Paylines vs Megaways Online Slots

The online slots world is diverse. From a refined selection of games in the early noughties, the world of games has grown to the point where novel innovations now sit side-by-side with classics. As ever, old-school fruit machines have a place in the mix. Three reels and traditional symbols such as bars, cherries, and sevens are still popular with players of all types. But now you can spin five, six reels or even more!

Slots have evolved massively since the days of one-armed bandits. At the head of this evolutionary chain are MegawaysTM slots. An innovation to get players in a spin, MegawaysTM is a dynamic payline system developed by Big Time Gaming. Today, many of the top online slots feature MegawaysTM technology. In this guide, we’ve picked out some of the top online slots and put them up against traditional spinners. However, before we do that, let’s dive in the matrix of paylines and how Big Time Gaming and other developers have shaken things up.

Firstly, What Are Paylines?

There are three main components to every slot machine: reels, symbols, and paylines. Each time you spin the reels, you’re aiming to match a certain number of symbols across an active payline. Some slots have fewer reels and paylines than others. However, the idea is the same. Match symbols on a payline = collect a win.

A payline is simply a line that determines whether a collection of symbols is regarded as a winning combination or not. Without them, online slots would be a jumble of symbols.

In the days of classic slots, fruit machines would typically have one payline that ran through the centre of the three reels. However, as technology has evolved, game creators have added more paylines Today, the average online slot has anywhere from ten to 100+. Some of the top slots with a set number of paylines are:


This space-themed slot from NetEnt features five reels and ten paylines that can release a maximum payout worth 50,000 coins.

Mega Moolah

The top progressive jackpot slot, Mega Moolah has five reels and 25 paylines that allow you to win prizes worth more than €1 million.

Book of Dead

Play’n GO’s Book of Dead is an Indiana Jones-style adventure that takes place across five reels and ten paylines.

As you can see, the number of paylines doesn’t define the style, theme, or potential payout of a game. When you play Starburst, for example, you’ll always be trying to match symbols across five reels and ten paylines. Some slots also allow you to choose how many paylines you want to play for, which also effects your stake.

If you prefer a system where things constantly change, that’s where MegawaysTM slots come in.

What Are MegawaysTM Slots?

MegawaysTM slots take traditional ways to win and mix them up. Unlike the slots we mentioned above, ways to win aren’t fixed. Each time you hit the spin button, the number of combinations could chance. This level of variability keeps things interesting. Not knowing if you’re going to have ten or 1,000 ways to win is exciting.

The other benefit to dynamic reels like these as you can unlock more ways to win. This is the real reason MegawaysTM slots have become popular. Each time you spin, the number of ways to win will increase or decrease. This happens because there are six reels in play and, importantly, the size of each symbol varies per spin. Three or more adjacent symbols will land you a win, so the more symbols, the more chances to win!

Without a fixed structure, the number of possibilities is almost endless. OK, so the possibilities do have a limit. When you play MegawaysTM slots, the average number of ways to win is 117,649 – which is plenty more than you’d find on the average slot.

Now that we know paylines determine whether symbols form a winning combination, it’s easy to see why more is better. With more than 117,000 ways to win, a single spin can create multiple winning combinations.

For a taste of the MegawaysTM experience, these slots have been endowed with the super-sized ways-to-win structure:


With a 96% RTP, 10,000x max payout and 117,649 ways to win, this slot is a bonanza in every sense of the word. To help you along, the Bonanza slot game creators have added free spins and multipliers to go alongside the MegawaysTM mechanic.

Extra Chilli

For some extra spice, the developers at Big Time Gaming have added a cascading win dynamic to this game. Each time you hit a winning combination, the winning symbols disappear and new ones fall in their place.

Joker MegawaysTM

You could win up to 10,000x your stake with this one. Like its peers, this online slot gives you up to 117,649 ways to win. What’s also unique about this game is that the bonus round features an unlimited multiplier that could boost your prizes indefinitely.

Paylines vs. Megaways – Which Slots Should You Play?

Now we’ve established how traditional online slots work, and what MegawaysTM are, let’s finish with a quick overview of their similarities and differences.


Fixed vs Variable: Traditional online slots usually have a set number of paylines, however, with MegawaysTM the win ways change every spin.

Predictability vs Unpredictability:
You never know what’s going to happen in any slot, but you know your potential each time you spin on a fixed payline game. In contrast, the number of possibilities will change each time you play a Megaways slot.

Reels: MegawaysTM slots have six or seven reels on average, whereas traditional slots online have between three and five.

Line Wins vs Adjacent Wins: Instead of matching symbols in a line, with MegawaysTM its adjacent symbols you need to look out for. Three or more will usually earn you a win.


Diversity: No matter which type of slot you play, there are endless styles and themes to choose from.

Payouts: Every slot at LiveRoulette has unique payouts, irrespective of how many paylines there are. All have different max payouts and variance, and you can check the game’s pay table to learn more.

So, have you decided whether you’ll take up MegawaysTM on your next slot venture at LiveRoulette?

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