Understanding Variance in Online Pokies

If you’re new to playing pokies online, then you’ve probably seen the term variance used when referring to a specific game. Variance in pokies is directly tied to how often a slot machine pays out, and not to how much it pays out.

While the concept of variance may seem a bit confusing, we are here to help break it down simply. Below, you’ll learn about variance in pokies and how it impacts your sessions.

What is Variance in Pokies

When you see an online casino refer to the variance of a pokie, they are talking about the risk associated with playing the game over a short period of time, typically one session. It gives you an idea of what you can expect to win or lose during your gaming sessions.

The payout rate of a pokie is a different metric. Some think that a game that pays out a high percentage, such as one that pays out 98% would be low variance, but that is not the case. The payout percentage only tells you how much of all money collected by a pokie is paid out to winners. The variance can vary drastically from machine to machine.

Types of Variance in Pokies

Pokies come in three categories for variance. Knowing the difference can help you make a better choice when playing pokies.

– Low Variance Pokies

For pokies with low variance, you will experience a lot of lower payouts, but you’ll experience few Big Wins. They are not impossible, but they are a statistical longshot. Lower variance pokies are for those looking to maximize their playing time.

– Medium Variance Pokies

These pokies provide a nice balance between small wins and small jackpot wins. You’ll also have increased odds at big wins and larger jackpots. These are pokies for those that are willing to risk a little bit of playing time in exchange for an increased chance to win.

– High Variance Pokies

For these pokies, you are going to experience few token payouts. Still, you have better odds of hitting big win compares to other pokies. Granted, your playing time is going to be drastically decreased compared to other pokies. However, you receive handsome compensation when you do win.

Why is Variance Important

Variance is important in determining which type of pokie to play. If you’re new to online casinos, then you’re probably looking to maximize your playing time. Your best bet is therefore going to be low variance slots.

For those that want a chance to win more, but also don’t want to have to deposit frequently, then medium variance pokies are best.

If your only concern is going after big wins or progressive jackpots, then high variance is your best play. Of course, you’re going to be depositing more often. Nevertheless, these slots give you the best odds at winning life-changing money.

Finding the Variance of Pokies

Figuring out the variance of pokies can be tricky. Naturally, you can always play the game and it should become apparent after a session or two what you’re playing. If your bankroll is decreasing slowly and you’re getting a lot of token wins, then you’re playing a low variance pokie.

If you are finding the game to be streaky, meaning long periods of little to no wins and then you hit several bigger wins in a short time, then you’re on a high variance pokie. Larger progressive jackpot machines are almost always high variance pokies.

Some online casinos will actually list the variance of their pokies, making it easy to figure out which game to play. Sometimes, you will have to go to the manufacturers’ website or look up online reviews of pokies to figure out the variance of a machine.

Note that many online casinos offer a mix of low variance and high variance casinos. Medium variance pokies are somewhat hit or miss. However, with a little digging, you can figure out the variance of online pokies and make informed decisions on which games to play.