How Do You Know if a Slot Has a High Variance or Low Variance?

Slot Variance

If you are trying to decide which slot to play at an online or land based casino it is always a good idea to factor the slot’s variance into your decision. Slot variance refers to the risk factor associated with each game. A slot that has a low variance frequently awards the player wins, but these winnings are relatively small. On the other hand, a slot that offers high variance rewards the player with big jackpots, but these jackpots are only struck occasionally and in between such big wins there may be extended period where the player receives no smaller wins. For this reason high variance slots are often described as “streaky”. At online casinos you will find low, mid and high variance slots and these slots have been designed to accommodate different players’ needs.

Determining a Slot Machine’s Variance

How do you determine a particular slot’s variance? In most cases, casinos do not explicitly advertise the slot machine’s variance and players need to refer to the game’s paytable to reach an idea of the game’s payout rate. When you look at the paytable you need to compare the wins awarded to different combinations. Look at the amount you receive for landing three or four of the same icons in a winning combination. Compare this amount to the total you receive for landing a winning combination with five icons. If you receive a relatively small amount for getting three or four icons in a winning pattern, but the win increases substantially if the winning combination features five icons (more than 10 times as much as you would receive for three or four icons, for example), it is likely that you are playing a machine with a high variance. With low variance slot machines there is usually not an extremely large difference between the prize you receive for hitting three or four icons in a winning pattern and the prize you get when you land a winning pattern with five icons. The paytable should give you some indication of the game’s variance. However, these guidelines do not always apply equally well to all slot machines. The best way to determine a slot’s variance is to look at the software suppliers specifications for the game. These specifications are not always readily available, but there are other means players can use to assess a casino game’s variance.

Assessing Slot Variance: Playing the Demo Version

A simple and pleasurable means of assessing a slot machine’s variance is to play the game in the free mode for some time until you are able to determine whether the game awards small wins frequently, or large wins infrequently. This is one of the best ways of determining if a game’s variance suits your needs because casino games function exactly the same in the free mode as they would if you were playing with real money. Playing in free mode also allows you to familiarise yourself with the game before you make a deposit. When you have played the casino game for a while, it is time to inspect your virtual credits. If you quickly lost most of your credits or hit a reasonably large win during the virtual play it is probable that your slot offers a high variance. If you have enjoyed a lengthy playing session and you have retained many of your credits through a series of small wins, it is likely that you are playing a low variance game. A game that offers mid variance would usually grant the player a number of wins, and these wins would on average be larger than the low variance winnings, but they would also probably occur less frequently. Games that feature large prizes for scatter or wild wins are also predominantly high variance.

How to Determine if Low or High Variance Slots will Best Suit You

Your budget and time will determine whether a low or high variance slot would best suit you. If your bankroll is large enough to sustain extended periods where there may be no winnings, a high variance slot may be a good choice for you. High variance slots offer the largest jackpots and if you are able to play until you hit one of these jackpots it may well be worth the wait. If you want to play for as long as possible, a low variance machine would be a better option. Low variance casino games also offer jackpots and although these are infrequently struck, scores of smaller wins will keep you on the edge of your seat for hours. Many pubs make use of low variance slot machines, because the people who play these machines are less interested in hitting major jackpots than enjoying a slow paced, rewarding gambling session.

Examples of High and Low Variance Slots

The software company Microgaming boasts a large number of online slots, ranging from low and mid to high variance. If you are playing at a Microgaming casino, such as Red Flush, you may want to try the following popular, slow paced, low variance slots: Moonshine, Munchkins, Pharaoh’s Tomb, Monster Mania and Chief’s Magic. Among Microgaming’s high variance games are some of the most well-known online slots ever created; be sure to try Immortal Romance, Thunderstruck 2, Supe it Up and Golden Goose slots. Progressive jackpot slots are also high variance and Microgaming’s range of progressive jackpot slots have paid out over € 375 million, so if you think the risk involved in high variance games is perfect for you, try your luck at Mega Moolah, King Cashalot, Wow Pot or Major Millions.

The Benefits of Low and High Variance Online Slots

It is a good idea to assess a particular slot’s variance before you decide to play. High variance games offer excitement and, in the case of progressive jackpots, the prospect of unimaginable riches. However, if you are a frequent player and want to prolong your playing session it makes sense to choose a game with low variance. Bear in mind that the results on slot machines are always random and whether you are playing on a machine that offers low, mid or high variance, you should never chase losses or assume that if you play long enough you will hit the jackpot.