Higher variance Microgaming slots - What are the best ones to play?
If you are a relative newcomer to the world of online slot gaming, then a term you may have come across but which you are not entirely familiar with is variance.
In this article, we are going to explain a little about what variance is in terms of a slot game and then explore some of the better higher variance slot games you can play from Microgaming.
So, let's begin by understanding what exactly variance means.
What is variance in terms of a slot game?
In its most simplest form with regards to slot games, variance is the measure by which a slot pays the money it takes back to customers. There are generally three types of variance on slots, Low, Medium and High, although some slots variance can also be described as low to medium or medium to high.
We will use some simple and very basic examples to explain what variance means.
Low variance essentially means that a slot tends to pay out similar amounts more frequently. For example, if a low variance slot paid out £1,000, you would find that it is more likely to have paid more people a similar small amount of money.
You can't ever say a low variance slot will pay out £1,000 because slots are random machines and pay outs can vary. However, what you can say is that the lower variance slot would be more likely to pay out smaller amounts more often to players, with fewer of the bigger value jackpot wins.
At the other end of the scale, higher variance slots also tend to pay out smaller prizes (though perhaps less frequently) but will also pay out more medium and higher value prizes. Obviously, these higher value wins come less frequently than lower value wins, but it is the appeal of these larger prizes that makes higher variance game so appealing to slot players.
As the name suggests a medium variance slot tends to play somewhere in between the lower and higher variance games.
Variance is best thought of as a sliding scale rather than two polar opposites and slot games can sit at any point along that scale. Furthermore, one high variance slot will play differently to another high variance slot, as there can often be differences in the game play, bonus features and how the bigger value wins are triggered that can influence how a slot plays in more general terms.
Is variance the same as the Return to Player (RTP) percentage?
One of the most common misconceptions new slot gamers have is that they mix up variance with the Return to Player (RTP) percentage stated on some games. The RTP simply states roughly how much of the cash the slot takes in through wagers, it will return to players as winnings. The higher this is, the more money a slot pays out to players out of what it brings in.
However, variance is how the slot actually pays out that money to players. Higher variance would see fewer players win larger lump sums, lower variance sees more players win smaller sums. The actual percentage RTP is not therefore important when it comes to variance.
Which variance slot is best suited to me?
That depends how you like to be rewarded when playing slots. If you like to have a relatively stable bankroll and regular low value wins to keep that topped up, with perhaps the very occasional bigger win, then lower variance slots are more likely to be your choice.
However, if you like to chase the big jackpot prizes available on some slots and are prepared to spend money to try and win those prizes, then higher variance games are far more likely to appeal to you. It is these games we are going to focus on now as we bring you some of the best higher variance slot games you can play from Microgaming.
Microgaming's top higher variance slots
- Break Da Bank Again
The sequel to the popular Break Da Bank slot, this is one of Microgaming's most popular slot games and attracts a huge number of spins every month. It's a higher variance game with a massive 375,000-coin jackpot available to be won. Wilds in the base game can help offset some of your losses chasing the big cash prize as they offer a 5x multiplier on wins, however it is when you trigger the free spins bonus game that you can land some of the much larger wins.
- Pretty Kitty
Don't be fooled by the cutesy nature of this more recent Microgaming offering, this Pretty Kitty has got claws. The jackpot is just 8,000 coins, but the game is a higher variance offering that has 243-ways to win on each spin and where you wager 30 coins per game. What is great about Pretty Kitty is that you can use the Expanding Symbols feature to land some sizeable wins in both the base game and also the Free Spins feature, which can also be re-triggered. The biggest wins come when you land a full stack of Wilds on the first reel as this will expand any other Wilds on other reels and when this happens, is when you trigger the big wins.
Although Microgaming may well regret naming the slot Isis, this Egyptian themed slot is a fantastic example of a high variance slot done well. Now also available on mobile, Isis is a slot that likes to keep the money you wager with it, but when it does pay out, it can pay out some huge amount including a jackpot of up to 300,000. They key to the bigger wins in the slot is triggering the bonus game which features 30 Free spins and a massive 6x multiplier which can massively increase the value of your wins.
- Couch Potato & High 5
This is a three-reel high variance slot from Microgaming yet it still boasts a 15,000 coin jackpot. This is a brilliant, retro-styled slot which will appeal to fans of this genre but also offers some superb value wins thanks to the Wild Multiplier symbols which can increase standard pay outs by either 5x, or if you land two together, by 25x the standard amount. If you enjoy the Couch Potato slot then you should also check out the High 5 Slot from Microgaming which uses the exact same framework for the game, just with different symbols and on a different theme.
- High Society
Released back in 2014, this is a slot which celebrates the finer things in life and luxury living. This five-reel slot features the popular Expanding Wilds feature on the first and fifth reels which can lead to some sizeable base game wins. The Free Spins bonus is where the big money can be won especially if you can land the maximum 10x multiplier to massively boost the value of your wins.
Higher Variance slot players tend to play these games due to the chance of a big money jackpot and this also makes progressive jackpot games popular with these players. Especially when you consider these games can often be medium or lower variance, but still offer the chance of a huge jackpot prize.
Microgaming offer a number of superb progressive jackpot slots including the famous Mega Moolah (which holds the world record for the largest ever online slot jackpot pay out) and the popular Major Millions and King Cashalot slots which both have paid out over the magical 1 million mark to players.
Byline: This article was published by Mega Moolah expert Henry. Media and other enquiries.