How can I calculate the volatility of a slot machine?

How can I calculate the volatility of a slot machine?

All slots give the house an edge, but with some games, this advantage can be even larger than standard. This is because not all slots are built the same, some are more player-friendly than others, and this is mostly down to the pay-out frequency – read Wizard Slots review.

This is an oddity within slot games because each slot spin is governed by the same RNG or Random Number Generator. The RNG helps to produce millions of random number sequences that are translated into slot spins. So, in theory, all games should behave the same, but other factors also come into play that affects pay-outs such as the RTP score of a game.

RTP Explained

The Return to Player Percentage or RTP of a slot refers to the percentage a player can expect back of their wagering on a slot game over time. This percentage score is reached under controlled conditions and over thousands of spins. The initial score is registered by the game manufacturers themselves and then this score is tested again by third parties before the score can be registered on the game as the official RTP.

High RTP scoring games are the best for punters because it means that they are more likely to get more of their cash back in the form of wins when compared to low RTP scoring games. It is not an exact science, but it acts as a guide for gamers to plan their play.

Games do not follow the RTP score exactly, but if you play on a high RTP game and it returns to you your staking cash and more, then it is best to move on because the chances are that the slot has fulfilled or even surpassed its RTP requirements at that moment in time and may well reset, which means the winning spins could disappear.

Volatility Ratings

The volatility of a slot game is linked to its RTP score and here it can get quite confusing for punters. If a game has a high RTP score, then this means that the slot will have a low volatility rating. These games are low-risk slots that deliver regular small to medium range wins, but nothing very exciting. Large wins are not out of the question, but they are the exception rather than the rule.

Highly Volatile Slots

Slots with high volatility ratings have average or lower than average RTP scores, and because of their design, they are risky and highly unpredictable. The standard behaviour of a highly volatile slot game is to dead spin punters more often than low volatility rated slots. These games can surprise though and deliver sudden huge pay-outs. However, if this happens, then the lucky players should take the money and run before the slot takes back every penny it paid out.

For small-time gamblers, a mix of high RTP and low volatility offers the best chance to break even or win on slot games. The dangerous mix of low RTP and high volatility slot games should be left to high rollers.

Photo by Joseph Barrientos on Unsplash