots:

The difference between high volatility and low volatility slots

VOLATILITY AFFECTS THE EXPERIENCE YOU RECEIVE WHEN PLAYING A SLOT GAME:

Low volatility slots often appeal to new players and casual players because they strike a better risk v reward balance and allow the player’s online casino budget to go further.

Because the wins come more regularly, the player’s wagering account is less likely to be reduced while still allowing them to experience the thrill of winning.

With high volatility games the risk is much higher but the potential reward that much greater. In essence, every spin could lead to the BIG win that some players seek.

The risk, of course, is that the win may not come for a long time if at all and the player’s online casino wallet balance could be reduced to zero in the process.

This is usually not a problem for experienced gamblers with larger budgets but for new players or more casual players, low volatility games provide a gentler introduction to online casino play.

THE VOLATILITY OF A SLOT IS SET BY THE GAME MATH:

Online slot developers use the game math to set the volatility. Game math is simply the blueprint for the game and sets the rules for things like bet range, maximum payout, return to player and so on.

The math designer works with the game designer to create a slot game that delivers exciting and thrilling gameplay but also looks great.

Both elements have to work together and hitting the sweet spot is actually very difficult especially when creating a game that needs to appeal to both casual and hardcore players.

HOW TO DECIDE WHETHER TO PLAY LOW OR HIGH VARIANCE SLOTS:

There is no right or wrong here; some casual players really enjoy playing high volatility slots while some experienced players prefer low variance titles.

Some players will only seek out high volatility or low volatility games while others will mix and match the two in order to keep their gameplay varied and exciting.

Personally, I like to mix and match high and low variance slots as it provides more excitement and entertainment but also helps me to maximise my gambling budget.

The best thing to do is try different games to learn what you do and don’t like. Just remember to keep an eye on your wagering account and never spend more than your budget allows for.

Here are three low and high volatility slots and where you can play them:

Low volatility:

Holmes and The Stolen Stones
Yggdrasil Gaming
Play at Cozino

Esqueleto Explosivo
Thunderkick
Play at Videoslots

Bloodsuckers
NetEnt
Play at LeoVegas

High volatility:

Bonanza
Big Time Gaming
Play at Casumo

Dead or Alive
NetEnto
Play at PlayOJO

Immortal Romance
Microgaming
Play at PartyCasino

If you would like to know more about online slot volatility get in touch with the Find My UK Casino team here.

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