What is volatility in slots and how to determine it

Что такое волатильность

Casino slots always have clear performance indicators. Most of them can be expressed quantitatively. For example, the payback parameter, also known as RTP, is calculated as a percentage, payout limits - in a multiplier of the bet, lines - in the number of paid sequences. Volatility is the exception to the rule. This indicator has a conventional designation and cannot be expressed as a number. Meanwhile, it is very important and has a huge impact on the behavior of the slot.

What is volatility

This concept is very common in the gambling industry. Moreover, most users unknowingly confuse it with dispersion. But if the latter is a deviation of the actual results from the mathematical expectation, then in the case of volatility it is a different matter. In simple words, this is an indicator of the riskiness of the game. It determines the frequency and amount of payouts received in the slot.

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There are several volatility levels in total.

Risk levelResult
HighHigh volatility slots 838 дают выплаты редко, но их средних размер довольно внушительный. Такие автоматы отлично подойдут людям, у которых есть крупный банкролл и время на игру. Нередко до получения хорошей выплаты требуется совершить несколько сотен вращений. Однако итоговые призовые вполне могут покрыть затраты и вывести пользователя в плюс.
AverageSlots from the so-called golden mean. They are the most popular among players due to the balance between frequency and payout sizes. Most slots have medium volatility. They are suitable for people who do not like to sit without winnings for a long time.
LowThe payouts here are frequent, in almost every spin. However, the winnings may not even cover the cost of the spin. The advantage of such slots is their ability to keep the balance for a long time without sudden jumps. These machines are suitable for owners of small bankrolls.

The volatility parameter applies not only to regular spins, but also to all mechanics available in the machine, including free spins and bonus rounds.

The risk level does not have a numerical expressions and is indicated by providers with the words High (high), Medium (medium) or Low (low).

Sometimes the volatility in different game modes is different. For example, in slots where the user chooses from several bonus options, the latter may have different levels of risk.

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How to determine volatility yourself

As a rule, developers of slot machines indicate the value of riskiness in the characteristics of slots. But users can determine the amount of volatility on their own, starting from the maximum payout indicator. There is a direct relationship between prize money and risk:

  • If the payout limit is more than x10,000, the volatility in the slot is high.
  • If the maximum prize is between x5000 and x10,000, the risk level will be average.
  • If the machine gives no more than x5000 of the user's bet, then it is low volatile.

There is also some dependence of the risk on the percentage of return on funds. As the RTP increases, the volatility decreases.

Money Train 2
One of the most popular high volatility slots Money Train 2

There are several ways to assess the riskiness of the machine. The easiest is to look at the characteristics of the slot. You can also run the machine in trial mode. In most casinos, all machines have a trial version in which bets are made with play chips. It saves the parameters of the slots, so you can draw certain conclusions.

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Which volatility to choose

There is no single answer to this question. The profitability of the game in the machine is determined by its rate of return of funds, that is, RTP. The higher this parameter, the more money the slot returns at a distance. The choice of volatility depends on the following factors:

  • Bankroll. As volatility increases, the user's initial budget should also grow. In high risk slots, there are long series of spins without payouts, so the money should be enough for at least 200-300 spins.
  • Goals of the game. If the user wants to winjackpot or get a really big payout, high volatility slots are more suitable for him. Slots with a low level of risk keep balance better and are a good solution for long gaming sessions.

Volatility cannot be considered as the only criterion for choosing a slot. In addition to it, it is necessary to take into account other important parameters, starting with the same RTP and ending with in-game mechanics.

Richard "Boz" Bosworth is the main partner and CEO of the young company JC Hospitality, LLC ...
Elizaveta Ershova
Author of informational articles
Position: Author of informational articles about casinos and gambling Higher education Age: 27 years old Experience: more than 5 years Short biography: Born on August 13, 1995 in St. Petersburg. After graduating from school, she entered the philological faculty of St. Petersburg State University. While still studying, Elizaveta started pi...
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