Casino Strategy

Understanding the difference between volatility and RTP in online slots

Volatility and RTP are two different attributes that can alter your gameplay

Understanding the distinction between volatility and Return to Player (RTP) is crucial for anyone engaging with online slots. These terms are fundamental in assessing the behavior and potential outcomes of a slot game, enabling players to make informed decisions about their gameplay.


Volatility, also known as variance, refers to the level of risk and fluctuation associated with a slot game’s payouts. It indicates the frequency and size of wins in a game. Slots can be categorized as low, medium, or high volatility.

Low volatility slots offer frequent but smaller wins. These games provide a more consistent stream of payouts, making them suitable for players who prefer a steadier bankroll.

Medium volatility slots strike a balance between small and larger wins. Players can expect a mix of regular wins and occasional higher payouts.

High volatility slots provide infrequent but potentially significant wins. These games are preferred by risk-takers seeking the excitement of chasing substantial jackpots, even though there might be longer periods of no wins.

Return to Player (RTP)

RTP represents the percentage of wagered money that a slot machine is programmed to pay back to players over time. For instance, if a slot has an RTP of 95%, it means that, on average, the game will return $95 for every $100 wagered over its lifespan. RTP does not determine short-term outcomes but gives a long-term average.

Volatility focuses on the variability of payouts, while RTP centers on the average return to players over time. In addition, volatility directly affects the frequency of wins. Low volatility slots provide more regular wins compared to high volatility slots.

Understanding volatility helps players manage their bankroll effectively. Players with limited funds might opt for low volatility slots to prolong their gameplay, while those seeking big wins might choose high volatility slots.

RTP offers insight into a game’s theoretical returns over an extended period, guiding players on the game’s potential profitability in the long run.

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