Megaways slots have become quite the popular online casino option, with many people enjoying the multiple ways to win and the intriguing themes running through them. It is due to this popularity that many games developers have taken the opportunity to acquire an official licence from Big Time Gaming (BTG) so as to be able to include this mechanic in their games. Of course, if you have played Megaways games before, then you will know how they work and what to expect from them. If not though, things may look a little odd at first.
That being said, Megaways are easy to get to know and understand, and we have prepared this detailed guide towards them for you to check out. Here, we will discuss exactly how Megaways slots operate, what you can expect to see and experience from them and which games are highly popular in this category. Join us here to find out why these slots have become so popular and all about their features.
Who Creates Megaways Slot Games?
It is the Big Time Gaming (now owned by Evolution) brand that creates Megaways games. This developer describes itself as the ‘thought leader’ when it comes to the slot machine development world. Already, it provides its games to such online casinos as William Hill, Paddy Power and Ladbrokes, just to mention a few.
BTG was founded as New Tech Media back in 1996, and it was then sold to News Corp and merged with Orbis to create the OpenBet brand. Over the years, it went through various changes before it settled down under the BTG name. Within that timeframe, it has created a number of tried and tested online slot games.
According to the company’s Chief Executive Officer, Nik Robison (who last year announced the launch of the new Megaclusters mechanic), the decision behind the creation of Megaways slots came from the idea to continue innovating slot machines. And there is little doubt that the invention of this type of slot has moved them forward beyond what they were. It was in 2015 that the brand’s first Megaways slot was released by BTG, going by the title of Dragon Born. However, it wasn’t until it released the Bonanza game the following year that the mechanic gained a huge level of popularity.
It was initially thought that the Megaways function would not be such an outright success, because research suggested that players had a preference for larger symbols. With the creation of Megaways games, BTG was pretty much heading in the opposite direction. However, it was more so a case of changing player perception rather than the things within the Megaways games.
What Is Megaways?
The Megaways function operates as a random reel modifier, and this changes the number of symbols that can appear on each of the reels during a single spin. So, with every spin, a different number of symbols lands on each of the slot’s reels. It is because of this that Megaways games can provide hundreds and even thousands of different ways to create winning combinations.
That may sound quite complicated when read in such a way, but the function is actually pretty simple once you see it in action. In most standard Megaways slots, you will see six reels and up to seven symbols appearing on each of the reels. The number of symbols showing up is determined completely at random by the Megaways mechanic. In most cases, you will have up to 117,649 ways to form wins in total. Reaching that number will occur when all six of the slot’s reels are displaying the maximum number of seven symbols per reel.
It is actually worth noting that not all Megaways slot releases include up to 117,649 ways for you to create winning combinations. Some of them have more and some of them have less. It really depends upon the game you have chosen to access. However, in all instances, there will be more ways to win than a standard video slot.
One thing remains the same throughout all of these Megaways slots, though – there is plenty of entertainment to be had within.
How Are Wins Formed in Megaways Games?
If you are familiar with video slots in general, then you will likely be aware that wins are generally formed by lining at least three of the same symbol up on a specific payline. Some games have 10 paylines, some have 40, others have 50 and so on. Well, this is not the case where Megaways games are concerned. There are no set paylines in a game due to the fact that the number of symbols on a reel per spin can be different.
So, to be able to form wins in such a release, you basically need to land identical symbols from left to right on adjacent reels. These symbols do not have to be directly next to one another or in any particular order, just as long as they start out on the left reel and then one or more shows up on the second reel, third reel, fourth reel and so on. The thing to remember is that the symbols must connect from left to right, one following the other.
Every time you spin the reels of a Megaways slot, you will usually be able to see the number of ways to win that are in operation. This information is frequently displayed in a box at the top of the reels for you. Now, some people do prefer to crunch the numbers and bring a bit of mathematics into their slot gaming. Without being able to see the number of ways to win currently operating, this is not easy. Fortunately, Megaways games generally always display it.
Just keep in mind that not every spin will allow you to benefit from the maximum ways to win. It depends upon how many symbols are visible on each reel. Therefore, if you are a bit more of a mathematician who likes calculating outcomes, you will not be able to use the same mathematical formula for each spin you make.
Why Megaways Slots Have Grown in Popularity
If you were to compare, side-by-side, a Megaways slot with a standard online video slot, you would see the various differences between them. And in seeing these differences, you would also realise why the Megaways options have become so popular as they have today. Plus, due to the fact that BTG has an affinity with incorporating additional extras into Megaways slots, just as standard video slot developers do, they sort of provide a double whammy.
This means that when you access an online slot featuring Megaways, you can also expect there to be free spins, wild symbols, scatters, mystery symbols and so on involved in them, too. And some of them even allow you to buy your way into the bonus feature round as well.
It is important to note that Megaways games, as a general rule, tend to be on the higher end of the scale where volatility is concerned. There are some players who do not mind waiting for a win to arrive in such a slot release, because when it does, it usually provides a much larger reward than anything with a lower volatility level. Therefore, Megaways releases tend to hold plenty of appeal for those with bigger bankrolls i.e., the players who consider themselves high rollers.
Because of the increased number of ways to win within these games, the maximum amount that you can win often reaches 100,000x your stake. That is something that many standard online video slots cannot compare to, due to the fact that Megaways games abandon the traditional set number of paylines.
Naturally, a slot’s popularity should not simply be accredited to its inbuilt features, but also to its external appeal. If a slot does not have a compelling theme running through it, then there is a likelihood that some gamers won’t opt to play it. This is just common sense where any online slot game is concerned. Fortunately, BTG and other developers have taken the time to really get involved with the themes and graphics of the various Megaways games, ensuring that you have a compelling time when playing them.
Combining all of these features of the slots together makes them highly appealing to online casino gamers. With high levels of anticipation and entertaining special features injected into them, there is little wonder that these games have become so compelling for players to access.
Expected RTP and Payouts
Big Time Gaming has crafted a selection of Megaways games, and according to the official figures released by the company, the average return to player rate (RTP) is 96.22%. Of course, as with all online slot games, the incorporated RTP rate varies from title to title. However, as far as BTG’s own Megaways releases go, the White Rabbit release is generally considered to have the highest of these. This stands at a nice 97.77% rate.
So, because of the chance to place bets on many multiple ways to win, the payouts for all wins can so often be exceptionally higher in general. Jackpots in these games can often exceed the maximum rewards found in standard slots. Therefore, they hold a lot of appeal for all kinds of gamers just for this point alone.
Best Titles From Other Brands Providing Megaways
While it is true that BTG is the company that created the Megaways mechanic, it has also opted to licence out this feature for other companies to utilise it in their slot releases. This has led to quite a large number of brands taking BTG up on that offer and acquiring a licence for themselves. Some of the companies also releasing games that feature Megaways within them include:
- Blueprint Gaming
- Storm Gaming
- Red Tiger Gaming
- Pragmatic Play
- Scientific Games
This has, naturally, led to a significant number of developers creating their own exciting slot games with the Megaways mechanic involved in their setup. So, in that respect, what are some of the very best Megaways slot games to have been released over the past few years?
White Rabbit Megaways
This will often be referred to as one of the very bets Megaways releases from BTG itself. With the highest RTP rate of any Megaways game and up to 248,832 ways to form wins during gameplay, this slot entertains with its Alice in Wonderland theme and inclusive specialities.
And it wouldn’t feel right to speak of Megaways games without mentioning the one that really boosted the popularity of such. Bonanza Megaways works as a mining-themed slot, with gemstones appearing on its reels, mystery symbols being in operation and an exciting set of graphics on display.
Gonzo’s Quest Megaways
Netent’s Red Tiger brand united with BTG for this slot release, which provides a maximum win of 21,000x your stake and an exciting theme. It takes all of the thrills of the original Gonzo’s Quest release and bolsters the slot with scatters, a wild symbol and the possibility of playing through a free spins round, too.
Great Rhino Megaways
Pragmatic Play has really gotten itself involved with the BTG Megaways range, introducing players to a revamped version of its Great Rhino release. It features 200,704 ways to win, a maximum bet possibility of £100 per spin, avalanche and cascading wins, and a free spins function. This safari-themed game will truly provide a thoroughly entertaining time.
Diamond Mine: Extra Gold Megaways
And finally, Blueprint Gaming is never one to let a trend go by without involving itself in such, and the Diamond Mine: Extra Gold Megaways game is proof of that. You can trigger a free spins round during gameplay, with an unlimited win multiplier also being present. You can also gamble those free spins prior to the round starting, to try and win more of them. Every win in the game triggers a cascade too, resulting in multiple win possibilities from a single spin.