Learning about what slot machines payout the most and what the best low variance slots out there are is one of the first things any casino punter should learn about. Low variance slots are a bit less wild and can be equally enjoyed by players who are just getting to grips with online casinos and the more seasoned or experienced players just looking to have a few relaxing spins.
It's incredibly important to choose the right variance and slot volatility for you as a player – which type of slot games you'll play will be based around your experience of casino games, how you like to play and your budget. Whilst a high variance slot may seem like your kind of game, playing on it can become stale since you won't be winning as often. This is where the best low volatility slots come in.
In this guide, we're going to cover what slot variance is. We're also going to delve into why play low variance slot games and then go through the 10 best low volatility slots. Finally, we'll wrap up with the other types of variance you can find. So let's dig in.
Slot Variance Explained
When we're talking about slot variance and high or low volatility slots, we're essentially talking about the behaviours of a certain slot game, taking into consideration things such as how often the machine pays out, how much it pays out and the level of risk involved when playing on it. They come in low, medium and high categories.
Understanding the slot volatility & variance will allow you to judge whether that particular slot game is good for you. When you're looking at the variance or volatility indication, you're really checking to see if that particular slot is a low risk, medium risk or high-risk game.
When you see this variance indication, you're going to have a clue as to how much you can lose or win on the slot. High variance or high volatility slots are going to perfect for players with higher risk tolerance and a bigger budget, as these offer you bigger wins at much less frequent intervals.
Whilst we're going to go much more in-depth later on, Low variance slots and low variance games are much less risky, great for smaller budgets, a more carefree playstyle and smaller wins more often
Why is Volatility Important?
Whilst you may instantly go for online slots with best payout ratios, It's also an incredibly important factor in picking a choosing a slot – the variance or volatility is letting you know the risk of the slot and how often you're going to get a payout. This tells you whether or not the slot is aimed towards you as a player.
Game developers include slots with different volatilities to accommodate the wide range of players there are, so whether you're a high-risk player or low risk, there's a slot that's perfect for you.
The other really important factor to look out for when it comes to picking a slot game to play on is the RTP or Return to Player. Looking as these two things should be the first step towards choosing what slot you play on.
What is a Low Variance Slot
A low volatility slot is literally the complete opposite of high volatility slots. Low variance slots will give you small wins more often. Some of the best-loved games are low in volatility – games like Starburst, BloodSuckers 2 and Big Bad Wolf.
On these low volatility slots, you can expect to be hitting low winning combinations roughly every five to ten spins. This makes the slot absolutely perfect for new players who are just getting to grips with the mechanics and pace of slots. These not very volatile slots are also great for more experienced players who just want a chilled back slot gaming session for a bit or need a trustworthy way to hit wagering requirements with winning combinations appearing regularly.
You'll still be able to hit the big wins on these low variance slots, it just won't be as big as the big wins from a high variance slot – The small wins can add up over time though! You're also going to get the exact same exciting and speedy experience from low volatility slots as you do from the riskier high variance slots
Which Players are Low Volatility Games Good For?
These low variance slots are absolutely perfect for the more casual gambler who is mainly just playing for a bit of fun rather than risking it all on just a few spins. With not very volatile slots, they're going to be able to play for a longer time by funnelling these smaller wins back into the machine.
These players aren't after the huge wins such as a win of their bet x1,000 or a win of their bet x5,000, simply being able to win enough to keep playing and having fun for a long time is great. Any big wins are an added bonus, but not actively sought after.
Overall, if you're seeking a thrill and bit of entertainment on a slot game with frequent small payouts and want to play as long as possible whilst not having to keep depositing into your casino account then these slots are perfect for you. Also if you've got a smaller budget the low variance is a godsend, as it allows you to make your money last longer.
The 10 Best Low Volatility Slots To Play
Starburst – NetEnt
One of the most loved slot games of all time, Starburst has been a firm favourite of slot machine lovers for a long time. This absolutely stunning creation by the geniuses at NetEnt has a really nice cosmic feel to it, with the backdrop for the slot being space with a shooting star screeching across the sky. The action is non-stop, with 5 reels and a great number of pay lines – 10. This slot is fast-paced and you're going to want to be aiming for the mystical starburst symbol to come screaming onto your screen!
Sunny Shores – Yggdrasil
If you're after some cheery and lively fun, Sunny Shores is the low volatility slot for you. Taking the action to an exotic locale drenched in sunshine, palm trees and a golden coast. Low stress is the name of the game here and the nature of the slot will soon have you feeling like you're chilling out on the beach. You've got 27 pay lines and quite a nice maximum jackpot to be won from the bonus, topping off this great slot game.
BloodSuckers II – NetEnt
One of NetEnts ‘golden jewel' games, Bloodsuckers II is the hit follow up to the mega-popular BloodSuckers. Vampire hunting, monsters and a barren, spooky backdrop await you here, with great bonus rounds, scatter symbols, wilds and multipliers. 25 Paylines and a huge 97% RTP help BloodSuckers II keep the hype from the first one living on.
Well of Wonders – Thunderkick
After a high frequency of getting a winning symbol on the reels whilst playing in a magical environment? Then look no further than Well of Wonders. With a great hit rate of almost 40%, you can anticipate winning something about a third of the time – this is literally as low volatility as it gets! The mysterious well of wonders in the centre of the screen spits out symbols and a magical fairy can randomly trigger a re-spin bonus if there are no winning symbols on the screen, making for a fun and enchanting time.
1429 uncharted Seas – Thunderkick
In our book, this slot is incredibly under-rated! It's absolutely stunning to look at, with an old nautical map being the backdrop for the reels, looking perfect with the crisp & remarkable graphics. The middle-aged marine theme is just the icing on the cake, as you've got a great 98.5% RTP, the low variance, a high max bet if you're ever feeling plucky and straight forward gameplay. There's a bonus game which can net you some free spins as well.
Thunderstruck II – Microgaming
Whilst the original was launched in 2004, it quickly became a blockbuster slot filled with great bonus round games. Microgaming then launched this sequel in 2010 and it filled the original one's boots perfectly. It only enhances the action and great features of the original, with a great 5 reel set up and a whopping 243 pay lines that are always there.
You're going to have the chance to land 4 amazing bonus features here, winning up to a massive 2.4 MILLION coins. You've got a minimum bet of only 30p and the graphics have had a complete overhaul really getting you into the Nordic theme and feel of the game. And of course, the game wouldn't be complete without Thor's hammer making an appearance as the bonus symbol. As far as low-risk slots come, they don't get much better than this.
Wild Scarabs – Microgaming
Another great online slot with low volatility, Wild Scarabs takes you back to the golden days of the Egyptian empire. Only released in 2018, this is a newer slot and everything about it reflects that. From the 243 ways to win to the lush sweltering Egyptian backdrop. Egyptian Gods, pharaohs sceptres and more await you on the reels, with the Scarab symbol giving you an extra boost if you have a losing spin.
Simsalabim – NetEnt
An absolute hidden gem for working your way through a wagering requirement for any bonuses you've claimed, as you're getting quite a high RTP with the low volatility. Simsalabim also sometimes can even hand out quite big jackpots even with this low variance, since it's got a great maximum win of 225,000x your coin.
The great bonuses on offer include a free spin mode and a 3x multiplier on wins during these rounds and a pleasant mini-game where you control a wand to pick out a prize from under a magicians hat. Couple that with the charming magician theme with really pleasing symbols and you've got a winning package.
Holmes and the Stolen Stones – Yggdrasil
The game is afoot! At least the low volatility slot game is. Join the infamous detective and his companion, Mr Watson, on a mysterious and suspenseful journey, solving the case of the stolen stones as you search a warehouse through 5 different locales. Each of these will unlock a different local progressive jackpot.
There are tonnes of jackpots to be won on this low volatility slot, and bonus features galore. One of the bonus games have you searching for clues by breaking open crates for prizes and shards of the missing stones in a minigame, and landing five bonus symbols gets you a great 10,000 coins! What more can you ask from low variance, high RTP slots?
The Mummy – Playtech
Based on the cult classic film starring Brendan Frasier as the heroic Rick O'Connell facing off against an ancient mummy that has been raised from his sarcophagus. The online slot game is just as fast-paced and frantic as the film with a gargantuan 6 bonus features, all with great names like got Scarab Attack, Mummy Power and the Scorpion Scatter. If you manage to craftily land 5 Rick O'Connells over the reels you can snag the highest payout possible – a great 10,000 coins.
This slot is even better for gamblers who really want to get the most bang for their buck or have a smaller budget – you can bet as low as 5p!
Other Types of Variance
Aside from slots with low variance, you've got a few different classifications from low, medium, high and everything inbetween. These include:
High Variance Slots
One for the slot players who like to take risks, high variance slots will take you for a wild ride. These types of high volatility slots usually have fewer payouts and often payout nothing for a long time. But when they eventually do payout… prepare for some big wins.
These types of slots really get the blood pumping, and so aren't for the faint of heart! Because of this huge payouts though, they often come with an equally high RTP % – often in the top end of the 90's. Quite a number of these high variance slots will have extremely profitable extra bonus rounds and features to give you a nice little boost to that bankroll of yours!
Be wary though, with the high reward comes the high risk. To get the megabucks returns you're going to make sure you're not just playing with the appropriate budget, but also the correct mindset. You should also note that a majority of players end up losing the most money whilst playing on these types of slots than on any other kind.
Medium-High Variance Slots
Leaning more towards high volatility than medium variance, these are another popular category of slot machines. They can be quite frustrating to play as you wait for the big wins like the high volatility type of slot machine. But this is part of the fun – the anticipation of that jackpot win hitting the reels!
Medium Variance Slots
This may well be the overall favourite category of online slots by all players. the fact that this bracket pretty much features the best of both high and low variance online slots, meeting in a nice middle ground. You're going to get the joys of having slightly bigger wins than the low variance kind, whilst getting them slightly more often than the high volatility slot machines.
RTP or Payout and Low Variance
As we mentioned above, RTP or return to player is another great indicator as to whether you should give the slot a try. The RTP of a slot and its variance are two separate things which have no relation to each other.
The RTP is shown by a percentage and tells you on average how much slot machines return back to you over time. So a slot with an RTP of 95% should theoretically return £95 for every £100 you put in.
We can have two different slots with the same RTP but different variance. Two slots from Netent are a perfect example of this – Hook's Heroes which is low volatility and Dead or Alive which is high volatility. They both share a good RTP of 96.82%. So, on average both slots will return the same amount to players, it's just paid back in lower amounts more often in Hook's Heroes, whilst in Dead or Alive it's paid in larger amounts less often.
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