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When used as a slot term, the word 'Variance' is used to describe how a slot plays. The term applies to the games in regular land based casinos and also for online casino slots
It refers to whether a machine is set up to give lots of small wins or whether it is more likely to have long losing streaks, followed by one or two big wins. A slot that gives many small regular wins is known as low variance, whilst one that gives fewer wins, but bigger when they do come is known as High Variance
Some people may use the term 'streaky' to describe a slot that is High Variance
Whether one is better than the other is a matter of choice. Some people prefer to play in hope of that big win, whilst other people prefer to win small amounts on a regular basis
Examples of high variance slots could be those with many 'Wild' symbols that can line up to give huge numbers of line wins within a single spin.
Wolf Run is a good example of a high variance slot, with its stacked wild symbols. Line them up whilst playing the maximum 40 credits and you stand to win a lot on one spin as all 40 lines pay-out
Elvis Multi-Strike is another example of a high variance slot - with its three-in-one layout, if you win on the first slot to progress to the second and then to the third you will then be on a 4x payout to add to you winnings already accumulated on that spin. If it happens you win big, but it doesn't happen very often and you have to play 60 credits to get the maximum action, making it extremely high variance.
If you were looking for an example of a good low variance slot machine, then many of the older video slots are the ones to look at. Games like Texas Tea and Lobstermania give out lots of small wins, but rarely a big one. The benefit is that you can be pretty sure you will get to play for a reasonably long time before your cash runs out. The downside, though, is that you are not likely to hit big wins very often, if ever. these machines are not connected to progressive jackpots and so there will never be the 'life changing' win.
The low variance slots really are all about getting maximum entertainment for you money rather than playing in hope of that big win
When you visit Vegas casinos or any other land-based casino, you will find a good variety of games and the trick is to discover which ones you really enjoy playing the most, rather than the ones which have the most floor space
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