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How Does Variance in Slots Affect Game Play?

There is a term that all of our gamers, especially those who love to play video slots in general and jackpot slots in particular, here at Jackpot Capital online casino, should know more about.  That term is variance.  Some papers on variance call it volatility but we feel that variance is a softer and less threatening term and, after all, you want to play slots, not something volatile that might explode or something!

What is Variance?

The term refers to a comparative connection between the number of winning spins and the amount of money you can win in any given spin.  A slots game with low variable gives you many small wins with just a few larger wins interspersed with the small wins.  A slot with high variance gives you relatively few small wins and relatively many larger wins.

We can see the temperament of slots players by whether they seem to prefer low variance slots or high variance slots.  Here we have to emphasize that our observations of slots gaming at Jackpot Capital casino is quite subjective. 

Our gamers love to play all of our slots and all of our many other games and variance doesn’t generally affect slots gaming.  However, we can see that some gamers “come back” to slots that give many small wins while mother gamers “come back” to slots that give fewer wins but larger ones.

There are also many other aspects of slots that do clearly affect how gamers play.

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The more paylines there are in a slot the more likely you’ll score a win on any given spin.  The size of the average win is pre-determined by the games provider, Real Time Gaming, in conjunction with the casino.  So, we can offer two very similar slots in terms of their overall payout rates, called RTP or return to player rates, but which have quite difference variance.

In a comparison of two slots each with a RTP rate of 97%, one of them will give money back to many players in small amounts.  This is a low variance slot.  The other slot will give money back to fewer gamers in relatively large amounts.  This is a high variance slot.

Gamers Play Slots for Many Reasons

Variance may be the last reason for why gamers like slots so much.  We find that the overwhelming number of games that gamers play at Jackpot Capital are slots.

Gamers play slots to unwind after a long working day.  Gamers play slots to relax when they finally get home.  Gamers may play a progressive slot for a limited number of spins as a way of hopefully winning the big progressive jackpot.  Gamers play slots to let their imaginations soar.  Slots can take players far afield from their everyday lives to long gone societies or into the future. 

Slots players also love seasonal slots.  We carry many slots with a Christmas theme because gamers love playing Christmas slots during the grand holiday season.

Money Management

Money management and variance are twin factors in creating happy gaming sessions.  You always want to set a financial limit to any gaming session.  That is the main element in sound money management.  When you play a low variance slot, you are almost guaranteeing that your bankroll will be close to the same level when you end the session as it was when you began the session.

In a low variance slot, if you set a financial limit on your gaming in that session of $100 and you play a low variance slot with a 97% RTP rate, you can expect to finish the session with about $97.  Every gamer will be happy to have “paid” $3 for one hour of slots gaming fun!

Some gamers, who can afford to take the larger risks involved in playing high variance slots, might choose to take the risk of ending a session will a much smaller bankroll in the hope that they will end the session with a much higher bankroll.

Time Management

We always tell our gamers that time management is just as important to your gaming as is money management.  Variance affects time management in psychological terms.  If you have set a 30 minute gaming session limit for yourself and you play a high variance slot, you might finish the session with few winning spins on your ledger.

Many gamers prefer ending a session having won often even if the money they won was relatively small.  On the other hand, manty gamers who like playing high variance slots, even if they are only now learning what a high variance slot is, prefer playing slots where the winning spins rack up a big gain to their bankroll.

How to Distinguish a Low Variance Slot from a High Variance Slot

The best way is probably to look at the size of the low payouts for winning spins with the higher payouts for winning spins.  There is no perfect scientific, mathematical, or statistical formula for making this comparison but, in general, if the payouts for five of a kind are quite high that will naturally means that the payouts for three of a kind will be quite low.

Always keep in mind that two such slots, one with high payouts for five of a kind and one with relatively lower payouts for five of a kind, may each have exactly the same RTP rates!  The slot with low payouts for five of a kind will obviously have low variance.

In other words, the gap in the size of the wins between five of a kind and three of a kind will probably determine to variance in that slot.

What Does All of This Mean?

The bottom line is that variance may be a total non-factor in any specific gamer’s slots play.  As we said above, slots players have many other reasons to play slots other than variance.

Low variance slots tend to be more amenable to low bankroll gamers.  If you like getting a lot of small wins over getting a few big wins, then low variance slots are for you.

Progressive slots have the highest variance generally since a few lucky gamers win huge progressive jackpots.  However, high variance may also mean high payouts for five of a kind wins.

In the end, it all comes down to fun.  If you have fun spinning for high wins, then the high variance slots are for you.  If you have fun spinning for many wins, then low variance slots are for you.  And if you play for the graphics, animation, sound, or imaginative creativity, then variance may not matter to you at all!

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