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What is Variance in Online Slots

In Entertainment
July 13, 2021
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While variance is not a new term associated with casinos, it has gained a lot of traction recently. Punters use it to predict their performance playing slots, which enables them to plan their bankrolls accordingly.

Simply put, online slot variance tells you how frequently you’re likely to land a winning combo and the payout amount to expect. You can find some of the best variance slots in the top 5 casinos listed in OnlineUnitedStatesCasinos.com.

Slot Variance Levels

There are three primary slot variance levels; high, medium, and low. But for some, especially the veterans, these titles can have up to five levels. So, which variance is the best to stake your money?

1.   High-Variance Slots

High-variance slots come with the most significant risk but also the most immense rewards. Their developers program the games’ RNG not to show winning combos frequently, but the wins are enormous when they do. To this effect, you’ll need to plan a large budget and expect numerous spins before landing a win.

Here are some games with a high variance;

  1. Book Of Dead: Play’n GO’s Book Of Dead comes with many exciting features, including free spins, expanding wilds, and scatters. Its maximum win can earn you up to 50,000x your total stake.
  2. Bonanza: Big Time Gaming created this game to have 117,649 payways, with features like bonus rounds and re-spins. Its multiplier has no limit and increases with each successive win, which could lead to massive payouts.

2.   Medium-High Variance Slots

These types of games have almost the same payouts and regularity in landing wins as the high-variance group. And just like high-variance slots, these slots are best for high-rollers who are prepared to risk large sums to win big rewards.

Examples of medium-high variance slots include;

  1. The Wish Master by NetEnt: The Wish Master has a 5×3 grid layout with 20 paylines. It’s a medium-high variance game because its bets range between 0.01 and 0.50 per payline. That way, players get payouts corresponding to their wager amounts.
  2. Jack And The Beanstalk: Also by NetEnt, Jack And The Beanstalk is a 5-reel, 3-row, and 20-payline game. Players can adjust their coin values with each game, allowing them a chance at the 60,000 coin jackpot.

3.   Medium Variance Slots

The sweet spot between high and low variance games—medium variance slots offer mid-sized wins and winning combos. They are perfect for players who are willing to take small risks but not with big bankrolls.

Medium variance slot games include;

  1. Flame Busters: Thunderkick created this game, basically entailing fighting flames to win. Landing 3 or more scatters wins players up to 20 free spins. If you get a scatter during a free spin, the game offers a chance to beat the flames and get an enormous reward.
  2. Untamed Giant Panda: The game is Microgaming’s product, with 243 winning ways. It comes with free spins, lucky nudges, and a gamble feature that could earn you up to 20x your total wins.

4.   Medium-Low Variance Slots

Medium-low variance slots offer smaller but more frequent wins than the regular medium variance ones. Because of the higher chance of landing winning combinations, they present lower risks.

Below are some medium-low variance slots

  1. BerryBurst: BerryBurst by NetEnt has five reels, three rows, and no paylines. To win, players have to match five or more symbols in a cluster. If your winning combo has a raspberry, you get up to 500x your wager.
  2. Incinerator: Developed by Yggdrasil, Incinerator allows punters to get small regular payouts with a chain of winning combos. Though it doesn’t feature any free spins, you get to score big with numerous wild symbols.

5. Low Variance Slots

Low variance slots offer the most minor wins with the highest hit frequency of all the variance levels. Casino newbies would enjoy these games most because they involve the lowest risk. All you have to do is load your bankroll with a couple of dollars, and you’re set for hours.

Here are some of the most popular low-variance slots;

  1. Starburst: Starburst by NetEnt features a simplistic design and often pays out but with a small amount. Its main bonus feature is respins, which give you the chance to land several wilds.
  2. Hit In Vegas: Taking you right to the heart of Sin City with five reels and 40 paylines is Microgaming’s Hit In Vegas. Its most attractive features include numerous free spins and generous bonuses.

Measuring Online Slots Variance

Players who want to get the slot variance themselves will need to measure it by spinning. It can take many rounds to get accurate results on what to expect—around 100+ or even more. That’s why it’s always important to practice on free slots demo versions.

Also, remember to pay close attention to the paytable because it lets you compare the slot’s highest reward to its maximum bet limit. If the difference ranges between 40% and 50%, it’s a mid to high variance game.

You can tell that a slot has low variance if the difference between its most significant wins and the maximum wager is small. That means that for it to work and attract more players, it has to offer frequent hits.

Variance And Volatility

Both variance and volatility refer to the amount of risk associated with online slot games. In other words, they give players an indication of what to expect regarding payouts and getting winning combinations.

The only difference between the two terms is that volatility refers to a slot’s risk factor in the short run, say a several hour’s gameplay session. Variance, on the other hand, is the risk involved in a game within an extended period.

Variance And RTP

As mentioned earlier, variance involves a slot’s risk factor and the amount of payout to expect in the long term. In contrast, the Return To Player (RTP) refers to the bet amount a game returns to players, also in the long run.

Game developers set a slot’s RTP as a percentage of the total bets that players can win back. So regardless of whether a game offers frequent small wins or few large combos, the player should still expect a 93% to 98% return in the long term.

Understanding Slot Variance Can Change Everything

Learning about variance will give you an edge when picking your favorite slots and getting the most value out of them. After all, having the best gaming experience comes down to your risk tolerance and bankroll size.

 Author Bio

Hi! I’m Bryan, and I’m a passionate & expert writer with more than five years of experience. I have written about various topics such as product descriptions, travel, cryptocurrencies, and online gaming in my writing journey. The latter is one of my favorite topics, and you can find some of my premium casino content at OUSC.