Megaways™ Slots Explained | Complete Guide

Ziv Chen

Updated by Ziv Chen

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Lee James Gwilliam

Fact Checked by Lee James Gwilliam

Senior Vice-President

Last Updated 2nd Nov 2023, 04:12 PM

Top rated Megaways slot

Can anyone say no to slots with thousands of ways to win and the best game features online? We certainly cannot! Ever since the first slot to feature up to 117,649 ways-to-win was launched back in 2015, the dynamic Megaways mechanic has come to dominate the online slots market. But what makes this category of slots tick?

Megaways Slots Explained

Megaways slots are a real game-changer in the world of online gambling. The unique way in which chances to win are multiplied across independently spinning reels provides players with an exhilarating and unpredictable gaming experience. Some of the games that have the slots Megaways mechanic are able to pay out huge prizes, perhaps somewhat less comparable to those often won on the more highly volatile progressive jackpot slots, but still substantial.

Big Time Gaming (BTG) invented the Megaways concept back in 2015. Their patented mechanic was made available to other game creators, which is why we are now able to find slots with Megaways from all the top game providers. It is also the reason why there are hundreds of Megaways games available online!

How Megaways Slots Work

At the heart of every Megaways slot lies BTG’s groundbreaking game mechanic, which has redefined the traditional slot machine concept. Megaways slots are characterized by their dynamic and ever-changing payline (or ways-to-win) system, which sets them apart from classic slot games.

Between 2 and 7 symbols can randomly appear on each reel on any single spin. The number of ways-to-win is calculated by multiplying the number of symbols obtained. (The amount won depends on the value of symbols in a winning combination).

So, for example, when playing Gonzo’s Quest Megaways, which has 6 reels, and get 3 symbols on each reel, you need to multiply 3 x 3 x 3 x 3 x 3 x 3 to get 729 Megaways. The maximum number of symbols that can land (7) and the number of reels in the game (6) make up the maximum ways-to-win of the game. Keeping the same example, 7 multiplied 6 times itself results in 117,649 Megaways.

With this setup, more chances to win are created than those on traditional slot games with fixed paylines.

Here's a closer look at how Megaways slots work:

  • Ways to Win: In Megaways slots, the notion of fixed paylines is replaced by variable "ways to win." Wins are determined by matching symbols appearing on adjacent reels from left to right. The more symbols on each reel, the greater the number of potential ways to win.
  • Expanding Symbols: One of the key innovations of Megaways slots is the introduction of expanding symbols. Larger symbols can occupy more reel space, affecting the game's volatility and potential payouts.
  • Cascading Reels: Many Megaways slots have cascading or tumbling reels. After a winning combination, the winning symbols are replaced by new symbols that fall into place. This can result in consecutive wins from a single spin.
  • Mystery Symbols and Multipliers: Some Megaways slots feature special symbols, such as mystery symbols that transform into identical symbols and multipliers that amplify winnings.
  • Infinity Reels – As the name would suggest, the ability to add an infinite number of reels to the game.

The dynamic nature of Megaways slots keeps players engaged and intrigued with each spin. With thousands or even tens of thousands of potential ways to win, coupled with innovative features, these slots offer an exciting and unpredictable gameplay experience.

Where to Find the Best Megaways Slots

For those eager to explore Megaways slots, the good news is that many online casinos offer a variety of options, including new Megaways slots and popular titles like Monopoly Megaways slots.

Here are some of the best casino sites where players can find classic and new Megaways slots:

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How to Play Megaways Slots

Players eager to give Megaways slots a try should make sure to choose a reputable online casino that offers a selection of these games - the sites we review at casinos.com are great places to start.

Once account registration and the first deposit are done and dusted, players will be able to select a Megaways slot of their choice from the game lobby (Pro tip: where available, using the casino’s search feature is a simple way to look for Megaways slots). A Megaways slot works just like any other online slot game. All the player needs to do is set a preferred bet amount, then hit spin!

Symbols land just like any other slot. Wins are determined by matching symbols appearing on adjacent reels from left to right, and the number of ways to win can vary with each spin. Special features like cascading reels, multipliers, and free spins, can enhance the chances of winning even further.

Megaways Slots Free Play

Players can often find opportunities to play Megaways slots for free. This is a great way to familiarize yourself with the mechanics and features before risking your bankroll.

Many online casinos offer free play versions of these slots. Here's how to access Megaways slots free play:

  1. Choose an online casino: Select an online casino that offers the Megaways slots free play mode.
  2. Create an Account: Sign up for an account. This typically involves providing some personal information and verifying your identity.
  3. Access Free Play Mode: Once logged in, navigate to the game lobby and find a Megaways slot to play. Look for a "Demo" or "Free Play" option.
  4. Launch the Game: Click or tap the Megaways slot to launch it in free play mode. In this mode, a virtual balance of play money is used for bets.
  5. Play and Learn: Experiment with different bet sizes, explore the game's features, and get a feel for its volatility and potential payouts.
  6. Switch to Real Money Play: If you feel comfortable and want to play slots for real money, you can switch to the real money mode by making a deposit into your casino account.

By using free play mode, players can gain valuable experience and confidence in Megaways slots without risking their own funds. It's an excellent way to learn the ropes and discover which Megaways games resonate with you.

TRIVIA: Dragon Born was the first online slot to feature the Megaways engine. It was created by Big Time Gaming (BTG) back in 2015. However, it was Bonanza Megaways that made the mechanic popular.

The Different Types of Megaways Slots

While the actual Megaways mechanic does not change, there's still a great variety with this category of online slots. We’re not talking about themes here (yes, there’s ample variety of that, too, including ancient civilizations, fantasy worlds, movie-themed games, and even food-inspired slots). We are referring to the number of ways-to-win per game, maximum win potential, and extra game features.

Here are some examples:

  • The Great Pigsby Megaways – This classic Megaways 6-reel slot offers from 64 up to 117,649 ways to win, as do most Megaways slots. However, it has a maximum potential payout of up to $1,000,000.
  • Temple Tumble Megaways – Comes with Free Spins, Multipliers, and Extra Spins, plus it has only 46,656 Megaways (which are still a lot, but less compared to the standard 117,649 ways to win). The maximum potential win is $700,000.
  • White Rabbit Megaways – Features up to 16,807 Megaways in the base game but up to 248,832 ways-to-win during the bonus game. It has a maximum win potential of $348,400.
  • Sahara Riches Megaways Cash Collect – This game can produce up to 86,436 ways-to-win per spin and can generate prizes of up to 1000x the stake. It also features 4 fixed jackpot prizes and Free Spins.

The Top 5 Megaways Slots

There are so many Megaways slots online that finding a list of the best ones is a daunting task. So we’ve listed our favorite 5, in no particular order:

  • Gonzo's Quest Megaways The iconic and original Gonzo's Quest is loved by many, and this sequel sporting the thrilling Megaways mechanic was a sure bet for Red Tiger Gaming.
  • Extra Chilli Megaways – Expect lots of spice from this game from BTG. It’s a popular slot, thanks to the free spins feature and the potential to win additional free spins with each successful round.
  • The Dog House Megaways Pragmatic Play supercharges one of its most popular slots ever, The Dog House, with Big Time Gaming's revolutionary Megaways engine, resulting in one of the most exciting Megaways slots ever, offering up to 117,649 ways to win and a decent RTP of 96.55%.
  • Big Bass Bonanza Megaways The iconic fishing-themed slot, Big Bass Bonanza, has had huge success in the online gambling scene. The addition of the Megaways engine elevates its cool factor, introducing features like Free Spins, Tumbles, Bazookas, and Dynamite, along with up to 46,656 ways to win.

The Top 5 Megaways Slots for 2024

Bonanza Game Logo
Software Provider Big Time Gaming Logo
Megaways Icon Yes
RTP 95.98%
Volatility High
Maximum win €240,000.00
Rick and Morty Megaways Game Logo
Software Provider Blueprint Gaming Logo
Megaways Icon Yes
RTP 96.55%
Volatility High
Maximum win €500,000.00
Gonzo's Quest Megaways Game Logo
Software Provider Red Tiger Logo
Megaways Icon Yes
RTP 96.00%
Volatility Medium
Maximum win €2,100,000.00
The Dog House Megaways Game Logo
Software Provider Pragmatic Play Logo
Megaways Icon Yes
RTP 96.55%
Volatility High
Maximum win €1,230,500.00
Divine Fortune Megaways Game Logo
Software Provider NetEnt Logo
Megaways Icon Yes
RTP 96.06%
Volatility Medium
Maximum win €50,000.00

Megaways Slots vs Progressive Jackpots

Megaways slots and progressive jackpots are similar in one thing: they are both uber-popular with online gamblers. But that’s where similarities end because these two slot categories differ significantly in terms of gameplay, potential payouts, and overall player experience. Let's compare them:

Game Mechanics

Megaways slots are characterized by their dynamic and ever-changing payline system. They feature a varying number of symbols on each reel. Wins are determined by matching symbols on adjacent reels, offering thousands or even tens of thousands of ways to win. These slots often include innovative features like cascading reels and multipliers.

The main focus of Progressive jackpot slots is different. They feature a constantly growing jackpot that accumulates over time. A small portion of each player's bet contributes to the jackpot, making it progressively larger until a lucky player wins it. While some progressive jackpot slots may have other features like Free Spins bonus games and multipliers, these are secondary to the main jackpot prize.

Payouts

While Megaways slots can yield considerable payouts, they are generally more balanced in terms of wins. In simple terms, the chances of becoming a millionaire by playing a Megaways slot are slim. The dynamic nature of these slots allows for a wide range of wins, from small to substantial, but the focus is more on the game experience.

Progressive jackpot slots offer the potential for massive payouts. Hitting the jackpot can result in wins worth millions of dollars. However, these wins are relatively rare and require specific conditions to be met.

Volatility

Megaways slots often come in various volatility levels, allowing players to choose games that match their risk tolerance. Some are high volatility, offering fewer but potentially larger wins, while others are lower volatility, providing more frequent but smaller wins.

Progressive jackpot slots are typically higher in volatility. Players might experience longer dry spells without significant wins, but the allure of the massive jackpot keeps them playing.

Entertainment Value

Exciting gameplay makes Megaways slots tick, and this excitement is characterized by the features of these types of games (tumbling reels, multipliers, and expanding symbols) as well as the ever-changing ways-to-win on every single spin.

Progressive jackpot slots offer a different type of excitement. While the base gameplay may be less dynamic, the anticipation of potentially grabbing a multi-million win adds to the overall thrill.

Megaways slots and progressive jackpot slots cater to different player preferences. Megaways slots offer a dynamic and balanced gaming experience with a focus on innovative gameplay and a range of win sizes. Progressive jackpot slots, on the other hand, provide the allure of potentially huge payouts but come with higher volatility and less frequent wins. The choice between the two depends on the player's gaming style, risk tolerance, and the type of excitement sought in an online slot game.

Megaways Slots vs Classic Slots

Classic Slots and Megaways Slots cater to different player preferences. A simple and nostalgic gaming experience with predictable payouts is what makes classic slots attractive for players who prefer traditional gameplay. Megaways Slots, on the other hand, add more thrills thanks to the constant unpredictability created by their ever-changing ways-to-win, making these games appealing to those seeking innovation and excitement in their slot games.

Game Mechanics

The charming classic slots, often referred to as "fruit machines," have a simple and traditional design. They typically feature a fixed number of reels (usually three to five) and a limited number of paylines. Wins are determined by specific symbol combinations aligning along these fixed paylines.

Megaways slots feature a varying number of symbols on each reel and the thousands or even tens of thousands of ways to win generated by the dynamic combinations.

Payouts

Classic slots come with a simple paytable offering a straightforward and predictable payout structure. The wins are generally smaller, but they occur more frequently.

Megaways slots provide a wider range of potential payouts. While smaller wins are still possible, the dynamic nature of these slots allows for the possibility of larger and more exciting wins.

Volatility

Classic slots are typically lower in volatility. They provide more frequent wins but in smaller amounts. This makes them suitable for players who prefer a less risky gaming experience.

Megaways slots can vary in volatility, with options for both high and low-volatility games. Some Megaways slots offer the potential for larger but less frequent wins, catering to players seeking higher risk and reward.

Entertainment Value

Classic slots offer a nostalgic and straightforward gaming experience. They are easy to understand and are often chosen by players who enjoy the simplicity of traditional slot machines.

Megaways slots are known for their dynamic and engaging gameplay. Apart from the revolutionary Megaways mechanic, innovative features, such as cascading symbols and expanding game areas, add excitement and variety to each spin.

Megaways Slots Providers

Big Time Gaming (BTG) has licensed many of the top slot software providers and their studios to provide Megaways titles. Blueprint Gaming was one of the early adopters and soon, companies like NetEnt, Red Tiger, Scientific Games and Microgaming were building exciting new games.

They also went back and reissued many of their classics reimagined as Megaways slots. Other license holders are Bally’s, WMS, Pragmatic, StormGaming, Softbet, and StakeLogic.

Licensing Authorities and Testing Agencies

Meet The Author

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Ziv Chen
Ziv Chen
Writer Writer

Ziv Chen has been working in the online gambling industry for over two decades in senior marketing and business development roles. Ziv writes about a wide range of topics including slot and table games, casino and sportsbook reviews, American sports news, betting odds and game predictions. Leading a life full of conflict, Ziv constantly struggles between his two greatest loves: American football and US soccer.

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