What are 243 Ways to Win slots?

The modern slot game has come a long way from the traditional 3-reel slot game that you used to find in pubs. The advent of first electrical and then microchip technology has revolutionised the industry and brought about the development of online slot games.

Games like Mega Moolah for example, boast a progressive jackpot prize which will always be worth at least £1,000,000 (one million) and often considerably more - at the time of writing £11+ million! Many other games feature Wild symbols, which can substitute for other symbols, multipliers (which can increase the value of a win significantly), Gamble features (which allow you to gamble your winnings in an attempt to double or quadruple their value) and of course, the hugely popular Free Spins bonus games, where players trigger the bonus and then do not have to pay for a number of spins, some of which can lead to some high value wins.

Over time, we have seen a development of slot games from three to four and now the de facto number of reels per game is around five. In addition to that we have seen the number of lines available on a slot increase from a single winning line, to two and three winning lines and then many more winning lines.

However, it was the eventual development of a slot that allowed any possible combination of symbols from left to right across the reels, that really shook up the burgeoning online slot industry. These slots came to be known as the '243 Ways to Win' slots or '243-Ways' slot games and since their introduction several years ago, they have become a mainstay of the online slot industry and one of the most popular and frequently played type of slot in the world today.

Microgaming is generally regarded as the pioneer of 243 Ways to Win slots and their output now showcases a wide variety of these games, with new games added on a monthly basis.

So what is it about this slot that makes them so popular, why are they different to other slot games, what are the pros and cons of playing 243 Ways to Win games and lastly, what are some of the best examples of 243 Ways to Win slots I can play right now from Microgaming?

We will answer all these questions and more below, starting with the first and most obvious question.

What are 243 Ways to Win slots and how do they differ to Pay Line games?

The first thing to clarify here is why 243 Ways to Win to win games are called that. The reason for this is because to ensure that every possible combination of winning line, using a typical 5x3 slot matrix, would require 243 different combinations across the reels.

Seeing as every possible combination of symbols across the reels is covered and that not all of them could be considered 'lines' in the traditional sense, the term '243 Ways' was used to differentiate between these slots and other slot games with standard pay lines.

Essentially, a 243 Ways to Win slot will pay out on a win, when you collect the same symbol, from the first reel on the left across to, usually, the third reel, with increasingly higher value pays if you then have the same symbols in any position on the fourth and fifth reels too. On some slots, higher value symbols may pay out very small wins by landing on the first two reels too (though the value of these wins tend to be much less than your triggering bet).

How do 243 Ways to Win payouts compare to pay line slots?

The first and most obvious difference between 243 Ways to Win and Pay Line slots is of course, on a Pay Line slot, you can land three, four or five symbols across the reels, but if they are not on a paying line, then you won't win on that spin. In a 243 Ways to Win slot, then this would not only trigger a win, but if it comprised of five symbols then it would also be a higher value 5-symbol win.

This makes 243 Ways to Win slots somewhat easier to understand, in terms of pay-outs and keeping track of what is a winning spin and what isn't (although this process is entirely automated anyway). It is certainly the case that it can be frustrating to land five symbols on a pay line slot, but discover it isn't a winner because one or more symbols is not in the required position. That doesn't happen on 243 Ways to Win slots.

However, when it comes to pay outs there can be some differences between the slots and while the following explanation is not true for every 243 Ways to Win game, or every pay line slot, it is a good general rule of thumb to understand when considering the key differences between the games and their pay outs.

On a 243 Ways to Win slot, there are a lot more ways in which you can win on a spin than, say, on a 20 pay line slot. As such, you tend to find that 243-Ways slots may offer the chance of more wins, but the value of these wins individually may be a less than you would find on a pay line slot.

Similarly, you can also find that the top prizes on offer for landing five symbols on the reels tends to be a smaller amount in 243 Ways to Win slots than in a slot with pay lines, simply because it is much harder to hit that 5-symbol combination on the pay line slot and thus, it will not pay out anywhere near as often as on the 243 Ways to Win game.

However, to combat this, many 243 Ways to Win slots offer a number of different bonus games and features, some of which can pay out huge sums of money to the winner, some in excess of a million coins. This then gives the 243 Ways to Win slots massive across-the-board appeal, as they appeal to players who like regular, low paying wins, as well as those who want to chase much bigger jackpot prizes.

Pros of 243 Ways to Win slots

  • Very simple to understand - no need for symbols to be in a set pattern across the reels, any pattern of three, four or five symbols across the reel set is a winner.
  • Relatively low cost to play. Rather than paying a coin 'per line' with 243 Ways to Win games you tend to pay a flat fee to spin the reels with all winning options available. Even at 0.50p per spin, that still means you are paying 0.50 and covering 243 potential winning lines.
  • Regular lower value wins (most games tend to be medium to lower variance)
  • Occasional high value wins (including some with jackpots over a million coins)
  • Fantastic selection of bonus games and features on many 243 Ways to Win slots
  • Due to the lower variance, it can be easier to budget for longer sessions with just a small amount of money on 243 Ways to Win slots.

Cons of 243 Ways to Win slots

  • 243 Ways to Win slots tend to offer smaller pays for standard base game wins, particularly for those involving three and four symbols.
  • Base game jackpots tend to be a little smaller than on some pay line slots (though not all).
  • Still a smaller number of 243 Ways to Wins lots than standard pay lines lots (though the number of games is increasing)
  • High rollers may be put off by the lower variance on some games.

What are some of the best 243 Ways to Win to win slots from Microgaming?

If you want to trial some of the best 243 Ways to Win slots from Microgaming then any of the following games are a great place to start:

Give 243 Ways to Win slots a try today at any of the casinos on MegaMoolah.com.

Interested in learning more about Ways to Win slots? Read our 1024 Ways to Win slots article here.

Byline: This article was published by Mega Moolah expert Henry. Media and other enquiries.

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