What is the difference between 243-Ways slots and Pay Line slots?

If you have played some of the top Microgaming slots then over recent times you'll have noticed that there are a growing number of slots that have a number of Ways to Win, rather than stated Pay Lines as part of the game.

Although both are essentially the same, in that they are key factors in deciding if your spin is a winner or not, both are also very different in how they operate within a slot.

So if you don't yet fully understand what the difference is between a Pay Line slot (such as the Mega Moolah slot) compared to a Ways to Win game (such as the Robin of Sherwood slot) then this is the perfect article for you as here we will explain exactly how both work.

In addition, we will give you some examples of each type of slot that are well worth checking out to play to give you a clearer idea of the differences between each type of game.

What are Pay Lines?

Pay Lines derived from the earliest ever slot games, where the row of symbols across the middle of the reel would determine whether a spin was a winner or not. These first slots had just the single pay line as it became known and over the years, things didn't change.

It was only with the invention of more electronic slots and more complex mechanical devices for controlling them that games developed more pay lines, but even so these initial slots tended to have just relatively few winning lines, usually either 1, 3, 5 or perhaps 9 pay lines at most.

However, the advent of computers and the technological age means that more modern online slots can now have numerous pay lines built in and now finding games with 10 or more pay lines in play is relatively common.

One thing to note is that on each pay line on a slot, the amount you win is determined by the bet you make on that pay line. So for example if you have a 25 pay line slot and you play all 25 lines at a cost of 0.01 per line (0.25 in total), and you land a win on one pay line that is 10 coins, you would win 0.10 in total (10x your 0.01 single line bet).

However, the development of Wild symbols and stacked symbols mean that it is often possible to win on multiple lines at once on the same spin and it is this way that players can increase the value of their wins on a spin.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of Pay Lines?

The main advantage of pay line slots is that you can often decide how many lines to play and you can decide how much to wager on each line. Not all pay line slots offer this, some are fixed pay lines in play that mean you must play every line on each spin.

In addition, as there are fewer winning lines than there are possible combinations of lines across the reels, then you tend to find that the winning amounts on pay line slots tend to be slightly higher than on other games.

Top Microgaming Pay Line slots to try

  • Mega Moolah (25-lines)
  • Game of Thrones (15-line)
  • Shoot! (50-lines)
  • Break Da Bank (5-lines)
  • Break Da Bank Again (9-lines)
  • Major Millions 5-reel version (15-lines)
  • Major Millions 3-reel version (3-lines)
  • Cool Buck (5-lines)
  • King Cashalot(9-lines)
  • Bar Bar Black Sheep (1-line)
  • Ariana (25-lines)
  • Treasure Nile (9-lines)
  • Electric Diva (40-lines)
  • So Many Monsters (25-lines)
  • So Much Sushi (25-lines)
  • So Much Candy (25-lines)
  • Hitman (15-lines)
  • Tomb Raider 2 (30-lines)
  • Emoticoins (30-lines)
  • Cashapillar (100-lines)
  • Halloween (50-lines)

What are Ways to Win?

One of the biggest problems when using pay lines as a method to work out wins for players is that players will often see a number of symbols turn up across the reels, but because they are not on one of the predetermined pay lines, or maybe the individual elected not to have that pay line in play to save money per spin.

Whatever the reason, this can lead to frustration for the player and led software developers to think about developing a slot game where every possible line of three symbols or more across from the leftmost reel in the game would be a winner.

Now on a three-reel slot, the number of possible ways to win across the reels is 3x3x3 which is 27 ways to win. However, on a five-reel slot with three symbols displayed on each reel (which is the default choice for slots in the main nowadays), this means that there are 3x3x3x3x3 ways to win, which just happens to equate exactly to 243.

To differentiate these games from standard slots with individual lines which players can win on, the term Ways to Win was used to allow players to know that regardless of the position of their symbols on the reel, if they land three or more symbols consecutively from left to right across the reels, then they are guaranteed to be a winner.

Advantages and disadvantages of Ways to Win slots

The main advantage of the Ways to Win type of slot is that there are far more opportunities to win on each spin as there are so many more potential ways to win on every spin. Furthermore, on this type of slot, players are not required to cover every potential Way to Win, but instead are charged a flat rate for the spin (this amount differs from game to game but is usually between 0.20 and 0.50 per spin). This means that in terms of your wager compared to your theoretical chances of winning, 243 Ways to Win slots offer players good value for money.

Less experienced slot players can find 243 Ways to Win slots useful to play as they are easier to see when you win, and you don't have as many decisions to make about how many lines to play or how much to bet per line. Also, with 243 Ways to Win slots, you tend to find they are mid to low levels of variance, which means more smaller value wins, always a benefit when you have a smaller bankroll to start with.

The main drawback with 243 Ways to Win slots is that the pays you receive for wins tend to be less than on pay line slots as there are simply more ways to win.

Top Microgaming Ways to Win slots

  • Thunderstruck II (243-ways)
  • Game of Thrones (243-ways)
  • Terminator 2 (243-ways, 1024 ways in Free Spins)
  • Immortal Romance (243-ways)
  • Lost Vegas (243-ways)
  • Playboy (243-ways)
  • Jurassic Park (243-ways)
  • Avalon II (243-ways)
  • Pretty Kitty (243-ways)
  • Bullseye (243-ways)
  • Gung Pow (243-ways)
  • Dragon Dance (243-ways)
  • Lucky Firecracker (243-ways)
  • Bust the Bank (243-ways)
  • Bikini Party (243-ways)
  • Max Damage (243-ways)
  • Girls with Guns Frozen Dawn (243-ways)
  • Girls with Guns Jungle Heat (243-ways)
  • Jurassic World (243-ways)
  • Untamed Crowned Eagle (243-ways)
  • Untamed Wolf Pack (243-ways)
  • Untamed Giant Panda (243-ways)
  • Untamed Bengal Tiger (243-ways)
  • Dr Watts Up (243-ways)
  • Fish Party (243-ways)
  • Beautiful Bones (243-ways)
  • Dragonz (243-ways)
  • Football Star (243-ways)
  • Cricket Star (243-ways)
  • Break Away (243-ways)
  • Basketball Star (243-ways)
  • Battlestar Galactica (243-ways)

Give any of these slots a go today by visiting Mega Moolah's Where to Play page, or claim 25 Free Spins without deposit - click here (note: Mega Moolah is not available at this casino).

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

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