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Slot Machines: 1024 Ways to Win vs. Standard Pay Lines
The differences between slot machines with 1024 ways to win vs. standard pay lines

by Paul Ace Diamond "Huggy" Blow

A big win on a Buffalo slot with 162 combinations of 5 buffalo.

If you have been playing slot machines in the casinos you have probably noticed that while most slot machine games feature standard pay lines (anywhere from nine pay lines to a hundred pay lines), there are some slot machines that feature "1024 ways to win" or "720 ways to win" and you may be confused as to how those "ways to win" games work vs. the games with standard pay lines. Here, I will discuss the difference between the games and how they work.

Slot Machines with standard Pay Lines
The typical video slot machine will offer pay lines, anywhere from nine paylines (on a Copper Dropper game), to 50 pay lines (on a Wolf Run game), or even up to 100 pay lines. On a penny slot machine, if you play all the pay lines you would be betting one penny per pay line, or at least 50 cents on a 50 pay line game, or a dollar on a 100 pay line game. You win when you get three or more of the same symbol in adjacent reels, from left to right, and win larger amounts when you get five of the same symbol in a pay line. If you get five of the same symbol in spin, but they do not appear in a pay line, you do not win for those symbols.

Slot Machines with 720 or 1024 Ways to Win
Slot machines that offer 720 ways to win or 1024 ways to win are different than the typical slot machine because they do not have dedicated pay lines. Instead, you have a certain amount of reels and tiers, and each spot in the game is a "possible win." In a "720 ways to win" slot machine, you will typically have five reels, with 3 tiers on the first reel, 4 on the second, 5 on the third, 4 on the fourth, and 3 on the fifth reel: 3x4x5x4x3=720 ways to win. The "1024 ways to win" games will have five reels with 4 tiers on each reel: 4x4x4x4x4=1024 ways to win. You still have to get the same game symbol on at least three adjacent reels from left to right for a winning combination, but they can be in in order on the reels, and if there are more than one of the same symbol on each reel the winning combinations are multiplied. For instance, in the picture of BUFFALO SLOTS (a 1024 ways to win game) at the top of this page, there are 162 winning combinations of five Buffalo symbols (3x2x3x3x3=162) which pays out $486 on the minimum 40 cent bet.

The most popular types of these games are the "Xtra Reel Power" slot machines by Aristocrat, with the BUFFALO slot machine being their most popular game that you will find in most casinos. On most of these 720 or 1024 "ways to win" games, there are minimum bets per spin, typically being 40 or 50 cents per spin being the minimum bet, up to $4 or $5 for maximum bets.

1024 ways to win vs. standard pay lines: which is better?
Personally, I prefer the "1024 ways to win" games over the standard pay line games because it is possible to win much larger payouts than you can with standard pay lines. For instance, on the popular WOLF RUN game with 40 dedicated pay lines, if you were to bet 40 cents and fill the screen with Wolf symbols (the highest paying symbol), you would win $10 per line x 40 lines, which gives you $400. On the BUFFALO slot machine (a 1024 ways to win game), if you fill the screen with Buffalo symbols (the highest paying symbol) with a minimum 40 cent bet, you would win $3 for five adjacent buffalo, multiplied by 1024, for a whopping payout of $3072. Thus, it is possible to win large jackpot amounts on the 1024 ways to win games with small bets, while on the standard pay line games you must bet close to maximum credit bets to get the big jackpot wins.

Some of the 1024 ways to win games also feature multiplying wild card symbols which can increase the winning payouts and with the right symbols and multipliers can pay huge amounts (I'm talking over $20,000) without even betting maximum credits. My personal best wins on such games so far have been a $2200 jackpot on a Buffalo Legends game (with a $1.50 bet), a $1500 jackpot on a Buffalo slot machine (with an 80 cent bet) and a $1079 bonus round win on an IGT Mega Vault slot machine with an 80 cent bet. Personally, I am not comfortable betting maximum credits on slot machines, and I like the fact that you can win large amounts on these games without betting max credits, which is the main reason I like to play them.

For more information on how the standard pay line slot machines work, read this article: How to Play Penny Slot Machines

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