Guide to Slot Volatility

Last Updated on by Will Writing

One word you’ll hear mentioned again and again by online casino players is volatility. It’s essential to understand this term, as doing so will allow you to choose the slots that are just right for you, while avoiding those that have gameplay you don’t like. We’re going to go through everything you need to know about volatility on this page, so you’ll know what people are talking about when you next hear it mentioned.

What Does a Slot’s Volatility Mean?

What Does A Slot’s Volatility Mean

The first and most important thing to talk about is what volatility is precise. It’s a term that describes how much and how often a slot – or any other online casino game – pays out. Each slot is generally classified as low, medium or high volatility.

If an online slot is low volatility, it means that your bank balance shouldn’t see any quick moves in either direction. Instead, you’ll either win or lose money slowly. This is because low volatility slots generally payout prizes regularly, topping up your account balance often and stopping it from dropping quickly. These wins, however, are nearly always small, meaning that your balance won’t grow fast, either.

At the other end of the spectrum, high volatility slots can lead to your casino balance rising and falling very quickly. They don’t pay out often, so your balance can drop fast; however, when they do payout, the prizes can be huge, meaning your account balance will rise quickly. If you choose to play a high volatility slot, make sure you have a decent account balance, so you can get through any periods of winning nothing.

As you might expect, medium volatility is in the middle of the two, offering a reasonable number of wins of various sizes. For many, medium volatility slots represent the sweet point that they’re comfortable with.

But how exactly do you find out the volatility of an online slot? The slot providers themselves don’t always provide them – although some, like NetEnt, provide details on their website – and the casinos don’t usually mention them either. This means you’ll have to do one of two things: go online and find the volatility out, or play the game for a while and see how big and often the wins are.

What Volatility Level is Best for Me?

Those new to online slots will have to work out which slot volatility is best for them. For those who are a little conservative and averse to risk – something unusual to find at a gambling site – low volatility slots are the best choice. They’re steady and don’t cause many significant fluctuations in your bank balance, so you can play for longer. However, you probably won’t end up winning much unless you’re one of the fortunate ones who manage to hit the jackpot.

On the other hand, high volatility online slots are suitable for risk-takers and those who like to add a bit of spice to their online slots experience. There’s always tension as you get losing spin after losing spin. However, the excitement is always high, as you know that just one winning spin could see you scooping a big prize. As already mentioned, don’t play a high volatility slot if you don’t have a decent account balance, as you could find yourself running out of money quickly.

Like we’ve said, medium volatility online slots are great for those looking for a mixture of regular wins and larger prizes. We’d recommend that new players start with medium volatility slots and then move on to low or high volatility slots, depending on how they find the gameplay at medium volatility games.

The Best Low Volatility Online Slots

If you’re a fan of low volatility online slots, there are plenty to choose from. Take a look at the five slots below if you’re looking for some suggestions on where to start.


Starburst is one of the most popular online slots of all time. Created by NetEnt, it has an outer space theme and straightforward gameplay. You won’t find any fancy bonus round but will instead get to activate respins regularly, which can lead to some huge prizes. If there’s one low volatility slot you should start with, it’s undoubtedly Starburst.

1429 Uncharted Seas

1429 Uncharted Seas takes you back 600 years, to the days when the world was still being discovered. This Thunderkick game won’t wow you with excellent graphics; however, the gameplay is exceptionally enjoyable. Perhaps most importantly, the gameplay’s return-to-player is enormous, coming in at a mighty 98.50%. Play this slot if all you want is a great chance to win money.

Blood Suckers

Blood Suckers is another game from NetEnt, and it’s been around for quite a while. This doesn’t stop it from being a hit with players who love the vampire theme, as well as the incredibly impressive RTP of 98.00%. If you enjoy playing Blood Suckers, don’t forget to try out the sequel, imaginatively titled Blood Suckers II.

Goblin’s Cave

Another tremendous low volatility online slot to try is Goblin’s Cave, which comes from Playtech. Like Blood Suckers, it’s not the best-looking game. However, it’s worth playing thanks to the exceptionally high RTP, which comes in at a massive 99.32%. It’s perfect for those looking for a simple slot, as it only has three reels and three paylines.

Enchanted Garden II

The last low volatility slot you should try is Enchanted Garden II from Real Time Gaming. This slot offers a lot for players to experience, including an exciting theme and great gameplay. It also offers two different free spins features, which can help you win vast sums of money if you’re lucky enough to activate them.

The Top Medium Volatility Slot Machines

Medium volatility slots are the perfect place for new players to start, offering reasonably regular wins and various prize sizes. Check out our top five medium volatility slots below.

Rainbow Riches

One of the most popular slots of all time, Rainbow Riches from Barcrest has a fun Irish theme and some of the most exciting gameplay you’ll ever find. Large prizes can be won during the base game; however, the biggest prizes are generally found during one of the three different bonus features, each of which offers a top prize of 500x your bet.

Reel King

Next up is Reel King, a fantastic online slot from Novomatic. It certainly won’t win many awards for its graphics, but experienced slots players know that there’s more to a game than aesthetics. This game offers a decent top prize of 500x your bet, plus it has a great bonus round that starts every time a Reel King symbol appears on the reels.

Piggy Riches

NetEnt’s Piggy Riches isn’t one of their most celebrated online slots, but it should be. It’s based on a family of rather wealthy pigs and features a great bonus game, which can see you receive up to 28 free spins with a massive 6x multiplier. It also has some fantastic graphics, as well as gameplay that will keep you entertained for ages.

King Kong Cash

King Kong Cash is a top slot from Blueprint Gaming, which takes you into the jungle to meet King Kong and his friends. With a cartoony vibe, it manages to provide fun on every spin, plus the five bonus games and four mini bonus features only add to the game’s excitement. Get lucky while playing this slot and you could win 1,000x your stake.

Mustang Gold

The last medium volatility slot is Mustang Gold, a superb game from Pragmatic Play. This is a game with a great soundtrack, some fantastic bonus games and a seriously enjoyable theme, plus players will get the chance to win some impressive prizes. The top prize is a substantial 1,000x your bet, which can be won during the Jackpot Reveal bonus game.

The Best High Volatility Slots

The Best High Volatility Slots

Finally, we come to high volatility slots, which are generally the most popular slots with players. Take a look below to find out about five high volatility slots we recommend playing.

Gonzo’s Quest

Gonzo’s Quest is one of the most popular online slots ever made. Produced by NetEnt, it centres on a Spanish conquistador named Gonzo, who’s out looking for riches. It has some great features, most notably the Avalanche feature, which allows you to win multiple times on a spin – something that makes every spin a fascinating one.

Immortal Romance

Immortal Romance is a vampire-themed online slot that draws heavy inspiration from the hugely popular Twilight movie series. Even if you’re not a fan of the movies, however, you should check out this high volatility Microgaming slot, which offers some impressively large prizes, as well as no fewer than four different free spins bonuses.

Book of Ra Deluxe

Novomatic’s fantastic Book of Ra Deluxe slot is a massive favourite with players. It’s got a slightly retro feel, which many players love, plus it offers a huge jackpot to the luckiest of players. There’s also a great free spins bonus that features expanding scatter symbols, plus it’s possible to boost your prizes using the gamble feature.


Next up is the superb Bonanza, an online slot from Big Time Gaming. It’s one of the slots with BTG’s fantastic Megaways feature, meaning you never know how many paylines are going to be active on any spin – the most you could find is a huge 117,649. It also has a great free spins feature, during which you could earn an unlimited multiplier.


We recommend that the last high volatility slot you try is Narcos, the spin-off to the superb TV series of the same name. Fans of the show will love what they find. However, you don’t need to have watched it to enjoy this game, which features a considerable number of exciting bonuses, as well as stunning graphics and an impressive jackpot.

Play Low, Medium and High Volatility Slots Today

Regardless of whether you like low, medium or high volatility slots, you’ll find that there are plenty of them to keep you entertained. Every top online casino offers slots of all volatilities, including the casinos we’ve reviewed and recommended here on this site. So, why not look through our reviews and find the online slots site that’s best for you?


Is there any correlation between volatility and RTP?
No, there is no correlation between an online slot’s volatility and its RTP, which stands for return-to-player and tells you how much money a slot will pay back, on average, over an exceptionally long period of playing.
What does “variance” mean?
Variance is another word for volatility – you can use the two words interchangeably, and both mean the same thing. Volatility is the more commonly used term, however.
Do high variance slots have bigger prizes?
No, not at all. The volatility of a slot has nothing to do with the amount of money you could win – low volatility slots can have large prizes, and high volatility slots can have low prizes. Overall, most slots pay out roughly the same in prizes over a set period – it’s just that some pay them in a few big wins, and others spread the money over many smaller wins.
How do I find the volatility of a game?
Some online slot providers will list the volatility of their games on their website, but not all. This means that you’ll simply have to use Google to find the volatility of some slots. Alternatively, play a slot for a while and you should be able to work out how volatile it is.
Are high or low volatility slots better?
This depends on what you like. If you like to know that your bankroll will be getting regular boosts and that you shouldn’t lose money too quickly, go for low volatility slots. If you’d rather play a riskier game, though, where money can be won or lost quickly, choose high volatility slots instead.