What is Volatility in Slots – All You Need to Know

As a sweepstakes casino player, you may have come upon the term “volatility”. Are you wondering what it stands for? Does it impact your gaming experience and winnings? Let us find out.

It is important to note that the term is not tightened to casino-style games. It is used in many areas like finance, for example. However, in this article, we will provide an in-depth explanation of volatility and its impact on casino games and the player experience.

What is Slot Volatility?

In the context of sweepstakes casino games and casino-style games in general, volatility (also referred to as variance) is a measure of the level of risk associated with a particular game. It indicates the frequency and size of potential payouts you can expect when playing a game.

Variance is typically categorized as low, medium, or high, with each category offering a different gaming experience.

Low Volatility You can expect frequent but low payouts when you play a game with low variance. If you have a smaller bankroll or you prefer a more relaxed gaming experience, you’ll most probably like these slot types.
Medium Volatility These slots offer a more balanced play in terms of winnings. You can expect a mixture of small and large winnings with a moderate level of risk.
High Volatility Games with high volatility are risky, but whenever you land a winning combination, you’ll notice it. If you are an adrenaline fan and have a larger bankroll, high volatile slots would be appealing to you.

How to Determine a Game’s Variance?

Usually, game providers state clearly the variance of their games. You can check out this information in the sweepstakes slots lobby of the given casino. However, if the volatility is not readily available, you can consider a couple of aspects to determine the variance of a game by yourself.

Take a Look at the Paytable

One way to understand the volatility of a slot machine is to check its paytable. It outlines the payouts for various symbol combinations and bonus features. Games with a higher disparity between the highest and lowest payouts are generally more volatile.

Check the Slot’s RTP

While the RTP is not a direct measure of the volatility of a game, it is a way to determine what you can expect in the long run. It is being set by the game provider at the time of creating the slot and cannot be modified further. It stands for “return to player“, meaning the percentage the game will pay you back on average.

Slots with higher RTP tend to pay you more frequently and thus are with lower variance, while lower RTP can be interpreted by high volatility.


It is important to understand what variance is and how it affects your game and winnings to better manage your bankroll and subsequently increase your chances of winning.

In today’s topic, we looked over the volatility of casino-style games and slots in particular, so you can consider the volatility of your favorite games when developing your strategy.

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Elina Blagoeva is a member of the Mr. Sweepstakes editorial team. She studied Multimedia and Creative Technologies at the KdG University of Applied Science and Arts in Antwerpen, Belgium.