Understanding Volatility in Slots Games

One of the most useful terms when it comes to evaluating slots games is volatility. Unfortunately, it's also one of the least understood terms. By gaining a better understanding of what it means to have a game with high volatility, players can know whether a particular game is going to pay out to only a handful of players, or whether a majority of the players who play on that machine are likely to see some sort of return on their wagers.

A game is said to have high volatility when it only pays out in the extremes. The majority of the funds that are won from that machine are paid out in the highest possible jackpots. Players may also win some of the lowest denominational payouts, but these will often just make up for the most recent bets they have made. Middle of the road wins will be very rare.

Conversely, penny slot machines games are said to have a low volatility when the payouts are throughout the range. Players will rarely win the big jackpots on these games, but it is much more likely that they will walk away with more modest wins. Those who hope to chain together a bunch of small wins to build a pot over time will do well to play on these low volatility machines.

In order to determine whether a particular machine has a high or low volatility, players can look to the machine's payout table. Each of the different paylines and winning combinations should be listed with an estimated percentage payout or at least the expected odds on each of those wins. Players can then put their money down on the games that have the most chances and the best odds for winning, while avoiding those with the highest volatility.