243 Ways to Win Slots

Why play with thirty paylines when you play with two hundred and forty-three? Is that really the case? Learn how 243 Ways to Win mechanics work and discover why they may be for you with our guide to 243 Ways to Win slots.

Getting ahead when playing slot games is something that many of us long for. Playing with 243 Ways to Win is surely more advantageous than thirty lines, right? For years, players flocked to play 243 Ways to Win slots, believing that they stood a better chance of winning than with conventional games, but is this really the case?

On the face of it, playing 243 Ways to Win games is advantageous. After all, a thirty-line slot will cost you a minimum stake of $0.30 a spin, and if you can get 243 Ways to Win for the same cost (and you often can), that then is naturally appealing. However, there is more to it than that, and we will explore these things in this guide.

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What Are 243 Ways to Win Slots?

As discussed, a moment ago, if you are given two options, play a thirty-line slot for $0.30 per spin, or a 243-line slot for $0.30 a spin, you are always going to opt for the latter, right? You instantly believe that you have got a greater chance of success with a 243-line slot than with a 30-line slot, and they are immediately appealing if the minimum stakes and wagering ranges are the same. Things are not that simple, though.

The main reason for this is that you will not actually be playing with 243 paylines. Games such as 243, 1,024, and 3,125 Ways to Win slots have no paylines at all – not in the truest sense of the word. Instead, they basically stipulate that you can win by lining up any identical icons on adjacent reels, irrespective of where they appear on those reels. As such, matching any three matching symbols on the first, second and third reels of 243 Ways to Win slot machines makes winning easier than having to line up those same three symbols in specific portions of the reels, as you would have to do with conventional paylines.

However, this does not necessarily mean that winning is easier. Some thirty-line slots have four rows of symbols spanning their reels. All 243 Ways to Win slots (without exception) have just three.

243-line slots are determined by the number of rows on each reel. In short, the calculation is three (rows) to the power of five (reels). This 3x3x3x3x3 format gives you the 243 Ways to Win.

As you can see, a thirty-line slot with five rows of symbols may be more prosperous than a 243 Ways to Win game with just three rows. However, there are other factors that we need to consider before we can say that a 243 Ways slot is more prosperous than a conventional video slot. These include the prizes that are available, how many symbols appear in the slot, RTP, variance and more. Let us jump to these topics next.

How Does Having 243 Ways to Win Affect RTP, Volatility and Hit Frequency?

As touched on, a 243 Ways to Win slot is not necessarily more beneficial than a 30-line slot simply because it has more “ways to win”. Other factors come into play. If you only have three rows to win on, and twelve symbols can appear on those rows, suddenly a 243 Ways slot would look a lot less advantageous than a 30-line slot which has five rows and contains just eight symbols. The hit frequency could be higher in the latter.

Allows us to explain below:

  • RTP: RTP is the figure that details how much of each bet a casino keeps for themselves (house edge) and the amount they put back into the game for players to win (RTP). They are both sides of the same coin. Ultimately, we have found no correlation between the RTP rate in slots and the number of ways to win or paylines present in slots. You can find 243 Ways to Win games with both high (96%+), fair (95%) and low (94%-) RTP rates. As a word of advice, we would always commend slots (any, for that matter) that have an RTP of 96% or higher.
  • Volatility: Volatility is best described as the rate of winning and the prizes available. Low variance games typically pay out regularly, but the wins tend to be small in stature. By contrast, highly volatile games (high risk or high variance) pay out far less frequently but deliver bigger wins when they cough up the goods. In our research, we have found that 243 Ways to Win slots tend to be of a higher variance than standard video slots but still tend to be around the middle of the scale. They are certainly less volatile than MegaWays slots, which often have tens of thousands, sometimes hundreds of thousands of ways to win.
  • Hit Frequency: As touched on, the hit frequency (how often you land a winning combo) varies based on many things. In theory, it should rise, given you only need to land matching icons on adjacent reels. However, the number of symbols that appear in a game can alter this. Too many symbols and there is a greater probability of useless, junk symbols getting in the way of winning combos. The hit frequency rate is not often published by software providers, so we would recommend reading slot reviews to discover this.

Where to Find Them?

You should not have to look extremely hard to find 243 Ways slots at casino sites across the globe. Microgaming was the first developer to truly embrace this mechanic, but plenty of rival providers, including Scandinavian powerhouse, NetEnt, have since followed suit and worked the payline engine into their games. Indeed, some software developers have gone further, creating 1,024 and 3,125 Ways to Win games, but also MegaWays titles, which have up to 117,649 ways to win, sometimes more.

Any casino that features software from multiple providers is likely to be the ideal place to find 243 Ways to Win slots. Microgaming’s Quickfire open gaming platform is a top example of this. Sites that feature games from Quickfire will usually have half a dozen, perhaps even ten or fifteen providers who have 243 Ways to Win games in their portfolio.

It helps if you become acquainted with the software providers who develop these games, such as Microgaming and NetEnt. To help you get started, we will mention a few of the world’s most popular 243 Ways to Win slots. They include Microgaming’s Immortal Romance, Jurassic Park, Game of Thrones, and Thunderstruck II slots, NetEnt’s Victorious, Twin Spin, Vikings, and Narcos.

What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages?

While 243 Ways to Win slots are unquestionably worth having a crack at, there are still cons to accompany all the positive things about them. Before you dive headfirst into spinning the reels of 243 Ways to Win games, allow us to cover some of those below:

Pros

  • The 243 Ways to Win format essentially allows you to ignore paylines. You do not have to pay attention to them at all. Instead, merely landing identical symbols on the first three adjacent reels will be enough to pocket a win. Moreover, most games cost between $0.20 and $0.50 a spin, so they are affordable for most.
  • Microgaming’s collection of 243 Ways to Win slots is immense. Many of these games have multiple bonus features, including a free spin bonus and randomly triggered goodies. A few will even have more than one feature available in the free spin bonus. This raises the prospect of you striking gold while playing the games.
  • 243 Ways to Win slots are as common as muck at online casinos. They span all sorts of themes, virtually all major software providers, and can be progressive, non-progressive, mobile-friendly, low variance, highly volatile and everything in-between. You will not be short of options.

Cons

  • Many 243 Ways to Win slots tend to be rather samey when they come from the same provider. For instance, in some Microgaming 243 Ways to Win slots, the only difference could be the paint job.
  • There is no consistency when it comes to wagering ranges. While it is true that Microgaming’s 243 Ways to Win games can all typically be played for around $0.30 a spin (with the minimum bet), and maximum bets are capped at $6.00 up to $15.00 in most; titles from other developers can cost $0.50 a spin upwards, with maximum bets capped in the hundreds of dollars a spin range.
  • 243 Ways to Win slots can be misleading. You might feel as though you cannot lose since you only need matching symbols on adjacent reels, but some can be medium-high on the volatility scale, resulting in fewer wins than on conventional slots. Again, the number of symbols in the game could play a part in this. Always do your homework before playing, and never assume you are destined to win more because you have more paylines to play with.
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