If you’re looking for high-variance slots, you’ve come to the right You’ve arrived to the right location! This article contains our top 10 high variance games of all time, including some stone-cold classics, for thrill-seekers and slot machine players chasing after those large winnings and ready to take a risk with some big money. Also, see our list of the top high-variance slot machines this year further down the page!
Do you want to learn more about the impact of volatility on gameplay? At the bottom of the page, you’ll find a guide to slot variance.
Best High Variance Slots of All Time
So here it is – The Slot Buzz list of the best high variance slots online ever created! This is all subjective of course, and everyone’s experience will be different. It’s a bit like choosing your top 10 albums of all time – everyone has their favourite slot games!! But for now, here are ours.
1. Bonanza by Big Time Gaming
- 6 Reels
- Up to 7 Rows
- 117,649 Ways to Win
- Includes Free Spin, Multipliers and Re-Spins
In recent years, Big Time Gaming has established itself as the king of high variance slots. They may not be as well-known as Netent, Microgaming, or other providers, but they certainly provide! Their most popular games use the MegawaysTM gaming engine, which allows reels to grow in size with each spin, up to a maximum of seven rows high, for a total of 117,649 ways to win.
Bonanza is a standout game from BTG. It has a well-known bonus round that is triggered by four scatter symbols writing out G O L D. Many disgruntled slot players have taken to the forums to question where the missing ‘D’ has gone as they go so close and yet so far to getting those free spins!
For four scatters, the bonus round awards 12 free spins, with an additional five free spins awarded for each additional scatter. On each spin in the bonus round, carts of gold bars halt above the reels, giving you the chance to win more spins.
Then there’s the impression of the Rolling Reels! The winning symbols erupt after each winning spin and are replaced by new ones until no more winning combinations exist. Moreover, during free spins, the multiplier value grows by one for each consecutive win in the series. The multipliers have no upper limit; as long as win lines appear, your multiplier will keep increasing. This is where the huge payouts start to add up!
Play Bonanza at Voodoo Dreams
2. Immortal Romance by Microgaming
- 5 Reels
- 3 Rows
- 243 Paylines
- Wilds, Free Spins, Multipliers, Wild Reels
This is a stone-cold classic from 2011 and is still popular with slots players to this day. Immortal Romance is a vampire-themed slot with 243 paylines and a really slick look and feels to it. The big wins can be found by unlocking the four free spins bonus rounds, one of which (Wild Desire) has particularly big potential. In this feature, at least one of the five reels will turn totally wild. In fact, it is possible to land five wild reels at this point. Elsewhere you will find wild symbols that come with a 2x multiplier and a free spins round with a 5x multiplier.
Fancy a spin on Immortal Romance? We recommend playing at another of our favourite Microgaming casinos, Voodoo Dreams.
3. Book of Dead by Play n Go
- 5 Reels
- 3 Rows
- 20 Paylines
- Free Spin, Wilds and Sticky Wilds
With a top win potential of $500,000 it’s no wonder that Book of Dead ranks as one of the best high variance Play n Go Slots. This little beauty has been on the lists of many CA slot sites since its release in 2016.
The gameplay is simple – it’s a 5 reel and 20 fixed payline game with a bonus round consisting of 10 free spins with re-triggers. And of course, there is the random expanding symbol, chosen at the start of the round. It can play a bit part in creating massive wins. Worth bearing in mind as well that Book of Dead delivers some serious wins in its top-paying symbols. The start of the show, Rich Wilde, himself gets you a whopping 5,000x for five in a payline.
If you want to take on Book of Dead Slot, try playing at top Play n Go casino, Voodoo Dreams
4. Dead or Alive by NetEnt
- 5 Reels
- 3 Rows
- 9 Paylines
- Free Spins, Re-Triggers, Wilds and Sticky Wilds
A real old classic from one of the biggest in the business. NetEnt’s Dead or Alive only really gets interesting when you hit the bonus round where wilds that land on the reels stick for the duration of your free spins … AND you get an additional FIVE free spins to enjoy too! Think about landing five wilds on a payline here and you’re looking at huge potential – well over 1,000x – and it is of course possible to land more than one wild line at a time.
This is typical high variance fare – very little to speak of until you hit one of those incredible lucky streaks where the wilds fall into place and your free spins keep ticking over!
Just approach with caution because these wins are rare.
5. Jurassic Park by Microgaming
- 5 Reels
- 3 Rows
- 243 Paylines
- Free Spins, Multipliers, Split Wilds, Wild Multipliers, Winning Wilds, Running Wilds
This game is based on the blockbuster Hollywood movie and comes with 243 ways to win across 5 reels. The game can be played from 30p up to $15 per spin, but the real fun comes in the T-Rex Alert mode feature. It comes with six spins during which 35 wild symbols are added to the reels – possible wins of 6000x here!!
In total Jurassic Park Slot comes with five free spins features, and each one is packed with mini-features of its own, including extra wilds, re-spins and multipliers. There is a Brachiosaurus free spins feature with four spins and up to 6x multipliers, and a Triceratops free spins feature which starts with stacked wilds three high with more wilds added to the stack with each spin, and stampedes of dinosaurs marauding across the screen turning entire reels wild and sticky!
This is a real beast of a game with lots of big win potential when you land any of the free spins features. If you’d like to try it today, you can try it at one of the best Microgaming slot sites, Voodoo Dreams.
6. 300 Shields by NextGen
- 5 Reels
- 3 Rows
- 25 Paylines
- Wilds, Free Spins, Multipliers
This is another classic high variance slot game that will be familiar to many players. It’s one of the most notorious games on the market and comes with a possible 300x multiplier in the free spins bonus round that can produce wins way above the 1,000x marker.
The objective of the game is pretty simple – it’s not packed with features like Jurassic Park by Microgaming or Pink Elephants by Thunderkick. No, this one if all about the Free Spins round and once you’re there, how many more spins and multipliers you can unlock.
Initially the game comes with 5 free spins which are given to you when you land three shield scatters on the reels with one spin. During your free spins you must land more shields, each time adding five more free spins to your cache, along with an increasing multiplier from 2x up to 300x.
For the Multipliers in the free spins round to be active, you must have a wild as part of your payline. Once you get into the higher multipliers, pretty much any 5 symbol winning line with a wild in it will be a killer win! Best case though would surely be a 5 wild line at 300x – that’s 12,000x! 1
300 Shields from NextGen is available to play at top NextGen Casino, Voodoo Dreams.
7. Pink Elephants by Thunderkick
- 6 Reels
- 4 Rows
- 4,096 Paylines
- Wilds, Free Spins, Re-Triggers
And now for something totally different! Pink Elephants by Thunderkick is a psychedelic take on WMS’ infamous Raging Rhino slot, and it’s one of our favourite high variance slot games of all time. Thunderkick slots are renowned for their kooky and off-the-wall graphic and animations. With Pink Elephants they’ve taken things even further. This game comes with 6 reels, 4 rows and 4,096 ways to win and is available from 10c up to $100 per spin.
The key to unlocking the secrets of this great game is the green peanut symbol – this is the scatter and three of them unlock 7 free spins. More scatters give you more spins, up to 19 spins from 6 scatters. And you can trigger further free spins in the bonus round with more scatters (6 scatters = 11 spins).
But what you’re really looking to do here is fill the meerkat meters (told you it was bonkers!) to the left of the screen. Every time a pink elephant with a glowing orb lands on the reels during free spins this creates another point on the next meter. When one is full then one of the lower value meerkat symbols on the reels transforms to a higher value elephant symbol, increasing your chances of bigger wins.
It’s crazy and it’s also responsible for some of the best big win videos online.
8. Montezuma by WMS
- 5 Reels
- 3 Rows
- 30 Paylines
- Free Spins, Multipliers, Guaranteed Min. 10x Win in Bonus Round
Montezuma is a land-based casino slot from WMS that has been migrated into the online environment. It’s riches are locked into the bonus round which comes with free spins with unlimited re-triggers and multipliers of up to 10x.
The free spins round is initiated by three scatters, and a wheel spin is used to find out how many free spins you get – anything up to 25. There is also a wheel above the reels that comes into play during each Free Spins. It lands on a number that becomes the mutlipliers for any wins on that spin.
If you land 2 scatters during the free spins round then your multiplier gets fixed and you get an additional spin. The multipliers applies to any wins from any additional free spins from there on.
To get the biggest wins a player needs to land the 10x multiplier and keep getting re-triggers of the free spins all with the 10x. Then if a decent 5 symbols win line comes in, the payout can be massive and well in excess of 1,000x.
9. Casino Zeppelin by Yggdrasil
- 5 Reels
- 3 Rows
- Wilds, Wild Transfers, Free Spins
This game from another top-class provider that is less well known than NetEnt and Microgaming is capable of producing really big wins in excess of 1,000x through a combination of sticky wilds and free spins.
You also get a boost from the Wild Transfer feature in which any wilds that landed on the reels on the spin in which the bonus round was triggered are added to the reels for the whole free spins duration. These are also sticky.
Further, if you get five wilds landing on the reels during the bonus round then you get an extra five free spins. And what you’re really looking for is to land paylines with wilds in them.
This is a great looking slot game from Yggdrasil and highly recommended. You can play it today at Dunder Casino.
10. Pyramid Quest for Immortality Slot by NetEnt
- 5 Reels
- 5 Rows
- 720 Paylines
- Avalanche Reels, Multipliers, Wilds
Finally, let’s take a look at another NetEnt title, Pyramid Quest for Immortality. This game is built on an unusual reel set up, with 5 rows, narrowing to just one symbol width at the top.
Pyramid also uses the Gonzo’s Quest Avalanche feature to create an increasing multiplier value when you get successive wins. Meanwhile ‘Wild Generations’ is a feature where wilds are added to the reels if a win includes any of the symobols in the top rows of the reels.
The trick is to get lots of wilds generated whilst on a successive run of wins that pushes the multiplier up to 10x. A full screen of the highest paying symbol at a 10x could land a whopping 3,600,000 coin win! A decent win would be something like 2,000x on this game – but rememeber, with this high volatility they are rare and hard to come by!
To play Pyramid Quest for immortality, visit a NetEnt casino like Voodoo Dreams.
What Is Slot Variance?
In maths variance is a term that refers to how far from the mean or expected result something will deviate.
In gambling, variance or volatility is an indicator of the frequency and volume in which a slot game is likely to pay out. Low variance games typically generate small, regular payouts, whereas high variance games produce irregular but bigger payouts, with long lean spells of dry spins punctuated by big, blockbuster wins.
When choosing a game to play variance can help a player by showing the likely risk level. High variance games carry more risk because the payouts are less frequent and it is possible to burn through a bankroll before seeing any return.
When deciding on your next slot bear in mind then that the kind of games you want may therefore depend upon your preferred risk level – if you are prepared to spend money chasing down a massive win then high variance games are for you. If, however, you want to enjoy some less stressful gameplay, with smaller, more frequent wins, then low variance games should appeal to you.
In almost all cases, high variance slot machines are built with bonus rounds in which a combination of features like free spins, re-spins and re-triggers, multipliers, sticky and stacked wilds contrive to create moments of sheer adrenaline-pumping excitement as the win balance shoots through the roof. The payoff, of course, is that these moments are rare and generally follow a period where much money is wagered with little in the way of wins.
For this reason, high variance games are preferred by big gamblers and the slot streaming community where players are looking for the high levels of excitement that are produced when a lucrative bonus round is in play.
These games are not for the faint-hearted! But if you’re up for the challenge, they offer some of the most exciting online gambling anywhere!
How To Find High Variance Slot Machines At A Casino
Now you know what high variance means, how do you find these games at an online casino? Well, you already have our list of the latest titles this year, and in our opinion, the best games of all time, on this page. But did you know that you can also easily track down high variance games by using the menu filters at your favourite slot sites. Most casinos have now developed handy menu systems to help you search through their vast catalogues. Just choose ‘high variance’ from the option list in the drop-down, then hit SEARCH to bring up a list of every high variance slot available.
High Variance Slots – The Final Word
This selection of high variance slot machine games is only a drop in the ocean of what is available for casino players right now. There are lots of slots to choose from, and more new slot games on release every month that have high volatility – check out our new slot games page for regular updates.
The important thing to remember when playing these games is to adjust your mentality and stake to suit them. You will most likely need to play with smaller stakes than you normally would if you want to make your bankroll last. Games like Dead or Alive and 300 Shields can eat through a $50 budget at 50c a spin in no time, so choose to play at the lower end of the scale if that’s what you’re playing with.
But above all, game responsibly, and have fun! Good luck!