How Does All Ways Pays Games Correlate to Bets?

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Buffalo slot machine by Aristocrat clumped 10s

Some slot machines don’t have pay lines, but instead have an all ways pays model. A player wonders how that correlates to your bet, and if there’s the same relationship with games with lines:

If 1 cent machine has 243 lines how does it work if you play all lines but at 2.25 a pull? Are some lines being played at less than a cent?


Ways games work differently than lines games in that there’s not a set of lines that are used to evaluate for winning pays – any combination works as long as symbols appear on successive reels starting from the left. 

243 ways comes from the height of each reel multiplied together – 5 reels, each three symbols tall, yields 3x3x3x3x3=243. Theoretically, if you got a full screen, that would be all 243 ways paying at once.

Unlike line games, where often each line is bought with a credit, especially in the earlier days of slots where you decided how many lines you were playing, ways games are simply play all ways for x amount of credits.

So in the case of a game like the original Buffalo, which has 1,024 ways to play, for a 40 credit spin you get all of those ways to win!

The pay table is set up to reflect the structure of this format, so pays will be set up with all those ways to win in mind. This means a single five of a kind may not necessarily be as lucrative, but because you can get multiple five of a kinds, that’s where the real money will come from. Ways pays games will tend to have some extra volatility baked in as a result.

So, you’re not missing out on anything betting 2.25 a pull on 243 ways – the pay table is structured to accommodate that bet already, meaning you’ll be in good shape.

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