Online Slots Volatility: What Does It Mean For Slots Players?

Even some experienced online casino players are unaware of slots volatility. This is because it’s one of many features of a slot machine, and it’s arguably the least interesting. However, it can be extremely useful in knowing exactly what to expect from a slot.

A slot’s volatility—or where the slot falls on the Volatility Index (VI)—represents how often a slot triggers a win and the typical size of the wins. This is separate from RTP, which tells you how much a slot pays out on average.

Different Types Of Slots Volatility

Slots volatility ranges from high to low. The lower the volatility, the more often you’ll win, but the lower the typical payout. The higher the volatility, the less often you’ll win, but the wins will typically be on the higher side.

You can also find online slots with medium volatility as well as medium-low and medium-high volatility.

For example, let’s say you start with $100 at a low volatility slot. If you place $5 bets at a time, you can generally expect frequent wins that range from $1 to $10.

With a high volatility slot, you can play $1 spins 99 times and never get a win, then hit a $300 payout on the 100th spin.

However, the Volatility Index (VI) only represents the average. A high volatility slot may payout with the frequency of a low volatility slot and vice versa. 

The only truly smart way to play the slots is by utilizing Responsible Gaming strategies.

Volatility Versus RTP

Slots volatility is how often a slot typically pays out, whereas Return to Player (RTP) is how much a casino game pays back to players. 

For example, an RTP of 90% means the slot pays $90 in winnings for every $100 wagered. Both high volatility and low volatility slots can have a 90% RTP.

Like with volatility, RTP represents the average and does not guarantee results. A slot’s RTP of 90% can still mean you’ll lose your entire bankroll – just like you could walk away with the million-dollar progressive jackpot.

How Can You Find A Slot’s Volatility

You have three potential options for determining a slot’s volatility. Ideally, the online casino will simply tell you the volatility when you click to see its info. 

Unfortunately, Golden Nugget (available in New Jersey and Michigan) is one of the only online casinos that display the volatility for every slot.

Another option is to Google search the slot title with the word “volatility” to hopefully find some information. For example, “Mercy of the Gods Slot Volatility.” If you go this route, make sure to check a couple of different sources to make sure that it’s an accurate Volatility Index level.

You can also try out the slot in demo practice mode, which usually gives you a good idea of the volatility. It’s smart to try a slot in demo practice mode before risking real money anyway. Playing the slot is the only way to know if the game is for you.

High Volatility Slots At US Online Casinos

Some of the most popular high volatility slots that you can find at most online casinos in the US include:

  • Mercy of the Gods
  • Gonzo’s Quest
  • Wheel of Fortune Megaways

While the payouts are infrequent, the wins are often enormous.

Medium Volatility Slots At US Online Casinos

Many players will enjoy the medium volatility slots. These create a nice middle ground by balancing the big and small wins as well as the hot and cold streaks. Here are some of the most popular options:

  • Divine Fortune
  • 88 Fortunes
  • Monopoly Megaways

In fact, those three slots are among the most popular online games in the US.

Low Volatility Slots At US Online Casinos

Low volatility slots are harder to find than high and medium volatility games. But here are a few examples of games that payout low wins with high frequency:

  • Lucky Cherry
  • Irish Magic
  • American Gold Rush

Even at Golden Nugget Online Casino, there’s no way to browse slots by volatility. But if you’re a low-budget slots player that wants to play as long as possible, low volatility games are worth seeking out.

About the Author

Mike Epifani

Mike Epifani (shown here at Caesar's Palace Las Vegas) is a highly experienced online gambling writer who specializes in online casinos and sports betting sites. From the nuances of bonus offers to winning strategies and beyond, his insights have helped countless remote bettors keep more of their money while having fun and staying safe.