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# Factors That Can Help You Work Out Mines Games Slot Volatility

Calculating a slot’s volatility by yourself is next to impossible as there are way too many variables you need to factor in. Most of these variables are known only to the software developers who design the games, not to mention the required computations are way beyond the mathematical capabilities of the average slot buff.

The examples we previously gave involved a very limited set of numbers so the standard deviation computations were rather simple. Unfortunately, this is not the case when it comes to slots, which also happen to be some of the most volatile games you can possibly play at an online casino.

Few software developers disclose the volatility of their slot releases to the public, with NetEnt being one example. With that said, players can determine the approximate volatility of slots by considering the factors listed below.

1. Factor #1 – The Top Prizes in the Paytable

The high level of risk inherent to slots is partially due to the huge discrepancies between the minimum and maximum prizes they can produce. Greater payout discrepancies typically indicate higher volatility levels. We shall use the paytable below to demonstrate this point.

• 5 sheriff badges = payout of 10,000 credits
• 5 pistols = payout of 3,000 credits
• 5 cowboy hats = payout of 500 credits
• 5 pairs of cowboy boots = payout of 250 credits
• 5 liquor bottles = payout of 50 credits
• 5 dynamite sticks = payout of 25 credits
• 5 spurs = 10 credits

As you can see, the top payouts for five matches in this slot range from as little as 10 credits to a whopping 10,000 credits. The game must somehow compensate for the highest prize of 10,000 credits and this usually happens by awarding the smaller wins less frequently.

Also, a smaller difference between the prizes for four and five matches could be indicative of lower variance and lesser risk. The greater the gap, the higher the level of risk involved in playing a given slot.

The odds of winning the top prize are quite low, so players can often end up losing quite a bit within a given individual session. This translates into higher volatility and risk of losing your bankroll, especially if it is smaller.

2. Factor #2 – The Lower Payouts in the Paytable

The prizes on the lower spectrum of the paytable are also worth checking out. Most online slots typically yield their smallest prizes for three-of-a-kind combinations, with payouts ranging from even money to five times the bet.

Although less thrilling, smaller payouts also have an impact on volatility. A slot with several low-paying combinations is likely to yield payouts more frequently. It follows that reel spinners can expect to get a greater percentage of their short-term wagers back.

3. Factor #3 – Abundance of Special Features

The rule of thumb with online slots is that special features like free spins and bonus games tend to increase the volatility. Such features are undoubtedly very exciting, not to mention potentially lucrative. However, the trouble with them is that they can also drain a significant portion of a game’s theoretical return. At the same time, they could be difficult to trigger in some cases.

We recommend you check the info sections of the slots you are interested in or read our detailed slot reviews beforehand to see how many special features each game has. High-volatility slots are often very rich in features.

4. Factor #4 – Look Up the Maximum Bet

Some slots allow players to risk as many as \$150 per spin, while others restrict maximum bets to \$10. Maximum bet size can also be indicative of a given game’s volatility. Highly volatile slots usually come with lower maximum bet limits precisely because they have the potential to yield mind-boggling prizes within a single spin.

Think of this as a form of damage control for casino operators. If you hit a top payout of 10,000x the bet with a \$150 wager, you will essentially pocket a whopping \$1.5 million in prize money from a single spin!

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