Volatility in Slot Machines
Today we are going to talk about volatility, so you may have heard someone say this slot has potential or this slot is volatile and you might have wondered what that means. And why should you care about volatility, and how can you tell how volatile a slot really is? Let us start with a simple set of definitions: if a slot has high volatility, the chances are that it has the potential for some really big wins. A really big win might pay 200 or 1000 times your spin bet, or maybe even more. Of course, such spins are really rare and on a high volatility slot, the vast majority of your spins will be duds.
A lot of their bonus games might also be duds too. On the other hand, if they thought has low volatility, the most you're likely to win on a single spin might be only 50 to 100 times your spin debt, but these same machines usually give you more of these winning spins, even though they are generally only modest. In size now for the mathematicians out there, you might be hoping to see some kind of formula okay here it is, you might recognize it as two times the standard deviation or the standard deviation, with 95 % confidence slot designer is called this. The volatility index or VI for short, if a slot has a VI of about 5, it might be considered low volatility. If a slot has a VI of above 15, it might be considered high volatility, but unfortunately slot players never get to see the volatility index. It's an insider secret, so let's shine a little light on the subject to give you a feel for things: let's take a look at how one might experience a low volatility machine and a high volatility machine.
Let me first show you a low volatility slot machine by starting with $ 100 and netting $1.00 per spin for a session of up to 500 spins for many players, 500 spins is about 30 to 40 minutes of play. I am going to show 10 sessions of 500 spins to give you a sample of how things might go, but keep in mind that even ten sessions won't tell you the whole story. So here we go. We are playing a penny machine with 85 % pay back, which is a type machine. The money in your bankroll is shown along here, and this shows the spins one through 500. Each colored line represents your money going up and down during that particular session.
Huge wins are not possible on this machine, but modest wins do happen somewhat frequently notice that our $ 100 lasted 500 spins 7 out of 10 sessions. Nothing too dramatic happened, but we did come out had a little in two of the sessions, not bad at all. After 500 spins on a type machine, all in all, we got a fair amount of play on this low volatility slot machine, but maybe you find these low volatility slots boring. So now, let's take a look at the high volatility slot machine. This slot machine has the potential for some really big wins in this case, winds can be more than say 250 times your spin bet.
Of course, such wins are going to be rather rare and most of the spins are going to be duds or small wins. As a result, we run out of our money most of the time fairly quickly. Ah, but in two of these sessions we make some dramatic wins, and this is why some players like these slots they've got the potential and they are willing to take the risk of busting more often to get their slot.
Companies call these folks that like high volatility Core Players, because high volatility machines tend to drain your bankroll faster, unless you know any better they're going to think such machines are set really tight. Only dedicated core players will try to stick it out long enough. For that really big win and guess what a particular high volatility game might actually be set looser than a low volatility game sitting nearby. It is usually difficult to tell unless you play these machines long enough and to prove a point which of these two machines is tighter, the low volatility machine or the high volatility machine.
The answer is that the payback of both of these machines are identical. They'Re, both 85 % the same, in fact as the previous two charts volatility might also help to explain why some players accuse casinos of changing the payback percentage on their favorite machine. The payback percentage, probably didn't change volatility just makes it look that way. So if slot machines don't tell you, there are volatility index.
Volatility Index (and Clues)
How might you be able to tell well here are some clues.
First, if the slot machine features a famous name like a movie TV show a singer brand, etc, there is a good chance that the game is low to moderate volatility. These games are usually designed more for entertainment than for gambling and for big wins, and if the game makes a big deal out of a win, that's just five times your spin bet that's a pretty good clue that it's a low volatility game. Sometimes you might see these slots refer to as branded or premium slots. That's kind of an industry term.
Second, take a look at the games rules if there is the potential for huge wins of, let's say 200 times your bet for the base game, there's a good chance that this game has higher volatility. It might take a little calculation to see if the potential for huge wins is actually there, but look closely at games with anyway real power, and it's called other things, but these are games which have 243 or 1024 or even 4096 ways to win. Many of these have stacked symbols that can show up multiple times on the same reel. Thus, your win can grow exponentially, such as in this classic, with good winnings to game.
Third, some games future bonus games that give you a choice of volatility. The most common is the bonus that trades off the number of spins against the size of multipliers. Variations include trading off the number of spins against the number of added wilds or the level of the stack symbol.
There are also bonus games that trade off the number of spins against the number of pay lines in all of these cases, the choice that gives you the most spins is the lowest volatility. There is one exception. This is the mystery choice that randomly chooses the number of spins and the choice of multipliers, wilds or paylines, etc. Most of the time, the mystery choice will give you a combination that is probably worse than one of the standard choices, but once in a while, it will give you something really lucky and you got a lot of spins and a lot of multipliers, Wilde's or paylines, Etc and a fourth point don't count the progressive prizes when looking at the potential for huge wins in a slot game. The crescens are usually a separate game from the main slot game and progressive games are usually high volatility and with tighter payback percentages than the regular games. Those huge progressive jackpots are there to try to attract you to play that game.
Much like ant bait is designed to attract dance and, finally, a few slot companies indicate the volatility as some of their games on their website check out Konami and every and AGS for how they tell you. Also, a small number of casinos have tried indicating to players which machines are high or low volatility. They might say something like more wins on the low volatility games and bigger wins on the high volatility games. Well, I hope you now have a little bit better appreciation for what volatility is and how to spot it and how it affects the way that you play slot machines. Now, if you have any questions, please write them down in the comment area and I'll try to respond and good luck out there in the casinos.