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Understanding How Volatility Impacts Slot Strategies

The term volatility in online one armed bandit machines (aka fruit machines, online fruitys, or online pokies if you live in Australia or New Zealand) refers to its payout frequency.

Most titles available online today have either a low, medium, or high volatility rate. In other words, highly volatile fruitys don't pay out as often, but when the wins occur, they are relatively big.

In contrast, low volatility slot machines pay out more frequently, but the average wins are much lower in value. Therefore, medium volatility fruitys are somewhere in between.

As soon as I became aware of this, I quickly discovered that I preferred playing the fruit machines with a low volatility payout rate, but you might be different. You might prefer waiting for the bigger wins that occur less frequently. Everyone is different, and there is no right or wrong way to play. 

Let's dive straight in and look closer at how understanding volatility can impact strategies, especially when it comes to choosing which ones to play.

I've tried to explain things in a way that everyone should be able to understand clearly. 

Which are better to play: low, medium, or high volatility one armed bandits?

Before you hit the spin button in any online fruit machine today on a fully licensed and regulated iGaming website, you may want to take a few seconds to look at the paytable to find out if the game you just launched is a low, medium, or high-volatility title.

However, some of you might not care about volatility and will want to jump straight into the action.

Most online fruity aficionados prefer playing fruitys with smaller, more frequent wins. If that sounds like you, stick to low-volatility ones and perhaps avoid playing highly volatile fruitys.

However, if you have a relatively decent-sized bankroll to cover an extended wagering session, you may want to try highly volatile fruitys, where the wins are much bigger but less frequent. If you're still confused, don't be.

Many online fruit machine website operators today have made it much easier for players to choose which ones to try by adding little volatility gauges next to the thumbnail of each title, which tells you the exact volatility of that fruity.

Other sites have entire sections that separate low, medium, and high volatility fruitys, making life much easier for choosing the right kind of online fruitys to play.

Which software providers have produced the most popular low volatility fruitys?

Today, over 100 companies specialise in crafting low-volatility online fruitys. However, only a handful of market-leading providers have developed hit titles that stand out from the crowd. Some of their fruitys have gone down with fruit machine lovers, myself included, more than any others.

My top 5 favourite software providers that have made the best low volatility fruitys, which I think some of you will agree with, are the following market-leading companies:

  1. Company: NetEnt. Low volatility online fruitys: Starburst, Cornelius, Bloodsuckers 2, Druids Dream, Jumanji,
  2. Company: Games Global. Low volatility online fruitys: Thunderstruck II, Mega Moolah, Wheel of Wishes, Wild Catch
  3. Company: Pragmatic Play. Low volatility online fruitys: Chicken Chase, Master Chen's Fortune
  4. Company: IGT Play Digital. Low volatility online fruitys: Golden Goddess, Texas Tea
  5. Company: Yggdrasil Gaming. Low volatility online fruitys: Jackpot Raiders, Ozwin's Jackpots, + many others

I've also found some decent low-volatility titles from other notable providers, such as Blueprint Gaming, Red Tiger Gaming, ELK Studios, Thunderkick, Quickspin, and Playtech.

That's not forgetting Skywind Group, Push Gaming, Relax Gaming, Stakelogic, Novomatic, Big Time Gaming, and Lightning Box Games, to name a few.

Understanding the volatility is also like understanding its RTP% (Return to Player) payout rate – the expected amount a fruity will pay after a certain amount of money has been wagered on it.

For example, highly volatile online fruitys will likely have a slightly below average RTP% payout rate of 92.00% and 94.00%.

Medium volatility fruitys may have a 94.00% and 97.00% RTP% payout rate, and online fruitys with a low volatility rate may have a 97.00% or higher RTP% payout rate.

However, it doesn't always work like this.

For example, you can also find low volatility fruitys with a below average RTP payout rate, or high volatility fruits with above-average payout rates. It all sounds a lot more confusing than it is, so try not to let it confuse you or put you off playing online fruitys.

How does the volatility impact online fruit machine strategies?

I can assure you that there are no strategies for winning at online fruitys. However, there are some strategies that can improve your chances of 'losing less' money.

For example, mathematically speaking, you should stick to playing fruitys with an above-average RTP percentage payout rate because you are more likely (but never guaranteed) to win in these ones, especially when compared to fruitys with below-average RTP payout rates.

For some people, the volatility of an online fruity will only impact which ones they decide to play or how much they are willing to spend per spin.

I used to look for fruitys with low volatility and above-average RTP% payout rates, but as the years have passed, I hardly ever find myself doing this anymore.

If I like the look of a fruity that just arrived at my favourite website, I will try it regardless of its volatility and RTP% payout rate.

In other words, I used to care about volatility and the RTP share that would pay out to me, but I very rarely bother looking today. I've found that I win and lose in almost equal measures on all types of fruitys from various providers, regardless of their volatility.

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