Low Variance Slots

Slot variance (or volatility) indicates how frequently the player is likely to win and how big the resulting payouts can be. Low variance slots pay more often but the rewards are relatively small. However, the risk of losing it all is also lower than when spinning for jackpots worth millions. If your priority is to make your balance last and enjoy as long gaming sessions as possible, low volatility titles are the way to go. They may also be a better choice when playing with an active bonus as more frequent winning outcomes can help clear the respective wagering requirement.

Carry on reading to find out more about what exactly a low variance slot is and its pros and cons. Not only that, we will be showing you how to spot a low variance slot online. Finally, you can find out about all the of the very best slot games online that have low volatility.

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Low Volatility Slots to Try

Slot List

Online casinos in Canada with Low Volatility Slots

Lemon Casino logo
Lemon Casino

Rating: 9.9/10

  • Over 4,800 slots and 400+ Live games
  • Fast Withdrawals
  • Lemon Lotto Wheel - Daily No Deposit FS
  • Treasure Boxes - Loyalty Program
  • Non-Sticky Welcome Bonuses
  • No wager 7% Weekly Cashback
Bluffbet Casino logo
Bluffbet Casino

Rating: 9.7/10

  • Ultra-fast 10 minute withdrawals
  • 3,000+ feature-rich games
  • C$750 + 150 FS upon sign-up
  • 42+ award-winning providers
  • Casino & sports sections
Cashwin Casino logo
CashWin Casino

Rating: 9.6/10

  • Hosts 5,000+ mobile-friendly games
  • Supports crypto for deposits and withdrawals
  • Up to 50% reload bonus
  • 300% up to C$2,265 + 50 Free Spins 
  • Weekly 20% live cashback

What Does Low Variance Mean?

Neon sign: Low variance slots

Low volatility slots are low-risk and low-reward titles with frequently activated special features. Wins come in fairly regularly but none of them will make you rich. What you are likely to get is longer playing sessions and, providing you’ve chosen a high RTP slot, a fair chance of ending up with a small profit. This may be a good time to clarify that the theoretical return (RTP) and variance aren’t one and the same.

RTP represents the percentage of the amount wagered the game is likely to pay back. It’s calculated over a long period of time and many, many spins. Variance, on the other hand, indicates the risk stemming from win frequency and size. Both should be considered when one is deciding which slot to bet on. If the developer hasn’t provided variance info, check the game’s max win potential and ease of triggering its special feature. A massive top reward and difficult to enter bonus rounds are usually indicators of high variance.

Players wondering whether it’s better to play low or high variance slots should answer this question: would you rather receive instant gratification created by frequent, smaller payouts, or suffer long losing streaks in the hope of eventually hitting a jackpot?

Best Low Variance Online Slots

Identifying low variance slots isn’t easy. If the developer doesn’t provide the information, you can either play the game or look for clues:

  • Look at the paytable and check the difference between the payout for a five-of-a-kind (or whatever the biggest possible combo) vs the second highest. In low variance games, the first usually pays only 3-5x more;
  • Check the maximum win potential of a single spin; the higher it is, the more likely you’d have to cope with numerous non-winning spins;
  • Use fun mode to judge how easy it is to trigger bonus round.

Here are a few popular low variance titles to use as a benchmark:

starburst logo NetEnt’s Starburst has an RTP of 96.09%, 10 paylines and a maximum win of 50,000 coins. During the Starburst Wild feature, Wild icons expand to cover the entire reel and remain fixed while other reels re-spin.

thunderstuck II logo Thunderstruck II from Microgaming pays 243 ways and offers an RTP of 96.65%. There’s one randomly activated feature and 4 bonus rounds. The max win potential is 2.4 million coins (but don’t hold your breath for that one).

1429 Uncharted Seas logo1429 Uncharted Seas by Thunderkick features extending Wilds and free spins triggered by 3+ bonus symbols. The game plays with 25 lines, has a theoretical return of 98.6% and offers a top prize of 67,000 coins.

Slot name Software Type Reels Paylines RTP Release year
Starburst NetEnt Video Slot 5 10 96.09% 2013
Thunderstruck II Microgaming Video Slot 5 243 96.65% 2010
1429 Uncharted Sea Thunderkick Video Slot 5 25 98.6% 2014

Advantages and Disadvantages of Low Variance slots

  • Pros

  • Your bankroll will deplete at a much slower pace if you choose to play a low variance slot than it would while betting on a highly volatile alternative
  • Bonus rounds are far easier to trigger and players get multiple opportunities to benefit from special features
  • Low variance slots are less likely to bankrupt those playing with a limited budget
  • Cons

  • Playing low variance slots can usually win you up to 250-500x the bet or at best 1,000 x your stake. This is significantly less than highly volatile games are able to pay
  • Many spins will pay less than the amount that was wagered so that even outcomes which are considered to be positive (a win) decrease the player’s balance
  • In order to win large amounts, one has to place relatively big bets


Low variance slots are ideal for players with relatively small bankrolls and those eager to play as long as possible. Frequent small wins might not make them rich but will help keep the balance positive. One thing to watch out for are payouts smaller than bets; they might make one feel like a winner despite the negative impact on the bottom line. Having learned about potential pitfalls and advantages of low variance titles, use the newly acquired knowledge to improve your performance.

Daniel Bennet
With over 15 years in gambling marketing and an online betting background, Daniel now is passionately exploring and evaluating diverse slots and sites for readers.
Site Editor
University of Toronto
University of Toronto’s Bachelor of Commerce, Finance and Economics expertise, focus on financial strategies, Gambler's Fallacy, RNG, and Probability Theory research.
Expert in:
  • Payment Systems
  • Games Probability
Reviewed by Head of Content:
Dmitry Rogalchuk


🎰 Is it better to play low or high variance slots?

Neither is inherently better than the other. It all depends on what’s your goal  – to buy as much playtime as you can or to win massive amounts?

🎰 Are Low Volatility Games Less Risky?

Overall, low volatility slot games are much less risky than high volatility options. This is because you are more likely to win when playing them. These games are low risk, low reward. Even if you were to bet the maximum amount on a low volatility game, you would still have a much greater chance of landing a win compared to a similar wager on high volatility games.

🎰 Is it impossible to receive big payouts when playing low variance slots?

It’s possible to score larger prizes in addition to small wins. However, because players are frequently rewarded with small payouts, big jackpots are even harder to score than in highly volatile games.

🎰 What Are Good Tips For Playing Low Volatility Slots?

A top tip is that there is no need to play multiple paylines as you can still trigger features without playing them all and it is during features where the most wins are made. Secondly, make sure that you stay away from the gamble feature as this can end your game in the quickest possible time.

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