Ways To Win
When you play a slot machine, the more chances to win the better.  At one time games only had one payline and with only three-reels that meant there were few winning combinations available in the game. As the slot industry has progressed rapidly there are now some games that have hundreds of different ways to win on the spin of the reels.

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.

Payline Problems
The more paylines there were in a game, the more chances players had to win due to the increase in symbols that could now be crammed into the additional reels. This gave players plenty of chances to win but the trouble was it came at a price. You have to be in it to win it, so to increase your chances of getting wins you had to keep on activating more and more paylines. That meant increasing your stake for each spin of the reels and not everyone could afford to do that.
The Arrival of All Ways Games
Realizing this was a problem, game developers created ‘all ways’ machines that had a large number of ways to win when spinning the reels. There were hundreds of paylines but the price was kept down and something as economically sounding as that obviously proved popular.

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.

More and More Ways to Win

Reel Rush

‘Reel Rush’ has 3,125 ways to win

‘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).

The Future
Just what lies ahead of us in the future? The next step could be five reels and six rows of symbols that would give you a mind-boggling 7,776 different ways to win. You may laugh at the thought of that but how would you have reacted to the thought of there being games with 3,125 ways to win?