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What is volatility in games?
When it comes to volatility, slots are often divided into three categories: high volatility, medium volatility and low volatility. A slot machine’s volatility level basically determines how often it pays out wins, and how big those wins can get. Games with low volatility might pay out thick and fast, but the prizes you win from them can usually not be compared to the enormous payouts you can get from the highest volatility slots. The games you choose to play generally depends on your personal taste, but you should also keep volatility in mind when picking the next slot to play.
Due to the nature of high volatility slots, they are riskier to play than their low volatility counterparts. When you play a high volatile slot, you might experience long droughts of non-winning spins until you are rewarded with the free spins bonus or until anything else happens. Because of this, it is usually a good idea to play high volatility slots when you have a good bankroll that allows you to play a few hundred spins before a big win rolls in. Low volatility slots often keep your balance steady since you win small but frequently, while high and medium volatility slots can make your balance go up and down like a rollercoaster.
While many new players prefer sticking to low volatility slots that give them hours of play time for their money, experienced gamblers are often looking for ultra volatile games with massive payouts. A slots’ volatility level has a huge impact on how it plays and how much you can win on it, and players who are after jackpot sized wins of several thousand times their bet stake will often go for the most volatile games available in the casino. Some slots are meant for real thrill seekers who are prepared to spend hours grinding the same slot for hundreds of spin until a big win drops in. But there is nothing wrong with playing low or medium volatility slots, and many of them can also pay out wins of hundreds or even thousands times the bet stake.
The easiest way to determine a slots’ volatility level is to give it a few spins for yourself. If you notice that the game pays often but small, it is most likely a low volatile slot. You should also take a look at the paytable and see how much a full line of the best symbol is worth. Some slots have very few paylines, big multipliers or special bonus features that drastically increase their volatility, while other games only pay out small wins even when five premium symbols drop down on a payline. The higher the maximum wins on the paytable are, the more difficult they are to get, and that is what volatility boils down to.
Different game providers are also known for creating slots with different volatility levels. For example, most of the games from NetEnt and Quickspin are known to be low volatility, while game providers like Big Time Gaming and Greentube are famous for making high volatility slots. Now that you know how volatility works, we will discover how it affects your gameplay and which volatility level you should go for in specific situations. We will also have list some great high and low volatility slots to play, and explain how jackpot slots work.
Volatility vs RTP
If you have read our guide about online slots, you might know what RTP is and how it works. RTP stands for Return To Player and determines how much the game pays back to its players. For example, if you play on a slot with an RTP of 96%, you should win back £96 for every £100 you wager. Of course, it is important to note that the RTP percentage is theoretical and based on billions of game rounds, and your actual results will almost always be different from it. The higher a slots’ RTP is, the better it is for the player, and we recommend sticking to slots that have an RTP of 95% or higher. The game’s RTP percentage will always even out over the course of millions or billions of game rounds regardless of its volatility, but high volatility games could give you an RTP of 10% or 1000% over the course of a few hundred spins, while the payouts of low volatility games tend to be closer to their theoretical RTP.
As we said earlier, different players have different preferences when it comes to volatility levels. If you are a brand new slots player who is about to make your first deposit, you might want to bet small bets on low volatility slots like Starburst or Wild North. But if you’re chasing that huge win that can lead to an enormous payday, high volatility slots and jackpot slots are your best bet. Just be careful, if you play high variance slots you should be prepared to spend a long time spinning before a bonus or big win drops in unless you have some quick luck. Since low volatility games are less risky, you can bet a bit more per spin on these games then what you should on high and medium volatility slots. In the end, the RTP percentage is what really matters the most, and volatility mostly comes down to your mood and tastes. Most of us play all types of slots and try different games depending on what we feel like.
In some situations, choosing low or medium volatility slots can be very beneficial. When you’re playing with a casino bonus, you usually have to complete a wagering requirement before you can make a withdrawal. Since low variance slots normally keep your balance steady without too many upswings and downswings, they are great for finishing the last bit of wagering. Keep in mind that slots with very low volatility might slowly drain your balance without many upswings, so you might want to play slots with slightly higher volatility when you are a long way from completing the wagering requirements. Remember to check the bonus terms and conditions before you play games, as you will find that many low variance slots are excluded for bonus play. The same can even be said for a few high volatility games such as Dead or Alive and jackpot slots. In the next few parts of the review, we’ll focus on some of the best low and high variance slots the internet has to offer.
Jackpot games and how they work
For wins that can change your life forever, look no further than jackpot slots. The progressive jackpots in these games can reach hundreds of thousands – and sometimes millions – of pounds over the course of just a few days or weeks, and no normal games are even close to jackpot slots when it comes to high volatility. There are many types of jackpot slots, ranging from local slot jackpots to massive progressive jackpots that span several casinos and networks. What they all have in common is that they suddenly can reward one lucky player with a rare and huge win.
The biggest jackpots are available in progressive jackpot casino slots such as Mega Fortune or Hall of Gods. Thousands of players enjoy these slots across hundreds of casinos every day, and a tiny percentage of every single bet goes towards the games’ jackpots. Since so many bets are made every day, the biggest jackpots in these slots can reach millions of pounds in the matter of a few weeks or months. Progressive jackpots keep growing and growing until one fortunate player takes it down with a single spin. And since the same jackpot slots are available across many casinos, the progressive jackpots grow at a much quicker rate.
Winning a huge jackpot of million pounds is a dream for most of us, and it is definitely not an easy challenge. Progressive jackpot slots online are like lotteries, and every spin you make on the game is basically a lottery ticket. And just like with real lotteries, the jackpots of some slots can become so big that the slot temporarily has a higher RTP than 100%. However, the size of the jackpot does not affect how likely it is to be won, so if you are planning to chase a specific jackpot, you should be prepared for spinning it for a very long time until something happens. Jackpots online casino games have the highest volatility you can think of, and they are also some of the most exciting slots on the internet. Keep reading to see our top list of online jackpot slots.
Top 8 online jackpot games
Some jackpots slots are famous for creating millionaires overnight, and we want to highlight a few of them here. Notable game providers such as NetEnt, Microgaming and Yggdrasil are behind some of the most popular jackpots in the world with games like Mega Fortune, Mega Moolah and Joker Millions. The biggest casino jackpot win in the world happened in September 2018 when an anonymous player won almost €19 million on Mega Moolah, but there have been many enormous jackpot wins both before and after. Here is our list of the top jackpot slots on the internet right now:
NetEnt is the most popular game provider on the internet, and they own some of the biggest progressive jackpot slots in the world. Thousands of players play the luxurious Mega Fortune slot every day in hopes of taking down its massive mega jackpot that usually reaches millions of pounds before its won. The biggest jackpot ever won on Mega Fortune reached a staggering €17,8 million.
Mega Moolah took the world record for the biggest jackpot ever won when an anonymous gambler won almost €19 million on it in 2018. The slot comes in a couple of different versions with one common jackpot, and you can find it at most casinos that offer the games from Microgaming. It doesn’t get more volatile than this, so make sure to check out the Mega Moolah jackpot the next time you feel like chasing a life-changing win.
Joker Millions was released by the prominent games provider Yggdrasil Gaming in 2015, and the slot has created several millionaires since then. The biggest win ever recorded on this flashy joker based game was of over €7,8 million, making it one of the highest paying jackpot slots in the world. Joker Millions shares a jackpot with Empire Fortune, another blockbuster jackpot slot from Yggdrasil.
Hall of Gods
The list wouldn’t be complete without Hall of Gods, one of the really big jackpot slots of the internet. This is a Viking themed game with a free spins mode and a jackpot game where you smash shields to reveal coin wins. If you match three of the same jackpot symbols, the jackpot is yours. The highest jackpot is the mega jackpot which has a massive record win of over €7,8 million.
Arabian Nights is one of the most played NetEnt jackpot games. The Arabian themed slot has an exciting free spins bonus and a progressive jackpot that usually reaches millions of pounds before someone wins it. The average jackpot win on Arabian Nights is a massive €1,5 million, and the record win is over €8,6 million. This classic jackpot slot can be found at most sites that offer NetEnt jackpot slots.
Treasure Nile is the second Microgaming jackpot slot on this list. Although its jackpot never reaches millions of pounds, it is a highly popular slot since the jackpot drops quite often. The pot is seeded at €40k and the average win is €93k, which means that it usually doesn’t take many days or weeks before someone manages to win it. The biggest win recorded on Treasure Nile is a bit over €360k.
The mythical jackpot slot Divine Fortune is known for paying out big jackpot wins worth hundreds of thousands of pounds on a frequent basis. The jackpot has reached over €640k previously, and the jackpot is won every three days on average. In addition to the jackpot coin game, Divine Fortune has an exciting free spins game with stacked pegasus wilds that can fill the reels for massive wins.
The space adventure game Cosmic Fortune is the last slot we want to feature on our list of top jackpot slots. The unique free spins mode and jackpot game is triggered with three scatters, and players must collect balls and shoot them into buckets for a chance of winning one of the multiple jackpots. The mega jackpot in Cosmic Fortune has a record win of nearly €400k, and the average jackpot prize is over €84k.
These are just some of the famous jackpots on the internet, and many others are waiting to be discovered. If you browse the games lobby of your favourite casino, you will probably find a dedicated category for jackpot slots. Depending on the site you play on, you might find all of the games listed above in addition to the popular Mega Fortune Dreams jackpot, Jackpot Jester Wild Nudge slot, Jackpot King slots and many more, so give them a shot when you think their jackpots are about to go. Experienced jackpot hunters will usually wait until the last moment until they start grinding a jackpot slot. Although the chance of winning the jackpot doesn’t increase over time, the value of playing the slot is better when the jackpot is getting close to its historical maximum. As we said earlier, some jackpot slots even have an RTP of over 100% once the jackpot reaches a certain amount.
Best high volatility games
In this part of the guide, we want to highlight some of the best high volatility slots that can be found at most UK online casinos. If you are looking for massive wins, you can’t go wrong with any of the games below since they can all pay out winnings of several thousands times your bet stake. We have added some of the most popular slots on this list, but more and more high volatility games are released every month. So without further ado, here is our list of top 10 high volatility slots.
Dead or Alive 2
Dead or Alive 2 is the sequel to the classic NetEnt hit Dead or Alive, and the volatility has been set to the max in the second iteration. The game features three different bonus games, including the new High Noon Saloon bonus with sticky multiplier wilds. And if you’re lucky enough to hit 5 scatters in the base game, you’re rewarded with an instant win of 2,500x your bet. It doesn’t get more volatile than this, and there have already been screenshots of players winning over 50,000 times their bet stake.
Danger High Voltage
The Australian game studio Big Time Gaming is famous for making innovative slots with massive winning potential, and you could put most of their games on this list. Danger High Voltage is one of their most volatile games thanks to its multiplier wilds that can be combined with the premium skulls symbol in the base game. The slot also features two different bonus features: High Voltage with wild multipliers of up to x66, and Gates of Hell where one random symbol turns into wilds.
Jammin’ Jars is a unique video slot from Push Gaming. The game doesn’t have standard reels and paylines, the fruit symbols drop down on an 8×8 grid instead. When fruits are combined into clusters of five or more, you are rewarded with a win. The bonus game is activated if you hit three or more jar symbols, and this is where the game truly shines. The wild jars will move across the grid, and their multipliers go up every time you combine them with a win. If you are lucky, you can get two or three multipliers in the same winning combination.
Book of Dead
There are several book-style slots on the internet, and Play’n GO’s Book of Dead is one of the most popular ones. In fact, it has now become one of the most played slots of all time. The main feature of the game is the free spins mode where one random symbol expands for the duration of the bonus, giving players a chance of hitting a full screen of a premium symbol. The highest paying symbol is the Rich Wilde symbol, and a rare full screen of him is worth a staggering 5,000 times the bet stake.
Immortal Romance is a high volatility slot from Microgaming. It has 243 paylines, wilds and several premium symbols that can pay huge wins. If you hit three or more scatters, the bonus game is activated. There are four different free spins bonuses to choose from, including the high volatility Amber feature where all wins are multiplied by five. Look out for the rare Wild Desire feature that creates between one and five wild reels in the base game.
Big Time Gaming’s most prominent innovation is the Megaways payout structure, and Bonanza was the first game to implement it. All Megaways slots have high volatility since it’s possible to get thousands of paylines with the same symbol. If you manage to spell the word GOLD in Bonanza, the unique bonus game is initiated. In the bonus, the win multiplier is increased by one for every win you get, massively boosting your wins.
NextGen has a few high volatility slots such as Medusa and Cash Stampede, but 300 Shields is probably the game that can pay the juiciest wins. In this Spartan themed game, the goal is to unlock the 300x multiplier wilds by getting to the top of the ladder in the free spins game. If you manage to connect a 300x wild with a few premium symbols, you will get a huge win of hundreds or even thousands of times your bet stake.
Primal Megaways is a volatile slot from Blueprint Gaming. As you can see from its name, it’s a Megaways game that operates with a license from Big Time Gaming. Look out for the random symbols that can turn into premiums for enormous wins in any spin. But the real winning potential lies in the bonus game that has multiplier wilds that can be combined with the ultra-premium mammoth symbol. A quick search on YouTube will show you several casino jackpot videos with big wins from Primal Megaways.
Greentube was one of the first game providers that focused on making high volatility online slots. If you want to enjoy some high variance games from Greentube, you should check out great slots such as Book of Ra, Lucky Lady’s Charm and Dolphin’s Pearl. But their most volatile game is probably the pirate-themed slot Captain Venture, which has a free spins bonus that offers plenty of retriggers, wilds and multipliers.
Queen of Riches
Queen of Riches is the third Big Time Gaming game on this list, but it’s quite different from Danger High Voltage and Bonanza Megaways. Queen of Riches doesn’t have a bonus game like most other slots from BTG. Instead, it has a unique reel clone feature that can turn every reel into the same. It is also a Megaways game, which means that you can get thousands of ways of premium symbols.
Best low volatility games
In the previous section we listed our favourite high volatility slots, and it’s now time to check out the opposite side of the spectrum by having a look at some of the best low volatility games. All of the games below are perfect for new players who want to play for a long time with their deposit, or for when you have a bonus that needs to be wagered. The top list contains a mix of video slots from popular providers such as NetEnt, Quickspin and Play’n GO.
Starburst is an iconic video slot from NetEnt, and you will find at nearly every UK casino on the internet. This vibrant game is perfect for new players since it is both easy to understand and fun to play. There are no bonus features or free spins games here, but the shiny star symbol can appear and create wild reels that stick to the three middle reels.
Big Bad Wolf
The Swedish game studio Quickspin is known for making low volatility slots, and Big Bad Wolf is one of their most popular games. Winning symbols are removed from the reels and replaced by new symbols, and the bonus game is activated if you get three wolf symbols. The bonus game turns pig symbols into wilds, and you can increase the multiplier by collecting moons.
Steamtower is a NetEnt slot that definitely belongs on this list. Although it is a low volatility game, it is possible to get big wins by lining up premium symbols – especially in the bonus game where you can rack up a win multiplier of up to x7. In the free spins game, the goal is to collect the green grappling hooks to increase the multiplier and get to the top where a nice instant coin win is waiting for you.
Wild North is a fantastic slot from Play’n GO, and it is famous for awarding many bonuses frequently. When three scatters land on the reels, a spinning wheel will appear to decide which bonus feature you get to play. The game has six different bonus games with wilds, multipliers and stacked symbols. If you want to play a game with non-stop action, Wild North might be the perfect slot.
Full Moon Romance
Thunderkick released Full Moon Romance in 2017, and it’s one of the lesser known games by the provider. The slot definitely deserves more attention as it has a cute 1950’s style and a stacked premium symbol feature. The bonus game starts when three full moons appear on the reels, giving you a chance of winning bigger wins with mixed premium symbols.
Sweet Alchemy is a cheerful slot made by Play’n GO. Pieces of candy drop down on the reels, and matching candies spawns wilds that help you chain together more wins. If you fill up the bar, you’ll earn free spins with special features and extra candy wilds. This is a joyful and sweet slot that can be fun for hours without breaking your balance.
Blood Suckers is a NetEnt classic that has been a player favourite for many years. The slot has an incredible RTP of 98%, making it one of the highest RTP slots in the world. When you check out this game you will probably notice that the bonus game and the free spins bonus drop in very frequently – but don’t expect to win enormous wins of several hundred times your bet stake on this slot.
If you like summer, sun and sweet fruits, Sunny Shores is the game for you. This is a unique slot from Yggdrasil Gaming with a high RTP and frequent wins. The goal of the game is to line up fruits and sunny wilds to chain together wins. Yggdrasil Gaming makes slots across many volatility levels, and Sunny Shores is on the lower end of the scale.
Knowing how volatility affects slot machines is useful in many situations. If you are an experienced gambler who loves the rollercoaster thrill of slots, you probably tend to play high volatility games that can pay you thousands of pounds in a single spin. But you might also be the type of player who likes more relaxing games that can keep you playing for hours without too many upswings and downswings. From the lowest volatility games like Blood Suckers and Wild North to the most volatile slots such as Primal Megaways and Danger High Voltage, different games are perfect different types of players and balances, and we have listed many of the best low and high volatility slots in this guide.
When it comes to high volatility, nothing beats jackpot slots. Progressive jackpots slots take a small percentage of every bet and add it to the main jackpot. The pot keeps growing until a player wins it, and some jackpots reach millions of pounds before someone finally takes it down. If you want to go for a really life-changing win, you should check out record-breaking jackpot slots such as Mega Fortune, Hall of Gods and Mega Moolah!