Online slots that have a high variance give players a specific type of experience, and for many players, this is the only style of play they’re interested in. The basic idea is that it’s a give and take situation. What players get from high-variance slots is that they have more chances to win larger payouts. However, they give up the fact that they’re going to have bigger and less controlled swings in their slot sessions, and they also give up balance in the pay table, meaning there are fewer small- and medium- sized wins. Overall, many players prefer games with a high variance because of the excitement of having chances to win larger pays.
The top 10 online slots with a high variance
In what follows, you’ll find descriptions of 10 of the most popular online slots running today that have a high variance. Fans of these games will tell you that they are all good for exciting, action-packed gameplay with opportunities to come out as a big winner on any given spin.
What is slots variance?
Variance is a statistical measure that, for our purposes, essentially describes how bad the swings will be in a game. This is separate from the house advantage or payout rate of the game, and you can have multiple games with the same payout rate with different levels of variance. You’ll also see it described as volatility in many cases.
For example, suppose we play a coin-flipping game. We flip a fair coin so that if it’s heads, you’ll win $2, and if it’s tails, you’ll lose $1. Your average win in this game would be $1 per flip, and the variance will be very minor. However, suppose you have a game where you roll two six-sided dice. If you roll a total of two, then you win $71, but if you roll anything else, you lose $1. In this dice-rolling game, you would still average winning $1 per roll, but your variance would be much higher. This example will help you to understand what variance is on an intuitive level.
The difference between variance and RTP
In the online slot world, we use a measurement called RTP, which means the return to player percentage. For example, a game with an RTP of 98 percent would mean that for every $100 wagered on the game, players get back an average of $98 over the long run. What’s important to notice is that variance and RTP are two separate things, and while they’re both important to know, they affect your overall experience in completely different ways.
For one, RTP essentially determines your chances of winning over the long run. For example, a game with an RTP of 99 percent will obviously be better for you over the long run than one with an RTP of 90 percent. On the other hand, variance will tell you how likely you are to have a significant win or loss. Sessions in high-variance games tend to leave you as a significant winner or mild loser on an individual basis, but you’ll only sometimes end up as a slight winner or breaking even.
Variance and the payout percentages also apply to other types of games. While there are both low-variance and high-variance slots, games like blackjack are inherently low-variance. In a game like roulette, an even money bet is extremely low-variance, and a bet on a single number is fairly high-variance. The key thing here is that in many table games, there are bets that run the entire range of different available levels of volatility/variance, much like there are low-variance and high-variance games inside of the slot genre.
Why do players prefer high-variance online slots?
Some players really prefer high-variance online slots and won’t play anything else. The reason for this is that these games tend to have a much higher level of excitement than their low-variance counterparts. The basic idea is that they know they could end up as a huge winner at any time, and that becomes the main drive behind their experience.
Having a chance to win big is a significant motivator, and for the players who prefer these types of games, it’s pretty clear to see that it’s enough of a motivator to keep them in this particular sub-genre. While not everyone has this preference, a lot of players do, and it’s completely reasonable for them to feel this way.
No matter what types of themes and layouts you prefer, there’s something available for you in the high-variance slot sub-genre. While the general idea is that a value-hogging feature or top set of payouts can cause this high level of volatility, what you’ll find in virtually all of these top ten options is that they have other characteristics that make them stand out. Whether it’s an atypical layout, top-tier graphics, unusual ways of triggering features or other unique aspects of the experience, no game can get popular and stand out on its own just for having a high volatility. Instead, it needs enough to give players a complete overall experience that they will want to come back to over and over again.