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Nov

08

2017

Reel Power Gives You 243 Ways to Win

After 20 years of multiline video slots in casinos, I find most players don’t even look to see the shapes of the paylines anymore.

When there were five lines or nine lines, everyone wanted to check to see how the lines ran and how their winning symbols lined up. With 30, 40 lines or more, most players today just accept their total winnings and move on.

The 243-ways-to-win slots with no traditional paylines are another matter. They’ve been with us for most of a decade, introduced by Aristocrat Technology as Reel Power and picked up by other game manufacturers.

I still get questions from readers wondering exactly how these games worked. One recent email asked if it was the same as having all symbols be scatter pays.

That’s not quite the case. Scatter symbols pay off no matter where they are on the screen. They don’t have to line up from left to right. If it takes three scatter symbols to form a winning combination and the symbols land on reels 2, 3 and 5, for example, they still pay off.

That’s not the case on Reel Power-type games. Symbols don’t have to form any kind of coherent payline, but they must land on adjacent reels from left to right, starting on the first reel.

If you have a K symbol at the bottom of the first reel, another at the top of the second, in the middle of the third and fourth and back to the top of the fifth, that is a five of a kind combination.

They don’t find any kind of straight line, Z, chevron or any of the other paths that form traditional paylines. But as long as like symbols fall on adjacent reels from left to right, they can form a winning combination.

You can see that’s a different thing than a scatter pay, but it still leaves 243-ways-to-win as an extremely flexible format — a valuable addition to the slot designer’s lineup.

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