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What are High Variance Slots?

Published on March 6, 2018, 11:07 am

by Jeff Grant Twitter account Jeff Grant LinkedIn account

When deciding to play online slots, most players will choose one that appeals to them based on its theme, appearance, and – of course – cost per spin. This is a natural way to choose a game to play because playing online games is about having fun.

It might not be the best way to choose a game though, not if you want to consider the potential prizes and profits of when playing a game of chance such as online slots. You want to know that you’ll be getting something for your time and money.

Most people will never consider slot variance, even though they should. This is the variance that determines whether a winning combination will appear or not, and it can also denote the value of a win. All in all there are three kinds of slot variance; low, medium, and high. Each one is different and each one offers different payouts and payout frequencies. Today we’ll be focusing on high variance slots; what they are, how to recognise them, and a few examples.

Dead or Alive slot game

Dead or Alive slot (rules and payouts)
Dead or Alive slot (rules and payouts section)

High Variance Slots

High variance slots are for the people that are willing to take a risk and have the money to do so. These slots offer paytables with fewer symbols offering major payouts, but the payouts that are on offer are so substantial that players stand to make a lot of money when they do appear.

Every player wants to win it big of course, but you should realise that high variance slots don’t offer a lot of small and medium-sized wins. They aren’t for players that don’t have the bankroll for this kind of high-risk play. Also understand that these big wins can come few and far between, with no guarantee you’ll win anything at all.

How to Spot a High Variance Slot

You can spot a high variance slot by looking at the paytable. The first sign of high variance is less winning symbols; often around nine in all. The amount each symbol pays out will also be higher than you would see in other slots, and there are limited bonus features like wild and scatter symbols and free spins.

Some examples of high variance slots include:


No matter which kind of slot variance you choose to play with, it’s best to understand what you’re getting into. That way you can really enjoy the games that you play and not feel cheated out of a good and fair experience. This is what generally happens when going into a game blind.

Now that you understand what high variance slots are all about, and even have a few examples of this kind of slot, you’re in a much better position to play the right games for your experience and budget level. Understand that a high variance game brings with it a higher level of risk as well as a higher potential reward, and you shouldn’t have any problems.


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