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What is Megaways?
Megaways is a proprietary in-game mechanic that modifies the number of reels in play on a slot machine game. That definition is a bit of a tongue twister, but if you think of the word ‘Megaways’ it gives you some clues. A traditional slot game has a fixed number of ways to win. These are indicated by the number of paylines in play. On a typical 5 x 3 reel slot with 25 paylines, there are 25 ways to win. The majority of slots have a set number of paylines in play. Each reel has a set number of symbols too.
But with Megaways slots, it’s remarkably different. For starters, these games use RNGs (Random Number Generators), as specialised randomisers to modify the number of reels and winning combinations in play. With Megaways slots games, every single spin can generate a different number of ways to win. Of course, there are minimum and maximum numbers in place, but the range is so great as to make it unpredictable all the time. You may generate up to 117,649 ways to win, substantially more than that, or much less than that. It all depends on the number of reels, and the number of symbols per reel. The randomising elements will determine the number of ways to win.
How are Megaways Numbers Calculated?
In order to understand Megaways slots, let’s begin with a traditional 3 x 3 reel slot machine game with 5 symbols per reel. We will then advance to a typical video slot game with a 5 x 3 reel format and 5 symbols per reel. In a classic fruit slot game, with 3 x 3 reels, the number of ways to win would be 5 x 5 x 5 = 125. In a 5 reel slot machine game, the number of ways to win is 5 x 5 x 5 x 5 x 5 = 3125.
Now, let’s turn our attention to a 6 reel Megaways slots displaying the maximum number of symbols on each spinning reel. In this case, the calculation is as follows: 7 x 7 x 7 x 7 x 7 x 7 = 117,649 ways to win. Now, it is quite possible that your Megaways slot spin could generate just 2 symbols on every spinning reel (owing to the randomiser). In this case, you would have the following number of ways to win: 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 = 64. Ideally, you want to activate as many symbols (between 2 – 7) as possible in Megaways slots games.
Most of the time, the number of Megaways will be randomly generated. If you’re playing a standard 6 reel slot machine game, you may have an outcome as follows:
- Reel 1 – 5 symbols
- Reel 2 – 2 symbols
- Reel 3 – 6 symbols
- Reel 4 – 5 symbols
- Reel 5 – 6 symbols
- Reel 6 – 3 symbols
To calculate the number of ways to win in the above example: 5 x 2 x 6 x 5 x 6 x 3 = 900 ways to win. If each reel has 7 symbols on it, then we’re back up to 117,649 ways to win. Whenever you’re playing a Megaways slot game, you always see the number of ways to win in the box above the reels. The winning combinations are calculated from the leftmost reel to the rightmost reel.
It’s not always a random element that determines the number of Megaways in every slot game. Sometimes, players have the opportunity to boost the number of winning ways with Free Spins. For example, you can buy Free Spins at 50 X your bet value in Extra Chilli Megaways slot game, and several others. Sure, it costs more, but you also get the benefit of massive multipliers, with a gamble option too. If lady luck is with you, your winnings can increase substantially.
Fun Fact: While Megaways slots indicate up to 117,649 ways to win, there are many Megaways slots which offer substantially more ways to win. For example, Fantasma Games of Stockholm, Sweden released Flower Fortune Megaways with 5 unique game levels with each level boosting up to a maximum of 9 rows. This 6 x 9 reel slot game offers an incredible 531,411 Megaways. This is calculated as follows: 9 x 9 x 9 x 9 x 9 x 9 = 531,411 ways to win.
What are the Most Popular Megaways Games?
The most popular Megaways slots are those with an enduring appeal to players. There are plenty of top Megaways slots games to play. Below, you will find a baker’s dozen of popular Megaways slot machine games by RTP. The lowest RTPs are listed first.
- Eye of Horus Megaways by Blueprint Gaming, with 117,649 ways to win, and 95.02% RTP
- Extra Chilli Megaways by Big Time Gaming, with 117,649 ways to win, and 96.00% RTP
- Gonzo’s Quest Megaways by NetEnt and Red Tiger Gaming, with 117,649 ways to win, and a 96.00% RTP
- Legacy of Ra Megaways, by Blueprint Gaming, with 15,625 ways to win, and a 96.01% RTP
- Ted Megaways by Blueprint Gaming, with 117,649 ways to win, and a 96.03% RTP
- Return of Kong Megaways by Blueprint Gaming, with 117,649 ways to win, and a 96.03% RTP
- Twin Spin Megaways by NetEnt, with 117,649 ways to win, and a 96.04% RTP
- Odin Infinity Reels featuring Megaways, with an unlimited number of ways to win, courtesy of Reel Play, and a 96.18% RTP
- Monopoly Megaways, by Big Time Gaming, with 117,649 ways to win, and a 96.5% RTP
- Buffalo Rising Megaways by Blueprint Gaming, with 117,649 ways to win, and a 96.50% RTP
- Star Clusters Megaways by Big Time Gaming, with 256 mega clusters, and a 96.54% RTP
- Rick and Morty Megaways, by Blueprint Gaming, with 117,649 ways to win, and a 96.55% RTP
- Great Rhino Megaways, by Pragmatic Play, with 200,704 ways to win, and a 96.58% RTP
Which Software Providers Create Megaways Games?
At inception, it was Big Time Gaming (BTG) that brought Megaways slots to the scene. This Australian slot game developer brought players high-volatility entertainment with big winning potential. Fortunately, it’s possible to test out different Megaways slot machine games in demo mode before you wager for real money.
The iGaming market tends to see a variety of software providers offering Megaways slots games. BTG has franchised out its Megaways slots games to other providers by licensing the game engine. Nowadays any developer who wants to acquire BTGs propriety in-game mechanic can do so. This began in May 2018 and it was Blueprint Gaming which kicked things off as the first software company to officially offer Megaways games.
Today, Blueprint Gaming is at the forefront of the Megaways slots evolution. Their first game was Mystery Wheels Megaways, and it was an instant hit. Other Blueprint Gaming titles include Diamond Mine, Buffalo Rising, Safecracker, Big Cat King, Danske Spil, Dafabet, Deal or No Deal, Fishin’ Frenzy, Genie Jackpots, and Gorilla Gold.
Another hugely popular Megaways slots provider is NetEnt. Known for their fantastic audio-visuals, and 3D animation, NetEnt is leading the way with top-tier attractions for Megaways fans. These include: Divine Fortune, Dazzle Me, Fruit Shop, Gonzo’s Quest, Piggy Riches, Starburst, and Twin Spin.
Big Time Gaming will always be a hot favourite among Megaways fans. The listing of BTG Megaways games includes: Beef Lightning, Dragon Born, Extra Chilli, King of Cats, Kingmaker, Monopoly Megaways, Queen of Riches, Royal Mint, Slot Vegas, Star Clusters, Survivor, Wheel of Fortune, and White Rabbit.
There are many world-class software providers with their own Megaways games on the market. These include Red Tiger Gaming, Iron Dog Studios, iSoftBet, Stakelogic, Relax Gaming, Pragmatic Play, WMS/SG Digital, Inspired Gaming, GameArt, Barcrest/SG Digital, WMS, Reel Play, Storm Gaming, Fantasma Games, Games Inc, and Microgaming too.
Features of Megaways Slots Games
Remember that Megaways slots are so-named because of the ‘mega ways’ you can win. Besides for the 6 reels and 2-7 symbols per reel, there are other features worth checking out:
- Mystery Symbols – wherever they form, they instantly change to become the same common symbol on the reels.
- Wilds – these can act as multiplier symbols. They can also serve as sticky symbols and form in combination to reward players with bigger payouts.
- Bonus Buy Symbols – players have the choice to purchase bonus games for a multiple of the total bet. You basically pay for the privilege to compete for bigger prizes.
- Progressive Multipliers – these win multiplier elements begin at 1X and increase by a multiple of +1 with every additional Cascade that takes place. The more consecutive cascade elements, the bigger your progressive multipliers.
- Cascading Symbols – with cascading symbols, you either get cascades, reactions, or avalanches. When a winning combination forms on the reels, the symbols on those reels could be removed from the grid in an explosion of 3D entertainment. New symbols will then replace those symbols by falling into place. A chain reaction can form and keep going until no new symbols form winning combos.
How do you Win with Megaways Slots?
Megaways slots play differently to conventional video slots. All that’s required with Megaways is the formation of 3+ matching symbols from the first reel through the sixth reel. Recall that there aren’t any paylines in play with Megaways – so it’s possible to form winning combinations when the symbols land on any row. The winning symbols must be on adjacent reels (next to one another). Take a look at the following graphic below for winning Megaways combinations.
A non-winning Megaways combination would result if there were gaps between the winning symbols on specific reels. As you can see from left to right, there are uninterrupted, consecutive identical symbols on the reels, adjacent to one another.
Summary of Megaways Slots Games
- Megaways slots were created by Big Time Gaming, and officially kicked off with Bonanza Megaways.
- Megaways slots feature a random number of symbols on each of the spinning reels, between 2-7 symbols on every spin.
- The maximum number of winning combinations on a standard six reel slot with 7 symbols is: 7 x 7 x 7 x 7 x 7 x 7 = 117,649 ways to win. More or less Megaways are certainly possible.
- Features of Megaways slots games include Mystery Symbols, Wilds, Bonus Buy Symbols, Progressive Multipliers, and Cascading Symbols.
- The way to form winning combinations is simple: simply land identical symbols adjacent to one another, anywhere on the reels from the leftmost reel to the rightmost reel. No gaps are allowed between winning symbols on reels.
- BTG franchised out it’s licensed Megaways mechanic to other software providers, and today there are scores of world-class software providers offering Megaways games.