Manufacturers in turn developed more sophisticated games and expanded to five-reels or seven-reels, that meant that they could increase the number of paylines on a game plus introduce wild symbols, scatter symbols and bonus games all offering lucrative cash prizes.
With five reels on a machine and three symbols on each reel this meant that the number of winning combinations was 243 (3x3x3x3x3). This is the case in the game ‘Terminator 2’ from Microgaming. This game can be played from as little as £0.30 a spin. There’s no need to spend time working out just how many paylines you can afford to activate. All you have to do is just decide your stake and then away you go.
In this game when you get into the free spins bonus round that increases to a mind-boggling 1,024 ways to win. In this game you only have to get matching symbols to be in adjacent reels from left to right in order to get you a winning combination.
‘Arctic Fortune’, (Microgaming) takes the growth in the ways to win even further. Rather than just having 1,023 different ways to win in the bonus game, that’s the number in play throughout the game. You can look in the paytable if you want to work out just where all those different ways to win actually are. It achieves this higher figure by having five reels and four symbols on each of those reels (4x4x4x4x4).
Can the games keep on producing more and more different ways to win? Well yes they can because ‘Reel Rush’ (NetEnt) has an incredible 3.125 ways to win. This has the same five reels as before but now five rows of symbols (5x5x5x5x5).