The basics of slot strategy: diversification in online slots


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Want to know which of your favourite online games will soon pay out the top prize? In this article, we’ll dedicate ourselves to the topic of scattering in casino slot games. Given the enormous number of online slots, choosing the right game is sometimes difficult.

Many players choose their game based on themes or bonus features. However, if you go for the spread, it can have a significant impact on your long-term success. Even if you only play occasionally, an understanding of fluctuation and dispersion is fundamental. Therefore, let’s take a look at how individual games differ from each other in this regard.

 What does spread mean?

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When it comes to online slot games, two terms are of central importance: dispersion (variance) and fluctuation (volatility).

Basically, both terms are about one and the same thing. Dispersion expresses how a game rewards the player. Machines with high dispersion or high volatility pay out high prizes at irregular intervals. Low-dispersion machines, on the other hand, pay out many small prizes at shorter intervals. Games with large progressive jackpots or huge bonuses that pay out millions of coins generally have high volatility. Games with small jackpots and no bonuses, on the other hand, are less susceptible to fluctuation.

But how do you find out whether a game has a high or a low variance? You can only rely on your gut feeling after you have played a game many thousands of times. So, the best way to determine variance is to play as long as possible.

How can you tell the variance in online games?

For those who have neither the money nor the stamina for long gaming sessions, there are other ways to find out how prone to variation certain games are.

Many players first look at the RTP rate. All online slot games have such an RTP (return to player) rate. It describes the expected long-term payouts to the players.

The RTP value can usually be found in the paytable of the respective game. The higher the percentage, the more money the player will receive in the long run.

A low RTP value is not necessarily synonymous with low or high volatility. For example, there are games with a low maximum jackpot that is paid out regularly, but still have a low RTP value. On the other hand, there are also very volatile games with a high maximum jackpot, where the RTP value is 98%.

A good way to find out the variance is to look at the paytable. Take a look at the difference between the maximum and minimum payout for five ties. If the difference is large, the game is very likely to be highly volatile.

Let’s say a game pays out a maximum of 5000 and a minimum of 25 coins for five equals.

The difference is a factor of 200, so there is a huge gap between the maximum and minimum payouts. This means that the game very rarely pays out big jackpots.

Alternatively, you can look at the difference between the payouts for three of a kind, four of a kind and five of a kind of a particular symbol.

If the payout for five of a kind is 10 to 15 times that of four of a kind, this also indicates high volatility.

Watch out for bonus features

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Other factors are also important for the volatility of a game. If a game offers a lot of bonuses like free spins and stacked wilds or even a progressive jackpot, the variance is very likely to be high.

This is because these additional features are only triggered occasionally. So, you may need many games before you get a free spin or a wild. Even the arrangement of the symbols on the reels can matter for the scatter. For instance, if the winning symbols are concentrated on the last three reels and the winning rows run from left to right, you are less likely to get a winning combination.

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