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Last updated: 23 November 2023.

Author: Bohdan Lytvyn.

Bonjour les amis. Bogdan is here for you and the focus of our attention today is highly volatile online slots, how to tell them apart from other slot machines, what it means to have volatility for a slot, how to use it for you as a player and, of course, the ranking of Top-10 most volatile ones. 

Related readingreport on RTP in casino games because RTP is really related to volatility and, obviously, our core report on Volatility in Slots Machines, the one that you may refer to for the basics and explanations. 

So, we start from the Rank-up of Top Highly volatile online slots intselfs, and then have an explanation section on high volatility in slots based on actual questions that you asked me by email. 

By the way, should you have any questions, please write them down to me by: [email protected] and I will try to answer them all.

Top-10 high volatility slots

We have lined up a special treat for you: the top 10 most popular high volatility slots. Now, opinions are subjective, but these words are gonna hit the spot in a casino community. So, let's get on with the show. Here are the links to portfolio of slot games of providers that usually make Highly Volatile machines: so, it is Merkur GamingPush Gaming, NetEnt, Novomatic, Play'n Go and definitely Big Time Gaming who you want to be looking at if you are looking to find real high volatility gems. 

And the Top 10 all time hits among highest variance slots are like this:

10. Cazino Zeppelin

Casino ZeppelinSignificance: Sticky Wilds, Transferring Wilds.

Cazino Zeppelin is a popular Yggdrasil Gaming slot machine. The slot has a grid of 5x3 structure and 20 working pay lines. Well, but it's the Sticky Wilds that excites our imagination. Collection of Best slots with Sticky Wilds 

There's also a fun function called Wild Transfer: it will pass all the wilds that were on the reels when you collected 3 scatters right to the bonus game and they will remain there until the end. Best slots with transferring wilds

Once you're lucky enough to grab 5 wilds during the free spins round on all five reels, you'll be given 5 extra spins. When a WILD line is created, your stake will be multiplied by 1000! If you're a big fan of sticky wilds, certainly the Cazino Zeppelin slot is for you.

9. Jammin' Jars /  Fat Rabbit

Jammin JarsSignificance: Sticky Wilds, Expanding Wilds.

Jammin 'Jars by Push Gaming is a high-volatile slot which offers your initial stake a total potential raise of 20,000x.  On the first glance Jammin'  Jars resembles a video app. It comes in an 8x8-grid configuration with cascading symbols. Jammin' Jars produces ever more wins every single spin, as their multiplier continues to increase. Rainbow Feature brings huge symbols of fruit onto the dance floor to create winning combos. The Funky Free Spins begin as three Jam Jars land on the reels. 

The Jar icon (Wild Symbol) holds the massive potential of increasing multipliers. When the Wild is an element of a winning combination, it becomes sticky and moves to an adjacent position before the next cascade combo happens. With every win it increases the multiplier value by 1. So, Jammin Jars slot is all about the multiplier wild symbols.

8. Fat Rabbit

Fat RabbitSignificance: Expanding Wild Symbol. See the whole collection of best expanding wilds slots 

Fat Rabbit (another slot by Push Gaming on our list) looks quite nice and comfortable with its lovely landscape, etc. But it is a real beast! You won’t score big on a base game here: with the Fat Rabbit it is all about bonus feature, where the rabbit can grow exponentially more significantly. We can only agree with our community member that said: "I can see why casinos are excluding the game from playing with bonus funds as they know this is a huge booster to the balance when the game is in the mood".

8. 300 Shields

300 Shields300 Shields game from NexGen is one of the most variable slots in our top list; that's why you need to pay careful attention to the value of the bet. Thanks to its key function - a 300x multiplier in the bonus game - the slot may produce 1,000x wins very frequently. But this is not a nature stroll. 
There is nothing special about the base game: the payouts are very low and you can kill your bankroll quite easily. The free spins round, though, would carry real action. 
If you grab 3 or more shield symbols (scatters), you launch a bonus round of 5 free spins. In order to progress up the ranks, you need to gain more shields, raising the number of free spins and a multiplier of 2x, 5x, 25x and eventually, 300x. 

The most critical thing at the very beginning of the bonus game, is to grab as many shields as possible. You therefore have a good chance of raising the balance. It's also possible to retrigger free spins: grab 3 or more scatters during the bonus game and you'll get 5 extra spins. Those spins always come with the multiplier that you already have! The retrigger will increase the odds of achieving final level of multiplier dramatically. The multipliers only work when the winning line is created by the Wild symbol. So, you do need late-stage combinations with wilds. If you happen to accumulate a combination of 5 icons + wild when the multiplier is already 300x, then each combo will dramatically pay out. The maximum win is when you get to 300x stage and gain a line of 5 symbols: 12,000x your stake!

7. Knights Life 

Knight's LifeSignificance: Gamble Feature. See online slots tagged by users as having Gamble feature

Knights Life by Merkur Gaming is a relative newcomer. Yet, Merkur is known for its high risk games profile. While their RTP is in line with many other providers, the majority of wins come from big wins. When this slot pays, it really pays. Knights Life will give you plenty of retriggers, awarding lots of wild fun.  

You can gain bonus spins in this online game if you catch at least three symbols of horse scatter. You'll be awarded with 10 free spins, four symbols will give you  fifteen free spins, and five —  thirty.  If you gain more scatter symbols (at least two) during the free game, you can retrigger those free spins. In addition to the Scatter symbol, Knight's Life also has a Wildcard symbol (Merlin) that substitutes for every other symbol to allow the highest win on a single payline. 

If you want to enter a gamble feature you must activate one of two games by clicking the Gamble button. You will bet on next card color during this game. You can choose black or red, instead. If you get it correctly, you'll double your winnings. So if you are willing to take a risk, check out Merkur’s slots.  

6. Danger High Voltage

Danger High VoltageSignificance: Two different Wild Symbols.

Sixth place belongs to the much-beloved Danger High Voltage by Big Time Gaming. The base game brings plenty of excitement with it's 6x multipliers, but it's the feature that gets everyone excited: choose between the gates of hell or a high voltage to experience a true blast. Plenty of action in disguise. 

Do you recall Electric Six, a little-known American group, and their hit "It's dangerous! High Voltage?" No, perfect. We don't really know why BTG creators wanted to use the song to make a slot machine. First, you've got 4,096 paylines, which is many more than other slots would bring. This game, however, is not only the one of "high voltage" but also the one of highest volatility slots ever.

The game has 6 reels and 2 different wild symbols to make it much weirder, one of which can give you a 66x multiplier. You will win your bet twenty thousand times over. When you're playing for a fixed £40 stake, that means you can take home £800,000 on this game.

5. Bonanza

BonanzaSignificance: Megaways gameplay.

Popularity list would not be complete without Bonanza by Big Time Gaming. Celebrating its two-year anniversary, the slot is still a mainstay in many gamers' regular gaming list. The game that introduced us to the mega waste concept is a true beast.

The falling cascades of symbols can produce all inspiring winnings. A heart catch bonus is the cream of the crop, with an unlimited win multiplier. Who knows what winnings await you?

A well-deserved fifth place. 

4. Dead or Alive

Dead or AliveFirst on a podium standing at the fourth place is Netent's Dead or Alive 2. The slot itself is a dull, slow and even regular game. But if you catch the free spins, you can for a very long time remember the bonus game. Any Wild symbol that falls on the reels sticks in place during the free spins bonus feature. The exciting part begins here. 

If fortune favors you and wild lands on all five reels, you'll also get 5 extra free spins. Moreover, if wilds form a wild line on any other 9 lines, you will earn amazing wins every single turn. If you're fortunate enough to catch more than one wild line in the bonus game, the slot will easily grant you a 3,000 to 4,000 X payout on your stake or even higher. The iconic cowboy team slot may not have the most exciting base slots, but you're rewarded with a nail-biting bonus on Lando street iconic arms, try landing the famous wild line, and you're going to swim in cash. There is a reason why this slot is volatile, be warned though. Each single day you can not see a wild line.

3. Legacy of Ra Megaways

Legacy of Ra MegawaysSignificance: Expanding Symbols during Free Spins, Megaways mechanics, 'Buy' Feature.

Legacy of Ra Megaways is an ancient Egyptian themed slot where you will win a 50,000x your stake! With 6 reels and up to 15,625 ways to play, Legacy of Ra Megaways offers you the chance to make an comparison between classic book slots and Megaways mechanics. 

It is, you know, a extremely unpredictable beast! The free spins are the purpose of the game. You will get as many as 50 free spins, and more! Blueprint Gaming created a new title, combining the Novomatic's Book of Ra expanding special symbol feature with the megaways gameplay of Big Time Gaming

Legacy of Ra Megaways slot provides quite a fascinating gameplay with Free Spins to players. There are 2 aspects to the bonus features:

  • Free Spins With Expanding Symbol. When three or more scatters arrive on the board, the bonus round unlocks.  3, 4, 5, or 6 scatters will earn you 10, 15, 20, and 50 free spins. A special symbol is chosen randomly at the start of the bonus game; it will stretch to the entire reel. You may retrigger free spins; 
  • Purchase Free Spins. If you don't want to wait for 3 scatters to land, the developers give you an opportunity to buy 10 free spins. Price to buy is 100x your stake.


2. Book of Dead / Book of Ra

And again in that second place we have one of the most popular online slot games of all time, a Book of Dead. The reason for its popularity is undeniable, similar to Book of Ra. A landing tree of those books can lead to supreme treasure and big wins. The dream of landing a full screen of explorers has led many adventurers to enjoy this slot.  

Significance: 'Extra bet' feature (6th reel).

Book of Ra DeluxeBook of Ra Deluxe 6 is a modern Green Tube (Novomatic) version of the original and iconic Book of Ra slot. What's new is that you can enable the 'extra bet' option here. This fresh feature introduces the sixth reel to the grid of the game. The overall possible gain in the game therefore is higher: with six working reels, you can gain your cumulative bet by up to 7,500x. If you've ever played other games from this Novomatic series, then you're likely to know what to expect.

You now have an interesting alternative game with a higher RTP ranking – 95.03% (the initial slot gives 92.13% RTP). This is a sizable update. But, the game's RTP is still slightly lower than that of the most other high variance slot machines on our list. As discussed earlier, because of the additional 6th reel the overall win increases to up to 7,500 times your bet. That is considerably higher than in the original game. Only think about it, if you play with a fixed bet of £40 you will earn up to £300,000 a single spin! Here, the most valuable symbol is an Explorer which gives 750x for 6. Imagine finding it in your bonus game as a special icon, and then a whole screen! It will be absolutely nuts.

1. Extra chilli

Extra ChilliSignificance: Megaways platform, 'Gamble free spins' feature.

And first place belongs to none other than Extra Chilli. Big Time Gaming already impressed fans of high-volatility games with their outing, such as the aforementioned Bonanza, but Chilly took it to the next level, featuring the ability to gamble your free spins to get more spins. This is absolute insanity and it can lead to some absolutely crazy wins, which means it takes a crown as the king of volatility.

Below is a discussion on the following points:

  1. Definition of High Volatility slots
  2. How slots’ RTP relates to Volatility?
  3. What is the difference between High and Low Volatility Slots?
  4. What are the types of players who love them?
  5. Why were High Volatility slots even made?

If you like to watch more than read, below is my video with discussion of these points.

Definition of High Volatility Slots

If the percentage of RTP (Return to a Player) in a slot machine that given to High and Very High wins is large, it means that the slot machine is Volatile.

 How RTP relates to Volatility

As we discussed earlier, RTP, or return to player, is the portion of your wagered money that you can statistically expect to get back after a single spin on the slots or a single gaming session. So obviously it is negative, the return is negative because the house edge is there. And you can statistically expect to get back a little less than you wagered. It's a part of the RTP given to high wins that makes a game exciting.

It's a part of the RTP given to high winnings that makes a game exciting

📍 But what makes casino games exciting is that the RTP is divided into very low, low, medium, high and very high winnings, and each part has a specific percentage. So, for example, if a slot machine's RTP has a large percentage of high and very high payouts, it means that although you may not expect your winnings to come very often, when they do, they can be quite substantial, starting from, say, 100 times your bet, to 500 and thousands of times your bet.

What is the difference between High and Low Volatility Slots?

📍 Let's face it. You can always expect to come out with a little less than you put in each time you play. Or even if you have a lot of those duds or those empty spins, in the end, when you win, it can be a small win or a big win. So in the case of high volatility slot machines, you can expect these wins to be quite large compared to the average. On the other hand, with low volatility slot machines, you will always have more or less the same winnings, but only within a certain range.

So you may have frequent but smaller wins. On the other hand, with a high volatility machine, the winnings may be infrequent, but really big. So it is up to you to decide which is more to your liking. Do you want more frequent but smaller wins or less frequent but larger and more substantial wins?

Highly Volatile Slots Add Excitement

📍 At the end of the day, it all comes down to excitement. This is what slot players value most. So, without a doubt, highly volatile slot machines provide a really high level of excitement, because all you need is patience and a thick wallet to be able to hold on to that moment when you get your winnings. And if it's big enough, you can even recoup all your losses. And that is the moment of greatest excitement that many slot players love.  

Who are the core players?

📍 It actually means a whole group of players called 'Core Players' who

  1. hunt for the highly volatile slot machines,
  2. allocate considerable budgets to playing slot machines,
  3. neglect the losses they incur in the process of playing, and
  4. are only focused on those rare but considerable wins.

 What core players don't say and what they do say?

  1. 📍 Well, Core players don't say that this machine has a high volatility. Core players say this is a Beast.
  2. Core players also don't say it pays 1000 times your bet. This type of game is probably not even interesting to core players.  And finally...
  3. Core players don't say big win, Core players say epic win.  

Raison d'être of the High Volatility Slot

📍 If you look at the backdrop against which you can observe High Volatility Slots, you will probably notice such a phenomenon as low or decreasing loyalty of players to a casino. So, despite the fact that high volatility slots have a character of their own, it is the low loyalty of players to a casino that helps high volatility slots to thrive and gain huge popularity.  (Imagine) Because imagine you as a casino owner, you can't really expect a new player to stay with you for a long time, but if you suggest them high volatility slots they can empty their wallets quite quickly, and even if you don't see that player again, you can't keep that player for a long time, you can't expect that player to stay with you, at least you have their money.

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