Slots have changed drastically over the course of time. Once there were the simple three reels that only had one payline, but now users have various alternatives at their disposal. With more options, players also have tons of new opportunities to win. But before you get so heavily invested in the games, you ought to know the difference between paylines and ways-to-win. Or else, how will you know which win mechanism is better? If you were wondering where you might learn the differences, don’t worry, because we are here to clarify between the two. Read on below to know more about how the two systems differ from one another.
How Do Paylines Function?
When considering slot machines, the common win mechanism is paylines. If we look at the traditional slot machines, one had to line up three identical symbols in a horizontal pattern in order to win. This arrangement also had to be done in its single reel. But now, there are slots that offer up to hundreds of paylines. These paylines are not only limited to lining up symbols horizontally but in every possible pattern in the reels.
Mega Moolah, a fan-favourite slot, for instance, has 5 reels and 25 paylines. This means a user has 25 different winning combinations. From diagonal patterns to vertical stretches, these can be in any pattern along the reels from left to right. Regardless of the radical adaptation, the core principle behind the paylines hasn’t changed. To win, a user has to align identical symbols along one of the paylines and on adjacent reels, starting from the leftmost reel.
But that’s not it. This surge in paylines also gives players the scope to line up the same symbols on multiple paylines simultaneously. For some games, such as Starburst, this opportunity allows players to rack up wins in different ways simultaneously. Hence, more winnings!
How Do Ways-To-Win Function?
The typical payline system can score some pretty big wins. However, a single slot can only have a limited number of lines! In contrast, the ways-to-win mechanism is not bound by this.
Unlike paylines, on a ways-to-win slot, you can win as long as you land the same symbols on neighboring reels. Where the symbols land on isn’t of concern. Hence, you have plenty more combinations for victory. The most popular ways-to-win slots offer 243 possibilities of winning.
MEGAWAYS, incomparable with other slot machines, have spiked in popularity only because the game offers up to 500,000+ ways-to-win.
You might be wondering how this came to be? While the number of symbols on regular slots are limited, the same is not the case in MEGAWAYS. In these unique slots, the number changes with each new spin. Therefore, the possibility of winning changes with every spin.
Machina, a MEGAWAYS game has 6 reels and the potential to win in 46,656 ways. Another slot featuring the MEGAWAYS mechanic, Mystery Reels, offers a mind-blowing 117,649 ways-to-win while having the same number of reels.
What Does The Future Hold?
Well, to understand this we need to know what cluster pays are. These are available in slots where a user wins just by having a cluster of the same symbol in sight. They don’t have to be aligned in any particular order.
With the evolution of online slots, there can be a combination of the ways-to-win and cluster pays feature. This is already seen in slots like Sweet Bonanza.
The slot counts 8 or higher numbers of similar symbols as a win, irrespective of their positions on the reels. Other slots have incorporated variations of these combinations, whether the symbols are clustered over, or lined up horizontally or vertically.
Nonetheless, with a plethora of possibilities to win, the game gets more exciting and attracts more people. The more the win-types, the merrier. We are surely eager to see what the future beholds in regards to the winning mechanism. Will more features and systems be introduced? Who knows?
Which Mechanism is Better?
Ah, the answer you were probably waiting for. To determine which is the better pay mechanism, we need to consider the combination of the RTP and the unpredictability of the game. Simply opt for a game that has a win mechanism that you are comfortable with, and a slot you enjoy playing.
The verdict depends on each player as every individual is unique. One player might focus on the winnings on multiple paylines, whereas another might enjoy the thrill of uncertainty of what the next spin will bring.
The bottom line is that wins are generated randomly. Hence, no matter the number of paylines or the combination system, there is definitely no “advantage.”
So, now that you know the behind-the-scenes of the two-win mechanism, which one will you pick? Just try your luck on various slots till you pick your favourite one!