What Is a High Variance Poker Machine?

High variance online pokies are common but they are not to everyone's taste. Find out what is meant by the term and what to expect from them.

Have you ever seen the term high variance on a pokie and wondered what it means? You are not the first person to ask this question, and you will not be the last.

Online pokies and the machines you find in a brick-and-mortar casino have several statistics relating to them. Terms and phrases like Return To Player, and Hit Rate are common. So is the volatility of a machine with pokies coming in low, medium and high variance guises. But what is meant by a high variance pokie? Keep reading to find out.

Powerful, complex Random Number Generators (RNGs) are the brains behind online pokies. They are automated mathematical models that randomly determine the outcome of each and every spin. The RNG designers create the code which runs the machines. The code dictates how much money the machine pays back over billions of hands; the RTP. It also dictates how it gives that money back to the machine’s players.

High Variance Versus Low Variance

Volatility, or variance, in pokies is a measure of how the game pays back its players. For example, a machine has a 95% RTP, which means it returns $95 for every $100 wagered. It does not accept $100 then pay $95 in one chunk every time, for obvious reasons. There are times when the machine is running at a loss; it may pay out $500 for each $100 it receives. Others times see it operate at a huge profit, paying out only $20 for each $100 it receives. The machine pays out $95 per $100 receives in the long run, over billions of spins.

Variance comes in when you talk about how it reaches its end goal of 95% RTP. A low variance pokie arrives at this figure far smoother than a high variance pokie. Low variance machines tend to pay out small wins but do so more frequently. Conversely, high variance machines pay out more substantial wins but less frequently. This leads to less dry spells of losing spins on low variance poker machines compared to their rivals.

How To Play High Volatility Pokies

High variance pokies play the same as any other machine so do not worry about learning mind-boggling rules. However, you do need a larger bankroll to play the more volatile machines.

Long losing stretches are common with high variance machines. They reward you with some smaller wins, but it can feel like you are chasing your tail at times. The potential massive payout makes doing so worthwhile.

You need to be kind of person who has nerves of steel and who deals well with losing. Some players hate losing that much it angers them beyond belief. They increase their bet sizes and play erratically, and go on tilt. Avoid higher variance games if this describes you!

Make your life a little less stressful by finding a high variance pokie with a high RTP. The industry average for online pokies is approximately 96%. More money stays in your bankroll, in the long run, the smaller the house edge is. And you need it playing games that take you on a roller-coaster ride of emotions.

Are These Games For Beginners?

Players new to online pokies can play high variance games if they wish. They have the same rules and features as any other, as mentioned above. However, it is better to start with lower variance machines if you are new to the game.

Absorbing a relatively heavy loss lowers your morale and may put beginners off from trying other games and experiencing the joys of playing pokies. We suggest trying these games out for free using the play money offered by some online casinos. Doing so lets you get a feel for how the game pays and plays. Then you can decide if you want to play with your hard-earned cash.