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Slots Volatility Guide

The Ultimate Online Slot Volatility Guide: How Often Do Games Pay & Why?​​​​

In this guide, we tackle all the most important aspects of volatility and how it affects the online gambling experience. We want to support our players and help everyone understand the truth of online slots and that the games you play at Slots Temple can always be trusted for fairness.

Volatility in a Nutshell 

Every online slot has a different volatility level. In a nutshell, it comes down to two main principles: 

  • High volatility games offer higher payout amounts but award wins less often
  • Low volatility games offer smaller payout amounts but award wins more often. 

Medium variance slots, and those with low/medium and medium/high volatility levels, fall somewhere in between. 

Volatility should always be one of your first considerations when deciding which slots to play. 

Are Online Slots Rigged?

First, let’s get the most important thing out of the way. Even today, there are some players who believe online slots are rigged to work in favour of the house and it is impossible to win. That is simply not the truth, and we are going to help you understand why this is. 

There are two important things to remember:

  • Every online casino operator (for example, Slots Temple) that offers its services to players in the United Kingdom must have a license from the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC). 
  • The games that are offered by online casinos are created by individual game development studios (for example, Relax Gaming which creates games like Money Train and Push Gaming which creates games like Jammin Jars), and they must also be licensed by the UKGC. 

What the UKGC does is regulate the industry so that you are offered a safe, secure and fair gaming experience while playing casino games online. It oversees all aspects of the online gambling market, ensuring that both casino operators and game development studios are operating above board.

As part of being licensed, all casino operators must be audited regularly for effectiveness of their safety and security practices and software developers must have their games tested for fairness and randomness. If anything is found that compromises the safety of players or the fairness of games, the UKGC issues large fines and can even revoke their license. So, it is always in the best interest for casino operators and software developers to act in the best interests of our players. 

To play without feeling disappointed, we have to come to an understanding of how online gambling, and especially the volatility in games, works.

What is Volatility in Online Slots?

The volatility, also known as risk level, of a slot game is a level of uncertainty that you face when playing a specific casino game. It is not a precise number but a descriptive measure that explains how the game behaves over long periods.

In other words, volatility level is not a promise of any kind but rather a theoretical guideline that is a result of millions of spins.

 Volatility provides a great insight into how the game will behave in the long run, but it’s not something you can use to determine how much you will win.

Why Is Volatility a Determining Factor When Choosing a Game?

If volatility is not a precise measurement, why is it important?

Volatility doesn’t determine how much you are going to win, but it provides a general perspective on how the game behaves and pays.

By knowing the volatility level of the game you are about to play, you can easily figure out:

  • How often the game should potentially pay;
  • How high the base game prizes can be expected to climb.

So, yes, you can look at volatility to see whether a specific title is a good match for the kind of gaming experience you would like to have. However, it is not an indicator of whether or not you will win during a session.

Different Types Of Slot Volatility Explained

It is time to explain different levels of volatility and how they reflect on the gambling experience. Remember, no type of volatility is better than the other. It all comes down to your preferences, style, and willingness to expose yourself to risk.

Here are the most common types of volatility explained.

Low Volatility Slots

Low volatility slots pay more often, but the payouts are smaller than in other games. The main advantage of these slots is that the risk is much lower than in titles with higher volatility.

You are more likely to experience consistent, albeit not groundbreaking, wins throughout your session.

Medium Volatility Slots

Medium volatility slots are balanced to offer regular, moderate payouts and prize levels that lean slightly more toward the payouts seen in highly volatile games.

High Volatility Slots

High-volatility slot games pay less often than any other type of slot. Meanwhile, they also have the potential to pay more than those with lower volatility.

High volatility games have rewarding base games, as well as high maximum wins. 

Is Volatility the Same Thing as Return-to-Player?

Sometimes, players think that volatility is the same thing as the return-to-player (also called RTP or ‘payout percentage’), but they couldn’t be more wrong. Both factors give a clue about how the game will behave, but they work in completely different ways. Toss in the Random Number Generator (RNG), and it is easy to see why there’s some confusion! 

Again, as long as you play with an operator that has a proper license and offers games from reputable suppliers, there is nothing to worry about. The games won’t be rigged. Still, knowing the difference between these three core slot elements is very important.

Volatility vs Return-to-Player vs RNG — What is the Difference?

Just like we’ve said before, the volatility describes how the game will behave in the long run. The level of volatility indicates how much will it pay and how often in theory.

The return-to-player is a completely different factor.

It is precise and expressed in a percentage, stating how much the game pays over time. Keep in mind it is not a promise of how much you are going to win each time you play, as it is calculated based on millions of spins.

Let’s explain it in an example:

Imagine you are playing a game with a return-to-player of 96%. This means the game pays £96 for every £100 played. This doesn’t mean it takes into account only your bets but all bets ever played in the game. In this case, the house edge (or advantage if you wish) is 4%.

Finally, we have the RNG – the Random Number Generator.

The RNG is simply the mechanic behind the game, the algorithm that generates outcomes. Random number generators are unpredictable, and if you play games developed licensed studios, they are carefully monitored by the UKGC and tested regularly by independent auditors to ensure that every outcome of every spin has been totally randomised.

How to Choose the Right Volatility for You?

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could now provide you with a list of games that would make you happy and satisfied? Sadly, that is not possible, as every player has their preferences.

Even so, we can provide you with a couple of guidelines you might find helpful when choosing the right volatility levels for you.

Explore Online Slots and Read Reviews

The first thing you must be aware of is the fact that nowadays, you can access thousands of slots in a single click. This makes it easy to get overwhelmed and you might feel inclined to focus on ads and sponsored content. 

In our opinion, it is much better to put some effort and find the games that will suit you personally, rather than taking a recommendation from a general ad without looking into the gameplay first. 

By reading reviews from players and experts, you get basic info about the theme and features, as well as return-to-player and volatility levels. Do your homework to exclude games that might be too risky for you.

Consider Your Budget

Before you start playing, consider your budget and use responsible gambling tools to limit your spending. Also, think about how much risk you are willing to take.

Playing high-volatility games means you agree to both scenarios: that you might win big and that you might end up empty-handed, as the volatility is very challenging.

Remember — Games Pay In Different Ways

Just like some games use paylines and other cluster pays, they also use different frequencies that enable you to trigger the winning combination. You should be aware that high-volatility games don’t deliver more fun than low-volatility ones. Though they are more likely to pay more once you trigger a win, they can also be very frustrating and challenging. In other words - not everyone’s cup of tea!

Before your next session, think about your goals, preferences, budget, and the risk you are willing to tolerate. By spending just a little bit of time on your research, you can easily improve the level of entertainment by knowing what to expect from different types of slot gameplay. 

Slot Volatility FAQs

Can I win in high-volatility games?

Yes, you can. Still, keep in mind that high-volatility games pay less frequently than others.

What are the best medium volatility games?

The best medium-volatility games are Big Bass Bonanza and Rainbow Riches, according to ratings from our player reviews.

Where can I find the game’s volatility level?

 Find volatility levels in our reviews or by reading the games’ rules. Start the game, hit the menu button and look it up. It is usually on the last page of the paytable or, if there is a scroll, you will have to scroll down to the bottom to see it. You will also find the game’s return-to-player around this location in the paytable.

Do low-volatility games have bonus features?

Yes, they do. You will still find features like free spins and wild symbols in low volatility games.

Can I win in high-volatility games?

Yes, you can. Still, keep in mind that high-volatility games pay less frequently than others.

What are the best medium volatility games?

The best medium-volatility games are Big Bass Bonanza and Rainbow Riches, according to ratings from our player reviews.

Where can I find the game’s volatility level?

 Find volatility levels in our reviews or by reading the games’ rules. Start the game, hit the menu button and look it up. It is usually on the last page of the paytable or, if there is a scroll, you will have to scroll down to the bottom to see it. You will also find the game’s return-to-player around this location in the paytable.

Do low-volatility games have bonus features?

Yes, they do. You will still find features like free spins and wild symbols in low volatility games.

Can I win in high-volatility games?

Yes, you can. Still, keep in mind that high-volatility games pay less frequently than others.

What are the best medium volatility games?

The best medium-volatility games are Big Bass Bonanza and Rainbow Riches, according to ratings from our player reviews.

Where can I find the game’s volatility level?

 Find volatility levels in our reviews or by reading the games’ rules. Start the game, hit the menu button and look it up. It is usually on the last page of the paytable or, if there is a scroll, you will have to scroll down to the bottom to see it. You will also find the game’s return-to-player around this location in the paytable.

Do low-volatility games have bonus features?

Yes, they do. You will still find features like free spins and wild symbols in low volatility games.