Online Slot Variance Explained

During your internet travels, you may have come across sites talking about slot variance or high variance slot machines. But who has got time for all this variance nonsense? Just let me play my fruit machines goddammit! In truth, learning about online slot variance can actually be beneficial to the way you pick and choose games… and it’s particularly useful for the slot game newbie.

Think of variance like risk – the lower the variance, the lower your risk. The higher your variance, the higher your risk. And depending on the risk, the rewards can change proportionally. Here’s a more detailed explanation of the different types:

Low Variance Slots: Winners for Beginners

Just starting out? Then you need to pay special attention to low variance games; these have the lowest risk out of all online slots. Play one of these games and you can expect to rake in tonnes of lower value wins on a regular basis. This makes them perfect for the entry level player.

If you’re expecting mind scrambling payouts however, then we suggest you look at high variance slots. Low variance games are notorious for delivering underwhelming wins. NetEnt slots at is one of the best ways to try low variance slot games.


What’s hot: Regular payouts, lowest risk

What’s not: Chances of high value wins is low


Example Games: Bloodsuckers

Medium Variance Slots: Middle Ground

Fancy mixing the regular low payouts with the occasional monster win? Then have a spin on a medium variance slot machine. These games really are the ideal middle ground appealing to both the beginner and the more seasoned pro. However – the frustrations found in the low and high variance games can still be present here. And when you combine the negatives together – then that’s a recipe for sour entertainment!


What’s hot: Semi regular payouts, Bigger winning potential

What’s not: Potential for dry streaks and too many low value wins


Example Games: Starburst

High Variance Slots: Not for the faint hearted

Dry streaks are undoubtedly one of the most frustrating aspects of playing slot machines. High variance slots are one of the biggest culprits of these streaks… and for good reason. A high variance slot produces the biggest non jackpot wins of any slot game. If you choose a slot game with this kind of variance, prepare to sink those coins knowing that when a win drops, it’s going to make you smile. Or dance for joy.

Experienced fruit machine pros will likely get the most enjoyment out of these games. If you’re still finding your feet in online slots, then we recommend trying out low variance slots instead.


What’s hot: Highest value wins

What’s not: Prepare for lengthy losing streaks


Example Games: Piggy Riches