The Gambling Geeks Guide to Slots Odds and Variance

Slots odds

It’s easy to see why many people have been drawn to online casinos as they can easily immerse you in a variety of elements all at once. This includes the sound of slots being played, the music, the background chatter, the sound of coins falling, various sound effects, and much more. The sounds of the casino will soak in as soon as you log into the platform while you’re searching for the first game to play. However, online slots and any other online casino games carry an element of risk that ramps up the excitement as soon as you start.

What you will find on this page:

The unpredictability and change experienced in a game are known as the volatility or the variance; however, if you’re looking for a word that can describe these words, uncertainty is a good one. Variance or volatility can be used to define how much you’re set to win or lose. For example, a high volatility slot will provide you with will provide large wins in a short timeframe, whereas low volatility slots will provide smaller wins over a similar timeframe.

The variance that a slot offers is essentially the amount of risk you’ll be taking as winning will come down to whether the slot is of a low, medium, or high variance. With a low variance slot, you can end up winning rather quickly and frequently; however, wins will be smaller and it will be harder to land larger ones. Medium and high variance games will require you to have a larger bankroll compared to low variance slots. This is due to them having a lower chance of paying out, which will require you to spend more time playing, and thus spend more money.

However, the one benefit of medium to high variance games is that they will provide much higher payouts, albeit on an uncommon basis. Ultimately, the variance of an online casino game can’t be avoided, but they can benefit you for a short period. The same can be said for low variance games as they will allow for longer game time.

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Highest RTP Online Slots Games

The quality of each game that’s played is the responsibility of the software provider along with the technology behind each title. Enthusiastic players use these providers to gauge how the game will be paying out. The games that are produced with the most versatility is generally those that are easily recognizable within the slots category, and these are the pokies that are developed by the largest software providers that have made a habit of having a wide variety of RTP’s that are based on the number of reels and paylines.

Some of the most popular and largest software providers include the likes of Microgaming, Pragmatic Play, Yggdrasil, Play’n GO, NetEnt, Evolution, Playtech, and Amatic. However, this is merely a handful of the software developers that are out there, but the ones we’ve mentioned are the most recognizable brands. Each of them creates RTP rates that are unique and will usually apply to a genre-specific title.

This means that the providers create their games and the theme that’s used generally has some sort of impact on the RTP rate. However, there’s an exception to the rule as now and then a new title is released with an RTP rate that nobody expects. The best payout casino games are generally determined by their developers and they depend on what’s chosen by the creator when it comes to the features that are added to the game. Each game has different features and these determine the payout when the RTP rate is hit.

Slots with the Best RTP

Below you’ll find a list of pokies with the highest RTP that are available in NZ.

ProviderSlot GameRTP %
PlaytechGoblin's Cave99.32
PlaytechUgga Bugga99.07
NetEntMega Joker99
PlaytechTropic Reels98.95
PlaytechTriple Profits98.72
Thunderkick1429 Uncharted Seas98.6
QuickspinJoker Strike (High Roller mode)98.11
NetEntBlood Suckers98
BetsoftGood Girl Bad Girl97.79
PlaytechGolden Tour97.71
PlaytechAlien Hunter97.69
BetsoftGypsy Rose97.63
MicrogamingHot Ink97.5
MicrogamingRetro Reels97.5
MicrogamingRetro Reels Extreme Heat97.5
BetsoftSafari Sam97.5
MicrogamingBikini Party (with re-spins)97.49
MicrogamingDragon Dance (with re-spins)97.49
MicrogamingReel Gems (with re-spins)97.49
MicrogamingWild Orient (with re-spins)97.49
MicrogamingCouch Potato97.43
BetsoftAt the Copa97.42
PlaytechJungle Boogie97.4
PlaytechAlchemist's Lab97.32
ThunderkickBørk the Berzerker97.3
PlaytechSultan's Fortune97.26
BetsoftGreedy Goblins97.2
PlaytechNeptune's Kingdom97.19
MicrogamingFroot Loot97.17
PlaytechDiamond Valley97.16
PlaytechFunky Monkey97.15
Play N GoRage to Riches97.12
ThunderkickToki Time97.1
BetsoftThe Tipsy Tourist97.1
NetEntJack Hammer 297.07
NetEntJack Hammer 2: Fishy Business97.07
NetEntSecrets of Atlantis97.07

Progressive Slots

If you’re after massive wins then progressive slots are what you should be playing; however, they’re notoriously difficult to crack. These slots offer low RTP rates that generally range between 80% and 91%, sometimes a bit higher, but this is worth it as the payouts are immense. Progressive jackpot games such as the famed Mega Moolah slot are popular for paying out millions of dollars to players that are either very lucky or have a bankroll that’s big enough to crack the jackpot, as you would likely end up spending a long time playing due to the low RTP. Below are some of the most popular progressive jackpot titles.

ProviderSlot GameRTP %
MicrogamingMega Moolah88.12 + 8.8 (Jackpot contribution)
MicrogamingMega Moolah Isis88.00 + 8.8 (Jackpot contribution)
MicrogamingMajor Millions 5 Reel89.41 + 7.47 (Jackpot contribution)
NetEntMega Fortune96.00
NetEntMega Fortune Dreams95.9
NetEntArabian Nights95.62
NetEntHall of Gods95.30
PlaytechAge of the Gods Jackpot94.03 - 95.02
PlaytechGladiator Jackpot91.46
PlaytechJackpot Giant91.25-94.22
PlaytechBeach Life93.25
YggdrasilEmpire Fortune94.3
YggdrasilJoker Millions94.3

Classic slots

As the name suggests, these are slots that are reminiscent of the first video slots that were made available and these are void of any intricate special features. The RTP rates of these games are generally low due to the older design. However, these games are still enjoyed by older players and those that are looking for a game that doesn’t have any confusing special features. There are some classic slots around that present very high payouts.

Modern slots

These are the most popular and major software providers such as NetEnt and Microgaming have made their presence known in lobbies at the best online casinos, where they’re generally found under the “most popular” or “hot” categories. Modern slots are generally available on 5x3 grids (5 reels and 3 rows); however, certain providers push the boundaries of their designs.

Compared to classic slots, there are significantly more paylines, often exceeding 50 and there are games with changing paylines that are implemented by unique software that’s exclusive to the said provider. There are generally much more features, with modern slots almost always offering free spins, wild symbols, and much more. The RTP rates are usually around 96%, but they’re known to be as high as 99%.

3D slots

These are the more versatile of the slots that are offered; however, you’ll need to pay close attention to the RTP rate as they tend to be rather odd. 3D slots are available in a wide variety of themes that are usually based on books, fantasies, films, and so on. The higher the RTP rate, the more frequent the payouts tend to be, and if luck is on your side, you can also unlock a lucrative jackpot prize.

One of the most important things to consider when selecting the slot with the best payouts is that the RTP only reveals so much. You’ll need to take a look at the paytable and take notes of the highest coin values along with special symbols, and anything else that could play a role in boosting your winnings.

Gamification Slots

You’ll be forgiven if you don’t know what these are, these are games that feature high RTP rates as the games feature frequent payouts and a new layout. Overall, these slots allow players to enjoy consistent wins that allow them to focus on the game itself rather than taking losses.

Jackpot City Best Payout Slots

We all know that the best games are played at Jackpot City, so it's no surprise they have some of our favorite slots. They're updated frequently with new titles from top providers which makes keeping up difficult! However we've done work for you by picking out their most profitable payouts - now go ahead and spend some time playing these high returners while aiming higher than ever before!

Here is the list of restricted games and reduced wagering games at Jackpot City:

100% All Slots*(Excluding NetEnt slots & Progressive Jackpots), Keno & Scratch Card games (*Re-spin slot games counts 10%)

50% NetEnt slot games

8% All table pokers, all roulettes, all video/power Pokers (excluding All Aces and Jacks or Better video pokers), all blackjacks (excluding Classic Blackjack) and Casino War

2% Classic Blackjacks, All Aces video pokers, all Jacks or Better video pokers

0% all baccarats, all craps, Red Dog, Sic Bo, Progressive Jackpots

Note the “respins slot games” only count at 10% for the wagering, which means that a few of the best RTP slots on Jackpot City games shown in the table below will not help you clear your wagering requirements. Also note that most table games and video poker will not help because of their high RTPs and you cannot play any progressive jackpot game.

Currently, the highest RTP slot you can use to clear your wagering requirement at Jackpot City online casino is Hot Ink slot game with a 97.50% RTP.

ProviderSlot GameRTP %
Hot Ink
With re-spins: 97.50%
Retro Reels
With re-spins: 97.50%
Retro Reels Extreme Heat
With re-spins: 97.50%
Bikini Party
With re-spins: 97.49%
Dragon Dance
With re-spins: 97.49%
Reel Gems
With re-spins: 97.49%
Wild Orient
With re-spins: 97.49%
Couch Potato
5 Reel Drive
MicrogamingReel Thunder
Sun Quest
Big Top
Carnaval (Mini)
Crazy 80s
Lucky Twins
Immortal Romance
Pollen Party
High Society
Dragon Shard
With Win Booster: 96.77%
Bust The Bank
Hot as Hades
Max Damage
Titans of the Sun - Hyperion
Arctic Valor
Queen of the Crystal Rays
Kings of Cash
Jurassic Park

Slots Variance

Variance can affect the way that an online pokie is played along with the duration of gameplay. However, it seems as if many players, even those that have been playing for a long time have no idea how slots function. The most important thing to keep in mind is that there’s no way that you can predict the outcome, as RNGs (Random Number Generators) are used. Each spin has a unique outcome and if you’re able to predict what’s coming, there’s a problem with the game.

This will provide the online casino with an advantage as there’s an advantage over you due to the use of math to provide lower payouts when being compared to the odds of winning of the specific player. Another thing that has proven to be detrimental to the well-being of players is that they tend to play faster once they’ve taken a series of losses, and this is how the casino makes its money.

The Gambler’s Fallacy is weak reasoning where players will often tell themselves that the next game would be a win or that their luck will turn around; however, this is often not the case. This is why it’s vital to have a good understanding of slot variance while remembering that the current spin of the reels will have no impact on the next one or the one after that.

The unpredictability of the fundamentals regarding statistical variance is the reason why online casinos will never cease to generate revenue. To many players, luck is the primary catalyst when it comes to winning and they would often go as far as to use lucky charms or other types of trinkets to “boost their luck”.

High and Low Variance Slots

With low variance slots, you’ll be able to play for a longer timeframe due to frequent wins and this is their main appeal as they’re viewed as low risk. These slots are designed to provide you with many low-value symbols wins with many low payouts as opposed to a single large win. These can be dubbed as low risk, low reward pokies. The major advantage of playing these types of pokies is that your cash will last a lot longer after depositing it into your casino account.

However, high variance pokies are designed to provide you with larger payouts, Free Spins, and other forms of bonus rounds. Despite the high earning potential that these games possess, the number of winning combos is low. These games also pose a greater risk of losing cash and they allow for a shorter gameplay experience. This is where experienced players will implement a strategy to stretch their bankroll.


Whether you’re playing a low or high variance pokie, if you have a good understanding of what you’re doing, there’s no reason why you won’t find some success. If you’re planning to play for a couple of hours, the low variance slots that are available will be a good option; however, you shouldn’t expect to walk away with a large win. As with low variance pokies, the opposite is true with high variance titles.

If you’re after a massive win, a high variance game that hasn’t paid out in a while could be a good option, but remember that there’s no guarantee that you will win. Ultimately, knowing how to choose the best online pokies in New Zealand will more often than not leave you with a slot that could provide you with decent wins and a positive gaming experience.

It can be difficult to understand the concept of variance, but there are ways around it. With a little know how and some luck you could win your share on these real money online slots!

Last Updated: December 25, 2023