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How volatility and RTP affect your gameplay

How volatility and RTP affect your gameplay

Both volatility and Return-To-Player (RTP) play a pivotal role in casino slots, so comprehending how these two affect your gameplay, can help you create a strategy.

Slots have various volatility levels, so knowing how to use volatility together with RTP in your favour can help save your bankroll and ultimately prolong your gameplay.

Top 3 High Volatility Slots

Immortal Romance – Microgaming – RTP: 96.86% 

Immortal Romance High Volatility Slot

Ah the mandatory vampire-themed slot! Immortal Romance is a modern 5-reel slot game that offers a whopping 243 ways to win. Complete with Lionhead scatters, wilds and multipliers, you can easily snap up to 25 free spins in this entertaining and yet spooky casino slot.

Unibet Casino

Dead or Alive – NetEnt – RTP: 96.82%

Dead Or Alive High Volatility Slot

Dead or Alive Slot by NetEnt has been around for many years now, but is still very popular. The slot machine has 5 reels and a maximum of 9 win lines. The theme is wild west with Sticky Wilds and Wild Symbol on the reels depending if you are playing with free spins or real money.

Video Slots Casino

Book of Dead – Play’n GO – RTP: 96.21%

Book Of Dead High Volatility Slot

This exciting, daring adventures themed slot, around ancient storytelling includes Peals of India, Aztec Idols and Ancient Egypt. The online slot has 5 reels and 10 paylines.  Book of dead is one of the most played both online and in land based casinos. Let yourself go on an intrepid quest and discover the wonders of Ancient Egypt with best in class graphics, realistic animations and amusing sounds.

Spela Casino


Top 3 Low Volatility Slots

Starburst – NetEnt – RTP: 96.09%

Starburst Slot Low Volatility Slot Machine

The mighty Starburst! Most slot machine fans know about this legendary game. Probably the most popular slot of this decade. Here are some features of Starburst: Default maximum bet is € £ 5000, 10 fixed bet lines at different levels and coin values, the hit frequency is 22%, and if you are a low risk, low volatility kind of player, this slot’s minimum bet is only 10 cents. This should get you excited to go click the link below and try the game.

Party Casino

Sunny Shores – Yggdrasil – RTP: 96.2%

Sunny Shore Slot Machine Low Volatility

Sunny Shores slot is a summer themed slot with a 5×5 reels and 27 pay lines. This slot machine was released in 2017 by Yggdrasil software provider and according to Yggdrasil themselves the maximum win was €40,500. The volatility is very low at 24 out of 100 and maximum coin size is 5. If you are craving a summer vacation, in a cold winter evening, hop on the online casino by clicking the link below to start playing this video slot and claim a nice bonus as well.

Rizk Casino


Thunderstruck II – Microgaming – 96.65%

Thunderstruck II Casino Slot Machine Game Low Volatility

Thunderstruck II is a flagship slot machine by the leading game provider in the industry, Microgaming. For those slot machine fanatics who want to go back in time, then this slot is for you. The theme revolves around Norse mythology and the ancient city of Asgard. Some more data about Thunderstruck slot machine: the game has 5 reels and 243 paylines with multiple triggers that will unlock 4 amazing features, the Thor, Loki, and Odin.

The slot has great graphics and amazing sound effects especially if you have a gamer’s headphones.  The slot is considered as progressive, giving the the power of chose. You can choose which bonus to play as you progress further and the wilds double your win which makes it even more attractive for low volatility slot players. You can claim a free spins bonus playing Thunderstuck II at many popular online casinos.

Casino Gods Casino


What is volatility in online casino games?

Volatility, in short, refers to the risk level of you losing your bet when playing casino games. It also influences how much money you could win in the long run.

Depending on whether the slot game of your choice has low, medium or high volatility levels, they each come with various benefits which you should use to your advantage.

Of course, as a player, you are always looking to win more cash when you are gambling online so you might be in search of slot games with a low-risk factor. In an ideal world, we’d avoid high-risk slots and stick to low-risk ones but in the online casino world, developers, as well as some experienced gamblers, still prefer slot games with a high volatility factor.

Some players play slot games with various levels of volatility for a myriad of reasons. Granted, that slots with low volatility pay a lot more often, the big wins lie with high volatility slot games. Low-risk slot games pay on a more regular basis, their wins are on the smaller scale.

On the other hand, slot games with high variances don’t pay out on a regular basis but the wins are on a much larger scale.

What type of variance you should be going for, depends on various factors. It all depends on what type of gaming experience you are after, how much money you can afford to lose and the game’s RTP.

How does RTP affect volatility in online casino games?

Betting known as Return-to-Player, RTP is expressed as a percentage in casino games. Most online slots have an RTP between 93 and 98%, while some developers create slot games with a slightly higher RTP than others.

Let’s put this into perspective. The RTP is the expected amount per bet. If you wager £50, you can expect circa £48 back. This is applied to a specific number of spins as well as a theoretical value so there are no rules attached to this.  It does not, in any way, mean that if a slot game has an RTP value of 99%, you are expected to win 99% of all your bets back.

It comes as no surprise then, that the RTP affects volatility in slot games. It is the variance that ultimately decides the differences in theoretical RTP per single session. It is because of this reason that slot games with a low variance tend to alter from this percentage since they pay very small payouts but on a regular basis.

If you make a bet of £10 and win £15, that is an RTP of 150%. It is considered a very considerable win on such a game.

If you prefer slot games with high volatility, it also means that these games will vary from the theoretical example from the previous example. For example, if you spin 10 times and you win nothing, that’s an RTP of 0%. However, if you keep at it, you can expect a considerable payout.

For example, if you hit a win after your 300th spin, you can win 1,000x your bet with an RTP of 333%, which is quite steep when compared to the theoretical RTP.

It is because of this very reason that high volatile slots have lower RTP percentages. Wins are much rarer, but when players hit a win, it’s quite significant.

High volatility vs low volatility

Volatility, also known as variance, in slot games can be described as the amount of risk in a particular game. High volatility games are riskier – they pay out less frequently but the payouts tend to be larger. You can easily spin through your bankroll on a high volatility game with no wins and then break the dry streak with a large win.

Low volatility games, on the other hand, pay out more regularly but in smaller amounts. These are considered lower risk because the regular, small wins will balance out the losses. You are likely to keep your bankroll at the same or a similar level when playing low volatility games over time.

It is worth noting that volatility applies not only to online slot games but to physical slot machines too!

Slot games of various volatility levels

Low Volatility: Probably the most popular type of slot game, low volatile slots pay frequently and have high RTP. Though payouts are on the smaller side, they will occur on a regular basis. In general, it keeps you going for quite a while.

Medium Volatility: These medium-risk slots means you can win both small and big payouts. They pay out quite frequently but much less than low volatile slot games.  They can be quite frustrating to gamblers, since it is quite difficult to know when to expect a win. They are however, ideal for players who want something a little more exciting than low variance slot games and those gamblers who have a bigger bankroll. If you like to play a little longer, medium variance slots are ideal.

High Volatility:  These slot games are not for the faint-hearted. High risk and quite fast-paced, a high volatile slot game doesn’t pay on a regular basis, but when you hit a win, it will be on a larger scale. Imagine, you can be spinning the reels for a long time without hitting a win but when you do, expect it to rain.  When it comes to these types of slot games, it is always best to have a large bankroll, and that you can afford to keep on spinning since there will be a dry spell ahead.

How to determine slot volatility

The thing about volatility is that game developers are not keen to give out information on this particular aspect of their work. So, how do you figure it out?

The best way to guess at a slot’s volatility is to play it. Personal preference and your own gambling style certainly play into how a game works for you, so there are no ‘good’ or ‘bad’ games, only ones you do or do not enjoy playing.

User forums are also a good place to get an idea of a slot’s volatility. Just keep in mind that a gambling experience is a highly personal thing and thus, is very subjective.

Finally, demo play is another way to get a feel for the kind of volatility you can expect from a slot. Play a number of rounds (without spending your money) to help you figure out how the game works.

How to pick a slot based on volatility?

The information is on the pay information sheet. It is always best to research before jumping in and spin the reels to any old slot. Once you have checked the RTP and volatility, have a strategy in place.

If you are after a big win, forget low volatility slots and always remember, that the longer you play, the more you are likely to lose it all due to the house edge.

Have a budget and set a loss limit when playing medium volatility slot games. Different strategies need to be applied according to the various volatility levels. You need to know when to go ahead and play on and when to quit.

When it comes to high variance slot games, these games will engulf your bankroll quite quickly. Make sure you have a bankroll big enough to afford spinning the reels without any rewards for a long time.

What should I play?

Setting aside personal preferences, the one determining factor for playing high volatility slots versus low volatility slots is your budget. If you are happy to risk a long dry streak, with the chance of a big win at the end, go for high volatility.

Players with smaller budgets, on the other hand, will get more entertainment value (and longer playing time) with the repeated rewards offered in low volatility slots.

Check out the casinos below to play all kinds of games, most of which offer a free demo version so you can get a feel for their volatility.

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