Comparing High and Low Volatility Slots

Hat, Bell, Cherries, Slots, Casino

In this post, I compare low and high volatility slots, highlighting the pros and cons of both. While what type of game is best is somewhat subjective, there are facts that can help you make a decision.

I look at payout sizes and frequency, risk, playtime, excitement, and more in the battle of high volatility vs. low volatility slots. Let’s delve into the details and find out what type of game is best for you.

Pros and Cons of High Volatility Slots

High volatility slots machines are characterized by having fewer, less frequent payouts, but the wins tend to be more explosive when they do come.

Let’s have a look at the pros and cons of high volatility slots in greater detail.


  • Bigger Payouts
  • Thrills and Excitement


  • Fewer Wins
  • Greater Risk
  • Worse for Wagering

The Pros of High Volatility Slots

Bigger Payouts – They may come less frequently, but when they do, the payouts in high volatility slot games tend to be much bigger. If you have the bankroll to absorb losses before the ‘boom’ comes and replenishes it and then some, this is a big advantage.

Thrills and Excitement – The potential for much bigger payouts makes playing high volatility games more exciting. The experience intensifies as the non-winning spins pile up, and you sense a big win must be near.

The Cons of High Volatility Slots

Fewer Wins – The flipside of the wins being bigger is that there are fewer of them. If you don’t have the stomach to watch your bankroll dwindle before the wins, high volatility video slots may not be for you.

Greater Risk – Depending on your casino bankroll management, high volatility slots could be risky. You’ll likely go through ‘dry spells’ where you don’t win anything before you get a big payout. You could wipe out before you get there if you tend to make bigger bets.

Worse for Wagering – High volatility slots aren’t the best for wagering bonuses such as free spins and deposit matches. Low volatility games, which I’ll cover next, are much better due to the small, frequent wins they offer. You might run out of spins before you get a win on high volatility games.

Pros and Cons of Low Volatility Slots

Low volatility slots sit at the other end of the spectrum; they pay small, frequent wins on the steady.

Let’s look at the pros and cons of such games in this section.


  • Frequent Wins
  • Lower Risk
  • Good for Wagering


  • Smaller Payouts
  • Less Excitement

The Pros of Low Volatility Slots

Frequent Wins – Low volatility slots pay little and often. This appeals to players who don’t have a huge risk appetite and who like to see their bankroll ticking over. Some choose to double their money on low volatility games before taking bigger risks with house money.

Lower Risk – You’re less likely to wipe your bankroll out of low volatility games. Long dry spells don’t happen, and while the wins are smaller, they replenish your bankroll steadily, leading to a longer, safer gaming experience.

Good for Wagering – Low volatility games like Starburst by NetEnt are known to be good for wagering bonuses. The small, frequent wins make it easier to wager 20x your bonus or more. It’s still not easy, but it is easier than wagering bonuses on medium or high variance games. That’s why one of my tips for wagering casino bonuses is to stick to low-volatility slots.

The Cons of Low Volatility Slots

Smaller Payouts – There’s no doubt that the smaller payouts just don’t give you the same potential to win big. That’s the tradeoff for more frequent payouts; you just can’t have it both ways.

Less Excitement – This ties in with smaller payouts, unfortunately. More frequent, smaller wins make it less exciting. There’s a thrill to watching your bankroll dwindle, followed by watching it multiply many times over. That’s missing from low volatility slots.

What Is Better - High or Low Volatility Slots?

Ultimately, whether high or low volatility slots are better is a matter of personal preference. It depends on your risk appetite, what your objectives are, and what games you have access to.

Of course, you don’t have to decide between low volatility vs. high volatility slots; you could take the middle ground and play medium volatility slot games. Luckily, most of the top casinos offer all three, so you can play a mix of them and see what you like best.

I recommend checking out the slots at Wild Casino. With a $5,000 welcome bonus and hundreds of top slots to choose from, this crypto-friendly casino site is my casino of choice for both low and high-volatility slots.

Gavin Lucas
Get in touch with Gavin
About Gavin Lucas
Hi! I’m Gavin Lucas, a gambling enthusiast with a particular love for video slots and live casino games. I have been writing about gambling online since 2015, and am always keen to try new games as soon as they’re released. Other than gambling, I’m obsessed with technology and I've written numerous articles for CoinGeek on the topic. I’m fascinated by how online gambling will be changed by blockchain technology, micropayments, and the Metaverse. Having tested several blockchain casinos already, I believe I can see what casinos will look like 10 years from now, and I enjoy sharing that vision with others.