Slot Volatility Guide: High vs Low Volatility Slots | LeoVegas

Slot Volatility: High vs Low Volatility Slots

Summary: Slot volatility refers to how often a particular slot game or machine pays out and the average size of the winnings. A slot with high volatility pays out less frequently but with larger wins, while a slot with low volatility pays out more often but with smaller wins.

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Volatility - you’ve probably heard this word before, be it in terms of the stock exchange or casino slot games. But what does ‘Volatility’ really mean and how can it help you determine which online slots are best to play? Keep reading to learn all about this and more right here, with the LeoVegas Casino Blog!


What’s Slot Game Volatility?

Volatility in slot games, quite simply, speaks to the frequency and size of payouts. Low volatility slots offer frequent but smaller wins, while high volatility slots deliver infrequent, larger wins. How much larger? Well that’s the thing about slot variance - while rare, high volatility slots have the potential to have big payouts and out life-changing wins!


Understanding a slot game or slot machine's volatility, is essential, as it guides expectations and strategies. Whether you’re seeking the thrill of chasing infrequent but sizable jackpots in high volatility slot games, or prefer a more entertaining, less adrenaline packed flow of steady wins in low volatility games, volatility in slots will shape your experience!

What’s the Difference? Low Volatility vs. High Volatility.

Low and high volatility slots sit at different ends of the slot spectrum. Low volatility games provide more consistent, albeit smaller, wins, while in high volatility games, slots payout much less frequently, but when they do, the wins are larger. And in some cases, much, much larger!


Low volatility: Playing low volatility slot games, expect to win often, just not that much. Designed to provide a steady stream of rewards, these low variance slots games allow focus to remain on the entertainment aspect - just for the fun of it all - keeping the experience less risky and bankroll depletion at a minimum. It’s a ‘slow and steady wins’ type of casino game mode.

High volatility: Playing high volatility slots, set your expectations mode to ‘patience’. Wins are few and far between, but when they do hit, they have the potential to be quite exhilarating and in some cases, life changing. But, also to be prepared for some dramatic bankroll swings while riding out the wait. And be sure to set a budget so you don’t get too lost chasing jackpot dreams.

Choosing a game with the right level of volatility means picking one that aligns with your risk tolerance and payout expectations.

Whether it’s for entertainment and the comfort of small, consistent wins (low volatility), or for the dream of hitting a rare, but substantial jackpot (high volatility), there is much choice in the world of slots.

You know your game play and expectations best, and likely already know where you fall between low and high volatility levels! But keep reading to be clear.

The Effect of Volatility on Gameplay & Payouts

Volatility in online slots also influences gameplay and payouts, shaping the overall experience significantly! Since slot volatility refers to the level of risk associated with an online slot, players choosing a high volatility slot should prepare for a game session that may not payout frequently, but has the potential to payout big. On the low volatility scale, players should expect entertainment at its finest, with frequent, albeit smaller wins that keep the dream alive and your heart pumping!

High volatility slot games are characterized by infrequent but potentially significant payouts. If your heart is pumping now, these may be the games for you! High volatility slot games are known for their "boom or bust" thrilling nature, as players often experience long periods without winning, followed by a sudden big payout.

It’s a crazy ride of adrenaline - and the ticket to climb aboard is often a substantial bankroll that can endure the length of a journey to jackpots! Plus, take note that the payouts are usually higher but so are the minimum buy-ins.

To play these games for extended sessions sometimes involves a slow and steady drain on your bankroll, and if you’re lucky, a dramatic boost when a huge win really hits. You’ll want to come equipped with a stomach that can handle the swings, and enjoy patience to wait out time between wins.

Advantages of High Volatility Slots

High volatility slots have the potential to reward big. And with that big winning potential on hand, they can often be an exhilarating experience that combines the thrills of slot play’s usual entertainment with a serious dose of adrenaline. These games attract risk-takers who aspire to land significant windfalls despite the infrequent payouts, embracing the inherent uncertainty for the promise of life-changing rewards with each spin acting like a lottery ticket of sorts!


To maximize winnings when playing high volatility slots, it's crucial to employ strategic gameplay. This involves setting a budget, managing bets wisely, and understanding the game's mechanics, such as paylines, bonus features, and symbols before settling in. Players can also benefit from patience, as these high variance slots may require perseverance before the big win arrives.

Best High Volatility Slot Games at LeoVegas

Sweet Bonanza


A delicious indulgence, Sweet Bonanza by Pragmatic Play is one of the most popular high volatility slots on the market today - and is an absolute treat to play. Playful and colourful features fill the 5x6 matrix that’s full of juicy delights and bountiful bonuses that can award up to 21,100x the bet.

It’s got all the bonus bells and whistles, including our favourite bonus, the Candy Bomb. This rainbow grenade can drop during fFree spin rounds, awarding multipliers of 2x to 100x. Mix in the tumble feature and the rewards can keep dropping! It’s worth treating yourself to.

Wanted Dead or a Wild

Fancy yourself a winning gunslinger? Take a seat and try your antics in the Wild West with Hacksaw Gaming’s Wanted Dead or a Wild. This movie-esque feature plays out on a 5x5 grid, with an impressive top prize that can fire 12,500x your bet your way.

Let’s talk features. This high volatility slot features a Duel at Dawn bonus that has two outlaws drawing their pistols in a shoot-out, firing multipliers at each other that reach 100x. In its morbid end, you’ll get the prize won by the last man standing. Then there’s Dead Man Hand, an engaging two-part bonus that will leave you with Wilds and multipliers to build wins. And finally, the Great Train Robbery is a heist that rewards free spins. Quite the storyline, loaded with engaging features and fun.

Leprechaun Goes Wild

Leprechaun Goes Wild-min.jpg

Luck is always with the Irish, including Play’n GO Leprechaun Goes Wild high volatility slot game. Follow this mini ginger across 5 reels and 20 paylines in search of a pot of gold that pays 10,000x your bet!

Two main features, free spins and the Luck of the Irish are intertwined. To launch these, you’ll need to track four leaf clovers, Scatters, Sticky symbols, and Wild Scatters to launch feisty free spins. Trust us, this cheery lad’s joy is quite contagious and you’re sure to be entertained.

Book of Dead

Book of Dead-min.jpg

Play’n GO launched Book of Dead that follows the tale of Rich Wilde, an adventurer who seeks great fortune in the form of wins that hit 5,000x your stake. Honestly, this online slot game, is a legend and stands as one of the most popular online casino games and the premier choice in the crowded space of Ancient Egyptian themed slots - and that’s saying a lot!

Flip open this 5x3 reeled, 10 payline book open for features that are rich and immersive, including free spins. Land three or more Scatters and the free spins feature will initiate, granting you 10 free spins to start. Before using these spins, a prize of 2X, 20X, or 200X the bet is awarded based on landing 3, 4, or 5 Scatter symbols respectively. Start packing, this is a good one.

Madame Destiny Megaways

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Pragmatic Play’s portfolio of high volatility slots is vast, covering many genres including the unknown! Yes, the reels get magical with Madame Destiny MEGAWAYS. Look deep into the crystal ball to see 200,704 ways to win rewards that reach 5,000x the bet.

What sorcery do these special features hold? Scatters that can pay up to 100x and launch you into a new realm - that of the Wheel of Fortune. Filled with multipliers and free spins, there’s no telling what your future holds playing this slot, but hopefully it’s a jackpot win.

The Hand of Midas

The Hand of Midas.jpg

Pragmatic Play has a hand of gold, just like Midas, when it comes to engaging players in mythical realms. Take The Hand of Midas, and embark on a high volatility slot journey for wins that top 5,000x the bet.

A Royal Free Spins feature can award multipliers of up to 30x the bet, plus up to 15 free spins. This game also comes with a unique feature - the ante bet. Ante up and choose between 20x or 25x multipliers that doubles your shot at triggering free spins - at a cost, of course!

Gates of Olympus

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In Gates of Olympus, a high volatility slot by game developer Pragmatic Play, players are whisked away to Ancient Greece. With 6 reels and 5 rows, this game offers a unique winning setup. Instead of spins, symbols tumble onto the reels, continuing after wins for more payouts. There are no paylines; eight matching symbols trigger wins.

The vibrant reels showcase gems, a golden chalice, hourglass, and more. Discover extra rewards in the Gates of Olympus slot's bonus feature, potentially paying 5,000x your bet.

Chaos Crew


Let’s move on to a totally different theme and look. Chaos Crew by the creative folks at Hacksaw Gaming bring their A game to the graffiti underground world. Dark ambience, five reels, and 15 paylines are scattered with Cranky Cat Wilds and Sketchy Skulls.

The hipsters won’t know what hit them in this dark escapade, as you battle the reels for free spins that come loaded with up to x20 multipliers. You better hope these Crank Cats have nine lives so you can make it to the 10,000x top prize!

Advantages of Low Volatility Slots

If you’re a player driven by satisfaction and a love of entertainment, we know where you can get some. Low volatility slot machines boast rewarding possibilities. Consistent, small payouts provide many players with just the right amount of inspiration to keep on reeling and a whole lot of entertainment.

For those with more limited budgets, these frequent yet modest victories work like a continuous refresher for your bankroll, allowing for extended gameplay sessions. This not only ensures longer enjoyment but also guarantees an engaging experience as you explore various side bonuses and captivating features that slot games have to offer.

So, if your aim is to indulge in a prolonged gaming session filled with the potential for small, satisfying wins, coupled with a reduced level of risk, your search ends with low volatility slots. Simply take a seat, get comfortable, and relish the experience.

Best Low Volatility Slot at LeoVegas

Miner Donkey Trouble


Play’n GO has created a delightful, light hearted animated tale of a miner and his trusted sidekick donkey! This 5x7 matrix can award successful slot miners with wins of up to x10,000 the bet. While playing Miner Donkey Trouble on a quest for gold, you’ll encounter explosive bonus rounds with Dynamite triggering free spin packages, Golden Nuggets releasing multipliers of up to x10, and cascade clusters that can feed the expressive donkey and unleash rounds of Donkey Destruction! Watch out for those back kicks!

Holmes and the Stolen Stones


Yggdrasil’s team is a creative lot when it comes to slot storytelling. Their low volatility slot game, Holmes and the Stolen Stones, follows the famous sleuth solving riddles across five reels and 20 paylines. You don’t have to be a seasoned detective to uncover three or more matching symbols to release bonus games and free spins.

Collect five shards from the Diamond collection and you’ll be well on your way to triggering 10 free spins. During these rounds, line wins are multiplied by x3 and matching five Diamond symbols of the same colour will release one of five progressive jackpots! This is a nail biting thriller, with a soundtrack that will have you spinning on the edge of your seat.

Agent Jane Blonde Returns

Agent Jane Blonde Returns

Microgaming offers a wide variety of low and high volatility slots, and Agent Jane Blonde Returns delivers a low volatility mission perfect for casual players. In fact, this 007 themed spy game can pay up to 1,500x your bet via a scenic 3x5 reel gamescape.

Landing only two Scatter symbols will clue you into a Respins mission, and it’s a bonus round that always kicks bonus game off with two Wilds in play. It’s within this bonus that you can claim the top 1,500x prize but there’s also a delightful payday up for grabs when matching three Agent Blonde symbols. Accept this mission and good luck!

Dragon Kingdom - Eyes of Fire

Dragon Kingdom - Eyes of Fire

Conquer the beast of storybooks and wins of up to 1,250x the bet and start playing one of the most enchanting slot games available, Pragmatic Play’s Dragon Kingdom - Eyes of Fire. Upon launching this epic adventure, you’ll be struck by a movie-esque soundtrack and three beautiful dragon eggs perched on the far right reel. Hang on, we’ll get to those beauties in a second.

This is a gaming adventure with a twist! The progressive feature adds a thrilling dimension – it counts non-winning spins. Let’s call them dead spins. Once you've witnessed four of these cheeky non-winners in a row, boom! The reel on the right with the eggs springs into action. Each dragon egg gets jazzed up with a multiplier. The more dead spins you round up, the heftier those multipliers grow, reaching up to 50x. You’ll be torn between cheering for winning spins or hoping to sit back and compile dead ones to increase payday potential!

Ascension: Rise To Riches


Another creative slot from our friends at Microgaming and Old Skool Studios, Ascension: Rise to Riches is an Egyptian themed adventure that's linked to the riches of Ra with 2,000x wins, but also to our very own LeoJackpot Progressives!

Engage in an epic showdown for control of the Wheel of Isis with up to 30 free spins and 3x multipliers up for grabs, feel the rush of lightning-fast Epic Strike™ wins, commandeer free spins, and venture to pile up age-old golden symbols to unveil hidden fortunes. Ascension: Rise to Riches is set on a dynamic 5 x 3 matrix with 20 paylines, and propels you into a quest for rewards fit for royalty!

Star Joker


Play’n GO’s Joker is a jolly good fellow indeed. This low volatility retro slot machine, Star Joker, is filled with Wilds and free spin rewards across nostalgically packaged 5 reels playing slots and 10 paylines. But, there’s nothing retro about wins that can hit 500,000 coins!

While Star Joker is simple, it’s full of juicy pleasures. The Joker is a transforming Scatter that can help you win big and he’ll even trigger a free spins bonus. What a guy! And for those with a little risk in their nature, this game’s gamble feature gives you a shot at a jackpot feature doubling or even quadrupling your winnings by guessing the colour and suit of a covered card. Sounds simple enough, right?!

Thunderstruck II

Thunderstruck II

Nothing to do with ACDC, Thunderstruck II by Microgaming is a low volatility game based on the usual crew of Nords. This Viking gang of Thor, Odin, Loki, and Valkyrie will take you on a few adventures, if you’re lucky enough to unleash a bonus! If you do, suit up for adventure!

Landing three Thor Hammers gets you invited into the Great Hall of Spins for 10-25 free spins of different levels with rolling reels and multipliers in the mix. Or, you could release a Wildstorm for up to five reels of stacked Wilds! Overall, you’re looking at a chilly 243-ways to find victory before heading to Valhalla with an astonishing 2,400,000 coins!

Wild Scarabs


Microgaming’s low volatility online slot portfolio brings us another beautiful Egyptian discovery in Wild Scarabs. Featuring 243 ways to win across five reels, it offers bountiful paydays of up to $260,000!

As you may have guessed, Wilds play a key role in this adventure with Wild Deal™ playing prominently - in fact, any non winning spin with a Wild on reel 3 will see Wild Deal™ add Wilds for a guaranteed win! Wild Scarabs also have bonus features - Stashed Wilds™ that help create even more guaranteed wins! And of course, Scatters are in play, so if you see three across the reels, you’re in for a treat of 10 free spins. Crazy Wild, indeed.

What Level of Volatility Should I Go For?

So now that you have a better understanding of what Volatility means, you may be wondering - what type of Volatility gives the best return and which slots should you be playing moving forward? The truth of the matter is, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer!

All the High Volatility and Low Volatility slot games mentioned above have approximately the same RTP. This means that whether you go for Low Volatility or High Volatility should all boil down to: the time available to you, your bankroll, and best of all - your expectations!

If you’re looking for a slot that will guarantee a fun time in your busy schedule and that won’t break the bank, then Low Volatility slots may be best suited for you. These types of slots will treat you to the entertainment you’re looking for within a couple of spins and will most likely allow you to break even.

On the other hand, if you don’t care much for smaller wins, and have the time and money to invest, then you’re better off playing a High Volatility slot! These games require patience but ultimately pay off in the most thrilling sensations and enviable wins!

So whether you want to dip your toes in Low Volatility slots or grip on to the edge of your seat with our High Volatility games, our online casino has got the lion’s share of casino titles! Simply click the button below to take your pick of the bunch with LeoVegas Casino!


Slots Volatility FAQ

How do you know if a slot machine is volatile?

Slot volatility is usually mentioned in the game description.

How do you tell if a slot machine is high or low volatility?

Paytable: High volatility slots typically have a larger payout for the highest combination, while low volatility slots have smaller payouts for each combination.

Maximum win: high max win is usually more common in higher volatility and higher variance slots, while low and medium volatility slots have lower max win amounts.

What does volatility mean in slot games?

In the world of slot machines, slots volatility refers, quite simply, to the frequency and size of wins. High volatility slots have infrequent but large payouts, while low volatility slots offer frequent but smaller wins. If you’re looking for a balance between the two, that’s where medium and lower volatility slots lie. Volatility is a useful term to understand, since it can keep your winning expectations in check, check your risk comfort, and help you manage your bankroll accordingly.

What volatility is best for slots?

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer. Ultimately, the choice between high and low volatility slots depends on personal preferences and bankroll management.

If you have a limited bankroll, you might prefer low volatility slots because they are lower risk.

However, if you are looking for a chance to win big, you might prefer high volatility slots.

Are high volatility slots suitable for all players?

For anyone thinking about playing a high volatility slot game, consider that they are the riskiest of all slots. While the payouts will be the largest in many cases, you may end up losing your bankroll before the big one comes in!

Can I increase my chances of winning on high volatility slots?

Playing high volatility slot machines doesn’t necessarily increase your chances of winning, but they do increase your chances of winning big. Keep in mind players need a fairly large bankroll to play such games. Also, always check the minimum bet requirements online slot machines that put you in the running for the biggest jackpots, if that’s what you’re after.

How do I find high volatility slots at online casinos?

Look for slot machines with a lower RTP (Return to Player). If a slot machine is stating a lower RTP, it’s telling you that the percentage of wagers going back to players is small, which indicates less frequent wins.

Are high volatility slots more profitable than low volatility slots?

Let’s recap - high volatility slot machines feature less frequent wins, but when one finally is delivered, it’s usually quite a substantial one. Here’s something to consider. In high volatility slots, bet wagers can often start higher, meaning the paytable for winning combinations starts high as well.

When you sit down at a high-limit slot machine, you have a better chance of walking away with bigger winnings based on the minimum bet you can place. But of course, you’ve also got to have a bankroll that can sustain long periods of play without wins.

What is a high volatility slot machine?

A high volatility slot machine is one that rewards players quite infrequently, but when it does doll out big wins out, these infrequent wins will often be large. They are riskier slots for the most part, but the risk reward for many players factors in big payout potential!

What does high volatility mean in slots?

High variance or volatility of a slot slots refers to a game’s tendency to offer less frequent, but larger payouts. From a player’s perspective, it’s a game of long win-less stretches but if their bankroll can sustain sticking it out, they may be in for a treat as when payouts do hit, rewards are often substantial.

It's a more adventurous and potentially higher-risk style of play, with the allure of big moments and exhilarating wins!

What is the difference between volatility and RTP?

Volatility and RTP (Return to Player) are different concepts in gaming, but they are interrelated. Volatility is about how often you win and how much, while RTP (Return to Player) is about the average amount you get back. Low volatility video slots usually have higher RTP percentages, featuring frequent wins and decent overall returns. On the other hand, high volatility slots might have lower RTP percentages since big, rare wins are part of their payout plan.

Can low volatility slots still provide big wins?

While low volatility slots are defined by producing frequent, smaller wins, they can occasionally yield big returns usually aided by triggering special features in bonus rounds or hitting a jackpot. So you don’t want to rule out a big win entirely - just know it’s the exception and not the rule!

How can I identify a low volatility slot?

Low volatility slots can be identified by checking the game's paytable and doing a little research on the specific game. You’ll want to take a look at the RTP listed. Games with low variance and a high RTP are usually equated with low volatility games.

Are low volatility slots suitable for all types of gamblers?

Low volatility slots cater to a diverse audience of gamblers, offering a gaming experience that appeals to both casual players seeking consistent wins and prolonged entertainment, as well as risk-averse players who prefer to minimize the potential for significant bankroll swings while still enjoying the thrill of the game.

If you’re choosing to play low volatility slots, go with a conservative bankroll strategy. This will allow you to engage longer in your session, focusing on smaller bets for extended gaming and entertainment.

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