Remember when slot games only had three reels and one line to win prizes on? Things have developed a lot since those early days. Online slots make the most of technology and advancing graphics to bring us more features than ever before.
Yet every slot is still based on a format. There are three of these currently being used – paylines, ways to win, and cluster pays. We thought we would focus on the first two here, as they are the most popular variations you will see in online slots today.
What are paylines?
These are lines that go across the reels. You may see just one in a three-reel game and possibly up to five. Five-reel games have much more room to accommodate more lines. You’ll usually see 10, 20, or 30 of them, although a few only have five lines and some have 40, 50, or even 100 lines.
Essentially, the name comes from the fact you can achieve a payout on a line if you get a winning combination on it and you placed a bet on it prior to the winning spin taking place.
What are ways to win?
Ways to win are different to paylines, as you’d expect. This shows you the maximum number of ways you can win according to the format of reels and positions on each one. So, for a five-reel, three-row slot, you’d see 243 ways to win. As more positions are added, more ways to win become possible.
Is one format better than the other?
No, although some people like the ways to win format because you get many more potential wins from a small bet. These slots tend to require you to play a certain number of coins per spin. Let’s say a 243-ways to win slot requires a 30-coin bet per spin. You’d play 30 coins on a 30-payline slot too, so you can see you get lots more potential ways to win if you play this game rather than one with paylines.
However, everyone has their own preferences. Additionally, you will want to choose a game with an appealing theme and some great features. This can become more important than whether the game has ways to win or paylines present. As you can see, it becomes a case of how the various features of a slot game fit together. We’d rather play a sensational 20-line slot than a dull 243-ways to win one on a similar theme. Would you?