You’re likely (these days) to come across a game labeled “243 Ways to win slot machines.” This is a specific style of modern video slot machine. And it comes with a unique pay line system that requires a slightly different style of play.
This post covers 243 Ways to win slot machines. It discusses what they are, how to play them, their pros and cons. I also offer some examples of famous 243 Ways slots.
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What Are 243 Ways to Win Slot Machines?
Here’s what it means when you see a slot advertised as having 243 Ways to Win:
This game uses a different setup compared to other slots.
A payline is a line on which winning combinations of symbols payout prizes. Typically, slot machines allow players to activate different pay lines using their wager. If a slot has 25 pay lines, bettors must wager 25 credits to activate all the different ways of winning.
243 Ways slots use a different setup. 243 Ways slot games have five reels and three rows of symbols. The “243 Ways to Win” feature comes from the fact that any adjacent symbols can form winning combinations. Because 3 x 3 x 3 x 3 x 3 is 243, players have 243 pay lines (“ways to win”) on each spin.
243 Ways to Win Slot Machines Basics
243 Ways slot games look and behave like a typical modern video slot. You see a screen of reels and rows of symbols. And you have options in terms of what denomination and how many coins you want to bet.
One important feature of slot machines is missing – the decision on how many lines to bet. On 243 Ways slots, every winning combination from left to right results in a payout. 243 Ways slots players don’t have to keep track of lines. Nor do they have to worry about how many lines to bet. Your bet already activates every possible line that can produce winning combinations.
Pros & Cons of 243 Ways to Win Slot Machines
The most obvious advantage to playing a 243 Ways slot is the simplicity of the game rules and payout system. All you need to do is find a game that offers a denomination you’re comfortable with, and a max bet that’s within your budget, and you can play. 243 Ways slots take line bets off the table entirely.
The biggest knock on 243 Ways games is their relatively low variance. That means these games tend to pay out lots of small prize amounts and relatively few large payouts. Some slots players prefer that type of game. Others like to chase large jackpots, and on 243 Ways games those big jackpots are less likely.
3 Examples of Popular 243 Ways Slot Games
The best way to get to know 243 Ways slots is to examine real-world examples.
Below are three good examples of the 243 Ways system. These popular games show off the best of what the style of slots can offer:
1. Immortal Romance 243 Ways Slot
Released by Microgaming in 2011, Immortal Romance was among the first 243 Ways slot games ever released. The max bet range is between $0.10 and $30 per spin. The game’s top prize is worth 12,000x your stake, for a total cash value of between $1,200 and $360,000. Microgaming says the game’s RTP is 96.86%, but that number varies a little based on the needs of the casino hosting it.
Immortal Romance isn’t a licensed game, but its vampire theme makes it feel familiar to modern audiences saturated in vampire content. The symbols are all appropriately Gothic, with bats, castles, a creepy old candlelit library, and (of course) several vampires.
Immortal Romance has a wild and scatter symbol, as well as a four-tiered bonus feature with different games depending on which character you draw. Each character rewards a different number of free spins, between 10 and 25. The game’s Lion’s Head symbol, which acts as a scatter symbol, produces the highest payouts in combinations of five in a row left to right.
Immortal Romance is popular because it works hard to build a world in which the story of the slot makes sense. It’s well designed, in other words. The music is nice enough that, for once, I didn’t mute the game during a test-play. A lot of attention to detail went into this game, well beyond just “a vampire game with a 243 Ways gimmick.” A review I read earlier called it “Vampire Diaries meets Clue,” which I think is about as apt a description as you’re likely to find.
2. Thunderstruck II 243 Ways Slot
Microgaming’s first major 243 Ways release is Thunderstruck II, a sequel to an earlier traditional video slot based on Norse mythology. The betting range is wide, as is common with Microgaming’s 243 Ways releases – bettors can wager anywhere from $0.20 to $60 per spin. The top payout on the 243 Ways slot Thunderstruck II is 8,000x your stake, for a total cash value of between $1,600 and $480,000. The game’s posted RTP is 96.65% but be aware that the actual RTP of the game you play is likely to be a little higher or lower than that.
The game’s theme is Norse mythology. There’s not much of a story, but the symbols and other features of the game are all heavily inspired by the likes of Thor, Odin, and Loki. Thunderstruck II owes a lot of its popularity to the 243 Ways to win setup, but also because of its four unique bonuses.
Thunderstruck II includes a wild symbol (Thor’s Hammer) that doubles your wins any time it’s used in a winning combo. Note that the wild symbol’s win doubling action is deactivated during the game’s Wildstorm Feature, which is randomly triggered and turns most of the symbols into wilds.
When you line up three or more Thor’s Hammer symbols, you’ve activated the scatter bonus, known as the Great Hall of Spins. Here’s where the game’s famous four unique bonuses appear – one each for Valkyrie, Loki, Odin, and Thor. Each character issues a different number of free spins and a different win multiplier. These free spins can’t be retriggered.
3. The Dark Knight Rises 243 Ways Slot
Released in 2013, The Dark Knight Rises slot is based on the 2012 Warner Bros. movie, still the ninth-highest grossing movie of all time. Players can bet between $0.30 and $7.50 per spin, chasing a top prize of 25,000x their stake. That’s worth a cash amount between $7,500 and $187,500. Microgaming posts an RTP of 94.75%, but obviously the casino where you play the game may have it set a little higher or lower.
The game is well-themed, featuring animations and graphics based on the film. Since this is an officially licensed game, everything is true-to-life, including the brooding atmosphere of the game, and the rain-soaked Gotham City background.
The Dark Knight Rises includes a wild symbol and a scatter symbol. The Bat logo is the game’s wild, substituting to form winning combinations on any of the game’s 243 Ways pay lines. The game’s top symbols all work together as a collective scatter symbol. Players who line up the same high-value symbol in the middle three reels activate the Fire Rises feature. This leads to free spins and win multipliers.
A popular licensed theme is usually enough to make a slot game popular. This DC Comics property isa fun game with plenty of bonus features and the popular 243 Ways format.
Once you’ve played a few rounds of your first 243 Ways slot, you’ll see that the games aren’t all that different from the usual video slot.
The whole idea behind 243 Ways games is to attract players with the idea that they can place a single bet that covers 243 pay lines. Want to wow slots fans used to games maxing out at 50 pay lines? Let them cover more than 200 lines for a single low wager.
243 Ways games use low variance – long runs of small wins and losses – to counteract the fact that players have so many ways to win on each pull. Players who like low variance slots should check out 243 Ways games.