Firstly, we had paylines. Then, over time, slot players started to notice other ways they could win while playing a slot game. One of these is called the ‘all ways pays’ format. That’s what we are going to look at here.
It means that all the ways you could win on a slot machine will produce wins, providing you get the right combination of icons in position.
That might sound obvious, but let’s look at this in more detail. Firstly, let’s consider payline wins. If you are playing a regular 5 x 3 slot, with five reels and three rows, you might see 20, 30, or 40 paylines, for example. Yet these do not cover all the ways you could win with combinations within that format.
In dispensing with the paylines, we get far more ways we can win prizes. Let’s say you play a slot where one of the symbols is shown as a bell. Let’s further assume you spin the reels and get a bell on the first reel in the top position. Another bell appears in the middle of the second reel, while a third appears at the bottom of the third reel. Now, if you were playing on paylines, there may not be a payline that runs through all those positions. But if you were playing an all ways pays game, you’d score a win for that combination.
Yes, you might also see it referred to as ‘ways to win’. Some of these are becoming very familiar to us. No doubt you have seen the 243 ways to win format, which is about the lowest number of win ways you will see. You might also see 720 ways to win or 1,024 ways to win. The more reels and positions there are, the more ways there will be to score a win when you play – or even several of them.
A slot with paylines sometimes lets you choose how many paylines to bet on (although it’s always best to bet on them all). All ways pays slots don’t do this. You will choose just one bet per spin – a bet that will cover all the ways you could win. This is usually quite affordable at, say, 20 cents or 30 cents, but it can be more. So, bear this in mind – and enjoy!