Why Is High Volatility the “in” Thing With Slots?

Triple Sevens on a Slot Reel With a Money Background

The biggest trend in online gaming involves highly volatile slots. I often see reviews praising a game that features a 9/10 or 10/10 volatility rating.

I’m not quite sure when high volatility became a universally great thing. The gaming experts and players have apparently spoken, though.

Why is insane volatility the “in” thing these days? I’ll discuss more on volatile slots along with why players love them.

How Does Volatility Impact Slots?

Volatility impacts real money online slots in a few key ways. You should know what you’re getting into before choosing the most-volatile games.

Affects Hit Frequency

Hit frequency refers to how often you can expect to win per round. Some developers actually provide a figure in the info section, such as 25% hit frequency.

Higher win frequency will lead to more overall payouts in a session. Depending upon the type of player you are, you may enjoy winning over and over again.

Volatile slot machines don’t usually offer high hit frequency. A game with a 9/10 or 10/10 rating doesn’t typically see you win more than 20% of the time.

Alters Bankroll Management Strategies

You should always have a set budget that you’re willing to play slots with. A budget, or bankroll, helps ensure that you don’t risk money you can’t afford to lose.

In following responsible bankroll management, you can only bet so much in one session or series of sessions.

Highly volatile slots make it difficult to stretch your money further. You’ll either be dealing with a slot that offers low win frequency or doesn’t pay much when it does deliver wins.

You probably won’t feel the effects of these problems with a big bankroll. However, you normally won’t last long if you have a small roll.

Increases Big Win Potential

Here we come to the big payoff: volatile slots are more likely to deliver bonuses and huge wins. These games may not pay often, but they offer larger top prizes than the average game.

The average online slot features a maximum win worth somewhere between 4,000x and 5,000x your stake. Many volatile games, on the other hand, often feature max prizes worth 10,000x or higher.

If you’re looking for jackpot-type payouts, then you’ll appreciate such slots. You may also trigger more features in these games too.

Why Do Players Love Volatile Slots?

Volatile games won’t hand out prizes left and right. But they do offer a few key benefits that make them extremely popular.

More Features

These days, slots players love lots of action. They want winning combinations exploding (a.k.a. avalanche), animations all over the place, and the potential for many features.

The latter refer to bonuses, such as free spins, respins, expanding wilds, and win multipliers. More available features can lead to bigger payouts and more overall excitement.

The most-volatile slots offer several features. You may even see multiple features in one bonus round too, such as free spins with avalanche, expanding wilds, and a win multiplier.

Bigger Wins

Slots players have been chasing big jackpots since the mid-1900s. Nothing has changed in this regard, because gamblers still like games with serious payout potential.

High volatility normally equates to a large maximum win. An explosive game can pay anywhere from 10,000x to 100,000x your stake (or more).

Of course, you may need to place higher bets to win serious money from these wins. But you’ll find the risk worth the reward if you ever do collect a 50,000x prize, for example.

Row of Digital Slots

More Winning Opportunities

Earlier, I mentioned that volatile games don’t usually offer high win frequency. They can, however, give you more opportunities to win in each round.

How is this the case, though? Here are some ways that volatile slots can offer more chances to win:

  • Avalanche – Symbols from winning combinations vanish and new icons take their places.
  • Expanding wild – Spreads wild symbols across an entire reel.
  • Megaways – Can offer up to 117,649 ways to win (or more).
  • More rows – Some games add additional rows (and ways) when certain conditions are met.

Nothing guarantees that these features will lead to high hit frequency. However, they increase the chances of you netting big wins in rounds.

Why Gamblers Should Be Wary of Volatile Games

Huge payouts and more action sound like a great combination in slots. However, you still need to be careful with these games due to the following reasons.

More Dry Spells

Nobody likes experiencing lengthy losing streaks. Unfortunately, volatile slots increase the odds of you going for long stretches without wins.

Even a Megaways slot with avalanche payouts may see you go several rounds without a single payout. You’ll typically find that 117,649 ways, or so, don’t mean much per round.

It helps when you have a big enough bankroll to survive dry spells. Even still, you won’t appreciate those periods when a volatile game fails to deliver a prize for several consecutive spins.

Your Bankroll Doesn’t Stretch as Far

I suggest waiting until you have a large bankroll before playing slots with 10/10 volatility ratings. Otherwise, you won’t get much play from your funds.

High volatility games present problems on one or both of the following fronts:

  • Low hit frequency
  • Many small payouts

The first dilemma forces you to suffer through more dry spells. The second problem will see you rack up lots of nickel and dime payouts that don’t do much to cover your overall spin costs.

You may get lucky and stretch your $50 bankroll over the course of many sessions. More likely, though, you won’t get much play out of a small bankroll when dealing with volatile slots.

Most Wins Aren’t Life Changing

Extreme volatility doesn’t necessarily indicate life-changing money. A slot with a 20,000x maximum payout sounds enticing, but the win potential is relative to your bet size.

Sure, you can risk $100 per spin and win $2 million with the maximum prize in this case. The key problem, though, is that you’re betting $100 each round.

What if you scale your wager back to $1, though? You can win $20,000 at the top range, which is a nice prize. However, you can only retire early with this amount when living in the poorest countries.

Why High Volatility Will Remain Popular in Gaming

You can see that slots with insane volatile aren’t entirely perfect. They don’t see you win often and may not even deliver the life-changing money that makes them worth the effort.

The downsides make me question why every slots reviewer acts like high volatility is such a great thing. Volatility isn’t a trait that every player appreciates.

Some gamblers don’t want to see their money vanish within minutes during a bad session. Instead, they’d like to stretch their $20 to $40 for 1-2 hours or longer.

Of course, games with high volatility aren’t popular due to their incredible risk. They’re popular because of what they bring to the table.

Variety of Colorful Slot Machines

A volatile game normally includes several features, a big maximum payout, and more opportunities to win.

You probably aren’t actually going to win big when playing an online slot. However, you’ll appreciate when the potential to do so is there.

The features are what really drive the success of highly volatile slots. They ensure that you have chances to earn serious money and, at the very least, experience lots of action.

Most players are entertained by exploding payouts, expanding symbols, and unique bonuses. Therefore, they appreciate volatile slots that can deliver these elements.


I don’t think that slots reviewers should necessarily use high volatility as a defining point for quality slots. After all, more volatility creates more difficulty in managing your bankroll and winning at slots.

However, volatile games offer what modern slots players want. They feature the prospect of huge wins and several bonuses.

You’re simply going to experience more entertainment when playing these games. You’ll see a lot going on the screen at once due to the various features.

Of course, you still may not want to play a 10/10 volatility slot due to the high risk. But you might be comfortable with games that have an 8/10 rating, for example.