Understanding Slots Variance
Variance plays a big role in how slot machines operate. Think of variance as luck’s rational, scientific cousin. If you flip a coin a million times, there will be long stretches where heads comes up every time, and long stretches where heads never comes up. Slot machines work pretty much the same way, generating random wins that sometimes come in bunches, and other times take a long time to happen. Standard deviation, in other words.
Highs and Lows
Four-leaf clovers and rabbit’s feet won’t steer variance in your favor, but you can use logic and math to help you get the most out of your slots experience. Different machines come with different levels of variance, depending on the payout structure; low-variance slots will give you smaller prizes more often, while high-variance slots have longer dry spells with bigger prizes.
If you’re playing slots for the thrill of it, you want the high-variance option. Look for machines that have bigger payouts across the board, from the lowest prize to the jackpot. Also, look for multiplying symbols – the bigger, the better. You’ll need a larger bankroll to account for the variance, since those dry spells will be longer on average, but chasing down that big payday is part of the thrill.
If you’re more interested in stretching out your slots dollar, and getting full value out of your comps, stick will the low-variance machines. These games will allow you to play with a smaller bankroll and play for longer with fewer dry spells, although you’re giving up the chance at a bigger payout. Or you could play a mix of the two, sticking mostly with low-variance machines, but taking the occasional shot at a massive jackpot. Just make sure to manage your bankroll properly, and may the slots be with you.