Which Pays Better: Lines or All Ways Pays Slots?

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Eureka Reel Blast pay lines

Slots generally come in two structures – ones that have individual pay lines, and ones that have an “all ways pays” format, meaning regardless of where the symbol appears on the reel, as long as it appears on consecutive reels starting from the left, you’ll be paid. Is there a better option?

Statistically, which type of game pays more: one with specific lines or one that pays left to right (reel ways)? I have always been curious about that.

April L.

It’s not so much that one will pay better – the games will be designed with similar payback ranges and casinos will tend to select similar payback options for their floor – it’s more that their pay structures are simply different.

Where symbols appear on reels, how many appear together, and how much various symbol combinations pay all factor in to how a slot pays out. When all ways pays comes into play, there’s a general shift in leaning in to stacked or clumped symbols as well, since multiple symbols on a reel means a player will get paid multiple times.

The flip side to that is the individual pays will likely be lower, to make up for that potential of a high multiple of pays that can occur when a ton of symbols come out together.

That has the potential to make such games more volatile compared to their lines based counterparts. But it’s not the only thing that can impact a game’s volatility, and there’s certainly line-based games (All Aboard, anyone?) that can be volatile as well.

So ultimately, they don’t pay better or worse, just differently, and it’s really up to a player’s preference as to what to play. In the long run they’ll work out to roughly the same point, so there’s no harm in playing either, or both, as you see fit!

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