The evolution of slots play has been a fascinating ride to say the least. As time goes by the number of value-added features as well as ways to win on a particular slots game have grown by leaps and bounds to offer today’s players an incredible smorgasbord or different winning slots play possibilities.
One company and one product in particular have radically changed the way gamers play online slots today. The company is the Australian software developer Big Time Gaming and their revolutionary new slots product is called MegaWays.
Big Time Gaming has been putting out cutting-edge slots since 1996 but it wasn’t until 2016, with the launch of the MegaWays line of slots, that the company truly garnered the global attention it deserves.
THE MEGAWAYS BACK STORY
THUNDERSTRUCK 2 IS A 243 WAYS TO WIN SLOT FROM MICROGAMING
A bit of history then. Back in the day, classic slots were limited to 3-reels. Commonly called fruit machines, these earliest versions of slots had only one pay line, hence only one way to win. As slots evolved from 3-reel mechanical machines to electromechanical machines and on to today’s 5 and 6-reel video slots, the possibilities in terms of both ways to win and value-added features like prize multipliers, free spins and bonus rounds increased exponentially.
The first to really tap into this latent potential was Microgaming, true pioneers in the field of multiple pay line slots. Producing both brick and mortar and online slots with multiple paylines or what as known as 243 win-all-ways slots, Microgaming dramatically altered the slots landscape. But the innovation was not to end there.
THE MEGAWAYS EUREKA MOMENT
BIG TIME GAMING'S MEGAWAYS SLOT DRAGON BORN OFFERS 117,649 WAYS TO WIN
Taking a close look at the slot machine, the developers at Big Time Gaming had an epiphany. What if you could alter the number of ways to win by varying the height and size of the symbols on each reel? By allowing for 2 to 7 symbols on each reel, the result was to push the number of ways to win on any given spin into the stratosphere. To conceptualize this, simply imagine a 6-reel slot in which the symbols per reel could either be a very large two different symbols or a very small 7 different symbols.
The number of symbols on any given reel in a MegaWays slot is variable per spin, meaning that most spins will see somewhere between 5,000 and 25,000 different winning possibilities, dramatically increasing the action in any given game.
With all the symbols on all reels expanded to their maximum, this would lead to an astonishing 117,649 different ways to win on a single spin! The idea was a hit and Big Time Gaming started cranking out MegaWays slots to match the increasing demand for the possibility of mind-blowing winning combinations.
When they factored in further value-added features such as wilds, scatters, free spins, prize multipliers and more, suddenly the lid has been lifted on Pandora’s Box of winning possibilities.
SO HOW DOES IT ACTUALLY WORK OUT THE AMOUNT OF MEGAWAYS?
REEL SET UP FOR 19,600 MEGAWAYS ON STARQUEST MEGAWAYS SLOT
So once you know what the MegaWays mechanic is, you might still be left wondering how it works out the total ways to win for every spin. It's actually really simple, and using the picture above that has a total of 19,600 Megaways we will break it down so you can see how it gets to that amount, and you will then understand the mathematics behind each spin on these games.
So as I already mentioned it's about how many symbols there are on each specific reel, so with that in mind lets analyse the above picture and put in place the simple MegaWays mechanic equation.
Reel 1 has 7 symbols on, and reel 2 has 4 symbols on, so the MegaWays equation is...
7 x 4 = 28
So now we have the 28 we look at how many symbols there are on reel 3. There are 5 so the equation is...
28 x 5 = 140
This method is now applied to the following reels to get the final total. So the full MegaWays equation is as follows.
7 x 4 = 28
28 x 5 = 140
140 x 5 = 700
700 x 7 = 4900
4900 x 4 = 19600
THE MEGAWAYS CONCEPT TAKES OFF
LASER FRUIT FROM RED TIGER HAS UP TO 60,466,176 WAYS TO WIN
Imitation, it has long been said, is the sincerest form of flattery, and Big Time Gaming’s MegaWays concept was no exception. In no time online slots developers were releasing new MegaWays slots games with a record setting 60,466,176 ways to win in Red Tiger Gaming’s Laser Fruit release in 2018, blowing the 243 ways-to-win slots completely out of the water.
As of 2019, SG Interactive, Blueprint Gaming and Storm Gaming have all acquired licenses to produce and release MegaWays slots and many more online slots games developers are expected to follow suit throughout the year. Both Big Time Gaming and Red Tiger Gaming are working their fingers to the bone to crank out MegaWays slots and giants such as NetEnt and Quickspin are rumoured to be developing their own versions to take to market later this year.
So far, the graphics and digital sound quality of different MegaWays slots has been phenomenal, adding to their attraction. While there is a common myth that more ways to win equals higher chances of winning, the fact is that the return to player, in theory, remains unchanged. What has changed is the volume of potential action, especially when you factor in the wealth of value-added features developers have at their disposal to diversify the game and keep players riveted. Add in massive possible jackpots paying out life changing wins and it’s easy to see why MegaWays slots have taken the online gaming world by storm.
With a host of new titles by a wide range of manufacturers set for launch this year, the MegaWays slots craze is only just beginning to set the online slots world ablaze.
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We thought that after giving you an introduction to MegaWays slots that you might like to read individual slot reviews of these games and try them out for free. Check the slots out below and get yourself acquainted with them properly.
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