Variance

Variance defines the element of chance in poker. For example, if a player was to go all in 10 times with AA (the strongest hand in poker) he should expect to win 80% of the time and lose 20% of the time, despite always having the best hand at the outset. 

If a player is described as having a 'High variance' style, he is exposing himself to many risky situations where he's often only slightly ahead of his opponent, or perhaps even behind his opponent but aiming to win by bluffing. 

Variance is what causes players to go on a downswing (an extended period of 'bad luck') and conversely, it can cause players to experience an extended period of good fortune, where the cards seem to fall just right.

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