How Do Lines and Ways Impact Pays?

Home » Recent Posts » How Do Lines and Ways Impact Pays?
Share this on:

Pay table example

What is the influence of the various pay lines and all ways pays scenarios on the payout of a game?

I would love it if you could explain the differences of, for example, a 50 line game and what that means and how denomination differs within that game. Example game Mystery of the Lamp. What are 5 line games … do these games pay more ? I also don’t understand if there are 3000 ways to win on a game and you get nothin’!

Christine N.

The number of pay lines that appear on a game can be a part of the volatility of a machine. More pay lines tend to mean more ways you can win, but then they each pay less because there are more of them. So you’ll get more, smaller, line hits as a general rule.

Multi-denomination machines will often reduce the lines as you go up in denominations to reduce the harshness of the bet sizes at the higher levels. Let’s use the example of a standard Dragon Link machine, for example.

When you start out at 1 cent denomination, you’ve got 50 lines, so your minimum bet is 50 cents. 2 cent denomination tends to be the same, so your minimum bet is $1. But when you move to the nickel denomination, you reduce to 25 lines – and so now your minimum bet is only $1.25, half what it would be if there were 50 lines.

The trade-off is there’s now half as many lines as before – there aren’t as many ways to win. But on the other hand you’re spending less. So it will even out in the long run, more or less.

Mystery of the Lamp is similar – the line count reduces as you increase in denomination, but the bet levels are softer too, making it easier for lower bet players to still have access to some options at, say, a nickel denomination without it getting too expensive.

All ways pays games are altogether different – you traditionally just need symbols on successive reels, starting from the left, to get paid. So symbols appearing anywhere on the reel counts. 

With those games, the structure is altogether different, so the pays tend to be distributed differently as well. Whether there’s stacked wilds, clumped symbols (think Buffffallllloooooo) and so on can have a meaningful difference in how these games pay out.

So less lines tends to mean more payouts are attached to each line because each line has more weight. But it doesn’t mean they pay more than a higher line count game, or an all way pays game – each distributes their payouts in different ways, coming to the final overall payout in different ways.

In part, this is by design, to give players a choice over what sort of game experience in terms of volatility they want to have. Do they want a more volatile game, tougher but bigger payouts when they do come along? Or a less volatile game, where the payouts are smaller but more frequent?

Have a question? Submit yours here!

Share this on:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Play Online Casinos

Sign Up with BetMGM Casino and get a Deposit Match up to $1,000, plus $25 in Site Credits on the house! Available in MI, NJ, PA & WV. US promotional offers not valid in Ontario.

Use code SWITCH2500 for a 100% deposit match up to $2,500, and 2,500 Reward Credits, with $25+ in wagers placed (MI, NJ, PA & WV).

New sign-ups with DraftKings Casino in MI, NJ, PA & WV will receive $35 Casino Credits, plus Play $5 and Get $100 Back in Casino Credits Instantly!

Sign Up and deposit $10+ at FanDuel to get a Welcome Offer of a $20 Bonus + Up to $1,000 Play it Again based on your net losses in the first 24 hours in MI, NJ, PA & WV!

Play Social Casinos

Ready to give Show Me Vegas Slots a try? Get 10 million coins to play Show Me Vegas Slots with promo code SWITCH!

New players get 6 million coins for signing up! All players will receive 2 million coins free (one time only).

Sign Up and get a Welcome Bonus of 2,000,000 FREE Gold Coins & 2 FREE Sweeps Coins. Get started today!

Sign Up for LuckyLand Slots and get a Welcome Bonus of 7,777 FREE Gold Coins & 10 FREE Sweeps Coins!

Online Game Spotlight
Fire Buffalo

Simple, Compelling 3-Reel Slot Machine

Almighty Buffalo Megaways

Bonus Choice and Buy a Bonus for Extra Fun

Play Online Sportsbooks

Sign Up to get a Bet $5, Get $150 in Bonus Bets, Win or Lose!

Use code SWITCH1000 to get your first bet back in Bonus Bets, up to $1,000, if you lose.

​SIGN UP to get $150 instantly in Bonus Bets* (NC, $5+ bet required) or up to $1500 in Bonus Bets* Back if Your First Bet Doesn't Win (All Other Eligible States)!

New Players get a Bet $5 Get $200 in Bonus Bets Instantly PLUS $50 Bonus Bet with $5 deposit. PLUS, Get a No Sweat NBA SGP Every Day of NBA Playoffs.! New players outside MA also get 20% Match up to $1,000 (25x PTR).

Social Game Spotlight
Quick Hit Explosion

2 Bonuses 6 Jackpots Keep Things Fun

5 Lions Gold

All Ways Wins with a Bonus Volatility Choice

Super Wheelmania Link VIP Riches

Wheel Adds a New Twist on a Familiar Concept