What are Megaways slots?
What are Megaways slots? This is a common question we are asked by the Find My UK Casino community, with players having seen them topping the charts and dominating game lobbies at their favourite online casino sites for a long time now.
Megaways was created by Australia-based slot development studio Big Time Gaming and first hit the market in 2015 with its Dragon Born title. But it wasn’t until Bonanza launched in 2016 that Megaways entered the mainstream and took the online slots world by storm.
So, what are Megaways slots and how do they work? We explain below.
What is Megaways?
Megaways is a random reel modifier that changes the number of symbols that appear on each reel during a single spin. In short, this means that with every spin a different number of symbols lands on each reel, providing tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of ways to win.
How does Megaways work?
Megaways may sound complicated by in reality it is pretty simple. In a standard Megaways slot there are six reels and up to seven symbols that can appear on each reel. The number of symbols that appear is selected by the Megaways mechanic at random.
This can create thousands of different ways to win with each spin – 117,649 to be exact. This happens when all six reels are displaying the maximum number of seven symbols per reel. It is worked out as 7x7x7x7x7x7 = 117,695.
It is worth pointing out that not all Megaways slots offer up to 117,649 ways to win. In White Rabbit there are 248,832 Megaways to win and in Holy Diver there are 586,971 Megaways to win if you can unlock the bonus game.
The below casinos offer Megaways slots:
How do I win on Megaways?
How you win on a Megaways slot is slightly different to a standard slot. Instead of lining up symbols along the specified payline, with Megaways you simply have to land identical symbols – from left to right – on adjacent reels to create a winning line.
The size of the symbol, placement on the reel and number of matching symbols on each reel does not matter. The symbols just have to connect from left to right, one after the other. The graph below shows a winning Megaways combination and a non-winning Megaways combination:
How to calculate your ways to win on a Megaways slot
Most Megaways slots will show you the number of ways you can win in a box at the top of the game window. This is helpful as with so many different ways to win, keeping on top of the math can be a little tricky. But for those that do like to crunch the numbers, this is how to work it out:
To calculate the total number of ways to win for that spin, you need to multiply the number of symbols on each reel with each other. If we take the example above of all seven symbols appearing on each of the six reels, you would have to multiply each reel separately and against the others.
So you would multiply the symbols on reel one with the symbols on reel two – so 7x7 = 49. You would then multiply 49 by the number of symbols on reel three, which in the case of this example would be 7. So you would have 49x7 = 343.
The calculation would continue as follows:
343x7 = 2,401
2,401 x 7 = 16,807
16,807 x 7 = 117,649
Of course, you will not land 117,649 different ways to win with every spin, so let’s look at another example of how to calculate your ways to win on a Megaways slot but with a smaller set of symbols.
The 10s in this winning combination works out as:
1x3 = 3
3x1 = 3
3x2 = 6
The total win for this combination, from a £1 stake, would be £1.20.
Why have Megaways slots become so popular?
Megaways slots have become so popular because they provide one of the most exciting and thrilling online slot experiences available. BTG also likes to combine Megaways with other features including multipliers, free spins and even the chance to buy the bonus game.
Big Time Gaming’s slots tend to sit at the high end of the volatility scale which means that wins don’t come all that often but when they do, they can be massive. You can learn more about online slot volatility in this article.
This has made Big Time Gaming’s Megaways slots a big hit with online casino streaming community as they provide high levels of anticipation and excitement and can be just as thrilling to watch as they are to play.
What Nik Robinson, CEO of Big Time Gaming, says about Megaways
Nik Robinson is the visionary behind Big Time Gaming and is responsible for overseeing some of the game-changing mechanics his team has brought to the market since the developer first opened its doors back in 2011.
We sat down with Nik to learn more about where the idea for Megaways came from and whether he always knew it was going to be the smash hit it has become today or whether its success has come as a surprise.
Find My UK Casino (FMUC): Where did the idea for Megaways come from?
Nik Robinson (NR): Megaways came from thinking a great deal about how to innovate the perception of slot machines and take things to the next level. A big part of this thinking was about allowing players to see with every spin the potential the game has to fill up all of the symbols on each of the reels and to occasionally deliver huge if not life-changing wins.
At the time this was controversial thinking because the wider market thought players saw the most value in slots with big symbols and we went to market with the opposite. This is something we are doing with Kingmaker, where players do not want the bonus to land as they can unlock unlimited multipliers in the base game.
So Megaways was not about reinventing the wheel as such, it was about changing player perceptions and I would say we have most certainly done that as Megaways slots are among the most played in online casino all around the world.
FMUC: Did you know Megaways was going to take the online casino world by storm before you launched it with Dragon Born back in 2015?
NR: I had a sort of Eureka moment about four months before we flicked the switch with Dragon Born and felt like we had created something truly revolutionary with Megaways. Then when the final Beta test of the game was subbed for compliance, I just knew that we had a game-changing product on our hands.
It took a few years for Megaways to enter the mainstream with Bonanza, but now I truly believe that we have a ten-year mechanic on our hands and that Megaways is very much here to stay. It is even heading for casino floors around the world in a shiny cabinet with a massive ruby revolving on the top. Time will tell how Vegas reacts, but the rest is history!
The Megaways revolution
Robinson is right about Megaways going down in history as a truly revolutionary slot mechanic. Some people even believe it is the next step in the evolution of slots which have gone from three reels to five and now to Megaways.
So popular has Megaways become with players that Big Time Gaming took the decision to license the mechanic to other game providers, allowing them to create their own titles based around Megaways for the very first time.
First up was 1X2 Network and since then everyone from Red Tiger Gaming to Blueprint Gaming via Scientific Games, Fantasma Games, iSoftBet and more have all chosen to license the Megaways mechanic from Big Time Gaming.
What are the best Megaways slots?
The Find My UK Casino team is a big fan of Megaways slots, so it took us quite a while to agree on our top three which are:
Bonanza at Casino.com. Ways to win: 117,649
Features: Unlimited win multiplier on free spins
Play At Casino.com
Ways to win: 117,649
Features: Unlimited win multiplier, win up to 50 free spins
Play At AHTI Games
Where can I play Megaways slots?
Megaways slots have gone on to smash playing records time and time again. As such, the vast majority of online casino brands stock Big Time Gaming’s slots, particularly their Megaways titles. Most now also include slots from developers that have licensed the Megaways mechanic.
Big Time Gaming usually launches titles exclusively with an online casino for a few weeks before making the game available to the wider market.
To find a full list of Find My UK Casino recommend sites that stock Megaways titles, click here.