If you want to get the most out of playing slots online then you should get to understand the maths models that drive the payouts on your favorite games. When you understand terms like variance and RTP (Return to Player) then you can fully appreciate what makes one game so different from another.
Perhaps the most important of those two is ‘variance’. Because the level of variance in a game decides how risky it is. And right now, high risk, or ‘high variance’ slots are some of the best you can play.
What is Variance?
Variance is closely associated with risk because it refers to the level at which a game will vary from its advertised RTP. Games with a high variance will swing wildly from long periods of very low RTP to short sharp periods of extremely high payouts. This unstable pay model, where the long spells of dry spins are made bearable when the reels kick into gear and the features all start triggering, is what makes high variance games so fun.
But it’s also what makes them high risk. You can spend a lot of bankroll waiting for the big win sequence to land and walk away with nothing in your pocket. Alternatively, if it’s your lucky day then you can spring the vaults of a game like Dead or Alive 2 by NetEnt or Bonanza by Big Time Gaming and come away with a windfall and memories of an adrenaline-fuelled session.
Other Features of High-Risk Slots
It’s not just the payout model that makes high risk slots so popular though. It is the features and themes that these games typically use to build atmosphere, tension and the thrills that have made them some of the most played slots of all time. Check out these examples:
Cascading Wins and Progressive Multipliers
One of the most frequently used features in any high-risk slot is a combination of Cascading Wins and Progressive Multipliers. Win cascades are events that first appeared in NetEnt’s classic video slot, Gonzo’s Quest. Here, after a winning spin, the winning symbols are removed from the reels and replaced with new ones. When this happens more wins are sometimes created, and the process repeats. This happens until no more wins occur.
The tension increases when a Progressive Multipliers is added to the mix – as it has been in Big Time Gaming’s famous Bonanza Slot. Here, with each new Cascade in the mix a win multiplier increases by 1x. The thrill of watching successive sequences with ever bigger multipliers is what makes this feature a mainstay of the best high-risk slots.
Free Spins Bonus Rounds
Of course, free spins rounds are another common feature in lots of high variance games. Pretty much all of Big Time Gaming’s Megaways™ slots use a free spins round to pump up the tension and create bigger win opportunities. Often, the RTP increases for those lucky enough to unlock free spins, and when it’s possible to re-trigger the bonus round by landing more scatters, then the chances of hitting one of the famous epic big win sequence increases.
Classic Game Theme
Finally, its notable that many of the very best high-risk slots also share common themes. One good exmaple is Ancient Egypt, used in a lot of the Book of … series of games by Play n Go and Novomatic. For those who don’t know, Book of Dead is one of the most popular high-risk games of all times thanks to is bonus round in which special icons become expanding symbols when they land, pushing up win potential. Other popular themes include the Wild West, used very effectively in NetEnt’s Dead or Alive 1 and 2, and Nolimit City’s Deadwood, and Norse history in classics like Vikings Go Beserk by Yggdrasil and Playtech’s Age of Gods Norse slot.
Of course, there are many other variations and unique themes chosen by game developers for the latest high-risk slots and these are just some of our favorites. We recommend you check these out the next time you log onto a new casino. You can find a list of sites where they are available here. Just remember, these games are high risk, so choose your stakes with care and play responsibly.