All-ways slots explained
One of the biggest innovations from online casinos, or more specifically their software providers, has been “ways to win” slots games.
Traditionally a win on a slot machine is determined by pay-lines, but the advent of video slots and eventually online slots has led to more advanced games, which offer far more winning combinations for players.
A prime example of pay-line slots are the old Fruit games, where you need to line up the symbols on the three reels to receive a payout. With a “ways-to-win” slots game, if you are playing max bets, you just need to hit the right combinations anywhere on the five reels to trigger a win.
When betting on an all-ways slot you have a fixed stake to play all ways to win. You can then increase the stake in fixed increments. For instance, it might be 25 cents to play all ways to win on the lowest stake. You can then double the bet to 50 cents, meaning your potential dividends double.
Each all-ways slots game will have its own payout structure offering far greater flexibility than the standard pay-line game.
This article will run you through the common types of all-ways slots games you will find at online casinos.
243-ways slots games
You can find these games easily at online casinos. You can tell if a game has 243 ways to win if it has five reels and three symbols displayed on each reel (3 x 3 x 3 x 3 x 3 = 243).
They exist but you won’t find too many of them at online casinos – they never really took off. The oddity with these games is they display different amounts of symbols on the five reels. For instance, a machine might have 3 x 3 x 4 x 4 x 5, which of course equals 720.
These slots have five reels and four symbols on display (4 x 4 x 4 x 4 x 4 = 1024) and are some of the most popular on the Internet. What you are trying to do is match up three or more of the symbols on the five reels. Each game will have its different nuances. For instance, some will require you to get the first two symbols on the first two reels.
You won’t find too many of these but they are slowly growing in popularity. They have five symbols and five reels displayed (5 x 5 x 5 x 5 x 5 = 3125) to the player and have definitely pushed the boundaries to levels we haven’t seen before. It will be interesting to see what comes next.
Features on all-ways slots games
The flexibility computerized slots give us means the games have graphics we could only dream about 20 years ago. You just need to look at some of the games released by companies such as NetEnt, Playtech and Microgaming since around 2010 to see how far we have come.
Perhaps the best thing about modern slots games is the features. No longer is it just pay-lines. Now you might trigger free spins or a bonus round which can net you big wins. Online the features are more common with most online casinos paying out more than 96% of all money put into them – a much higher rate than land-based casinos.
Here are some features you might find when playing all-ways slots games. Just remember, each game has its own stipulations so learn the rules before playing.
Scattered symbols: This usually involves hitting three or more of the feature symbol. Depending on the game you might trigger free spins or a bonus round. Some of the themed online slots have a bonus round that will highlight said theme with clips from a movie or about whatever it is based on.
Bonus rounds: There are varying ways for players to trigger a bonus round. It may happen randomly or by something you have done in the game, such as landing the scattered symbols. An example of a bonus round is in the NetEnt slot Mr Vegas, where he plays both blackjack and roulette while you are playing as him.
Progressive jackpots: Some slots will have a feature where you contribute a small percentage of your stake each spin to a communal pot. Mega Moolah, a Microgaming slot, is a well-known online slot that often has a pool reaching into the millions. Every casino powered by Microgaming or a progressive slots provider will generally contribute to the same pool – allowing bigger payouts than if the casino had a solo prize pool.
How to play all-ways slots for real money
There are thousands of online casinos accepting people from pretty much every country in the world. That doesn’t mean every casino is safe to play at. You need to do your homework before investing real money at an online casino.
Read reviews of the casino you are looking to play at, ensure they have the currency you are going to deposit in, make sure the casino has a good reputation and, of course, look at the slots games they have on offer.
It is imperative you do your research if you are from a country with strict gambling laws such as the USA, because you may be able to deposit and then run into trouble only when you try to withdraw from the casino and have to prove your identity. For people in these countries it’s still possible to safely gamble online but you need to be more alert than someone from a gamble-happy place such as England or Australia.