Should You Go For Slots With Paylines or Play Ways-to-Win Slots?

Slots have come a long way since the first fruit machines which were using a few fruity symbols and a single payline in the middle of the reels. That is especially true when talking about online slots available at numerous virtual casinos. With software developers working on the design and features of these games, the ways slots are paying wins have also changed.

Some video slots are adding multiple paylines that can award a win for winning combinations formed across five or even six reels. There are also slots that allow players to toggle the number of active paylines, enabling them to place a wager on single, several, or all paylines of the game.

With video slots becoming more innovative with their features and design, multiple ways-to-win games have also appeared on the iGaming scene. Instead of using regular fixed or adjustable paylines, wins are simply formed on adjacent reels on the slot. The most important question that many players have, however, is not how many ways there are to win, but which type of slot they should choose to play.

How Slots With Paylines Work

The easiest way to understand how paylines work is to imagine the way the old-school one-arm bandit works. The well-known classic machine had only three reels and a single payline in the middle of the reels. Back in the day, players would land a win when identical symbols would land on all three reels, in a horizontal line in the middle part of the slot. Nowadays, however, slots have way more lines that can pay for winning combinations formed vertically, diagonally or in various other formations across their reels.

With slots that have more than three reels and multiple paylines, you can get paid even if a winning line does not spread across all reels of the slot. Most commonly, players can enjoy a payout for matching as few as three identical symbols on a payline, as long as the line starts from the very first reel on the left.

Playing with multiple paylines could also mean that it is possible to land winning combinations across several paylines at the same time. In many cases, this can lead to extra wins that can make the gameplay more fruitful.

Some slot variations allow players to choose the number of active paylines. This means that they can choose to place a bet on only a few of the paylines, adjusting the risk they are willing to make. This, however, means that landing a winning combination on an inactive payline will not grant a payout.

How Ways-to-Win Slots Work?

Slots with multiple paylines can have 10, 25, 50, or some other set number of lines that can grant payouts for winning combinations. However, with the introduction of the ways-to-win feature implemented in many newer video slots, the way winnings are awarded has changed. Many slots offer 243 ways to land a win, with others reaching up to 1,024 ways to award a win.

Ways-to-win slots award payouts for landing identical symbols on adjacent reels. There is no need for the symbols to line up in a vertical, horizontal, or any other specific combination. In most cases, it is enough for the same symbol to appear in any position on the first three reels of the slot to enjoy a win. As there are multiple possible combinations on adjacent reels, slots with 243 or way more ways to win exist.

To make slots of this variation even more appealing, some slots incorporate bonus features that can unlock more reels or rows on the grid of the game. Such features increase the ways one could land a win, with some slots boasting more than 100,000 ways to win.

Unlike slots with paylines, games that have multiple ways to win do not offer players the chance to set a certain number of active lines. With paylines that can be adjusted, the total bet is comprised of all wagers that have been placed on each active payline. Ways-to-win slots, however, have a total bet for every spin since dividing its entire amount by the number of ways to win could be very inconvenient.

Slots Paying Both Ways With Paylines and With Ways-to-Win

Typically, slots pay for winning combinations that are formed from the leftmost reel of the game. This rule applies to both slots with paylines and ways-to-win slots. However, some video slots offer extra ways to land a win by paying both ways. This means that slots with paylines can grant a win for a winning combination starting from the leftmost or the rightmost reel. As long as the identical symbols land on the winning line on either side of the slot, players are guaranteed a win.

Slots that use a ways-to-win feature can also pay both ways, with payouts given for landing identical symbols on three or more adjacent reels, starting from the far left or the far right reel. This significantly increases the ways to win, giving players more chances for fruitful outcomes. A standard 5-reel slot with 3 rows can offer 243 ways to win. However, if the same slot grid pays both ways, the game could offer significantly more scenarios where one could land a win.

In addition to the standard slot grids, ways-to-win slots may often have unusual grids, with some reels having more symbol positions than others. While the diamond-shaped design is common, making the middle of five reels longer, it is also possible for every reel to have a different number of symbols, with some appearing bigger than the rest of the icons. With such an unusual grid design, some slots can offer a lot more ways to win. If slots add a sixth reel, one could expect games with possible win options of up to 117,649 ways to win.

Which Type of Slot Should You Choose to Play

Of course, if you simply compare the number of ways one could land a win, even a 50-payline slot cannot compare to a game offering up to 117,649 ways to win. However, determining which type of slot you should play is not that simple and you have many other things to consider when deciding on the slot you want to play.

While having more opportunities to enjoy fruitful results sounds tempting, players should always compare other slot features as well. The volatility and the RTP of a game are very important qualities of a game when players are assessing the value of a slot and whether it can lead to more fruitful results.

High volatility would indicate that a slot has the potential to grant massive payouts, which, however, may take longer to land. As nothing is guaranteed and spin results are always random, one could go through numerous fruitless spins until a big payout is won. In such cases, megaways slots with high volatility can be unfit for players who do not enjoy risky bets, even if the slot offers up to 117,649 ways to win.

The RTP is also important, as it shows the potential long-term return of a game. Playing slots with a higher RTP percentage is always more advantageous in the long run, even if the slot has only several paylines that can grant a win.

We also advise players to try slots that pay both ways, as they can often be very rewarding. Having the chance to land a win for a combination starting from left to right and the opposite side can be extremely rewarding. However, you should yet again, consider factors like RTP and volatility as they might indicate how often a win can actually appear, even if the slot pays either way.

One thing we should also mention about games with multiple ways to win. You may notice that slots using the megaways system of payouts may offer up to 117,649 ways to win. However, this is not the fixed number of possible wins on every spin. In fact, due to the randomness of slots, each spin may offer a different number of possible wins. Most often, the ways to win on each spin are significantly fewer than the maximum of 117,649. This is due to the feature that changes the number of symbols that may appear on every reel upon every spin of the slot.

Having 117,649 ways to enjoy a win only on a few random spins, sometimes even on none if luck is not on your side, changes the perspective on slots of this variation. That being said, if the game boasts low to medium volatility and a high RTP, the megaways slot is definitely a game worth trying.

We cannot deny the growing popularity of ways-to-win slots, with multiple software developers launching slots that incorporate the megaways feature. The chance of playing each spin with that many chances to land a win sounds very tempting and many players prefer slots offering multiple ways to win. Even the slot variations that provide a random number of winning ways on every spin are enjoyed by many who love riskier play.

At the end of the day, deciding on which type of slot you should play comes down to your preferences. Wins are always determined randomly due to RNG software used by casinos. Ultimately speaking, the number of paylines or ways to win will not give you bigger leverage over the house. Meanwhile, factors like volatility and RTP will indicate the amount you can possibly win. This is why we recommend basing your decision on such indicators rather than the number of possible winning ways.

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