What is Variance?

Variance refers to the way that a video slot pays out its winnings to the player. This tutorial explains how low, medium and high variance slots work and how you should utilise them to maximise the bonus expected value.

Low Variance Slots

Low variance slots pay out smaller amounts more frequently. They normally don’t have huge jackpots that are very difficult to win. They are likely to have smaller jackpots that you are likely to win more frequently. These are the best option if you want to reduce your chance of busting out of an offer or to complete your wagering requirements after hitting a big win a medium or high variance slot.

Medium Variance Slots

These slots are somewhere in the middle (as the name suggests). They have some larger payouts less frequently, and lower smaller wins. They can be a good middle ground when you are looking to try and get a big win before you switch to a lower variance slot to complete the wagering requirements

High Variance Slots

High variance slots will give you the opportunity to hit massive wins, with a number of small token wins to keep you playing. Playing these slots will give you the largest percentage chance of busting out of an offer, but a greater opportunity to win a big amount. It would not be uncommon to have 10 or more losing runs with this type of slot, but then hit a big win that more than makes up for those losses. If you have a very large betting bank, you might want to opt for this type of slot, whilst accepting that you will bust out many times before getting a win.


The higher the variance of a slot that you play, the longer your losing run or bust out rate may be, but the greater the opportunity there is for a for a big win. Often we will recommend a two tier betting strategy whereby you bet with a medium or high variance slot to begin with and when you hit a big win, switch to a low variance slot to wager out.

Your betting bank size also needs to take into account whether you go for low, medium or high variance slot. The lower your betting bank is, the lower variance slot you want to take.