Slot Tutorials

Slot Volatility: Bet Size

Konami Jackpot Chance bet panel
Written by Joshua

When many think about slot volatility, things like how hard a game can be or what kinds of bonuses are available usually comes to mind. But many don’t think about the actual bet size as a factor in volatility.

Like the conversation around more/better bets and slot sequels, bet size can actually have its role in the volatility of a slot machine. And newer games are designed to encourage you to bet higher overall by offering extra features or just setting the bet levels higher than they used to. Some penny slots get you to bet more than 3-reel quarter slots do now.

So today, we’ll look at bet size and its role in volatility.

Bigger Bets, Bigger Swings

The most obvious outcome of higher betting is that you’re going to see your money move up and down more quickly. For the same reason some people play high limit with a hope of a quick win early (since it’ll pay so much), higher bets even on penny machines will have the outcome of having bigger wins, and quicker drops when you’re in a drought.

Sometimes this is by design, when paired with a higher volatility machine. There’s the expectation that some players will simply under-bankroll themselves and run out of money before they can get a hit big enough hit to get some momentum back. This is similar to table players who don’t have enough money to ride out variance. Higher bet requirements means it’s better to start with a higher bankroll to start, if you plan on playing for awhile.

More Features, More Stretching

Games that either have you bet more to get more/better features or have a bonus, a feature and progressives are spreading your money thinner and making you bet more to fuel all of these various things.

While the payouts will trigger over time based on the game’s overall payback, line pays begin to become anemic relative to the bet size because so much is fueling the bonuses and you’re putting your hands in the odds of actually triggering a feature, bonus or progressive. That means you have longer droughts to potentially ride out.

There are plenty of games where the features or bonuses mean everything nowadays, and they usually have higher bet options to get those features/bonuses more often. So if you plan on playing them, bankroll yourself for them accordingly in case you hit a dry spell of features or bonuses.

Pick Games and Bets That Match Your Bankroll

Most importantly, make sure you pick games, or bets on games, that work within your budget. If you have a $100 bankroll, don’t play $2 spins – you could be done in a few minutes, unless you’re comfortable with that outcome. Remember higher bets means less chances to ride the highs and lows unless you ensure you have enough money to ride along.

Combined with other features that determine slot volatility, bet sizes can have an impact on your session’s outcome.

About the author


My name is Joshua, and I’m a slot enthusiast who works in tech as a marketer by day, and dabbles in casinos periodically during off-times. Know Your Slots will reflect my interests in understanding the various ways you can play slots, travel, casino promotions and how you can get the most out of your casino visits.

Leave a Comment