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Marie Claire Graham
by Marie Claire Graham

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Volatility is a key factor in determining the type of gameplay you’re in for with an online slot. There are three main types that you can come across: low, medium, and high. Depending on whether you’re playing in the ‘base game’ of a slot or in a bonus round, this volatility can fluctuate within the same slot.

Volatility is based on two factors:

  • Money used up per spin
  • Size of payouts compared to this money

It’s the formula we’ll be using throughout the rest of this page to explain how volatility works – including other unique factors. You can tell for yourself after spinning on a slot for a while whether its low, medium or high volatility keeping this in mind.

This leads to certain slots which vary between low-medium volatility, or medium-high volatility, or very high volatility. Aside from this, there are no other types of volatility that you can come across.

If you head over to the Slots page, you’ll find a volatility meter that will help you sort through our archive of slots using volatility as a filter. But before you do that, skim through our in-depth descriptions of each type of volatility down below. We also provide examples of slots of each type of volatility.

What is low volatility?

When a slot is of ‘low’ volatility, it means that it does not eat up much money per spin. However, it also means that the slot is unlikely to pay out big sums of money.

Low volatility slots are therefore ideal for the casual player who just wants to experience the fun of spinning on a slot. Without having to worry about keeping a tight fist over their wallet. Don’t expect the excitement of landing a big win, however.

Basically, low volatility = low risk + low pay-off.

In summary, low volatility in online slots boils down to two deciding elements:

  1. Not taking a toll on your bankroll
  2. Paying out more small wins than big wins

What is Medium Volatility

After reading the description of low volatility, ‘medium’ and ‘high’ volatility become more understandable just from common sense.

On similar lines to the text above, medium volatility = medium risk + medium pay-off.

If you’re in the mood for something just a step above casual gameplay, than a medium volatility slot is the choice for you. These slots will consumer just a bit more out of your wallet per spin, but also give back just that bit more too.

Medium volatility slots tend to have an even mixture of small wins and big wins. But, even then, the big wins don’t tend to be as big as the wins on high volatility slots.

So, medium volatility slots mean the following:

  • Taking an affordable toll on your bank account
  • Paying out an equal ratio of small wins to big wins
  • Big wins are still not that massive, compared to high volatility slots

What is high volatility?

High volatility online slots are for the people with deep pockets and a thirst for thrills. Or, just people who don’t know better and spend hundreds at the drop of a hat without anything to show for it.

High volatility slots = high risk + potential for high payouts.

The keyword here is ‘potential’ for high payouts. You can invest chunks of cash into high volatility slots in hopes of winning thousands, but you end up winning nothing instead.

But, the truth remains that these slots can give you a buzz like no other. There’s something about the possibility of winning some high numbers in one spin that makes the blood pump in your veins.

In summary, high volatility slots:

  • Require a lot of money to spin on for long periods
  • Can payout out massive amounts of money
  • Are mostly for the high rollers and risk-lovers

Most casino streamers, in fact, tend to go for these high volatility slots. Players love to watch these streamers hit the big wins (we’re talking in the thousands sometimes) and jump around like crazy people. Who blames them really? We wouldn’t mind winning a couple thou on the spins.

What Slot Volatility Should I Choose?

This question all depends on what type of player you are, and what you’re in the mood for. We’ve segmented the types of volatility down below so that you can peruse what would suit you best. Again, depending on what type of player you happen to be.

  • Low Volatility

If you’re looking for something to entertain yourself with for a couple of minutes, go for low volatility. This type of slot will give you enough small wins to keep things interesting without burning a hole through your pocket. It’s the perfect volatility for a lazy day without too much danger and money-spending involved.

  • Medium Volatility

Choose this type of volatility if you’re on the hunt for something with a little more edge to it. But you’re still unwilling to wager and lose significant sums of money in hopes of landing a big win. Medium volatility slots offer the perfect balance between small wins and big wins, even if the big wins don’t tend to be that ‘big’.

  • High Volatility

You’re not messing around here, and you’re not planning on spinning with chump change. You want to risk big, in order to (possibly) win big. And you’re doing it for the kick of the spin and anticipation, as much as you are for the actual money. Let’s just say, you like a little bit of excitement in your life.

  • Stuck in the Middle

As mentioned above, you don’t need to strictly choose either/or here. There are slots which find themselves in the middle-road of the meter. Meaning, slots which are either low-medium volatility, or medium-high volatility.

Thunderstruck II, for example, happens to be one of these types of slots. It’s a low-medium type, which means that the base game is low volatility whereas the special feature is medium volatility. These types of online slots can afford a happy compromise for players who want the best of both worlds in their gameplay. You can hunt them down yourself on our Slots page.

We hope this Volatility page has answered all your volatility-related questions. Head on over to our Slots page to filter through your favorite slots and pick the right game for you! Once you do that, you can even click through to the online casino selected to play the slots for real.

Marie Claire Graham
Marie Claire Graham Author
With 9 years of experience in all things related to online casinos, Marie-Claire Graham is our online gambling expert. She has written everything from casino reviews to news stories and blogs, but her passion lies in games. Her hands-on experience te... Read more about Marie Claire Graham