It may be that you like to play them online more than in a real casino, that you prefer some themes over others and, even, that you have favoritism for some providers in particular. The world of slots is vast and attracts players with a huge variety of tastes. But if there’s one thing they all have in common, it’s the desire to win. And in this sense, slots also present various options. Do you know the difference between pay lines, ways-to-win and cluster pays in slot machines ? Keep reading and we will tell you in detail.
The classic pay lines
When we talk about slots, we most often think of pay lines as the most common way to win. This is because the original machines, the one from the early days, responded exclusively to this design. Surely you will remember, and have even been able to see today in some casinos, the traditional fruit slots in which, to win, you must match three or more identical symbols on the central line that crosses the reels. This modality is still very popular today, but it has incorporated variants that make it even more interesting. Thus, you will find slots that add various amounts of lines (reaching hundreds!) that are no longer only organized in a straight line. Options include, in addition to horizontal patterns, vertical and even zig zag outlines .
In any case, to win a prize you must get 3 or more of the same symbols to line up adjacently on one of the defined pay lines . Also, the series must start on the first reel from the left. In some slots, some symbols award prizes when they are repeated more than twice, as in the case of Fruit Shop . Another important fact is that pay lines can be fixed or variable . In the latter case, it is the player who decides on each turn how many lines to put into play. As you increase the number, your bet goes up, but so does your chance of winning at the slots .
The possibilities are expanded with ways to win or ways-to-win
Dozens of online casino providers have decided to abandon traditional pay lines when developing some of their slots. Instead, they have incorporated ways to win . What is the difference between them? Basically, the possibilities they offer. While the pay lines are limited to the amount configured for each slot, the ways to win expand the universe of possibilities, reaching much higher numbers . Nowadays, it is very common to find slots with 243 ways to win or ways-to-win .
But how do they work? In this case, it’s also about landing matching symbols on adjacent reels . But unlike paylines, they don’t have to follow a specific pattern . It is enough that there is one symbol on each reel, regardless of its location. This dynamic is what the today so popular Megaways Slots will incorporate . In these slots there is no fixed number of symbols per reel, but these can vary with each spin. This makes it possible for ways-to-win to increase exponentially , with some slot machines offering up to 500,000 ways to win.
Cluster pays: a new way to win at slots
There is a third way of combining symbols that allows you to win on a slot machine. If you’ve ever played Finn & the Swirly Spin or Aloha! Cluster Pays , two of the most popular NetEnt slots, you will know very well what we are talking about. Here we do not find pay lines or ways to win. This third group of slots incorporates the so-called cluster pays as a way to obtain winning combinations.
How do they work? A prize is obtained when a certain number of equal symbols are grouped on the reels in different previously stipulated ways (locating adjacently both vertically and horizontally). Both the number of symbols and the way they must be combined can vary depending on the slot you are playing. However, in most cases the number of symbols that make up a cluster pays ranges between 9 and 25 .
Now that you know what differentiates each of these three ways to win at slots , you should know that they have nothing to do with the chances of obtaining prizes in the game. This is directly related to the RTP (Theoretical Return to Player) and the volatility or variance of the slot, not its payment dynamics. If you are interested in knowing how to choose the best slot machine , those are two very important pointers that you should pay attention to. However, if what you want is to know how to choose between titles that include pay lines, ways to win or cluster pays, You just have to consider which of these three payment dynamics generates more fun and adrenaline. And you will know that playing. Which, after all, is what it is all about. To play and have fun responsibly!