Ways-To-Win Slots

Ways-to-win slots offer players a way to win that transcends ordinary paylines. They use adjacent reel positions to offer over 100,000 ways to win!

With the advent of 3×3 and 5×3 reels, someone asked if there is a way to ignore paylines and allow players to match the symbols from anywhere on the reels. This led to a crazy number of paylines in most games that can go up to 117,649 lines and beyond!

In this article, we explain the basics of ways-to-win slots and their various games to help you decide if they are worth playing.

Ways-To-Win Slots Explanation

Traditional slots have paylines or positions on the reels where you can match the game’s symbols. Vintage slots tend to have only one payline, which is in the middle of the 1×3 reels. With the advent of digital slots, games included three to 50 more lines onto their reels. More payline can lead to more payout opportunities.

There is a catch for having all the paylines open, an increase in your bet. You need to increase your bet 50 times to open all lines in a slot machine with 50 paylines. It is important to note that those types of slot machines do not cover all reel combinations.

As a way to entice players, ways-to-win slots entered the gambling floor with the marketable feature of “zero paylines”. You can match symbols across the reels in ways-to-win slots as long as they are adjacent to each other.

You get more opportunities at matching symbols with more paylines. With the ways-to-win mechanic, you max out your probability of making matches in each spin. In addition, nearly every kind of ways-to-win game has fixed paylines where you do not need to increase your bet to open all lines.

Types of Ways-To-Win Slots

Across brick and mortar and online casinos, there is a wide range of ways-to-win slots that have varying reels and mechanics.

243 ways-to-win

Most all-ways games tend to be 243 ways-to-win slots since these use a 5×3 reel structure. How are there that many lines in these kinds of games? You simply multiply the three symbols on all five reels where 3x3x3x3x3 will give you 243 ways to win.

One example of a 243 ways-to-win slot is the Break Away slot from Microgaming that has a hockey theme. This game utilizes a cascade reel mechanic called rolling reels where all matched symbols are cleared to make way for new ones. Consecutive matches reward you with an increasing multiplier that can reach up to 10x your stake.

720 ways-to-win

The 720 ways-to-win slots’ most prominent feature is their reel structure that has a diamond-like shape. Its reels are often set as 3x4x5x4x3, which gives you 720 ways to win when you multiply all the symbols’ spaces on the reels.

Real Time Gaming’s Vegas Lux Slot is a good example of a 720 ways-to-win slot. One of Vegas Lux’s features is its Win-Both-Ways where you can match symbols from left to right sides and right to left sides, giving you more ways to create matches.

1024 ways-to-win

Bringing up the level of all-ways slots are 1024 ways-to-win titles that have 4x4x4x4x4 available symbols. While the additional row may not seem much when compared to 5×3 reels, the additional space offers four times more opportunities to create matches.

Five Pirates by Lightning Box is one of the 1024 ways-to-win slots you are likely to encounter. Scatter symbols have a sticky function where you get three free re-spins when you land one of these symbols. Upon triggering the Barrel Bonus mode, you get a choice of five free-spins modes with a different number of free games and the bet multiplier.

117,649-ways-to-win

You are reading that right. Megaways slots have a whopping 117,649 ways to win. This 6-digit payline is possible through a six reel slot with 7 spaces, which is 7x7x7x7x7x7 will give you 117,649.

It is important to note that certain all-ways slots have this as their maximum payline number while its default ways-to-win is much smaller. This is thanks to the dynamic reels of these slots where the columns can have 7, 6, 5, 3, or 2 symbols at any point of the game. Monopoly Megaways is one example of this type of 117,649 all-ways slots that uses the popular board game’s icons, characters, and art.

A visualisation of how ways-to-win slots work
A visualisation of how ways-to-win slots work based on reel size

Top 10 Ways-To-Win Slots

Game NameDeveloperRTPVariance
Ted MegawaysBlueprint96.03%High
Buffalo Wild SlotPlayzido94.69%Mid
Reel GemsMicrogaming96.52%Mid
Moon WarriorsHigh 5 Games94.90%Mid
Wild RocketsNetEnt96.66%Mid-High
Rock The ReelsIron Dog Studio96.20%High
8 Golden Skulls Of Jolly RogerBuck Stakes Entertainment96.86%High
Tiger Moon SlotAristocrat96.10%Mid-High
Candy DreamsMicrogaming96.82%Mid-High
7 SinsPlay’N Go94.23%High
Top 10 Slots With Ways-To-Win Mechanism

1. Ted Megaways

Based on the movie of the same name, Ted Megaways from Blueprint features a dynamic 6x7x4 reel structure and up to 117,649 ways to win, as well as offering a 96.03% RTP with high variance. This is a ways-to-win slot with a cascade reel function where you receive a small re-spin each time you match symbols.

One of the notable features of Ted Megaways is the option to trigger the Thunder Buddies bonus mode manually by paying 15x your wager. Thunder Buddies starts with the Thunder Wheel that determines the number of free spins and minimum Megaways or ways-to-win line.  Wins during the free spins part of the bonus mode increase a multiplier score.

Ted symbols will appear in the Thunder Buddies mode. When three of these symbols appear, the minimum Megaways increases and you receive additional spins.

2. Buffalo Wild Slot

Playzido’s Buffalo Wild Slot has a 5×4 reel structure and 1,024 ways-to-win mechanics. It has a 94.69% RTP and mid-variance. Its Wheel Bonus mode is Buffalo Wild’s main feature where you can receive 8, 10, or 15 free spins. You can also win a fixed jackpot prize that gives you 1,000x your stake in this mode.

Triggering the Diamond and Red Diamond Free Spins round will grant you a bet multiplier and several free games. One exciting feature of the Diamond Free Spins is its increase of the ways-to-win line from 1,024 to 2,000.  

3. Reel Gems

One of Microgaming’s classics, Reel Gems is a 5×3 reels slot with 243 ways-to-win mechanic that uses a precious stone theme. This slot’s distinct feature is the manual Re-spin function where you can spin one or five reels for a price. Manual re-spins can help you match valuable symbols or the scatter modes.

Reel Gems gives players a generous 96.52% RTP with mid-variance.

As you would expect from a Microgaming slot, Reel Gems free spins mode also includes a 3x multiplier. In addition, matching five of the Free Spins symbol grants you 100x your wager.

4. Moon Warriors

With its diamond 3x4x5x4x3 reel structure, High 5 GamesMoon Warriors is going for a mystical fiction theme. While the game is going for the minimalist experience in regards to bonus features, Moon Warriors has one of the highest-paying symbols. Matching the five Moon Warriors symbol rewards you with 1,000x your stake.

Moon WarriorsFree Games Bonus will grant you eight free spins. You can extend this mode by matching more Bonus modes during your free spins, which grants you eight more free games. It is possible to extend the Free Games Bonus up to 240 free spins if you are lucky to match plenty of the Bonus symbols.

This game’s RTP isn’t quite as high at only 94.9% and is a mid-variance slot.

5. Wild Rockets

Wild Rockets by NetEnt is a 720 ways-to-win slot with a 3x4x5x4x3 reels structure as well as an incredible 96.66% return to player rate with mid-high variance. This game’s wild symbols have an expanding function where the Rocket symbols can turn symbols above or below them into wild ones.

Scatter symbols in this game are quite generous with 10 free spins for matching three of these. If you manage to get five scatter symbols, you get 200x your stake and 50 free spins to boot.

6. Rock the Reels

A slot machine showing 777

Another Megaways cascade reels slot, Rock the Reels from Iron Dog Studio uses dynamic reels that can reach up to 117,649 ways to win. There are four special Animal Band symbols in this game with different functions. One of these is the Warthog that turns random symbols into wilds and another is the Flamingo that turns low-valued symbols into high-valued ones.

Whilst this is a high variance slot game, it also offers a 96.2% return to player rate.

You get the best experience of the cascade reel function upon triggering the free-spins mode. Every win increases a progressive bet multiplier by +1, which can be taken advantage of with the cascade reels’ re-spins function.

7. 8 Golden Skulls of Jolly Roger

8 Golden Skulls of Jolly Roger from Buck Stakes Entertainment is a Megaways slot with a dynamic reel structure and up to 117,649 ways-to-win mechanics. Scatter symbols or the Firepot Skull symbols have one of the highest payouts on the list where matching eight of these can grant you 8,000x your stake. Thanks to the cascade reel mechanic, you have a high probability of matching eight Firepot Skull symbols in one spin.

This is another high variance slot with a very high RTP of 96.86%.

Matching four diamond scatters triggers the Bonus Wheel feature where you can win up to 30 free spins and x1, x2, or x3 multipliers. Getting additional scatters to trigger the mode grants you two free spins for each extra symbol you match.

8. Tiger Moon Slot

With an Asian theme, Aristocrat’s Tiger Moon Slot is a 5×3 reel with 243 ways to win as well as a 96.1% RTP with mid-high variance. As the slot’s name indicates, the Tiger Scatter symbols are the main attraction here. Matching five of the Tiger symbols will grant you a generous payout of 300x your stake and 24 free spins.

Wild symbols in Tiger Moon Slot only appear on the 2nd and 4th reels, but they have a random multiplier function. Any matches with this symbol on the 2nd reel grant you a 4x multiplier while a match on the 4th reel gives you a 5x multiplier. Making a match with two Wild symbols on the 2nd and 4th reel rewards you with a 20x multiplier.

9. Candy Dreams

Microgaming’s Candy Dreams features a 3x4x5x4x3 reels structure with 720 ways-to-win lines with one of the highest RTP rates at 96.82% with mid-high variance. During the free spins mode of the game, having a Gift Box wild symbol on the 3rd reel will place three additional wild symbols across the reels.

Candy Dream’s main feature is the Candy Planet Bonus where reveals cash prizes among 20 planets on the screen until you lost all of your life from revealing POP symbols. You can gain life if you find a Heart symbol among the Candy Planet symbols.

10. 7 Sins

Play’n Go’s seductive 7 Sins slot uses 5×3 reels with 243 ways-to-win mechanics and has one of the lower RTP rates at 94.23% with high variance. This slot’s signature feature is the free spins mode. During each free spin, only one of the high-valued 7 Sins symbols appears on the reels that are stacked. In addition, there is a bet multiplier that increases for each consecutive spin where the 7th free game grants you a 7x multiplier.

During the base game, Double Wild symbols appear on the 2nd and 4th reels that count as two symbols in one reel. If you match two Ace symbols with a Double Wild, for example, the game registers this as matching four Ace symbols. If you are lucky enough to match three wilds and two Double wilds symbols, you get a payout worth 1,400x your stake.

Ways-to-Win Slots: FAQ

We’ve collected and answered the most common questions about ways-to-win slots.

What are ways-to-win Slots? 

Slot machines with a ways-to-win mechanic allow you to match symbols that are in adjacent reels regardless of their position. This type of slot’s appeal is the high number of potential matches a player can make in one spin.

Do you need to increase your bet to open more paylines with ways-to-win slots? 

Every ways-to-win slot has fixed paylines where all active lines are open without requiring any additional bets. For unique ways-to-win slots, the number of the ways-to-win line depends on the number of symbols available in a dynamic reel.

Why do most ways-to-win slots have high variance? 

Despite the massive number of lines, most ways-to-win slots have a high risk of losing a majority of your spins. On the other hand, they also present a high payout opportunity for any spins you win.

How are 243 ways-to-win slots different from 720 ways-to-win slots? 

243 ways-to-win slots have 5×3 reels where 3x3x3x3x3 will give you 243 paylines. Whereas 720 ways-to-win slots have 3x4x5x4x3 reels which equal 720 possible lines to match your symbols.

Are ways-to-win slots worth playing? 

Ways-to-win slots give you the freedom to create matching outside of the traditional slot paylines. They are worth your money if you want to play with as many paylines as possible on the reels without having to increase your bet.

Ways-to-win slots break the traditional payline mechanics of slot machines and can offer over 100,000 ways to win when you play!