High variance online slots have risen in popularity over the past ten years.
They attract a particular type of gambler. One who is willing to take more risks in return for a chance to win massive amounts of money.
High variance slots are growing more and more popular every day, and it’s not just because of the immense win potential.
This slot type is very suitable for slots streamers on Youtube and Twitch.
Big wins, exciting bonus features, and, in most cases, the option to buy the bonus feature make for superb entertainment.
What are high variance slots?
High-variance slots pay out fewer wins than low or medium-variance slots, but prizes are a lot higher when they do pay.
The hit frequency is lower, but the potential is a lot bigger.
A high variance slot can pay far more significant amounts than a low or medium variance slot.
Low or medium variance slots might offer players top awards between 250x – 1,000x the total bet.
On the other side of the spectrum are high-variance slots.
They offer players the chance to win substantially higher amounts. Wins of 5,000x, 20,000x, or even over 100,000 x the stake are possible.
There is even an online slot that can award players a top win of 300,000 x the total bet.
Bigger risks, higher rewards.
Why do players like high-variance slots?
Let’s be honest: nothing beats the feeling of having a bonus round on a high variance slot where everything comes together,
That feeling where you sense something big is about to go down, then it happens.
High variance versus a high return to player
Contrary to popular belief, high variance is not the same as a high return to player (RTP).
The return to player represents how much the slot machine will pay back to the player, calculated over billions of spins.
An RTP of 96% means that, on average, out of every $/€100 put into the machine, $/€96 will be paid back to the player.
Whether you prefer low-variance or high-variance slots, CasinoWizards recommends always playing slots with a high RTP which can be found at online casinos with high payouts.
What are the best online high-variance slots?
We have compiled our top 10 list of best online high-variance slots.
There are a lot of slots you will recognize, with a couple of surprises thrown in.
10. Lil’ Devil – Big Time Gaming (RTP 96.31%-96.43%)
Maximum win: 50,000 x the total stake
To kick off this top 10 list, CasinoWizard has chosen Lil’ Devil.
Who can resist a slot that features music from epic rock band The Cult, free spins with sticky wilds, and big multipliers?
The maximum win is an impressive 50,000 x the stake, which is another excellent reason to try out Lil’ Devil.
9. San Quentin xWays – Nolimit City (RTP 94.11% – 96.03%)
Maximum win: 150,000 x the total stake
San Quentin xWays is one of Nolimit City’s best slots and took the world by storm when it was released in 2020.
The number of features is near endless and may take some getting used to, but it never takes away from the super entertaining theme and gameplay.
Earn free spins with Jumping Wilds, Stacked Wilds, xWays, and premium symbols.
The maximum win is as brutal as day-to-day life in the world’s most feared prison and comes in at 150,000, the total stake.
Free spins can be triggered in the base game or, jurisdiction permitting, by buying the bonus round.
There are two RTP configurations: 94,11% and 96,03%.
Make sure you play the high rtp version of San Quentin xWays to get the best possible odds at winning big.
8. Top Dawg$ – Relax Gaming (RTP 96.10%)
Maximum win: 25,014 x the stake
Top Dawg$ is a fantastic little high-variance slot with a cartoonish hip-hop theme, starring a gang of neighborhood canines that is as cool as they get.
The free spins bonus is where the magic happens.
You aim to land as many wilds, and bonus scatters during the bonus round as possible; wilds come with progressive multipliers up to x7, triggered by the scatters.
Every scatter also awards an extra spin, leading to one big epic win after another if all goes to plan.
The maximum win is just over 25,000 times the stake, and the Return to Player is fixed at 96.10%.
7. Starburst xxxTreme – Netent (RTP 96.26% – 96.45%)
Maximum win: 200.000x the stake
Starburst xxxTreme is the natural evolution from the classic low-variance Starburst slot into a high-variance slot.
The gameplay and graphics of the original have been untouched for the most part.
There are still stacked wilds, 10 paylines that payout from both ways, and free respins as long as new stacked wilds appear.
New are the wild multipliers (up to x150) and the option to buy super spins (xxxTreme Spins), guaranteeing one or two stacked wilds for 10x or 95 x the bet.
The theoretical Return to Player is 96,26% during the base game and rises to 96,45% when you active the xxxTreme Spins.
6. Cazino Zeppelin Reloaded– Yggdrasil (RTP 96%)
Maximum win: 102,838 x the stake
Some have described Yggdrasil’s Cazino Zeppelin Reloaded as a Dead or Alive 2 clone with a steampunk theme, but to us, that is not giving this superb slot enough credit.
This visually stunning, 20-payline, high variance slot offers players multiple Bonus Buy options, free spins with sticky wilds, progressive multipliers, and a Golden Bet option.
The maximum win is equally impressive, clocking in at nearly 103,000 times the total bet.
5. Gonzo’s Quest Megaways– Red Tiger (RTP 90.71% – 95.77%)
Maximum win: 21,000 x the stake
One of our most-loved high-variance slots is Gonzo’s Quest Megaways by Red Tiger.
It is the Megaways version of Netent’s classic Gonzo’s Quest slot and comes packed with features, such as sticky wilds, a powerful Earthquake Feature with all low-paying symbols removed, and a free spins bonus.
Every winning tumble increases the multiplier during the free spins, reaching x15.
Gonzo’s Quest Megaways is offered at five Return To Player configurations: 95.77%, 94.66%, 93.01%, 92.71%, and 90.71%.
4. Dead or Alive 2 – Netent (RTP 96.80%)
Maximum win: 111,111 x the stake
Netent managed to pull off the impossible: they released a better version of the classic high-variance slot Dead or Alive.
Dead or Alive 2 is bigger, better-looking, and offers players three free spins bonus options, including a classic mode option. A Feature Buy version also exists, offering players a guaranteed bonus trigger for the price of 66 times the stake.
The High Noon Saloon bonus is the one you want to choose, sporting free spins with progressive sticky wild multipliers and a maximum win of 111,111 times the stake.
The odds of landing the maximum win are 1 in 142 million spins.
Landing five bonus scatters awards you an extra prize of 2,500 x the stake.
3. Money Train 2 – Relax Gaming (RTP 96.4% – 98.0%)
Maximum win: 50,000 x the stake
Some slots are real game-changers, forever sculpting the online slots landscape with unique and innovative bonus features and gameplay.
The kind of slot that sets a new standard.
The Wild West-themed Money Train 2, created by Relax Gaming, is such an online slot.
While the bland, 40 payline base game seems an afterthought, the bonus game is a high variance slots players’ dream.
During the bonus feature, you collect cash prizes, collectors, payers, multipliers, and even necromancers while you try to keep the bonus round alive as long as possible.
The maximum win is capped at 50,000 the bet, and CasinoWizard has seen plenty of evidence on Youtube where players actually reach wins that high.
2. Book of Dead – Play’ n Go (RTP 84.18% – 96.21%)
Maximum win: 5,000 x the stake
While Play’n GO’s Book of Dead slot has a modest maximum win of 5,000 x the stake, it is the most played high variance slot of all time.
The ten win line, Egyptian-themed slot was heavily inspired by the popular Novomatic slot Book of Ra.
Land three or more scattered Book symbols to trigger the free spins bonus round, which comes with an expanding bonus symbol.
A full screen of Rich Wilde explorers is the maximum win, awarding 5,000 times the bet.
Book of Dead comes in five RTP versions: 96.21%, 94.25%, 91.25%, 87.25%, and 84.18%.
The difference between the best-paying and the worst-paying Book of Dead version is considerable: 12%.
Before playing this slot, make sure you play Book of Dead with the highest Return to Player.
1. Tombstone RIP – Nolimit City (94.08% – 96.08%)
Maximum win: 300,000 times the stake
Tombstone RIP is on our top 10 best high variance slots list and coveted first spot.
Of course, it is.
Nolimit City is always looking for new angles, extreme themes, and innovative gameplay to ensure their slots are kickass to the max.
Tombstone RIP has it all: 108 ways to win, an in-your-face Western Theme, a dirty, gritty atmosphere, free spins with mystery multipliers, nudging wilds, and insane potential.
Players can buy the bonus features where permitted, with costs ranging from 70 x the bet to 3,000 x the stake.
In a perfect storm, wins of 300,000 times the bet are possible.
This maximum win occurs once in 130 million rounds, which are great odds for such a high max win.
There are two RTP configurations: 94.08% and 96.08%.