What Is the Best Way To Play High-Variance Pokies?

Pokies variance
What is the best way to play high-variance pokies?

As pokies at online or land casinos are pure games of chance, it is always advised to play high-variance pokies wisely. You need to know that an element of risk is associated with playing them, and you can lose more than you think to win.

The other thing that is involved in playing pokies is its game variance. Pokies variance is associated with the volatility of playing poker machines.

Types of Pokies Variance

There are three main types of variance when playing pokies in any playing environment.

  1. High Variance Pokies
  2. Low Variance Pokies
  3. Medium Variance Pokies

1. High Variance Pokies

The most volatile and the very highest risk pokies machines you can play, however, have been designed as high variance pokies. However, there are going to be several pros and cons of playing those types of pokies.

At online casinos in NZ, you will always find plenty of high-variance pokies to get stuck into playing, either for free or for real money. A high variance pokies have the potential to pay out far greater amounts than low or medium-variance pokies.

A low or medium variance slot might offer players a top award of 250x – 500x the total bet. High variance pokies will allow players to win 3,000x, 5,000x, or even 10,000x their initial stake.

Best Way To Play High Variance Pokies

High variance pokies
Buffalo Gold Pokies

The most important aspect of playing high-variance pokies is to pay careful attention to the stake levels you are playing for, as the number of dead spins you will play off can often be huge.

Also, the high variance pokies machines that come with some form of the bonus game, much more so a free spins type of bonus game, tend to award their highest valued winning payouts via those bonus games.

As such, you should first choose your bankroll to play any high-variance pokies machine and then divide it up so that you can comfortably afford to play off many base game spins with your available bankroll.

The more base game spins you get to play off, the more chance you will have on any single slot playing session of triggering what may just be one of those much higher or even mega-paying bonus games.

Most players with experience playing high-risk and high-variance games will also claim deposit match bonuses.

In that way, they can boost the value of their bankroll, which in turn means they will get more base game spins out of their bankroll with the additional bonus credits they have claimed via those bonuses.

High-variance pokies include Book of Dead from Play n Go, Dead or Alive from NetEnt, and Immortal Romance from Microgaming.

2. Low Variance Pokies

Low variance pokies offer players much longer pokies playing sessions. They can often be achieved when playing them, as players can often recycle their bankroll and those winning many times when playing.

It would be best if you were well-tuned to play pokies machines that have been designed with the highest possible payout percentages, as over your longer-term play, those types of pokies will return to you as winning payouts more of your stake money.

Low Variance pokies examples include Sunny Shores from Yggdrasil, Well of Wonders from Thunderkick, Blood Suckers from NetEnt, Thunderstruck II from Microgaming, Bar Bar Blacksheep from Microgaming, and many others.

Play Pokies With Low Variance as a Beginner

low variance pokies
Moonshine pokies

If you are a beginner player or new to pokies, a pokies expert will best advise you to play low-variance pokies. There is a mixture of machines at online casinos.

This means you will find both high variances and low-variance pokies to play.

If you want to keep your chance of losing quickly down to the absolute minimum, then it would be to track down and get stuck into playing any of low variance pokies.

Those pokies have been designed so that you will have plenty of base-game winning combinations spinning and could also trigger many bonus games.

However, unlike high-variance pokies, the winning combinations you will form will tend to be very low-valued ones.

3. Medium Variance Pokies

Medium variance pokies
The Lab Pokies

The vast majority of online pokies are medium-variance games. Unfortunately, defining medium variance can be quite hard.

When it is difficult to determine a pokie’s exact performance, it usually falls into the medium-variance category. Many games are closer to low or high volatility but are classed as medium.

This makes pokies with medium volatility both unpredictable and low-risk. There is usually a balance between your wins’ size and frequency.

However, unlike low-wage pokies, medium ones can give you an occasional big win, so you have something to play for – but remember that they are not the most suitable for stretching your bankroll.

Some of the best examples for pokies with medium variance include NetEnt’s Koi Princess and Captain’s Treasure from Playtech.

Our Conclusion

Understanding pokies variance is crucial in New Zealand and globally. High-variance pokies offer substantial rewards but also carry higher risks.

Low-variance pokies ensure longer play but with smaller wins. Medium-variance pokies strike a balance between risk and reward. It’s essential to manage your bankroll wisely and play responsibly.

High-variance games like Book of Dead or Immortal Romance can yield higher returns, while low-variance titles like Sunny Shores offer more frequent but smaller wins.

For beginners, low-variance pokies are recommended for extended play with minimal risk. Pokies are games of chance, so setting limits and responsible play are key.


What is pokies variance?

Pokies variance, often called volatility, indicates the risk and reward associated with playing a specific slot machine.

It tells you how often and how much you can expect to win when playing a particular pokie.

What are high-variance pokies?

High-variance pokies are slot machines that offer substantial payouts but with lower frequency. These games are known for their potential to deliver large jackpots but may involve longer losing streaks.

Can you provide examples of high-variance pokies?

Some high-variance pokies commonly found in New Zealand casinos include Book of Dead, Dead or Alive, and Immortal Romance.

What are low-variance pokies?

Low-variance pokies are slots that provide frequent but smaller wins. Players can enjoy longer playing sessions with these games and typically have a higher return rate.

Can you recommend low-variance pokies for beginners?

Certainly, low-variance pokies like Sunny Shores, Well of Wonders, and Thunderstruck II are excellent choices for beginners in New Zealand. They offer a balance of entertainment and safer gameplay.

Are medium-variance pokies suitable for extending your bankroll?

Medium-variance pokies can offer occasional substantial wins, appealing to players who want a mix of entertainment and winning potential. However, they may not be the best choice for significantly extending your bankroll.

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About the author

Kamal Kaur

Kamal Kaur

Kamal Kaur has been an integral voice in the New Zealand gaming landscape for years.

As a senior writer for PokiesMobile NZ, Kamal brings rich experiences from her diverse background.

Born in India and later migrating to New Zealand, she effortlessly blends her cultural insights with a deep love for gaming.

Kamal is renowned for her in-depth game analysis, player strategies, and knack for spotting industry trends.