how do I find low variance machines without playing first?

June 14th, 2013 at 8:08:14 PM permalink
supermaxhd
Member since: Apr 22, 2012
Threads: 6
Posts: 78
I do not often play slot machines but I have some free play on f 3-4 dates of about $150 each time. Slots only not tables or VP.

I've been searching all day and know there are slots machines that have low to high variance payouts. The older simpler non video type games with higher denominations ($1) should have the highest percentage payout is what I have been reading.

I've read that the low variance games can be found by a few plays or sometimes the pay tables provide clues to the amount of variance.

The Wikipedia article on slot machines suggests you can not tell...."Different machines have different maximum payouts, but without knowing the odds of getting the jackpot, there is no rational way to differentiate."

In general can I assume the machines with the smallest jackpots have the lowest variance? Is there just a simple way to identify the lowest variance slot machines?
gambling problem? split tens!
June 15th, 2013 at 1:33:23 AM permalink
MonkeyMonkey
Member since: May 1, 2012
Threads: 13
Posts: 770
Quote: supermaxhd
Is there just a simple way to identify the lowest variance slot machines?


Maybe for a slot technician. :)
June 15th, 2013 at 3:41:45 AM permalink
diceroller
Member since: Jun 13, 2013
Threads: 0
Posts: 4
Quote: supermaxhd
In general can I assume the machines with the smallest jackpots have the lowest variance? Is there just a simple way to identify the lowest variance slot machines?

It would be logical to assume that machines with lower jackpots would have a lower variance - just as video poker machines with the fewest (or smallest) jackpots have lower variance.
June 15th, 2013 at 5:00:46 AM permalink
24Bingo
Member since: Jul 4, 2012
Threads: 22
Posts: 1311
Five-reel slots (penny/nickel slots) bet all lines will likely give you the lowest variance. Barring that, you probably want to look for a machine that pays out on three blanks.
Alcohol makes me forget I flunked math.
June 15th, 2013 at 1:35:00 PM permalink
tringlomane
Member since: Aug 25, 2012
Threads: 3
Posts: 4072
Quote: diceroller
It would be logical to assume that machines with lower jackpots would have a lower variance - just as video poker machines with the fewest (or smallest) jackpots have lower variance.


Generally yes, playing reel slots with the lowest max payouts will often lead to the lowest variance, but I'm sure there are some exceptions out there.

Quote: 24Bingo
Five-reel slots (penny/nickel slots) bet all lines will likely give you the lowest variance. Barring that, you probably want to look for a machine that pays out on three blanks.


Definitely true, but it's also possible the single line quarter machine would be set a 1-2% higher for return, so OP may still rather play those. And yes, paying on three blanks should help in theory. Also avoiding machines with 2X, 3X symbols, etc may help. Finding machines with nudging reels may also lower variance. But these bits of "advice" may not always be true. According to Harrigan/Dixon, Double Diamond Deluxe (which has a "positive" nudging feature, but a "negative" double payout feature) has a SD of only 6.35 bets/spin. This is on par with 9/6 Double Double Bonus video poker (6.48 bets/hand), and one of the lowest SDs I have ever heard of for a slot machine.

http://jgi.camh.net/doi/pdf/10.4309/jgi.2009.23.5

One example of a machine that pays on 3 blanks though has an SD over 9 bets/spin for short coin and 10.8 bets for max coin. :( So playing one of these games may not guarantee a low-variance machine.
http://wizardofodds.com/games/slots/appendix/6/

One ideally wants to see more lower paying combinations on the paytable compared to higher paying combinations as well as lower max award values. This will help lead you to lower variance slots just like it does in video poker. But unfortunately, but without exact data like that shown above, its sorta hard to tell.