Best High Variance Slots
By: Dominic Field
Published On: 30th August 2023
Our slots writer, Dominic Field, presents his 20 favourite high volatility games from a crowded field. Look out for a thrilling mix of recent releases, stone-cold classics, and one long-forgotten fruity slot!
There has never been a better time to be a fan of high volatility slots games.
In keeping with the dark, dystopian worlds and crazy narratives conjured up in slots from developers like Nolimit City, Relax Gaming and Hackaw Gaming, more and more extreme variance is the order of the day.
Five years ago a game like the infamous Tombstone RIP with its ‘Insane’ volatility and 300,000x top win would have been unthinkable. But now developers are tripping over themselves to produce the ultimate super-volatile slots experience to satisfy the thirst of a new generation of players.
Why do we love these slots? Because extreme variance slots are exciting and unpredictable in nature and go hand in hand with much higher maximum payouts, breathtaking win sequences and thrilling gameplay.
If that’s your thing then you’re going to love my hand-picked selection of the 20 best extreme, intense and high variance slots of all time.
Take a deep breath, and let’s get started. The table below shows the full list with recommended UK slot sites where you can play the games. Further down you’ll a short review of each slot including why we love it and the key features to look out for.
Top 20 High Variance Slots
|Slot Game||Slot Provider||Volatility Level||Maximum Win||Release Date||Recommended Casino|
|Hand of Anubis||Hacksaw Gaming||High||10,000x||Apr-22||Casumo|
|Big Bamboo||Push Gaming||High||50,000x||Mar-22||Barz Casino|
|Dead or Alive 2||NetEnt||High||111,111x||Apr-19||Casimba|
|The Border||Nolimit City||Extreme||44,288x||Sep-22||Luckster|
|Dead Riders Trail||Relax Gaming||High||50,000x||Aug-22||Duelz Casino|
|Wild Flower||Big Time Gaming||High||114,100x||Apr-21||Casumo|
|Razor Returns||Push Gaming||High||50,000x||Jul-23||Barz Casino|
|Dog House Megaways||Pragmatic Play||High||12,305x||Jul-20||Casimba|
|Tombstone RIP||Nolimit City||Insane||300,000x||Jan-22||Luckster|
|Fruit Warp||Thunderkick||High||11,000x||Aug-14||Duelz Casino|
|Avalon Gold||ELK Studios||High||25,000x||Nov-22||Casumo|
|Max Megaways||Big Time Gaming||High||139,200x||Sep-22||Barz Casino|
|Wanted Dead or a Wild||Hacksaw Gaming||High||12,500x||Sep-21||Casimba|
|Gates of Olympus||Pragmatic Play||High||5,000x||Feb-21||Duelz Casino|
|True Grit Redemption||Nolimit City||Extreme||20,220x||Dec-21||Barz Casino|
|Danger! High Voltage||Big Time Gaming||High||15,746x||May-17||Casimba|
|Jammin Jars||Push Gaming||High||20,000x||Sep-18||Luckster|
|Medusa Megaways||SG Digital||High||50,000x||Apr-19||Duelz Casino|
Why Did I Pick These Slots?
There are 100s of top quality high variance slots out there, so why did I pick these for our Top 20? The most important attribute of all these games is that they provide great entertainment. High variance slots can be slow as wins often come in short but irregular bursts, which means they aren’t always the most fun to spin. But despite this pattern of play, the games on this page remain compelling at all times, including those dry spells, thanks to the cool features and fun themes.
And of course, when things do start happening, the action is alway top class with multiple features triggering simultaneously and cumulative wins with progressive multipliers and free spins in most cases. And finally, these slots offer some of the highest maximum wins you will find anywhere, as well as competitive Return to Player (RTP) settings.
More About Our Top 20 High Variance Slots
Read more about our Top 20 High Variance slots including the themes, gameplay and key features that make them such compelling games.
1. Hand of Anubis by Hacksaw Gaming
Why We Love Hand of Anubis
- A dark and unique take on Egyptian-themed slots
- Absolutely packed with multipliers of up to 9,999x
- Judgement Bonus Round brings up incredible wins of up to 10,000x
- Classic Hacksaw Gaming graphical style and soundtrack
- Uses a Cluster Pays mechanic unusual for Hacksaw slots
This first title on our list of high variance slots is set in Ancient Egypt. Released in April 2022, Hand of Anubis pays tribute to the mythological guide to the underworld with a jackal for a head. It receives full marks on the developer’s own volatility scale, a 5/5 rating indicating an extremely high variance slot .
Most Egyptian-themed slots are packed with clichés. You’d expect to see hieroglyphs on the reels, along with scarab beetles and the Sphinx. But Hacksaw Gaming avoids all of that, offering a graphically-pleasing but somewhat dark title. Overall, it’s reminiscent of an old-school adventure video game like Diablo – especially the music.
The potential rewards are solid, with a maximum payout per spin of 10,000x and a slightly-above-average RTP of 96.24%. While the betting limits are well suited to all bankrolls, starting from £0.10 and rising to a maximum of £100. The best moments are unlocked by collecting orbs of various colours to unlock two grim but rewarding bonus rounds – Underworld and Judgement.
2. Big Bamboo by Push Gaming
Why We Love Big Bamboo
- Peaceful vibe through the graphics and soundtrack
- Instant win prizes as high as 5,000x
- Low minimum stake at 10p so open to everyone to test their luck
- High 50,000x top payout
- Multipliers of up to 10x
Who doesn’t love a cute and cuddly panda? The adorable behaviour of these clumsy and chaotic creatures could arguably be described as volatile. But there’s no debating the variance involved in Big Bamboo by Push Gaming – it’s rated “high” by the developer.
Something else that’s pretty high is the attractive maximum potential win of 50,000x per spin. To stand a chance of dropping that particular prize, you’ll want to see Golden Bamboo symbols hitting the 5×6 reel grid. That’s because these scatter symbols unlock the free spins feature. Better still, convert them to Mystery Bamboo symbols to earn additional spins and keep the wins coming.
You can try Big Bamboo from as little as £0.10 per spin, with an upper limit of £100. Enjoy the zen-like music as you play this fan-favourite slot, with a respectable RTP of 96.13%.
3. Dead or Alive 2 by NetEnt
Why We Love Dead or Alive 2
- Update to an all time great high variance slot
- Superb 111,111x maximum payout
- High 96.8% RTP
- High Noon free spins round with multiplying wilds
- Excellent Wild West atmosphere
Released in April 2019, this NetEnt title was a follow-up to the popular and successful Dead or Alive. Adopting a classic 5×3 reel layout with just nine possible paylines, there’s a pleasant simplicity to the gameplay. But the possible rewards are attractive, with an RTP of 96.82% and a maximum win potential of 111,111x.
The essence of the original game is faithfully recaptured in this sequel, with many significant improvements. Alongside cool features like Multiplier Wilds, you’ll find three hugely enjoyable bonus games. Its predecessor was lauded for the entertaining free spins feature, so perhaps we shouldn’t have expected anything different from the developer.
Collect at least three pistol scatter symbols to activate the bonus, where you’ll choose one of the three options. Old Saloon is essentially the same as the original game’s bonus feature. But Train Heist offers increasing multipliers, and the highly-volatile High Noon makes use of NetEnt’s unique and highly-engaging “MAX” concept with multiplying wilds.
4. The Border by Nolimit City
Why We Love The Border
- Totally unique setting with border guards, drug mules and a mighty border wall!
- High maximum win of 44,288x
- Lots of classic Nolimit features including xWays, xSplits, xNudges, xBombs and xClusters
- Two free spins rounds options
Next up on our list of the best high variance slots is The Border. This September 2022 release tackles the unlikely theme of illegal immigration into the USA. Despite being packed with stereotypical references to drug lords, Mexican poverty and authoritarian obedience, this isn’t even one of Nolimit City’s most controversial titles.
The game takes place on a 6×6 grid of reels and, rather than using paylines, it adopts a cluster pays mechanic. An RTP of 96.17% is pretty standard for modern video slots, while the win potential of 44,288x is pretty big. Though in fairness, this developer is known for producing slots with far greater maximum payouts.
Betting limits range from £0.20 up to £100, making it ideal for a wide range of players. Look out for dollar symbols which act as the game’s scatter. Six of these trigger 10 free Mule spins, while seven will award 12 of the more rewarding Coyote spins.
5. Dead Riders Trail by Relax Gaming
Why We Love Dead Rider’s Trail
- Anarchic and dark biker theme
- Up to 1,000x multipliers
- Cascading wins mechanic triggers multiple wins from one spin
- Clever bonus trail feature with lots of modifiers
- Win up to 50,000x
Another highly volatile game that plays out on a 6×6 grid, Dead Riders Trail first hit online casinos in August 2022. Rated the full 5/5 on Relax Gaming’s volatility scale, it offers a decent RTP of 96.20% and an impressive 50,000x maximum payout.
This particular title is better suited to smaller-staking players, with a minimum bet of £0.10 and an upper ceiling of just £20. However, it’s extremely well put together and builds successfully on the popularity of the developer’s earlier release Dead Man’s Trail. Rather than continuing with the pirate theme, the sequel moves us into modern times, where a motorcycle gang is doing the raiding.
With graphics reminiscent of lawless video games like Grand Theft Auto, you’ll notice blocker symbols among others on the reels. Create adjacent wins in order to blow them up and trigger the bonus wheel. Here you’re ideally looking for either of the feature trails, which are extremely unpredictable, but highly entertaining and potentially quite lucrative.
6. Wild Flower by Big Time Gaming
Why We Love Wild Flower
- Cool rock n rol soundtrack
- Massive 114,100x top win
- Enhanced free spins with 800x multipliers
- Lots of sticky wild symbols
This April 2021 release is another of our high volatility slots that’s ideal for the more casual slots fan, with bets ranging from £0.10 to £20. An RTP of 96.52% is healthy enough, while there’s also an impressive maximum win value of 114,100x up for grabs. Best of all, there’s a fantastic soundtrack provided by British rockers The Cult.
In Wild Flower, the developer has combined elements of several older titles, including Danger! High Voltage, and Lil’ Devil. But it’s certainly not a lazy rehash of existing games, offering some high-impact features, the highlights of which are the two Mega free spins bonuses.
Landing three regular scatters gives you the choice of two different free spins rounds. But if a Megascatter appears on the sixth reel, you’ll play an enhanced version, either My Heart Beats Faster or The Most Beautiful Thing. The former offers a multiplier ladder, while the latter uses sticky wilds.
7. Razor Returns by Push Gaming
Why We Love Razor Returns
- Super-powered follow up to a classic Push Gaming slot
- Massive 100,000x top payout
- Razor Reveal with instant wins up to 5,000x and up to 10x multipliers
- Smart, slick design will appeal to Push Gaming fans
Playing out on a 5×5 reel layout, Razor Returns is the July 2023 sequel to Push Gaming’s Razor Shark. That title was notoriously volatile, but the follow up features just as much variance, ranked 5/5 by the developer. Its RTP of 96.55% is more than fair, while the maximum potential prize of 100,000x per spin is significant.
The main character is Razor the ferocious-looking shark, and he stars as the wild symbol. Another shark and several terrifying but cartoonish creatures also appear on the reels. However, the game’s main bonus feature, Razor Reveal, is triggered by the appearance of golden sharks.
Each position containing one of these valuable symbols will nudge up and down, revealing all kinds of extra symbols. These include multipliers of up to 10x, instant win prizes and other special symbols to help you complete big wins.
8. The Dog House Megaways by Pragmatic Play
Why We Love Dog House Megaways
- Fun, dog-themed game with funny characters
- Sticky wild free spins with up to 30 plays
- Raining wilds feature with tons of extra wilds
- Simple gameplay
- Up to 117,649 paylines per spin
Released in July 2020 to critical acclaim, this classic Pragmatic Play title remains as popular as ever. The action unfolds on a dynamic board of six reels and up to seven rows, with a maximum 117,649 ways to win. A generous enough RTP of 96.55% works in tandem with a top potential win of 12,305x.
The original Dog House slot is even older, dating back to 2019. But the addition of the innovative Megaways engine gave what was already a successful title a new lease of life. There’s a cast of cute canines adorning the reels, each rewarding you with prizes for matching at least three. While other pet pooch paraphernalia, such as bones, collars and kennels, also help you to acquire wins.
What you’re really hoping to find though, is the pawprint bonus symbol, which unlocks the free spins game. To be more precise, there’s actually a choice of bonus feature: choose either Sticky Wilds Free Spins or Raining Wilds Free Spins.
9. Tombstone RIP by Nolimit City
Why We Love Tombstone RIP
- Unrivalled 300,000x maximum payout
- Darkest take on the wild west themed slot genre
- Absolutely legendary volatility levels
- Up to 999x multipliers
- xSplits and xNudge Wilds increase paylines and win potential
This is one of the most infamous high variance slots of recent times. When Tombstone RIP eventually went live in January 2022, many casino operators refused to offer it, such was the hype around its release. It feels like Nolimit City actively courts controversy at times, so naturally, they went ahead anyway.
And we’re glad they did, because this 5×3 video slot is actually a fantastically entertaining game to play. Yes there are some grim references, including arson, murder, lynchings and graphic images like blood-soaked reels. But slots are for grown adults and is it really any different to what’s shown on Netflix these days?
The pearl-clutching seemingly did the developers a favour, creating a huge buzz around the game’s release. It was extremely well-received by those in the slots community that actually played it. And with a staggering maximum win potential of 300,000x, the biggest we’ve ever seen, Tombstone RIP also grabbed headlines for the right reasons.
10. Fruit Warp by Thunderkick
Why We Love Fruit Warp
- Unique, minimalist slot with no reels or rows
- Fruit mode with dynamic multipliers can unlock big wins
- Classic Thunderkick style unlike no other slot out there
- Win up to 11,000x
- Easy to follow
Swedish developers Thunderkick are probably best-known for two things. A range of wacky and outside-the-box video slots, plus a tendency to create games with high levels of variance. So it was only a matter of time before one of their unorthodox slots appeared on this list.
Released way back in 2014, Fruit Warp is positively ancient by online casino standards. But it more than likely inspired many modern and creative studios around today, with its smooth and vivid graphics and unusual gameplay mechanics. Unusually for a slot game, there are no reels at all. Instead, there’s just a random selection of fruit floating around, almost as if underwater.
The aim is to fill the warp meter, by matching as many pieces of fruit on the screen as possible. You’ll need at least five to start the main Fruit Mode game, but four is enough to trigger a warp that can spark a chain of wins. Even finding three matches is enough to secure a small reward.
11. Avalon Gold by ELK Studios
Why We Love Avalon Gold
- Part of the popular ‘Gold’ series
- Feature-packed gameplay
- Cascading Wins combining with expanding reel sets
- Mystery Boxes activate to reveal coin values which are collected or upgraded
- 25,000x top win available
The legend of King Arthur is an extremely common trope in the world of online slots. But Avalon Gold is an impressively executed example that has flown a little under the radar. Released in November 2022, players of all bankrolls can get involved, with stake limits set at £0.20 and £100. And, of course, there’s a high level of volatility thrown into the mix.
One of the more important mechanics is the Avalanche Feature, causing new symbols to fall and replace winning combinations. But it’s the Mystery Box that holds the key to the most epic wins. It won’t come along often, as is the tendency with high variance slots. But when it does, it can produce massive rewards of up to 25,000x.
Find at least five mystery boxes at once to kick things off. Each one will reveal its contents, including modifiers like multipliers, redrops and the swiper. This adds a 1 in front of the previous box’s coin win value. For instance, a 3 becomes a 13. You can imagine how a succession of those can quickly rack up the rewards.
12. Max Megaways by Big Time Gaming
Why We Love Max Megaways
- Fun, spy-themed online slot with serious volatilty
- Wild modifers can unlock full Megaways on any spin
- Wild Bomb causes all symbols to explode and be replace by new ones for new wins
- Up to 139,200x maximum win!!
- Up to 117,649 win ways (of course)!
In September 2022, Big Time Gaming introduced their spy-themed slot Max Megaways. Although the soundtrack has distinct James Bond vibes, the gameplay itself feels a little more Austin Powers. Set in an evil villain’s base underneath a volcano, the graphics are colourful and somewhat cartoonish.
However, there’s nothing light-hearted about the potential rewards in store for you. The RTP of 96.37% is perfectly respectable, while the maximum win of 139,200x is extremely impressive. Of course, it should be noted that, as a highly volatile slot, you may need some patience before those big wins come along.
Your best shot at landing the top prize is the enhanced free spins, triggered by landing a Megascatter on reel 6. Here you’ll choose a number of gameplay modifiers, such as multipliers, retriggers and the removal of low-paying symbols. This not only makes the feature more rewarding, but it’s a unique experience each time.
13. Wanted Dead or A Wild by Hacksaw Gaming
Why We Love Wanted Dead or a Wild
- First Hacksaw Gaming slot to boost their profile
- Full reel wild multipliers
- Sticky wilds throughout free spins round
- Up to 31x multiplier in bonus round
- Unique Hacksaw Gaming art style
It would be impossible to get through a list of high variance slots without including this smash hit release by Hacksaw Gaming. Debuting in September 2021, Wanted Dead or A Wild adopts the ever-popular Wild West theme, albeit with the developer’s own unique style woven in.
Not quite as volatile as many of the titles featured in this article, this particular release still scores 4/5 on Hacksaw Gaming’s scale. A maximum potential payout of 12,500x awaits the luckiest of players, alongside a solid enough RTP of 96.38%. You can play from just £0.20 per spin, with an upper limit of £100.
The game’s intriguing Duel at Dawn bonus round is unquestionably the highlight of this 5×5 slot. Here you’ll receive 10 free spins whenever at least three Duel symbols appear. Full reel multipliers and extremely volatile gameplay make for a really exciting experience. However, you can also trigger two other bonuses, in the shape of The Great Train Robbery and Dead Man’s Hand.
14. Nitopolis by ELK Studios
Why We Love Nitropolis
- Superb dystopian futuristic cartoon theme
- Up to 85,155,840 paylines thanks to Nitro Reels splitting cells
- Up to 20 free spins with re-triggers
- Sticky Nitro Reels in bonus round
- Up to 10,000x wins
There are already several games in the Nitropolis series, but the slot which kicked everything off hit the casinos in November 2020. It received rave reviews within the community, and understandably so. It’s an entertaining game with a lot going on, not least an incredible soundtrack.
Set in a dystopian future, four animal-based gangs are competing to get their hands on Nitro, a valuable energy source for their vehicles. The action takes place on a dynamic set of six reels and anywhere from four to 12 rows. What’s more, after every single win, the symbols involved respin, potentially leading to further combinations.
The innovative Nitro Reels mechanic allows the grid to, in theory at least, expand to a crazy 85,155,840 paylines. This feature can also offer a second chance from time to time, if appearing without creating additional wins. The maximum win potential of 10,000x is pretty high, while an RTP of 96.10% is perfectly acceptable.
15. Gates of Olympus by Pragmatic Play
Why We Love Gates of Olympus
- Win all ways gameplay
- Multipliers of up to 500x
- Up to 15 free spins with cumulative multipliers in free spins round
- Premium symbols worth up to 50x
- Simple gameplay mixed with high volatility
This February 2021 release went down extremely well with slots fans and has cemented its reputation as a classic of the genre. In terms of mechanics, it wasn’t exactly revolutionary, building on the popular Sweet Bonanza slot. But the familiarity of the gameplay, plus an ever-popular Greek mythology theme, combines well to make an extremely playable game.
Unlike many high volatility slots, Gates of Olympus doesn’t offer a massive maximum win, with a modest 5,000x up for grabs every spin. But the RTP of 96.50% is rewarding enough. In truth, this game’s immense popularity is more about the presentation and the features than its payout potential.
First of all, the slot makes use of a pay anywhere system, rendering paylines meaningless. Simply acquire enough matching symbols anywhere on the reels to secure a prize. Secondly, the free spins bonus is both entertaining and highly rewarding, thanks to the global multiplier which doesn’t reset. But most of all, we just love the floating, angry-looking Zeus who randomly fires lightning bolts around!
16. Disturbed by Nolimit City
Why We Love Disturbed
- Typically weird and adult theme
- Classic NLC game features including xNudges, xSplits and xWilds
- Big 54,391x maximum win
- 5 scatters earns you 20 spins
- 256 Paylines
In May 2023, Nolimit City released another in a long line of high variance slots with extremely high win potentials and grim themes. In Disturbed, we see a top payout of 54,391x supported by a steady RTP of 96.10%. There’s something for everyone in terms of betting limits, which range from £0.20 to £100. But more squeamish players may not enjoy the gruesome imagery contained within.
The setting is a somewhat dirty and blood-stained operating theatre, where Dr. Daniel Eath (geddit?) performs a series of horrific procedures. It’s not entirely clear whether he’s killing and maiming these patients intentionally, which adds to the unsettling horror movie vibe. As does the tense electronic soundtrack which plays throughout.
This creepy slot has shades of Mental, an earlier Nolimit City release. However, although it is extremely dark, it’s perhaps not quite as horrific as that particular game. It does contain just as many enthralling features though, including xWays, xSplits, stacked wilds and up to 20 free spins.
17. True Grit Redemption by Nolimit City
Why We Love True Grit Redemption
- Dark and moody take on the Wild West theme
- Top win of 20,220x
- xWays and Infectious xWays cause symbols to clone in the same spot
- Reel splits cause reels to clone themselves
- Free spins with sticky wild multipliers
Yet another hugely successful high variance slot from Nolimit City, True Grit Redemption is a gorgeously presented romp through the Wild West. The game’s cinematic soundtrack and dramatic sound effects are a joy to behold, while the game itself is packed with absorbing features.
At first glance, the playing area appears to be a conventional 6×4 grid. But an additional three symbols sit above reels two, three and four creating an unorthodox 4-5-5-5-4-4 setup. A maximum win potential of 20,220x is fitting for such a highly volatile slot, while the 96.11% RTP is respectable enough. Get in on the action from just £0.20 per play, with bets capped off at £100.
Released in December 2021, True Grit Redemption employs many of the developer’s favourite features, including xWays, xNudges and stacked wilds. But it’s the Dead Spins bonus game, with its sticky wild multiplier, which really stands out from the many appealing gameplay elements.
18. Danger! High Voltage by Big Time Gaming
Why We Love Danger! High Voltage
- Super cool rock and roll soundtrack
- Fun disco-floor visuals
- Two free spins rounds with up to 66x multipliers
- A 4,096 win ways slot game
- Sticky wilds in free spins round
This 6×4 slot with 4,096 paylines was released by Big Time Gaming back in May 2017. But it’s based on the hit song by Detroit rockers Electric Six, featuring guest vocals from Jack White, released way back in 2002. I suppose we can be thankful that the developer opted for Danger! High Voltage rather than Gay Bar. Such a title would perhaps be better suited to the Nolimit City team.
As you might expect, this high variance title, with its maximum win potential of 15,746x, is crammed full of song references. Symbols on the reels, for example, include a tattoo scatter bearing the inscription “My Desire”. There’s also a disco ball, a taco and a bell (other fast food chains are available).
Hit three scatters and choose between two bonus games, entitled High Voltage and The Gates of Hell. The former supplies 15 free spins with a special wild symbol that can boost prizes by up to x66. While the latter features a randomly selected symbol serving as a sticky wild.
19. Jammin' Jars by Push Gaming
Why We Love Jammin’ Jars
- Funky visuals with bright fruits and mirror balls
- Big max payout of 20,000x
- High RTP at 96.83%
- Cluster Pays game with Avalanche Wins AND Progressive Multipliers
- Wild multipliers stick in the free spins round
September 2018 saw the release of what has become an absolute classic from Push Gaming. A healthy RTP of 96.83% and maximum payout of 20,000x combine to make Jammin’ Jars potentially rewarding in monetary terms. While the Cluster Pays mechanism, other fun features and vibrant graphics make for a thoroughly enjoyable slot to play.
A little inspiration is drawn from fruit machines of old, with oranges, plums and strawberries just a few of the symbols represented. However, the action unfolds on a thoroughly modern 8×8 grid, while the concept of paylines is totally eradicated. Instead, join at least five symbols together in a cluster to earn your rewards. Pay special attention to the dancing jam jars, which jive around the grid earning multipliers.
Enjoy the funky soundtrack and disco vibe of Jammin’ Jars from as little as £0.20 per spin, with an upper limit of £100. But be warned. The game’s high volatility level makes this slot absolutely ruthless at times.
20. Medusa Megaways by NextGen Gaming
Why We Love Medusa Megaways
- Free spins with unlimited multipliers
- Up to 117,649 paylines per spin
- Massive 50,000x maximum payout
- Expanding reels version of a stone cold classic slot!
- Superb visuals depicting mythological beast and crumbling runis
In March 2019, the classic NextGen Gaming slot Medusa received a much-appreciated facelift. One of many titles around that time to be revitalised with the innovative Megaways mechanic, the end result is an extremely playable game.
With bet limits ranging from £0.25 to £25, Medusa Megaways adopts the now familiar six reel setup. The variable number of rows makes for a potential 117,649 ways to win. While the high level of volatility is offset by an impressive maximum payout of 50,000x. Rich in engaging features, the whole slot is underpinned by a solid RTP of 96.28%.
Aside from the structural change to the reels grid, the game retains the look and feel of the original Medusa slot. With an eerie soundtrack and a depiction of ancient Greek ruins in the background, there’s a slightly distressing edge to the game. However, this all changes when you find three scatters, kickstarting the free spins bonus with Unlimited Win Multipliers.
What Is Slot Volatility?
Here is a bit more about slots volatility and how it affects your gameplay. Make sure you understand it before you play. You will get more out of your slots time if you do.
Variance or volatility is one of several factors that determines the size and distribution of payouts made by an online slot game. The other important one is Return to Player (RTP).
RTP refers to how much a game will pay out as a percentage of all the money wagered on it. For example, if a game has an RTP of 96% then for every £100 wagered, on average £96 will come back in prizes.
And variance is used to describe how far from the advertised RTP a game will deviate as it is played. If a game is low variance then the £96 will come back as small, regular payouts and the game will stick close to its 96% RTP for most of the time. However, for a high variance slot, the £96 may come back as much larger, irregular payouts.
It is this uneven distribution of wins that makes for the unpredictable or ‘volatile’ nature of high variance slots.
Should I Play High Variance Slots?
High variance slots sound very exciting, but they are not for everyone. Due to their nature they are notoriously ‘risky’ and you can lose a lot of money very fast waiting to trigger a winning streak. You should keep this in mind when deciding whether to play and choose a low stake if you do to ensure you don’t burn your bankroll too quick.
The bottom line is, if you like playing for big payouts and are prepared to take on the risk then high variance slots can be fun. But if you prefer more relaxed slots play without the rollercoaster ride of high volatility, then you should stick to medium or low variance games.
Best High Variance Slots Developers
As you can see from our Top 20 there are some developers who lead the way in building high variance slots. Here are five of our favourites whose game catalogues we recommend that you explore to find more slots like the ones on this page.
The undisputed kings of high volatility slots play right now are Nolimit City. Their rise to fame in the last five years has been phenomenal with games like Tombstone RIP and San Quentin xWays. They are also responsible for more games with a max win greater than 50,000x than any other provider and unique features like xNudge, xBomb and xSplitters take gameplay to new heights.
Find Nolimit City slots at Play OJO.
Big Time Gaming
Before Nolimit City came along, Big Time Gaming led the pack. They are best known for creating the now ubiquitous Megaways game engine with its expanding reels. This, and games like Bonanza and White Rabbit which mixed progressive multipliers and free spins to awesome affect, paved the way for the new era of high volatility gaming.
Find Big Time Gaming slots at Casumo.
This developer is most famous for its Money Train and Money Cart series, a new type of Wild West with its superb Money Cart bonus round stacked with modifiers including Collectors, Snipers and Necromancers! Relax have been dialling up the volatility with each new release as well as pushing up the maximum wins so that latest version, Money Cart 3, has a top payout of 100,000x!
Find Relax Gaming slots at Barz Casino
You’ will have noticed that leading the list on this page is a Hacksaw Gaming slot, Hand of Anubis. Whilst their slots are not known for particularly high maximum payouts – they are normally capped at 10,000x – the style and gameplay is as hot as you will find from any rival studio. Other popular high risk Hacksaw slots include Itero Echo Spins and the excellent horror slot, Rotten.
Find Hacksaw Gaming slots at Mr Q Casino
Push have been producing clever high variance games for a decade now, first achieving notoriety for their fun Fat Rabbit game with its ravenous expanding rabbit symbol that moved around the grid consuming carrots and gaining size during free spins. Since then their repertoire of great games has expanded too, now including classics like Jammin Jars 1 and 2 and Razor Shark.
Find Push Gaming slots at Casumo.
Where To Play High Variance Slots
You can play high variance slots at any online casino, but for the best range of games I recommend that you try one of those listed on this page. Each one has been tested, reviewed and rated by our team and is licensed by the UK Gambling Commission. The following in particular are worth your time.
Casumo is our favourite independent casino for UK players. It has a massive selection of slots to play with an excellent search and filter menu to help you find the games you like.
- Over 3,200 slots
- High variance developers: Nolimit City, Big Time Gaming, Push Gaming, Pragmatic Play, Relax Gaming, Hacksaw Gaming, Play n Go
- Play via their mobile app
- Deposit with Paypal
Barz is part of the White Hat Gaming group of casinos and has over 2,000 slots in its game lobby. This slot site has been around since 2021 and has a nice clean design, friendly support service and generous sign-up bonus matching up to £300. Other highlights include:
- Good choice of payment services including Paypal
- High variance developers: Nolimit City, Big Time Gaming, Blueprint Gaming, Elk Studios, Play n Go, Pragmatic Play
- Big progressive jackpot list including Dream Drop Jackpots from Relax Gaming
- Simple loyalty program with regular rewards
OJO is a Skill on Net casino with over 4,000 slots – more than almost all competitors. It has a really cool search function to allow you to find games by user-ratings, provider, paylines and other criteria. OJO is also famous for its no wagering free spins deals. Other highlights include:
- Nice mobile app to play slots on
- Massive Megaway selection
- High variance developers – Nolimit City, Hacksaw Gaming, Relax Gaming, Big Time Gaming, Pragmatic Play, Play n Go, Blueprint Gaming
- £10 minimum deposit
A former gambling industry professional with over 15 years experience in a variety of operational and product roles. Dominic has launched retail and online gambling sites for industry giants across Africa and SE Asia. These days, he pursues his passion for writing while travelling the world.
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