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Are Megaways Slots Better Than Classic Online Slots?

30 Jan 2024

  • 🎰 Megaways slots offer reels with up to several hundred thousand ways to win.
  • πŸ”„ In Megaways slots, each of reels can have 2-7 symbols per spin.
  • πŸ‰ Dragon Born, first Megaways slot, featured 117,649 ways to win and a 5,000x winning potential.
  • 🌟 Bonanza gained immense popularity with 117,649 ways to win and 12,000x winning potential.
  • πŸ’° Megaways slots typically have RTPs above 96% and high volatility.
  • πŸ• Pragmatic Play's popular Megaways slots: The Dog House Megaways (12,305x potential, 96.55% RTP), Power of Merlin Megaways (40,000x potential), and Buffalo King Megaways (5,000x potential, 200,704 ways to win).

Megaways slots are challenging the conventional, classic slots that many have grown to love in the last decades. This new breed of reel-spinning entertainment has taken the online casino world by storm. But does this innovation truly surpass the traditional slot machines online in terms of gaming experience and player satisfaction? This article delves into the heart of this question, examining the key features, advantages, and drawbacks of both Megaways games and classic slots.

The Rise of Megaways Slots

megaways vs classics in text

Megaways slots are a brainchild of Big Time Gaming, an Australian company established back in 2011. Their defining feature is the dynamic reel system which alters the number of symbols that appear on each reel during a spin. This system significantly increases the number of potential winning combinations, often going up to several hundred thousand ways to win – a stark contrast to the fixed paylines found in traditional slots.

How Megaways Slots Work?

The core of a Megaways slot is its random reel modifier technology. In a standard Megaways game, each of the six reels can feature anywhere from two to seven symbols per spin. The number of symbols on each reel changes with every spin, affecting the game's volatility and the player's chances of winning. This unpredictability, combined with additional features like cascading symbols on the reels and Free Spins bonus rounds, adds an extra layer of excitement and unpredictability to the gaming experience.

What was The First Megaways Slot?

In 2015, Big Time Gaming released its first ever Megaways slot - Dragon Born. This revolutionary slot game was the first to feature now popular Megaways gaming mechanics but was not really shown much love by the players. Being the first of its kind, Dragon Born was trying something no-one else ever did and it took players some time to understand what they are dealing with when it comes to Megaways and what are the perks of playing a game featuring such dynamic reels and unique gameplay. 

dragon born megaways slot reels in base game

Although featuring a medieval theme and more than a couple of impressive bonus features, Dragon Born is not remembered by many players to say the least. Even winning potential of 5,000x and 117,649 ways to win was not enough to win the players over to the Megaways side. However, it didn't take them long to understand the benefits of playing Megaways games.

What really put Megaways on the scene was the Big Times Gaming's Bonanza online slot! Players loved this one! Released in 2016, Bonanza took the gambling world by storm, including the casino streaming scene, becoming the most played online slot game across the casinos at the time. With 117,649 ways to win, mining theme, 96% return to player, high volatility and 12,000x winning potential, players were flocking to the Bonanza reels, spinning them, and hoping the big potential payout will become reality. Ever since Bonanza, Megaways have been getting increasingly popular!

Classic Online Slots: Timeless Simplicity

Classic online slots, on the other hand, draw their roots from the original slot machines, much loved one armed bandits. These games are typically characterized by a simpler layout, often featuring three to five reels and a fixed number of paylines. They are known for their straightforward gameplay, often accompanied by familiar symbols like fruits, bells, and 7s. The charm of classic slots lies in their simplicity and nostalgia, evoking the feel of traditional land-based casinos.

Comparing The Gaming Experience

When it comes to the gaming experience, there are several key differences between classic slot games and Megaways slots. First of all, Megaways and traditional slots online cater to different player preferences. Compared to traditional games, Megaways slots often feature intricate themes, more reels, detailed graphics, immersive sound effects and complex bonus features. As such they are appealing to those seeking engaging and dynamic gaming sessions which makes them more suitable for experienced players. The high volatility of these games can lead to huge wins, albeit less frequently. 

bonanza megaways slot reels

In contrast, classic slots offer a more relaxed and straightforward gaming experience. Their simplicity is their strength, making them easy to understand and play, which is particularly appealing to beginners or those who appreciate the nostalgia of traditional slot machines.

Potential Payouts and RTP of Megaways & Classic Slots

The Return to Player (RTP) rate is a critical factor for many players. Megaways slots typically boast high RTP rates, often above 96%, which is comparable to many classic online slots. However, the high volatility of Megaways means that while the payouts can be significantly larger, they also tend to be less frequent than in classic slots.

The Significant Role of Bonus Games and Features

Megaways slots are often packed with an array of bonus features like free spins, multipliers, and cascading reels, which can enhance the potential for big wins. Classic slots, while generally more straightforward, also feature bonus rounds and special symbols, though they are usually less complex.

Player Preferences and Market Trends

The preference for Megaways versus classic slots often comes down to the player's individual taste. Some enjoy the complexity and high-stakes excitement of Megaways, while others prefer the simplicity and more manageable volatility of classic video slots. 

trending in colorful text

In terms of market trends, the popularity of Megaways slots is undeniably on the rise, with more developers licensing the technology from Big Time Gaming. However, classic slots continue to hold a significant place in the market, appealing to a substantial segment of online slot players. 

Popular Pragmatic Play Megaways Slots in Online Casinos

The Megaways slots trend on the iGaming market shows no signs of slowing down and different providers are continuously releasing new games featuring this popular gaming mechanic. Players in online casinos have a wide variety of Megaways slots they can choose from based on their preferred provider, theme, bonus features, etc.

Over the years, Pragmatic Play established itself as the most prolific supplier of Megaways slots so it's not a surprise that it's their games that take the top positions in Megaways section in online casinos worldwide. Here's the list of most popular Megaways slots developed by Pragmatic Play:

dog house megaways slot reels

The Megaways version of the legendary Pragmatic Play game The Dog House has everything a modern online gambler wants in online slots featuring the popular mechanic: high volatility, massive winning potential of 12,305x, big RTP of 96.55%, and up to 117,649 ways to win. The game also comes with a variety of bonus features, including Sticky Wild symbols carrying multipliers in Free Spins bonus rounds.

power of merling slot reels base game

You don't often see online slots with a huge winning potential of 40,000x but Power of Merlin Megaways is one of those online slots! Forming a winning combination here can truly lead to a life-altering online gaming experience and massive bump in your bank account. However, given the fact that this is a high volatility game, Power of Merlin Megaways, just like all other highly volatile slot games, doesn't deliver substantial wins very often but when it does - get ready for fireworks!

buffalo king megaways slot reels

Upgraded version of the original Pragmatic Play slot Buffalo King, this Megaways game is capable of producing big prizes of up to 5,000x the bet. The studio outdid itself by providing players with up to 200,704 ways to win and RTP of 96.52% on a 6 reels grid with advanced graphics. However, the Free Spins bonus rounds is where the proper fun starts! Buffalo King Megaways offers 3 types of bonus rounds, depending on the number of Scatters landed in the base game, with up to 22 free spins and Wild symbols carrying random multipliers - 2x, 3x, and 5x. All this is a great gaming setup that can lead to bigger payouts but will certainly produce extra excitement for those who decide to hit the Spin button on Buffalo King Megaways.

curse of the werewolf megaways slot reels

Curse of the Werewolf has been on the iGaming scene since 2020 and has been very popular among regular players and casino streamers, including Roshtein who still comes back to this game in his bonus hunts. Although 40,976 ways to win might seem like a downgrade compared to previous video slots from Megaways universe, Curse of The Werewolf makes it up with special features and special symbols that seriously uplift the gameplay. Not to mention the max win multiplier that's capped at 40,656x and which supersedes the all aforementioned Megaways slot games! With 2 spin modifiers, Mystery symbol, and Free Spins bonus rounds that can be retriggered, Curse of The Werewolf is one of the best Megaways video slots out there, no doubt about it! 

Do Megaways Slots Reign Supreme Over Traditional Slots? 

Whether Megaways slots are better than classic online slots is subjective and depends largely on what one seeks in a gaming experience. Megaways slots offer a modern, dynamic, and potentially more lucrative gaming experience. However, classic slots hold their ground with their simplicity, straightforward gameplay, and nostalgic charm.

As the online gambling industry continues to grow and evolve, the competition between these two formats is likely to spur further innovations, ultimately benefiting the players with more diverse and exciting gaming options. The choice between Megaways and classic slots, therefore, isn't about which is better in a universal sense, but about which is better for the individual player's preferences and gaming style.

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