One of the key aspects of slot machines is how they grant wins. For the longest time, this has been done using the payline system. While it is a relatively straightforward system, it has seen some adjustments and innovations in recent years. With slots making the shift to a digital space, even this fundamental aspect of games can now be tweaked.
In this article, we will shed some light on how paylines work, and what alternate systems exist. The ever-growing world of Online Casino, Online Gambling & Variations has many ways of handling wins. After reading this article, you will be equipped to handle them all!
Open the paytable on most releases and you will see several lines cutting across the playing field. These are paylines; a pattern on the reels the slot checks for. If your winning combination follows one of these set paylines, you win the round! Older games allowed players to turn individual paylines on or off. Nowadays, the number of paylines is usually fixed, and cannot be changed.
Players need more than just to follow a payline for it to grant a prize. There are usually additional conditions attached. For example, several online slots require the winning combination to start with the leftmost reel. An exception to this rule is often referred to as ‘both ways pay’.
Depending on the type of release, you may have anywhere from one to fifty paylines, if not more! Classic slots usually have smaller playing fields and fewer paylines as a result. Newer titles are the opposite; bigger boards and more paylines to make up for it. That said, many games have opted for completely different ways of granting wins.
For better or worse, paylines are a rigid system. The most choice they offer is how many you can have active at the same time. As competition became fiercer, many software providers opted to lift many of those restrictions. The result was a different way of granting payouts, called Ways to Win.
Ways to win does not take into account specific patterns when granting prizes. Instead, players only need to get the right number of symbols in adjacent positions. This makes forming winning combinations much easier. After all, titles of this type often boast 243 ways to win or 576 ways to win. Much higher numbers than standard paylines, which often give you a maximum of fifty paylines, barring some exceptions.
Another relatively recent addition to the reward awarding system are Megaways. This system was pioneered by Big Time Gaming and became one of the most important additions to recent slot history. Other software providers have also licensed this system, creating some unique and incredibly fun to play titles in recent years. They are usually played on larger boards, which allows their mechanics to fully shine.
How do Megaways work? Unlike the other two systems, the number of Megaways changes every round. When you spin the reels, each reel will have a different number of icons present in it. Reel two might be four symbols tall on one spin, and then just two icons tall on the next. This constantly shifting playing field is sometimes accompanied with additional reels beneath or above the board itself.
All these systems have their good sides and bad sides, but none of them are decisive. Above all else, you should decide your games by looking at their return to player percentage and available special features. These two factors are more important in determining whether a release will be fun and enjoyable.
You can also opt for something that is completely separate from paylines, like cluster pays. In this system, wins are granted by getting several matching symbols in adjacent positions, which are either horizontal or vertical. These types of slots are usually combined with bonuses to create frequent bursts of wins. determining whether a release will be fun and enjoyable.
Each system has its fair share of amazing titles you should check out. As such, our advice is relatively simple. Try a bit of everything! You will quickly find each system has strengths that make it more interesting to play at times. In the end, the only one who can decide what you will enjoy is you!