What’s The Difference Between High And Low Volatility Online Slots?
Like many Canadian gamers, you probably rate casino online slots among your favourite online games. And if you’re a more experienced player with plenty of gameplay under your belt, when you play online slots in Canada, you may have noticed something else too. Not all slot games seem to behave in exactly the same way. Some, for instance, pay out smaller amounts, while others give bigger payouts. And the funny thing is, those with smallish wins also seem to pay out more often than the more generous payers. This behaviour, which is a well-known feature of slot games, is described as slot volatility. So let’s take a closer look at what this volatility actually involves.
How are online slot machines programmed?
In the early days of (coin) slot machines, each spin was controlled by a mechanical sequence. The result was a random payout from time to time. Today’s slots still give random wins, but instead of any form of mechanical spinning etc. the whole process is determined by computer software. Essentially, all outcomes, including any winning combinations, are created by the actions of what is known as a random number generator (RNG).
A so-called random number generator is a microchip which is programmed to create a random sequence of numbers. This is a non-stop process which continues even when the slot machine is not being used for gameplay. As you may imagine, this means a stream of numbers are digitally generated at lightning speeds – perhaps as many as several hundred billion digits every second.
Pressing on a button, pulling a lever etc. cues the machine to access the very latest RNG output. This is the data which is then actually used to decide the position of slot reels at that point in the game. Because this outcome is digitally determined by the game’s internal microprocessor, there’s no way a player can anticipate or influence these results. How often any winning combinations show up in any particular game is a statistic known as the Hit Frequency. This is expressed as a number. So the higher the hit frequency of any particular slot, the more often you will see winning combinations appear.
What are the odds of winning when playing online slots in Canada?
Considering this as a mathematical problem, most experts consider your chances of landing a jackpot win are somewhere around 27,000 to 1. Yes, the RNG operates incredibly quickly, so winning combinations will be ‘in the system’ quite a lot of the time. Nevertheless, the probability that you will regularly be able to choose exactly the right moment to hit that play button to grab one of those combos with the right jackpot number sequence is really quite low.
Modern digital online slots software can adjust the game odds using a weighting system to decide how often a particular number sequence will show up. This information is stored on what is known as a Par Sheet. The par sheet is therefore designed to arrange how often each ‘stop’ on a reel, including any blank stops, will be likely to occur. So the par sheet is actually a tool the online casino can use to decide the house edge for any game. Such information is rarely easy for players to find out, which in turn makes it harder for them to accurately work out how any game or machine will perform on payouts.
What does Payback Rate mean?
The term payback rate means the actual payback percentage of a slot. So, mathematically, it’s a prediction about the amount of money the machine will “pay back” during an infinite number of spins. For example, with a programmed payback of 97%, over time and given enough spins, an average player should win close to $3 for every $100 stake. This percentage value usually increases in line with the total amount of money spent on that particular machine.
If all slots were programmed to respond exactly the same there would be little variety available and the gaming world would be very dull. But remember that games which offer a higher hit frequency, described in the industry as ‘loose’, will not generally have a high payback percentage. By contrast, games designers describe games with a much lower hit frequency as ‘tight’.
So when should you choose high or low volatility online slots?
It really all depends on things like what kind of gameplay experience you’re looking for, as well as what budget you have available to play online slot games. A patient player with a lot of cash, plenty of time to play online slots in Canada and a real desire to nail some big prizes, may naturally opt to go jackpot hunting and play high volatility slots. But on the other hand, someone who has more limited time for gaming, and perhaps also less to spend, may prefer to play low volatility games simply because they get more enjoyment knowing they are quite likely to secure some wins during their gaming sessions.