At one end of the variance spectrum is blackjack, and at the other, Dead or Alive! Yep, we’re talkin’ high variance slots, and we’ve got some beauties with monster multipliers you can play from just a few pence. If patience is your name and playing for epic wins is your game, read on….

Dream bigger with these 5 High Variance Slots

No shortage of big-time slots at OJO’s place, but these fabulous five are our best high variance slots for 2020, no question.

1 – Dead or Alive

A classic high variance online slot, Netent’s Dead or Alive slot is based on those naughty famous outlaws of all time.

This highly volatile slot which is a firm fave at OJO’s place comes complete with a Free Spins feature which pays up to 29 Free Spins with all wins doubled when that Sticky Wilds feature comes into play. That’s worth getting on the wrong side of the law for.

Any game where you can win up to 12,000 x stake on every free spin.  has to be worth a spin, right?

2 – Rise of Olympus

No OJO top list is complete with a grid game, and this one from Play’n GO has a cool £500k up for grabs and a 5,000x maximum multiplier. Spin the ‘reels’ and match winning symbols to trigger cascading wins. With each one, you bump the drop multiplier meter up a notch and crank up any wins. Enter the Free Spins game and the drop multiplier becomes twice as nice.

This gorgeous Greek effort also has features galore, starting with the Hand of God bonus. In this triple-threat feature, ye gods can zap symbols, transform them into higher paying symbols and add multiple wilds.

3 – Cleopatra

One of 6 games in the Cleopatra series, you can play this 20-liner from just 1p a spin. But with a whopping 10,000 coins for 5 Cleo symbols, this former land-based legend has deep pockets and you just need to find the key to picking them!

The volatility really kicks in once you hit the Free Spins game. Land 3 or more scatters to trigger 15 Free Spins where all wins bar the Cleopatra symbol are tripled. The kicker is the ability to retrigger up to 180 Free Spins. The huge 10,000x paytable wins, 180 Free Spins and £250k max win are a killer combo that helped make IGT’s Cleopatra slot one of the best-loved high variance slots ever.

4 – Cash of Kingdoms

Just 15 paylines here but boy, do they make each one count! A fairytale cast of knights, elves and trolls are the friendly face of this cartoon caper, but there’s plenty more going on under the surface. Crafted by Slingshot Studios and released by Microgaming (who know a thing or two about high variance slots), Cash of Kingdoms has a handy RTP of 96.28% but tells only half the story of how this game pays out.

Five of the highest paying symbol might only bag you 150x but Wilds play a big part with stacked wilds on certain reels triggering the Invading Wilds™ feature, producing some monster win potential. Play this beauty for free and see high volatility in action!

5 – Viking Runecraft

Another grid slot from the Play’n GO stable, Viking Runecraft is one of the highest variance slots in the UK. With so many features, you’ll need a set of runes just to decode them, but the juice is worth the squeeze!

You’ll scoop 1,000 coins for 15 hammer symbols but paytable wins are just the hors d’oeuvre. Clear a pattern to advance to the next level and a Norse gods like Thor will shower you with an array of Wilds. The rare Rägnarok feature is the star of the show. You might need the patience of the gods but the 5,000x payoff will be worth it. Factor in the unique Valhalla Growing Bonus too, and it’s easy to see why  this high variance slot earns its place on this list.

What is variance and why does it matter?

In the slots world, variance is also called volatility, and it’s a way to describe how often a slot pays out, and the average size of prizes. Two online slots can have the same Return To Player, but very different ways of paying out. Take low volatility slots like Blood Suckers or Jimi Hendrix. You won’t win fortunes, but you won’t have to wait long for a win to come along either.

At the other end of the scale are the slots we’ve mentioned above. Like the lotto, with the highest variance online slots, most of the prize money will be paid out in large chunks, but much less often.

Every slot machines fan is different, why is why we have thousands of slots with a wide range of volatility. Some us like to play for the dream of life-changing wins. Others just love to get a win on the board every few spins. Horses for courses!


Aviva is the Content Manager at PlayOJO and writes blogs, copy and all things OJOey. A copy/content marketer for over 7 years, she gets her creative juices flowing by singing, dancing (around her living room), and belly laughing regularly.

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