10 of the best 243 Ways to Win slots you can play today
There have been any number of technical innovations in the online slot industry over the years, from the creation of different types of bonus features and progressive jackpots, to games that have four, five or even six or more sets of reels.
However, one development has perhaps usurped them all as being the most player-friendly and appealing to slots gamers and that has been the development of the 243 Ways to Win slot game.
It was Microgaming who first came up with the notion of being able to win across a five-reel slot by landing the same symbol anywhere across the reels. It didn't take mathematicians too hard to figure out that on a standard 5-reel slot with three symbols visible on each reel, that was a potential 243 combinations of symbols that could result in a winner, hence the name.
Of course, having more ways to win in a slot game over a stated number of pay lines is better for the player. It avoids that frustrating situation you get in some games with pay lines where you may land five symbols across the reels, but because they do not sit on one of the named lines, you don't land a win. In 243-ways slot gaming, that would always be a winning spin.
243 Ways to Win slots have proven so popular that many other companies have now jumped on the bandwagon to produce their own versions of the game, while the notion of having a slot where any combination can win has been expanded to games with more than a 5x3 reel set which has led to the development of 1024 ways to win slots (such as the excellent Bridesmaids).
However, Microgaming is the originator of the game and when it comes to 243 Ways to Win content, they still remain the market leader. Outlined below are just ten of the companies best 243 Ways to Win games that if you are a slots player that wants to maximise your chances of winning, you should definitely load up to enjoy a few spins playing. This list is updated to include some new releases from the past few years and includes some of the previous top five listed in this article.
- Game of Thrones
With a minimum bet of just 0.30 per spin (maximum of 30.00), the massively successful Game of Thrones slot actually has two versions available, this 243-ways version and a 15-pay line version. Both games play roughly the same and offer the player the same chance of success, it is simply down to how players prefer to play and for me the 243-Ways version wins every time.
The highlight of the slot is the Free Spins bonus round which allows you to pick which one of four great houses of Westeros you wish to serve. Targaryen, Stark, Lannister or Baratheon. Once you select your house, you will receive a stated number of Free Spins together with a multiplier and the number of house sigil symbols on the reel for your house will also increase. With outstanding presentation, a fun base game and a roaring soundtrack Game of Thrones is still one of the vest 243 Ways to Win games you can play.
- Thunderstruck II
Playable from 0.30 per spin up to 75.00 per spin, Thunderstruck II slot is not just one of the best 243 Ways to Win slots ever made by Microgaming, it is one of the best Microgaming slots ever and also one of the very best online slots ever produced.
Featuring an incredible, quest-driven Hall of Spins round where you get to play through four different Free Spins bonus games as you progress through the slot, not to mention the randomly triggering WildStorm Bonus, the slot is packed to the brim with stellar features, not to mention the rather cool Norse Gods of Thor, Loki, Odin and Valkyrie. Add into that a massive jackpot of 2.43 million coins and it is easy to see why this remains one of the company's most popular slot games.
- Terminator 2
Based on the 1991 film Terminator 2: Judgment Day, this fabulous Terminator 2 slot not only offers a 243 Ways to Win base game, but if you manage to trigger the Free Spins bonus game, then you will see the reels expand to offer you a chance of a 1024-Ways to Win bonus feature too.
Packed with features based on the skills of the characters in the film, including the T-800 Vision bonus game and the aforementioned Free Spins bonus, which sees you receive 10 Free Spins on the new reel set but with the T-1000 able to transform into the symbol offering you the highest possible win, this is a slot that looks every bit as good as it plays.
- Robin of Sherwood
With a minimum bet of just 0.20 and a maximum bet of 40.00, the high production values on the Robin of Sherwood slot, one of the top releases from Microgaming in 2018, has seen it gatecrash my personal top five of 243 Ways to Win slots. With a top base game jackpot of 1000x your stake, it is also a slot which offers some decent returns.
Bonuses included the Wild Turning feature which can be triggered at random and will turn all the lower value symbols Wild. The Free Spins bonus is also a great one with the Royal Clearing Feature meaning that the lower value symbols on the reels (Jack, Queen, King and Ace) are removed from the reels every 2nd Free Spin, offering you more chance at landing a bigger value win with the remaining symbols.
- Lost Vegas
For me, this was the 243 Ways to Win slot release of 2017, a fantastic game that offered you two very different game-play experiences, based on whether you wanted to play the slot as one of the survivors of the zombie apocalypse, or indeed one of the lumbering walking dead themselves.
Depending on which mode you choose to play, you have different icons on the reels and different bonuses available to you and you can switch between modes at any time. Highlights include the Blackout Bonus if you are playing as a Zombie which sees a cash prize awarded at random in the base game for each character symbol landed on the reels. Playing as a survivor, you have the Endless Spins bonus which sees the reels spin with the playing card symbols removed and replaced with higher value symbols, until you trigger a win.
- Immortal Romance
I have dropped Immortal Romance slot down a few spots in this chart as I think the original chart saw me blinded by the massive jackpot available on this slot. In actual fact, Immortal Romance is based heavily on the same game engine that powers the Thunderstruck II slot and is essentially a very similar game, just rebranded to fit in with the Vampire/Love Story genre.
That's not to say that Immortal Romance is not a great slot in its own right, it absolutely is and it packs very similar features to the Thunderstruck II slot and it comes with a larger jackpot available too. Gatecrash the Chamber of Spins by landing three or more Scatters and you can work your way through each of the four Vampire Lovers bonus games.
- Jurassic Park / World
One of the most technologically advanced Microgaming slots every made, including live action sequences and soundtrack taken directly from the Spielberg-directed film of the same name. The T-Rex Alert mode offers you a chance of hitting a bonus on any spin in the game as it is randomly triggered but it is the six different Free Spins bonus rounds, each based on a dinosaur, which really gives this game a huge amount for players to sink their teeth into.
Playable for 0.30 per spin up to a maximum bet of 75.00 per spin, it is a slot which looks and sounds incredible. It has also spawned a 243 Ways to Win sequel, Jurassic World slot, which is another decent game and pne that you are guaranteed to enjoy if you loved this particular game.
- Exotic Cats
Perhaps one of the cheapest 243 Ways to Win slots Microgaming have ever produced, the Exotic Cats slot offers you the chance to spin and win from just 0.15 per spin although higher rollers may prefer the maximum bet option of 30.00. With a jackpot of 106,000 coins,and five different Expanding Wilds on each of the reels, this is a slot which uses its bonus features in a less conventional way to other games.
That expands to the Free Spins bonus which can see you earn a sizeable cash prize for four or five scatters veing landed on the reels, as well as 10 Free Spins and the chance to earn up to five more Free Spins each time you land three or more Scatters during the bonus round too. With excellent graphics and sound, if you love your big cats slots, then Exotic Cats has everything you need and more.
- Wild Scarabs
Like Exotic Cats, Wild Scarabs slot is a 2018 release from Microgaming which is based on an Egyptian theme and it is a very polished 243 Ways to Win slot game. Bets start at just 0.20 per spin although you can ramp that up to 60.00 per spin if you are a higher roller. There's 104,000 coins available as a jackpot and some sizeable prizes to be won, especially if you can hit five Scatters or Wilds in the base game.
One of the nicest and most lucrative features of the Free Spins round is the Stashed Wilds bonus which collects any Wilds not used that land on the reels and keeps them banked until you land three or more in the bank and they are then distributed back onto the reels to create a guaranteed win. The great news is that your Free Spins will continue beyond the original 10 Free Spins until any Stashed Wilds are used up and you receive your cash prize.
I have been singing the praises of this 243 Ways to Win slot from Microgaming for a long time now. Based on the popular TV Quiz show with darts as its theme, this slto captures the look, sound and feel of the show perfectly, even down to using the animated character Bully in the game. You can play Bullseye slot from just 0.30 per spin although you can wager up to 75.00 per spin if you are a higher roller.
Bonuses include Bully's Prize Board Bonus which can be triggered by landing the dartboard symbol on the first and fifth reels. Here you get five throws with the chance to win a prize of between 2x and 15x your stake on each thrown. There is also a Free Spins bonus round with 15 Free Spins available and a 2x multiplier on all wins.
This list is by no means exhaustive of all Microgaming's great 243 Ways to Win titles, the company has a massive choice of other games that just didn't quite get into the top ten but which are still well worth taking a closer look at.
Byline: This article was published by Mega Moolah expert Henry. Media and other enquiries.
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