Online slots with high variance are a breed apart among the casino games, and they target a specific and separate target audience.
High variance slots, when it comes down to it, offer you an “all or nothing” scenario. Win massive payouts or lose your shirt in a hurry.
Players that love and play the high variance slots don’t see this as a problem. They know exactly what they are up against.
A slot with a high variance can payout vastly more money than one with low volatility. When playing low or medium variance slots you can, on rare occasions, maybe win up to 250 x to 500 x of your bet. Compare that to some high variance slots where you can receive winnings of up to 3,000 x, 5,000 x or even a mind-blowing 10,000 x your bet.
This is precisely what the high variance slot players are playing for. No messing around with all these small or medium little prizes that in the end don’t amount to much. They want the one amazingly large payout, that record-setting prize.
High Variance of a Slot as Opposed to High Payout Rate
Don’t make the mistake of confusing the payout rate of a slot with the variance. The former says something about how much a slot returns to the players over the long term, in the form of payouts, the latter is telling you about the short term and is an indicator of how different value payments are spread out.
It is easy to see why playing a slot with a high payout rate is always advantageous. If the slot has a payout rate of 97%, then, in the long run, $€ 97 out of every $€ 100 played, is returned to the player.
- The payout rate tells you something about how much a slot pays back to the player.
- The variance gives you information about the spread of the value of the payments.
- Low variance slots: lots of small prizes and on occasion a medium one.
- High variance slots: few small or medium prizes and every once in a while, a very big reward.
Why Do Players Choose High Variance Slots?
Some players have a distinct preference for high variance slots. These are mostly players that enjoy taking big risks in their game.
They are prepared to lose their money faster because the trade-off is that it gives them at least a chance to get to that extremely large payout.
They acknowledge and accept that they will perhaps strike out sometimes, but that every once in a while, they will hit the home run and get their hands on the major prize.
The Top 10 Online Slots with a High Variance
We compiled a list comprised of the top 10 best online slots with a high variance. All these slots are extremely popular among players that enjoy infusing quite some risk into their game. They will agree with us that these are exciting, nerve-wracking and adrenaline-inducing slots that at any given moment can provide a monster payout.
Payout rate: 96.76%
The Book of Dead slot was released in 2016 and very quickly became the most played high variance slot in the world. This slot, which is heavily influenced by the famous Novomatic slot Book of Ra, has 10 paylines, a free spin bonus as well as wilds, that do double duty as scatters.
None of this is earthshattering. But Book of dead has a truly unnerving free spin bonus round, where a special symbol is appointed. This symbol is scattered during all free rounds, and it also expands across the entire reel.
The maximum payout in the bonus round is 50,000 x your bet per line!
Payout rate: 96.80%
Dead or Alive is one of the most notorious high variance slots, and it was produced by Netent.
The game has a Wild West theme and has only 9 paylines and not very many other features, except for wilds. This makes the primary game not very exciting. Where Dead or Alive comes to life is in the bonus round. As soon as the free spin bonus is activated you immediately win 12 free spins with a multiplier of 2 x. Every wild that appears on the screen becomes sticky and will stay in place for the remainder of the free spins.
Are you able to get at least 1 wild on every reel? You are rewarded with another 5 extra free spins. Every line filled with wilds is worth 1,500 x your bet per line. Should you trigger the bonus with 5 scatters, then that number jumps to 2,500 x your total bet.
You get that Dead or Alive can pay out really big money: bonus wins of 10,000 x and even 12,000 x the total bet can occur.
Payout rate: 96.86%
When Immortal Romance by Microgaming was released, players were chomping at the bit for the chance to play on this alluring slot. The game has 243 paylines and is chock-a-block with bonuses, beautifully executed graphics and an awesome soundtrack. No surprise then that Immortal Romance quickly grew to become the favourite slot of many players.
The variance of Immortal Romance is very high, and one of the main reasons is the fact that in one of the bonus features (the Wild Desire feature) all reels can become wild. When that happens, you are looking at 243 x the payout for 5 wilds, which amount to 3,645,000 coins with the maximum bet.
Other bonus features can also get you very big payouts, and that makes Immortal Romance not only a brilliant slot to look at (and listen to!), but also to play.
Immortal Romance was already released back in 2011, which makes this slot almost ancient in the online casino world, but it’s popularity remains undiminished.
Payout rate: 96.67%
The Jurassic Park film franchise is among the most popular of all times. Who hasn’t sat in awe, watching these blockbuster movies by Steven Spielberg, with its terrifyingly lifelike Tyrannosaurus Rex and Velociraptors?
That an online slot that had the Jurassic Park theme was to be produced was a logical next step and Microgaming was the one that took it and brought the Jurassic Park- video slot, to market.
This slot has 243 ways to win and is filled to the brim with features. With stacked symbols, wilds, free spins and multipliers, up to 6 x, there is plenty to experience and more importantly: to win! Jurassic Park is indeed a magnificent high variance slot, with scores of fans all over the globe.
And how about that T-Rex feature that appears at random times during the primary game? This nets you 6 free spins during which extra wilds can appear on the reels at any given moment. There are no less than 5 different free spin bonuses, each one with its own variance.
Jurassic Park is a top-notch slot by Microgaming, and it should be played by everyone at least once, it is worth it!
You can start playing with a minimum bet of $€ 0.30 and go as high as the $€ 15 maximum per spin.
Payout rate: 95.91%
Raging Rhino is without a doubt one of the most popular slots by WMS, online as well as in the land-based casinos of Las Vegas. It is a crazy cool slot, with 6 reels, 4 rows and 4,096 ways to win. As if that would not be enough, there are also stacked symbols, wilds and multipliers up to 81 x (during the free spin bonus).
3 or more scattered diamonds activate the free spin bonus and will hand you up to 50 free spins. During these free spins the tree symbol plays an important part, it is present on reels 2, 3, 4, and 5 and this symbol functions as a wild as well as a multiplier of 2 x or 3 x. If you can obtain winning combinations with multiple wilds during the bonus round, your potential payout can increase extremely fast.
2 scattered diamonds in the bonus retrigger 5 extra free spins. Raging Rhino also has Bonus Guarantee technology, just like many other slots by WMS. When you win the bonus, you are guaranteed a minimum payout of 10 x your bet.
You can play this exciting Raging Rhino slot starting at a minimum bet of $€ 0.40 to the maximum $€ 120 per spin.
Payout rate: 96.60%
The Wish Master is a very high variance slot by Netent with a couple of unique features.
One of them is the possibility to win an infinite number of free spins with extra features, a kind of bonus boosters. This means you can get random wilds, extra wilds, expanding wilds, multipliers and more. And the beauty is that you can retrigger the bonus with 6 free spins, whereby the features are getting stacked up as it were. When this happens, you are in a position to get your hands on extremely large payouts with the Wish Master.
This slot by Netent revolves around the “Genie in the Bottle” theme and has 20 paylines, over 5 reels and 3 rows. The minimum bet is $€ 0.20 per spin, but to get to the big bucks, you can wager up to $€120 per spin. The maximum payout is 900,000 coins, however, that requires the maximum bet to be in play.
The Wish Master can give you extremely generous payouts when you win the right stacked features, but it can also gobble up your balance in a hurry. You are forewarned; make sure you start off with plenty of coin in the bank.
Payout rate: 95.86%
The Montezuma online slot by WMS has an extremely intricately developed Aztec theme with the protagonist being the ruler Montezuma. The graphics in Montezuma are to die for, but that is certainly not the only thing that will draw you into playing this high variance slot with its 30 paylines.
When you activate the free spin bonus, with 3 or more scattered shields you win between 5 and 25 free spins. During each free spin, a multiplier is set somewhere betwixt 2 x and 10 x.
All gains are multiplied with this multiplier, but what is even more interesting is that you can retrigger the free spins with the same multiplier.
When you spin 2 or more scattered shields during the bonus, you obtain more extra free spins, up to a maximum of 25. The multiplier will again remain during all of these additional free spins, and there is another opportunity to retrigger again!
This way you can get dozens, nay even hundreds of free spins with a multiplier of 10 x. And this will see your winnings soar rapidly!
Payout rate: 96.00%
We have already described the Cazino Zeppelin by Yggdrasil previously as “more than a Dead or Alive Clone”.
Despite the fact that this slot with its Victorian Steam Punk theme and fabulous graphics clearly borrowed elements from Dead or Alive, it is by no means a carbon copy.
The variance is somewhat lower, even though you can still rake in some serious dough, additionally, every wild that was on the screen the moment you triggered the bonus, immediately becomes sticky and remains in place.
The game with its 20 paylines (another major difference with that other one) has a nice flow to it, and you can win up to 20 free spins. A great high variance slot that we love to play when we are in the mood for a beautifully designed game that is entertaining and holds the promise of a very big payday. Minimum bets at Cazino Zeppelin start at $€ 0.20 per spin with a maximum limited to $€ 10. Payouts between 3,000 x to 5,000 x do occur!
Payout rate: 94.25%
Great Blue by Playtech is a slot that is extremely popular, mainly in the UK, and that has everything to do with the super high variance. That Great Blue can pay out large amounts is a complete understatement- Great Blue can disburse out-of-this-world, larger than life jackpots. How so, you ask? Try this on for size; there are 25 paylines, stacked wilds, a maximum payout of 10,000 coins (with 5 wilds) and you can have multipliers up to 15 x and up to 33 free spins!!
In other words, with a healthy dose of luck and the patience required Great Blue can provide you with a fortune.
The nautical theme suits the feeling this slot emanates: lots of adorable fish, sea horses and starfish, but the real money is brought to you by the king of this ocean, the Orca.
Payout rate: 96.00%
Gonzo’s Quest by Netent is perhaps their second most popular slot, right behind Starburst. While Starburst is your typical low variance slot, the same cannot be said about Gonzo’s Quest. This is a high variance slot, even if that variance is perhaps a touch below the other slots we featured on this page. With Gonzo’s Quest, you will venture deep into the jungle in search of the gold hidden by the Inca’s.
This game is visually amazing, and very soon you will feel that you are actually in the middle of the jungle. The symbols cascade down with an avalanche feature and winning combinations make way for new symbols. This way, a modest payout can grow to a substantial one also because the multipliers increase after every winning spin, up to a maximum of 5 x in the primary game.
During the free spin bonus, the multiplier can even go as high as 15 x, and that can deliver vast winnings. Whenever you get a big win Gonzo breaks out in a little happy dance or even busts out a moonwalk and believe you me, you will join in spontaneously when your ship comes in.
Gonzo’s Quest is so popular that many casino game developers have come on the market with their own copies. Once again though we have to say: oft-imitated but never bettered. No other version is as magical as Gonzo’s Quest.
Play high variance slots
This top 10 lists the best high variance slots, and the one thing these slots have in common is that they can pay out extraordinary amounts of money.
But one way or another they are also unique, be it because of their bonus features, their appearance or the cool theme. Players are drawn to these slots, with their high stake’s drama and extremely high variance, time and time again.
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