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Volatility in Slots

By July 15, 2020February 22nd, 2021No Comments

What is Volatility?

Volatility is a term that many who have played slots would have heard of, but not so many understand. The volatility of a slot game influences how much and how often the game pays out its wins. Volatility is also known as variance and comes in three levels; low, medium and high. The general trend is that there is an equal number of high, low and medium volatility games across the board, each dictating their own level of risk and reward.

Why is Volatility Important?

The evidence of volatility manifests in each and every gaming session and becomes more important as the play goes on. If a player has invested a large sum into a low volatility slot, continuing to play will increase the chance of a sizable win, however, this win may not cover the costs to arrive at that point. In contrast, when investing a large sum into a high volatility slot, after considerable periods without paying out, a high volatility slot can instantly drop a staggering prize amount for as little as €1 per spin.

Understanding Volatility

There are two easy ways to understand how volatility works:

Imagine flipping a coin, there are 2 possible outcomes or 50% of prize options. The rules are that if the player lands heads, they lose €1, and if they land tails they win €3, the average price will be €1 per spin. This would be an example of low volatility.

You could also think of it as rolling a die (6 possible outcomes or 16,6% of prize options). The rules are that if the player rolls 1,2,3,4 or 5 they lose €1, and if they get 6 they win 11€. The average will also be €1 profit per spin.

This means that the RTP for a low and high volatility game can be exactly the same, but the wins are proportioned by the volatility, the above examples work out to the same cost per stake, however, the die produces more losing rounds but also produces a much bigger win. The dice have much higher volatility than the coin flip.

Low Volatility

Slots with a low level of volatility are the games in which players are continually finding success, sometimes a win every two or three spins. There is a catch however, due to the high frequency of wins, the prizes are often at the lower end of the scale, usually 3-6x stake. Low volatility slots are perfect for beginners, casual players and those who enjoy long sessions immersed in the game. The higher frequency of hits also enables the player to encounter interactive features and bonus rounds more often, further enhancing the gaming experience. It is still possible to hit a big win in a low volatility game, however, you would need to be extremely fortunate. The reduced risk adds comfort for many players who prefer to finish up with something in their pocket, even if less than the bankroll.

High volatility

This flips the coin and brings you the direct opposite to low volatility. The general pattern here is that the wins will be rare, however, the wins will be considerably larger, channelling the age-old casino principle of higher risk-higher rewards. Unfortunately playing high volatility games means that players are likely to experience long runs of barren reels in search of a win, however, when lucky enough to hit a big win, you’ll get exactly that, a big win. A midscale or high-end win will almost certainly cover the costs of reaching that point, and potentially a whole lot more. High volatility games are ideal for players who are able to play with patience or on a bankroll that can swallow extended periods of time without success. High volatility slots are often the scene of a ‘smash and grab’ raid, whereby a player comes along with €5 for example, and on the third €1 spin they score €11,000, these events are rare but do happen. The excitement levels can go through the roof when landing a prominent feature on a high-risk slot, this is why many adrenaline junkies and Twitch players always make a beeline for high volatility.

Medium Volatility

The sweet spot between low and high volatility is medium volatility, these games are in abundance and are usually the most popular. Medium volatility delivers a little more excitement for many players, the game will usually drop average wins, but can slip into high or low volatility levels for some periods of time. Medium volatility puts a little more mystery into the play and delivers great entertainment for players who like a mixed bag.

What does Volatility mean for you?

The volatility of a slot game plays a unique and pivotal role in where the funds that fall from the RTP land, and how often. To play a slot game to the best advantage, a player would almost certainly do well to apply their style of play to the level of volatility it suits best. If a player cannot find the volatility of a certain game, the pay-tables will also give up a little information, the higher the lowest win, is usually the higher volatility.

Examples of Volatility in AMATIC games:


  • Golden Quest (High Volatility)
  • Book of Fruits / Book of Foortune (High Volatility)
  • Book of Aztec (Medium)
  • Hot Fruits 40 / Allways Fruits (Medium)
  • Blue Dolphin (Low)
  • Hot Fruits 27 (Low)
Understanding the additional factors behind slot game performance and selecting a slot accordingly is a growing trend. At NSERVE we offer high-quality games right at your fingertips, lovingly crafted to create the perfect balance between gorgeous art styles and compelling gameplay – making them appealing for both casual and hardcore gamers! Browse our wide catalogue of AMATIC games to find the next games for your casino right here!