"Extreme volatility", "low volatility", "volatility to be reviewed" - have you ever heard of volatility, but don't really know what it means?
Then you've come to the right place.
In this in-depth guide, we're going to tell you exactly what volatility is, and all the concepts behind it. By the end of this article, we promise that beginners will have a firm grasp of this principle.
For players who are already familiar with this term, we recommend that you stick around. You'll learn some very interesting things about volatility, including its direct relationship with Theoretical Return to Player (RTP).
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What is volatility?
Volatility is information that lets you know how the slot machine you're playing will return your money.
This information is provided (not always) by the game supplier.
Additionally, this term is used for all the games that are available to play at an online casino:
It's important to understand that volatility and RTP are two different things.
Volatility lets you understand how a slot machine is supposed to return your money (hit, bonus, max win, etc.).
RTP, on the other hand, lets you know how much a game is supposed to give you back in real money over the long term.
Understanding slot machine volatility
Volatility on a slot machine is easier to understand than that on a live game. As you're about to read, there are three different volatilities.
Each has its own specificity, which we'll let you discover in the following lines.
Knowing the volatility of a slot machine
Depending on the game supplier in question, it will be more or less easy to find out the volatility of a slot machine game. Some providers, such as Pragmatic Play, Hacksaw Gaming, and Nolimit City, include this information in the following manner:
Directly on the slot machines
Directly on the site page
The volatility is often represented by filled symbols, which are counted in 5's. The more filled symbols, the more volatile the game, and vice versa.
Some game providers, however, such as Play'n GO or Big Time Gaming, don't offer this information. We deeply regret this, because knowing the volatility of a game is a very important aspect that every software developer should provide.
Which volatility to choose?
Depending on the way you choose to play, you'll need to choose a different volatility.
If you're an aggressive player, searching for a jackpot at any price, it would be wise to turn to highly volatile games.
On the other hand, if you want to win regularly, but aren't interested in a jackpot, then low-volatility games are for you.
There are also intermediate games, which are the perfect mix between low and high volatility. With these games, you'll win more regularly than when playing a low-volatility game, but your winnings will also be smaller in comparison.
What influence does volatility have on earnings?
Volatility has absolutely no influence on winnings. All slot machine spins are provided by a Random Number Generator (RNG).
This means that each spin is independent of the next and does not take into account external factors (RTP, volatility, previous wins, etc.).
However, volatility can help you understand how a game will return your money.
A low-volatility game will give you your money back fairly regularly, with small winnings. A highly volatile game, on the other hand, may take a lot of your money over several spins, and then, potentially, suddenly enable you to hit the jackpot.
Different volatilities in the online casino world
There are three different volatilities in slot machines.
To give you an idea, let's put a figure on volatility from 1 to 5.
Highly volatile slot machines are between 4 and 5
Slot machines with medium volatility range from 2.5 to 4
Slots with very low volatility are between 1 and 2.5
Three highly volatile slot machines
San Quentin (Nolimit City)
San Quentin is one of the most volatile slot machines in existence. This Nolimit City creation allows you to win up to 150,000 times your initial bet. It boasts an RTP of 96.03%, which puts it in the middle of the market.
The base game is highly volatile, but it's the free games that can take you to unexpected heights.
Gates of Olympus (Pragmatic Play)
The advantage of this game is that you can win the maximum payout during free spins, as well as during pay spins.
A maximum payout of 5,000 times your initial stake awaits you on this unique game.
If you don't have the patience for the free spins, rest assured because you can buy them for 100 times your initial stake.
Wanted Dead or a Wild (Hacksaw Gaming)
Extreme volatility is synonymous with Wanted Dead or a Wild.
This Hacksaw Gaming creation is the game provider's most volatile. Its strength lies in its maximum payout of 12,500 times your initial stake.
In the base game or during your free games, you'll be able to potentially win it.
With three different bonus games, there's plenty to keep you entertained.
In addition to this, if you're not patient, you can buy them directly.
Three moderately volatile slot machines
Sweet Bonanza (Pragmatic Play)
Sweet Bonanza is the most-played medium-volatility slot that is available on the iGaming market. The base game pays out fairly regularly, and the free games can be very generous.
The maximum payout is capped at 21,100 times your initial stake. But it's impossible to win.
Additionally, this popular slot machine game allows you to buy bonuses for 100 times your initial stake.
Snake Arena (Relax Gaming)
We also like the 96.25% theoretical Return to Player (RTP). The basic gameplay of this slot is pleasant enough, but the free games will take you on a new adventure.
Golden Colts (Play'n GO)
Golden Colts is a slot machine we really like for its bonus hunts.
When playing this slot, bonus games are easy to obtain, and nice little winnings can be pocketed. Like in all Play'n GO slots, you won't be able to buy any free games here.
During the base game, the slot machine will give you money back fairly regularly.
Three low-volatility slot machines
Wild North (Play'n GO)
However, it's important to understand that you'll have virtually no chance of winning large sums of money on this game.
We love to play it when we have a wager, as it pays out very regularly.
The Catfather Part II
We love playing this game because its base game pays out very regularly.
Keep in mind that free games can't be bought with this slot, which is a rarity with this game provider.
This slot machine is also a game that will aid you greatly in attempting to close your wager.
Royal Cash (iSoftBet)
Royal Cash is a slot machine that's not at all volatile.
This iSoftBet creation isn't very well known, but we play it regularly when we're out and about.
It's a game where you can regularly win small amounts of money, which is always a good thing.
Our conclusion on online casino volatility
Volatility is a very easy concept to understand. It has a direct influence on your choice of games. This information is vital to know, as it will help you understand how a game will return your money.
The more volatile it is, the less likely you'll win on a regular basis, but, when this is the case, the wins that you land can also be quite massive.
On the other hand, a game with very little volatility will give you money back regularly, but you'll have virtually no chance of hitting the jackpot.
You can find out the volatility of a game directly on the slot machine. But be careful, as not all game suppliers make it a habit of sharing this information.
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