High Variance Slots Guide

One of the most common problems new players have when discovering online casinos and specifically the vast array of online slots is having the knowledge of just which slots to play, and specifically which of the huge range now on offer is actually capable of producing the huge wins which we all seek.

It can be a daunting proposition looking at over 500 different slots at an online casino and deciding which one to play first, and which ones match your expectations and goals as a player, does it have high volatility? is it high variance? is the maximum win potential good enough?

This article will be focusing specifically on the huge winning potential of High Variance Slots with our personally recommended “Current Top 10 High variance slot suggestions” including a whole host of fantastic alternative big paying slots to try out,  passing on some new knowledge and tips to you in the process and giving you some fantastic suggestions for different high variance slots that you might not have played yet.

Top 10 High Variance Slots

Immortal Romance Slot Logo

Immortal Romance – Microgaming

Immortal Romance is a 243-way payline style slot featuring four different unique free spins bonus rounds that unlock gradually as you continue to trigger the bonus rounds.

Set in a Vampire theme, Immortal Romance has remained a firm favourite with online casino players since its release in 2011, with much of its appeal being owed to the Wild Desire feature which is capable of producing some massive wins, as well as the overall polished theme of the slot.

Players have the opportunity in the base game on any spin of triggering the Wild Desire feature, once triggered this turns 1 or more of the reels completely wild with up to all 5 reels able to become totally wild.

This isn’t the only feature capable of producing huge wins either, with 4 separate unique bonus rounds including a 5x multiplier free spins round, and wilds symbol already counting as an x2 multiplier there is lots of opportunity for huge wins. Each of the 4 free spins rounds is capable of some impressive wins, but we tend to favour the Amber and Troy features.

The entire theme of the slot is well designed from the sound effects of the scatters landing on the reels to the different music that compliments the backstory of each character and, of course, the 4 unique free spins rounds and achievements system.

Similar slots to Immortal Romance from Microgaming worth trying include – Playboy, Game Of Thrones (243 Way), Thunderstruck II, Jurassic Park, The Finer Reels of Life.

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Immortal Romance Microgaming
Immortal Romance Microgaming
Immortal Romance Microgaming
Immortal Romance Microgaming

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Dead or Alive Slot Logo

Dead or Alive – NetEnt

Dead or Alive is probably the number 1 slot for producing wins over the 1000x mark, and for the uninitiated, you could be forgiven for overlooking a classic old 9 line slot with some monster hit potential.

The base game is slow and steady, and the free spins round can be underwhelming at the best of times, however during the free spins any wilds that land on the reels remains in place for the duration of the bonus round, and this is where this slot becomes very interesting.

If you manage to land a wild on each of the 5 reels during the free spins round you are also granted a further 5 free spins. If you manage to get 5 wilds on one of the 9 paylines then you are looking at a huge win, that will keep paying on every spin left in the bonus round.

Wins of well over 1000x Stake are not uncommon when playing this slot, and if you manage to get more than 1 wild line in the free spins then the slot can easily produce 3000x-4000x wins and above.

Approach with caution and bet low in comparison to your bankroll if you are venturing into playing the classic Dead Or Alive slot.

Similar slots to Dead or Alive – there definitely isn’t a 9 line slot that plays like Dead or Alive, but other classics worth trying that are capable of huge wins include Break Da Bank (Microgaming), Thunderstruck (Microgaming) Reel Steal (NetEnt) but these are more focused on 1 huge line hit in the bonus rounds rather than Sticky Wilds. We did used to love the Wishmaster slot but this seems to have been removed from all casinos as it ran on the old Flash version.

Updated – Be sure to check out the sequel Dead or Alive 2 which features an even more volatile set of bonus features and even greater variance!

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Dead or Alive NetEnt
Dead or Alive NetEnt
Dead or Alive NetEnt
Dead or Alive NetEnt

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Medusa 2 Slot Logo

Medusa II – Nextgen

Medusa II is the natural successor to the classic Medusa Slot from Nextgen and the iconic machine that spawned the Medusa Megaways slot, but things have definitely been ramped up in the latest version, the original has some huge line hit potential, but Medusa II is more focused on the stacked wild reels.

Medusa II features a 243-way payline structure and is packed with interesting and unique features including several “base game randomly activated features” and a unique main bonus round.

Random features such as Medusa’s Turned to Stone, and Medusa’ Locked Reels can occur in the base on any spin and with stacked wilds already on the reels, it makes for some great hit potential, with up to all 5 reels becoming locked and landing a full screen of wilds which pays 4860 x Stake.

The free spins round is triggered by landing 3 or more Scatter symbols on the reels, and this is where the slots get very exciting to play.

During the free spins round, you get the locked reels on every single free spin, these can range from 2 reels being locked up to a maximum of all 5 reels at once, increasing the chance of a big hit or instantly re-triggering the free spins with locked scatters on the reels which grant 5 more spins when 3 or more land on the reels.

Nextgen Gaming release some very high-quality slots and are definitely worth checking out if you have been used to only playing slots from the big providers such as Microgaming and NetEnt, with Medusa II being one of our personal favourite online slots.

If you are a fan of the locked reels feature then Twin Spin (NetEnt) is definitely worth a play, although it isn’t capable of wins in the same territory as Medusa II still contains some pretty impressive full-screen symbol wins.

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Medusa II Nextgen
Medusa II Nextgen
Medusa II Nextgen
Medusa II Nextgen

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300 Shields Slot Logo

300 Shields – Nextgen

300 Shields from Nextgen is one of the highest variance slots out there, so definitely approach with caution in terms of stake size, but is capable of wins easily over the 1000x mark and way above, this is mainly down to the 300x Multiplier that is available in the free spins rounds, but even getting to that level is a task itself.

There isn’t much of interest in the base game, the pays are quite small and you will find your bankroll going south if you aren’t hitting the bonus rounds regularly, the real excitement is all contained within the free spins round.

Once you trigger the free spins with 3 or more Shield symbols (Scatters) you are granted an initial 5 free spins, you must then collect further shields which then raises the multiplier from an initial 2x to 5x, 25x and finally 300x, and also grants a further 5 free spins on each stage, the stages get progressively harder requiring more shields each time, so lots of shields early is key.

You can also re-trigger the free spins with 3 or more scatters which grants further free spins at that level multiplier and really helps your chances of reaching the 300x level.

The Multipliers in the free spins round are only activated when a wild symbol forms part of the pay, so in the latter stages, you are looking for any wins that involve a wild, if you manage to get a 5 of a kind with literally any symbol at 300x then you have a big win on your hands.

The dream hit, of course, would be 5 wilds on a payline at 300x which would be 12,000 times stake for that 1 payline, not including any other wins!

There is also a newer 300 Shields slot variant worth checking out titled 300 Shields Extreme with the same gameplay style on offer and a super high variance slot called Rise of the Mountain King also from Nextgen!

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300 Shields Nextgen
300 Shields Nextgen
300 Shields Nextgen
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Jammin Jars 2 Slot Logo

Jammin Jars 2 – Push Gaming

The Jammin Jars 2 slot from Push Gaming is a slightly different beast to the rest of these high variance slots, opting for an 8×8 grid-based layout, a style of tumbling reels slot that has become very popular in the last few years.

The reason this machine stand out, in particular, is a maximum stated win of 50,000x Stake, the original Jammin Jars was already a super high variance machine but the sequel gets even more volatile, with a plethora of Multipliers that can combine together, Random Coin Prizes and the super special Giga Free Spins mode!

Whilst there is certainly an aspect of “grinding” out the features to this style of a machine if you are lucky enough to get a group of the Multipliers close together during either the free spins round or during the Giga spins then the potential on this machine is obscene.

Definitely, one to approach with caution and bet size due to the nature of grinding out the Giga spins feature.

Push Gaming has made a huge impact over the last few years with a distinct shift towards releasing some of the most innovative and very high variance slots, we could have picked from most of their back catalogue of slots as suitable High Variance machines, but be sure to check out other notable releases such as Razor Shark, Joker Troupe and Immortal Guild.

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Jammin Jars 2 Slot Intro Screen
Jammin Jars 2 Slot Fruit Blast Feature
Jammin Jars 2 Slot Instant Coin Prizes
Jammin Jars 2 Slot Free Spins Trigger

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Deadwood Slot Logo

Deadwood – No Limit City

The Deadwood slot takes inspiration from the classic cowboy western style of Dead or Alive 2 and the slot features of their previously released Tombstone Slot and mixes them all together to produce one of the most visually exciting, high quality, high variance slots around.

This slot is literally packed with features that fans of high variance slots players love, sticky wilds, added wilds, multipliers, a mix of bonus rounds options with volatility options and the ultimate 5 Scatter trigger bonus features with enhanced wilds!

If you are lucky enough to live in a country where bonus buys are still allowed you can skip straight into the action with instant bonus triggers too, but even without this feature, the slot is just pure excitement to play. The awesome 5 scatter bonus round trigger comes in at an eye-watering 750x stake cost to buy, but this should give you some indication of the potential of this bonus round if you manage to triggers it in regular play!

No Limit City also set out their stall very early and focused heavily on producing high paying, high variance and highly volatile slots, so if any of that appeals to you make sure to check out some of their other notable releases such Harlequin Carnival and Bonus Bunnies too.

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Deadwood Slot - Free Spins Options
Deadwood Slot - Base Game
Deadwood Slot - 5 Scatter Trigger
Deadwood Slot - Nudging Multiplier Wilds

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Rumpel Wildspins Slot Logo

Rumpel Wildspins – Novomatic

Rumpel Wildspins is a fantastic slot from Novomatic, this is another slot that uses Sticky Wilds in the free spins round but features 20 paylines, and this is where this slot has some huge win potential. New players can be put off by the classic Novomatic sounds, and slightly dated look, but if that’s the case you are missing out on some fantastic slots.

In comparison to developers such as NetEnt and Microgaming the Novomatic slots may appear to be a little more difficult to trigger the feature rounds, but, in general, they tend to be more rewarding too in the bonuses, there is a whole range of other brilliants slots in their range including classics like Book of Ra, Lord of the Ocean and Flame Dancer to name but a few and you should probably also check out the super-popular Book of Dead slot from Play’n Go too!

It should be noted that all of the Novomatic range of slots are capable of great wins, there are definitely plenty in their range of slots that are much higher variance than this one, but the bonus round in Rumpel Wildspins is one the most exciting to play, especially when the wild symbols start to land on the reels, and then stay there for the entire bonus round.

The free spins round is triggered by landing 3 or more scatters on the reels, and this grants the player with 15 free spins, as noted earlier when any wild that lands on the reels then remains in place for the duration of the bonus round, there is no re-trigger available but it is possible to land 5 of a kind wild lines, which will then continue to pay the same value for each spin left in the round.

Achieving a win of over 1000x is possible, but will require lots of wilds and some luck to land them in good positions early in the round.

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Rumpel Wildspins - Novomatic
Rumpel Wildspins - Novomatic
Rumpel Wildspins - Novomatic
Rumpel Wildspins - Novomatic

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Raging Rhino Slot Logo

Raging Rhino – WMS

Raging Rhino is the super high variance slot from WMS (Williams Interactive), and one of the most popular slots in their range for online players, this is a land-based casino slot that has been made available to play online, so you are getting the authentic casino experience playing this slot.

Raging Rhino features a larger than normal reel set in a 6×4 layout. The slot pays in any way format, which means a total of 4096 ways (paylines).

The massive attraction to this slot is due to the insane multipliers that are available in the bonus round. Landing 3 or more scatters grants the free spins bonus round, additional scatters will grant more free spins too.

During the free spins round landing at least 2 scatters will grant further free spins too, but the real magic of this slot lies in the wild symbols.

In the regular play, the wild symbols act as a normal wild substitution, but during the free spins round, these also produce a random multiplier value of 2x or 3x.

Not only this but the wilds are multiplicative, this means if 2 wilds land on the reels in a winning combination the wilds are multiplied together for example 2x and 3x would produce 6 winning combinations just for the wild symbols.

The wild symbols are present on reels 2,3,4 and 5 meaning the dream hit would be to land 4 wilds all at 3x producing 84 winning combination.

Any sort of combination with these and the top paying Rhino symbols can produce some massive wins, well in excess of 1000x.

Raging Rhino is a slot to approach with caution, with all high variance slots, the bonus rounds can vary greatly, from a minimum of 10x Stake Reward (Bonus Guarantee) to well over 3000x stake for the “Dream Hit”.

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Raging Rhino WMS
Raging Rhino WMS
Raging Rhino WMS
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Montezuma Slot Logo

Montezuma – WMS

Montezuma is another land-based classic slot from WMS that has made it online, whilst the base game is a little more forgiving than Raging Rhino, it has a unique free spins round that features multipliers up to 10x as well as unlimited re-triggers.

The base game in Montezuma is a fairly standard affair, the top paying symbols are stacked on the reels, and are capable of some big wins, but the main focus and win potential on this slot lies in the free spins round.

Triggering the free spins is done by landing 3 or more scatter symbols on the reels, this then triggers the free spins bonus wheel to spin, this feature can grant anywhere from 3 to 25 initial free spins.

On every spin during the free round the wheel will spin above the slot, the number it lands on grants a Multiplier value to any wins, The key here is to land 2 or more additional scatters on the reels during the free spins round, the multiplier value will then become fixed and the player gets a new spin of the free spins wheel.

All of the additional free spins granted are then played at the Multiplier value that the re-trigger occurs on, up to 10x. Any further re-triggers during these special spins will add additional free spins to the round at that fixed Multiplier value.

The dream hit on Montezuma is achieved by landing a re-trigger feature at the 10x Multiplier value, and then maintaining this value with re-triggers of the scatter symbols to keep the spins going. If you achieve a good winning combination on the reels that are then multiplied 10 times then the wins can be huge, and well in excess of 2000x stake.

There is also a newer Megaways version titled Montezuma Megaways, we prefer the original but if Megaways slots are your thing feel free to check that out too!

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Montezuma WMS
Montezuma WMS
Montezuma WMS
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Cazino Zeppelin Slot Logo

Cazino Zeppelin – Yggdrasil

Cazino Zeppelin a slightly less well-known slot from a provider called Yggdrasil Gaming, which thankfully are now playable for players from the UK having gained a UKGC (UK Gambling Commission) license.

The slot is set in a steampunk setting and features a 5×3 reel layout and 20 paylines, like Dead or Alive and Rumpel Wildspins, the big attraction to this slot is the Sticky Wilds feature that is present in the bonus round.

There is an additional extra feature called Wild Transfer, this works by adding any wild symbols that landed on the reels when the bonus round was triggered immediately onto the reels, these transferred wilds will remain as sticky wilds for the duration of the round too.

If you manage to land wild symbols on all 5 reels during the free spins round, then you will also be granted an extra 5 free spins, and if you manage to land Wild Symbols on a payline the wins can easily exceed 1000x stake by the end of the bonus round.

Cazino Zeppelin is definitely an underplayed slot, but well worth a try if you are a fan of slots that have Sticky Wilds and High variance slots. The rest of the Yggdrasil slots range tend to be a bit higher variance than other providers, so make sure to search for their other titles if a casino runs this slot.

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Cazino Zeppelin Yggdrasil
Cazino Zeppelin Yggdrasil
Cazino Zeppelin Yggdrasil
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What exactly is Slot Machine Variance?

The term variance is a mathematical term to explain how far something deviates from the expected value (mean), for example, a low variance slot should produce low and regular payouts from the spins and not deviate much from this pattern giving an overall fairly consistent return, whereas a high variance slot will have high peaks and spikes in the wins and often also be referred to as volatile in nature.

Slot Machine Variance

Seasoned online slot players have adopted the term variance and generally group slots into 3 broad categories based on volatility – low, medium and high variance, making it easy to quickly identify a slot machines potential.

In comparison to other casino games such as Blackjack and Roulette even a low variance slot is capable of decent wins multiplied by the stake, for example, a very low variance slot such as Bloodsuckers (NetEnt) will be very useful for completing wagering requirements (where allowed) when playing with a bonus, as the expected return to player (RTP) is very high and the variance very low.

A high variance slot can still have a very high RTP (Return to Player) but gives players the opportunity of huge wins from a relatively small stake, what you will generally find is that the slot has been designed so that a bigger proportion of the slots expected payout will be tied into these big wins and/or bonus round features. The medium variance slots will, of course, be the middle ground between both extremes.

The risk of playing high variance slots is much greater, think of it as a risk vs reward decision, if you are looking for wins in the region of 1000+ times your stake then you should definitely be focusing on playing the higher variance slots!

If on the other hand, you are looking to extended your playtime then less risky medium and low variance slots are probably what you should be seeking out.

Final Thoughts

The list provided of high variance online slots is not exhaustive by any means, there are many other great titles to check out, but this selection of 10 of the best will hopefully have given you some inspiration for some new slots to try out in the future. We haven’t even touched on the highly popular Megaways slots from the likes of Big Time Gaming with titles such as Bonanza Megapays offering insane win potential and Progressive Jackpots too.

Approach all high variance slots with caution, this means betting a smaller amount per spin than you would do on a low variance slot, players will regularly play slots like Dead or Alive at minimum stake which is 0.09 credits, in the knowledge that the wins, when they do come can be several thousand times this stake size.

We personally play lots of these high variance slots on a regular basis, so if you want to see some of the winning capability be sure to check out the Wild Reels Youtube Channel.

Have fun and play responsibly, and let us know if you score any monster wins on these slots!