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243 Ways Slots

For most of the history of gambling, all slot machines worked in a similar way. Players put their money in, spun the reels, and hoped that a winning combination came on the one and only line on the machine. It was a tried and true method that provided plenty of thrills.

In more recent years, developers have looked at ways to expand on this tried and true formula. At first, the idea was just to add more and more paylines into a machine, giving players more ways to win – provided that they were willing to pay for them. But a more recent evolution of this concept, known as the 243 ways slot machine, has opened up hundreds of ways to win on every spin, all for one single price paid up front.

How They Work

A 243 ways machine works, in most respects, just like a typical video slot. Players are presented with a five-reel screen, with three symbol positions visible on each reel. Before each spin, the player must make a bet, and can often choose what denomination and how many coins they wish to bet.

One thing you won’t be asked to do is pick how many lines you want to play. Instead, every possible winning combination of symbols from left to right across the reels will score you some cash should you land it anywhere on the screen. That means there are essentially no paylines to keep track of: if you hit anything on several reels in a row, you can be sure it will count in your favor.

Watch 243 Ways in Action

Why 243?

All in all, this means that there are 243 possible “lines” that you could win on – leading to the name of this style of slot machine. How do they get to that number? It’s a matter of simple math. Each reel has three visible symbol positions, and each can be combined with one symbol on every other reel.

If there were two reels, that would mean nine possible combos: 3x3. Expand it to three reels, and the possibilities grow exponentially: 3x3x3 is 27. This pattern continues as you expand out to five reels, leading to the full number of 243 – a number equal to 3x3x3x3x3.

More Ways to Win Than Ever

The biggest advantage to these games is the fact that there are simply so many ways to win that you are likely to score something on many of your spins. It also reduces a lot of the frustration of playing; it is hardly rare on a standard machine to see that you’ve hit the same symbol on the first three or four reels, only to realize that they weren’t in the right places to add up to a winning payline. That’s never an issue with these games, which can make playing them a much more enjoyable (and far less stressful) experience for some gamblers.

If you’re looking for a downside to these games, it’s possible you might see one for that exact same reason, just viewed from a different perspective. Because there are so many ways to win, many of these games are relatively low variance, offering up a lot of small prizes and few big wins. This isn’t always the case, of course, but it’s something to look out for. The 243 ways format doesn’t suddenly make you more likely to win big profits on a machine – it just offers up a very different style of play, one that will appeal to some players more than others.

Famous Games

Today, there are numerous titles that utilize this style of play. However, a few of these games have become particularly well-known as excellent examples of the format. The following are just a few of the most popular:

The Dark Knight Rises: This Microgaming game is based on the movie of the same name, and features both Batman and his nemesis Bane playing critical roles in the game’s bonus rounds.

Thunderstruck 2: One of the most famous Microgaming titles of all time, this sequel to the original Thunderstruck features a heavy dose of Norse mythology along with many free spins games.

Immortal Romance: If you enjoy vampire romances like Twilight, or simply enjoy slots that feature strong stories and original music, this is a can’t miss title.

Alternate Formats

The “all ways” format may have begun here, but it is hardly where it stopped. Seeing the success of these games, some game creators looked for ways to expand upon the idea, making these games even larger to offer up more wins. Make it so that four symbols can be seen on each reel, and you have a 1,024 ways game, something that has become more common at many of the leading online casinos. Go even further to five positions per column, and you’ll find one of the less common 3,125 ways games. These alternate formats use the same basic “pay once for all lines” format, but offer up even more possible wins than the games we’ve talked about here.

Overall, 243 ways slots have been a great addition to the slots community. As we said, these games aren’t for every player, but they certainly offer up a great new twist for players who are bored with playing the same old games over and over again. These all ways games are never short on excitement, making them perfect for anyone who never gets enough of seeing wins appear on their video slot screens.

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