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Introduction to Megaways Slots
Megaways slots are a new generation of video slots that have taken the online gaming world by storm.
In classic slots, by spinning the reels and lining up three identical symbols, you collect a payout. With the popularity of the internet and new technologies, the single-payline mechanism in slots become better and more lucrative. Today, online slots are available in varied colourful themes and different reel and paylines configurations.
One popular innovation in online slot design is the use of the Megaways mechanics. In this page, we’ll provide a complete guide on this revolutionary game technology, how it works, and the most popular online slots today that are powered by the Megaways engine.
Megaways Slots Mechanics
The Megaways mechanic is an innovation from the Australian iGaming developer Big Time Gaming. Compared to traditional slot machines, in Megaways slots there is no pre-determined number of paylines on each spin. On each reel, the symbols and number of ways to win change randomly on every spin.
A common variant of this mechanic is offered as a 6-reel with 117,649 ways to win slot, where each reel may display 2 to 7 symbols. If every reel displays 5 symbols, the number of Megaways is set at 15,625 (multiply the number of symbols landing on the reels by the total number of reels = 5 x 5 x 5 x 5 x 5 x 5). But if you land the maximum number of symbols on a spin, the Megaways grows to 117,649 ways to win!
As we can see, the more symbols there are on a reel, the higher the number of paylines, and thus more ways to win.
A popular example of an online slot that runs on this mechanism is Bonanza Megaways by Big Time Gaming. This famous slot comes with up to 117,649 Megaways (7 x 7 x 7 x 7 x7 x 7) in a 6-reel, 7 symbols per reel setup, with a varying number of rows. You need to land identical symbols, in any position, on adjacent reels from the first reel.
For example, you need to land matching symbols on the first, second, third, and fourth reels to collect a payout. Using the example above, you will not earn a payout if you land identical symbols on the first, third, and fourth reels, and miss a symbol on the second reel.
There are different types of Megaways-powered online slots that are playable in online Megaways casinos today. Aside from the 117,649 ways to win, you can also find slot machines that feature 15,625, 46,656, 100,832, or even up to 586,971 ways to win!
These online slots feature a varying number of reels and symbols displayed on each reel, but the underlying concept remains the same. In short, the mechanic modifies each reel so that the symbol can appear multiple times on a single real on each spin.
With more symbols in play and different ways to win even if they’re not horizontal or close to each other, the players get mega opportunities to win big.
Understanding the Background of the Megaways Software
Established in Australia in 2011, Big Time Gaming (acquired by Evolution in 2021) has positioned itself as one of the innovators in the iGaming industry. The game studio is headed by Nik Robinson as the founder and CEO, and joined by Huw MacIntosh and Ian Schmidt who spearhead its technical and creative engagements.
In 2016, the company launched Bonanza slot and introduced the Megaways engine, which redefined the way online slots are designed and played up to this day.
What’s interesting about this innovation is that it’s also available in other online slots from leading software vendors. Big Time Gaming, under the leadership of Nik Robinson, also licences this technology to other studios and developers.
The company patented the mechanic and signed deals with other game studios to develop Megaways online slots under their own labels. Blueprint Gaming was the first game designer to apply for a licence to use the Megaways mechanic.
This was followed by agreements with Scientific Games, Red Tiger Gaming, and Relax Gaming. So, don’t be surprised if you find the Megaways label being used by other software vendors. They’re still the same games offering hundreds and thousands of ways to win, thus offering an exciting way to play online slots.
Popular Bonuses and Features in Megaways Slots
Aside from its innovative workings, Megaways games also boast of a wide range of exciting features and bonuses. Here’s a look at what features and bonuses to expect when playing at these games in Megaways casinos.
Cascade is a popular feature in many premium slot machines that describe which symbols are displayed or removed from the screen. This feature comes in different names, such as Reactions and Avalanches, and provides an exciting way to play slot games.
Using the Cascades or Avalanche feature, all winning symbols explode off the screen, allowing new symbols to take their place. With new random symbols added to the screen, players can potentially continue landing winning combinations from just a single spin!
Multipliers and Progressive Win Multipliers
Multipliers are standard offerings in many online slots, including those powered by the Megaways engine.
As the term suggests, Multipliers randomly appear on the reels and boost your winning potential. Multipliers range from a low of 1x up to 500x or even 1,000x in some games.
An exciting variant of this feature is the Progressive Win Multiplier that’s available in some Megaways slots. It’s often built around the Cascading feature, and promises players an increasing Multiplier.
In most games, the Progressive Multiplier starts at 1x and increases by +1 for every winning cascade.
Some online slots set a limit for the Progressive Multiplier. But there are also those with no limits, such as Lucky Wu Megaways by Inspired Gaming. However, the Multiplier counter resets to 1x once the player hits a non-winning spin.
Bonus Buy Feature
Another exciting innovation that you’ll find in Megaways games is the Bonus Buy option. This feature allows the players to buy into the game’s Bonus round, such as Free Spins or Pick-Me Bonus.
The option first appeared on White Rabbit Megaways from Big Time Gaming, and it’s now a popular feature in many premium slots. This option is perfect for players who can’t wait to unlock the game’s bonus features for top payouts. However, interested players can only enjoy this at a cost, often at 100x the wager.
Also, some jurisdictions, such as the UK, forbids game developers to offer Bonus Buy features in their games. The (valid) reasoning is that allowing players to buy into a bonus round encourages them to increase their stakes, and thus promotes reckless gambling.
Best 10 Megaways Slots to Play in 2023
There’s no denying the influence of Megaways in the online slots design industry. These games aren’t just entertaining and different, they’re highly lucrative too, as they reward you with hundreds or even thousands of ways to win.
If you haven’t played these types of online slots before, now’s the best time to explore and play them.
With the popularity of this mechanic and the company’s licensing agreements with top vendors, you’ll easily find top Megaways slots in many online casinos for European players.
But to save you the time, we have compiled some classic and consistent Megaways crowd-pleasers in top casinos.
1. Bonanza Megaways Slot by Big Time Gaming
Our list of Megaways slots fittingly starts with Bonanza from Big Time Gaming. Introduced in 2016, this is arguably the most popular Megaways slot from the company.
Offered with 117,649 ways to win and a mining theme, this Megaways slot provides players a chance to collect gems and potential big payouts. The gems are the high-paying symbols, with the Diamond being the most lucrative. Collecting a 6-of-a-kind pays up to 50x your bet.
But the best element here lies in its selection of bonus features. The game packs Scatters, Free Spins, and an Unlimited Win Multiplier! As you collect winning cascades, the game’s Multiplier increases +1.
Also, landing the letters ‘G, O, L, and D’ starts the Free Spins bonus and instantly awards you with 12 Bonanza Free Spins. Bonanza Megaways is a high volatility game that sports an RTP of 96% and a maximum reward of 26,000x.
2. Big Bass Bonanza Megaways Slot by Pragmatic Play
The popular Big Bass Bonanza from Pragmatic Play gets a refreshing update with the addition of up to 46,656 ways to win.
As a Megaways slot, this online slot takes players underwater in the quest for big wins using a 6×7 grid with an extra reel set on top. The game comes with a bass fishing theme, with the fishing essentials and equipment as the high-paying symbols.
You have the Fishnet as the game’s Wild, the Fisherman, and the Fish symbol that works as the Scatter. Hit at least three Fish Scatters to start the game’s Free Spins Bonus and collect up to 25 Free Spins.
Watch out for the arrival of the Fisherman on the reels when you complete your random spins. Every fourth Fisherman symbol collected on the screen retriggers the bonus, adds 10 extra spins and throws in a Multiplier for the Money symbols up to 10x. Big Bass Bonanza is a high volatility game, sporting an RTP of 96.70% and a maximum reward of 4,000x.
3. Megaways Jack by Iron Dog
In Megaways Jack slot by Iron Dog, players will relive the adventures of Jack as he battles it out against the giants.
Jack is the main character and the highest-paying symbol that pays up to 25x your stake for a six-of-a-kind. With 117,649 ways to win, Megaways Jack slot offers almost cartoonish visuals but with an impressive selection of features.
The adventure on the reel focuses primarily on the Free Spins round, where you can play the Lock-It Feature.
With an action-packed theme, RTP of 96.2%, and a max win of 25,000x, Megaways Jack is a highly recommended Megaways slot for those looking for big wins.
4. Wheel of Fortune Megaways by Big Time Gaming
Remember the classic Wheel of Fortune game that was popular among American audiences during the 1980s and 1990s? Well, the longest-running syndicated game show is now playable on the reels, courtesy of Big Time Gaming.
In the Wheel of Fortune Megaways slot, you’ll play with 117,649 ways to win or up to 1,000,000 ways to win during the Free Spins round! This slot machine revisits the TV studio to come up with a retro-themed but lucrative slot game to play.
Wheel of Fortune Megaways packs Wilds, Scatters, and a Free Spins round. During the bonus, Expansion symbols grow and there’s a chance to retrigger the round and collect up to a dozen extra spins. Wheel of Fortune Megaways has an RTP of 96.46% and offers a maximum win of 82,700x your stake.
5. Royal Mint Megaways by Big Time Gaming
Royal Mint Megaways is one of the latest releases from Big Time Gaming. Inspired by the British Royal Mint, this game boasts the Megaways mechanic and a truckload of features.
Aside from the standard 117,649 ways to win, this online slot delivers the Triple Reaction and Heartstopper features (that increases the win Multiplier by two) for more exciting gameplay.
The main attraction in this slot is the Free Spins Bonus, where you can trigger up to 12 Free Spins. This feature is like Bonanza since you need to spell out the word ‘M, I, N, T to activate the bonus. Also, the Royal Mint Megaways bonus boasts of an Enhanced Free Spins and Unlimited Win Multiplier. The game come with an RTP of 96.53% and a maximum reward of 40,000x.
6. Eye of Horus Megaways by Blueprint Gaming
The ancient Egyptian civilization, its gods, and pharaohs are classic themes used in the design of online slots.
Now, this popular theme gets an exciting upgrade thanks to the Megaways mechanic in the Eye of Horus Megaways by Blueprint Gaming.
Powered with 15,625 ways to win, the Eye of Horus Megaways offers the Horus Wilds and other Egyptian-themed paying symbols. Players discover potentially big wins in the Free Spins Bonus.
Aside from the initial 12 Free Spins at the start of the round, you can also enjoy symbol upgrades. Here, Horus appears and beams light to other low-paying symbols and transforms these into high pays. Also, collecting one, two, or three Wilds during this round unlocks one, three, or five extra spins. Eye of Horus Megaways is a high volatility slot that comes with an RTP of 95.02% and max win of 10,000x.
7. Dragon’s Luck Megaways by Red Tiger Gaming
The popular Dragon’s Luck slot from Red Tiger gets a major upgrade with the release of its Megaways version.
In Dragon’s Luck Megaways slot, players get 117,649 ways to win, a medium to high variance, and an RTP of 95.69%. Although this slot machine is not packed with lucrative features, its selection of bonuses is more than enough to deliver excitement and big wins.
The game offers Wilds, Dragon Coins, and Mega Coins that appear as 2×2, 3×3, or even 4×4 symbols on the screen.
Watch out for the Dragon’s Blessing feature, where the dragons will breathe fire and transform low pays into high-paying symbols!
Yes, this Red Tiger slot doesn’t offer the standard Free Spins but still delivers a maximum payout of up to 10,368x your bet.
8. Who Wants to Be a Millionaire Megaways by Big Time Gaming
If you’re a fan of the classic British TV show, then the Who Wants to Be a Millionaire Megaways slot is highly recommended.
Inspired by the popular TV show, this game takes you inside a studio and lets you play for a share of the payouts.
This Megaways slot from Big Time Gaming boasts of a 6-reel setup with up to 117,649 ways to win. Fans will love the winning opportunities offered by this slot while enjoying the iconic soundtrack of the show.
The game’s spotlight is on the Free Spins, where there’s a chance to collect up to 50 Free Spins using lifelines. This bonus comes with unlimited win multiplier and unlimited re-triggers.
The game offers a decent RTP of 96.27%. With a top payout of up to 72,310x your stake, this game is worth a few rounds!
9. Raging Rhino Megaways by WMS
Get ready for an onslaught of entertainment and prizes in Raging Rhino Megaways from WMS.
With 117,649 ways to win, this high volatility slot machine takes you on a journey and exploration of the African savannah.
This WMS slot is all about Wilds, Scatters, Free Spins, and Multipliers. During the Free Spins, the Wilds can appear and award you with a random Multiplier of up to 5x.
The Diamond Bonus also works as the Scatter, and it starts the game’s Free Spins bonus. Here, you start with eight Free Spins up to a maximum of 50 extra spins! There’s also an increasing Win Multiplier that starts at 1x to keep players happy.
Raging Rhino Megaways is a high volatility game that comes with an RTP of 96.18 % and a maximum reward of 10,000x.
10. Gonzo’s Quest Megaways by Red Tiger Gaming
The adventures of the popular NetEnt conquistador, Gonzo, are also available in the Megaways format. This time, Red Tiger Gaming relies on a game setup of up to 117,649 ways to win and a 6-reel grid.
In Gonzo’s Quest Megaways slot, our bearded Spanish explorer Gonzo is back for an Aztec-themed adventure on the reels.
The game works using the Avalanche mechanic, where each winning avalanche of symbols increases the Multiplier by +1 and up to 4x. With the help of the Free Falls Multiplier, you can enjoy a Multiplier of up to 15x.
Gonzo’s Quest Megaways slot sports Unbreakable Wilds, an Earthquake feature, RTP of 96%, and a top payout of up to 21,000x your bet.
How to Pick the Best Megaways Slots to Play
Now that we have discussed some of the leading Megaways slots on offer, how do you choose which ones to play online? If you’re ready to play for real money, you can follow our below tips.
- Check out game theme and overall value. We want to enjoy and have fun when playing online slots. As such, we should pick games with entertaining and colourful themes.
- Look for Megaways slots with higher RTP. Aside from the theme, it’s important to review the game’s maths, particularly its Return to Player or RTP percentage. The RTP describes the theoretical return of a game over time, with most premium slots within the 95 to 97% range. The higher the percentage, the better your chances of collecting wins. Most Megaways slots fall in the range that we have mentioned.
- Play Megaways slots with lucrative payouts and jackpots. Play online slots that deliver a huge payout potential. These are games with huge Multipliers, lucrative bonuses, or those that award you progressive jackpots.
- Always check your risks and choose games with friendly betting limits. If you’re looking to play for huge payouts, consider medium-to-high volatility slots. Also, always check a game’s betting limits and make sure they don’t overshoot your casino bankroll.
- Read online slot reviews and play these games in reputable online casinos. We highly recommend reading all professionally written slot reviews online. Reviews give you insights into the game, its features, and its maths.
- Finally, make sure to play these games in reputable Megaways casinos. The leading Megaways casinos for European players aren’t just safe; they also offer the most variety of games, fast payouts, and prompt customer support.
Megaways Slots FAQ
- Why should I play Megaways slots?
- Megaways slots offer a thrilling, new way to play online slots. These games boast of thousands of way to win and also offer big rewards. Today, you can play dozens of Megaways slots from top gaming suppliers such as Blueprint Gaming, Red Tiger and Big Time Gaming.
- Does it mean I will win more playing Megaways slots?
- Not necessarily. Your winning chances will depend on a number of factors, starting with how many Megaways a game offers. Then, the slot’s volatility (how frequently a game generates wins) and the Return to Player value (a slot’s payout rate) will also affect your winnings chances. Lastly, how frequently you can activate a game’s bonus features will also decide the frequency and win amounts. As a general rule, most Megaways slots have high volatility and medium RTPs (95%-97%), so you can expect bigger but less frequent wins.
- Are Megaways slots better than traditional online slots?
- Megaways slots only differ in the way they pay out the wins. So, the preference is entirely yours. If you would like to try slots that don’t come with fixed paylines and traditional reels mechanism, and also offer big win potential, then Megaways slots are a thrilling option.
- Do casinos offer Megaways slots in Free-play mode?
- Yes, in most online casinos, you can try out these exciting games in free/demo mode. All the casinos we have featured on this page offer a good variety of Megaways slots from various providers. Do note that depending on your country of residence, you may have to sign up with the casino first.
- Can I get free spins to play Megaways slots?
- This depends on the casino, and the various ongoing promotions that they offer. Mostly, a casino will offer free spins on Megaways slots as part of their Welcome Bonus offer. Do remember that any free spins promotion will have various terms and conditions attached to it.
References and Sources
Major sources of information used in this page.